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Taneytown levying fines against Councilman Donald Frazier for unresolved code violations

Taneytown levying fines against Councilman Donald Frazier for unresolved code violations
In this file photo Donald Frazier talks at a Taneytown Mayor and Council meeting in the fall of 2018. (Alex Mann / Carroll County Times)

Taneytown began imposing fines against Councilman Donald Frazier on Dec. 22 because one of his violations of the city’s code remains unresolved, according to city officials.

The city leveled code violations against Frazier in November after a criminal summons revealed that the councilman was was illegally renting apartments in the basement of his single-family home on Bentley Street.

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Taneytown’s code prohibits “rental of rooms/apartments” in the district where Frazier’s home is located, the Nov. 7 notification letter from the city detailed. The code also precludes renovations to create additional dwellings, like “dedicated sanitary and cooking facilities,” in the R-10,000 zoning district, the letter explained.

The criminal summons revealed Frazier renovated his basement to include a kitchen that allowed for at least one apartment, according to the city. Taneytown ordered Frazier to stop renting rooms or apartments by Nov. 22 and to have the cooking facilities removed by Dec. 7, at which point city officials would arrange to inspect the property to ensure the renovations had been removed.

If Frazier failed to cease renting or to remove the cooking facilities by the deadlines set by the city, Taneytown said it would impose fines of $100 for each calendar day the violation continued.

According to a Dec. 7 letter from the city, Frazier stopped renting living spaces in his basement before the Nov. 22 deadline. Taneytown has not levied fines for the illegal use of the property.

But as of Jan. 2, he and his wife, former county commissioner Robin Frazier, have failed to schedule an inspection, according to the city.

“Despite multiple attempts to schedule an inspection of the portion of your property that had been in use as rental dwellings, agreement on an inspection date was not reached and the removal of cooking facilities could not be confirmed during the week of Dec. 10, 2018 as was specified in my letter of Dec. 7,” Jim Wieprecht, Taneytown’s zoning and code enforcement officer, wrote to Frazier Dec. 21.

The city began fining the Fraziers on Dec. 22. The fines — which amount to $1,100 as of Wednesday, Jan. 2 — will continue to accrue until the Fraziers arrange an inspection with Taneytown and Carroll County Bureau of Permits and Inspections.

“The meter is running,” Jay Gullo, the city attorney, told the Times.

Frazier on Jan. 2 said that he was unaware that he is being fined by the city.

“We’ve been away and I don’t know anything about it,” Frazier told the Times. “I have not gotten my mail out of my mailbox.”

If the Fraziers fail to pay the fines, the city will place a lien against their home, according to the November notice of violation.

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