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Front Royal Seeks State Support for Blighted Property Enforcement

26 June 2017 News

To left, the once regal Afton Inn has been looking for a rebirth for over a decade now. At right is Front Royal’s new Town Hall.

Frustration was expressed by Front Royal Town Council members concerning a lack of enforcement authority the town faces concerning deteriorating or “at-risk” structures. That frustration came after an update on such structures by Town Manager Joe Waltz at a June 19 work session.

And at the point of that frustration, as it has been for nearly a decade, is the once regal, now boarded-up Afton Inn at the head of Front Royal’s Historic Downtown Business District. The fact that the long-derelict three-story brick building is directly across Crescent Street from the new Front Royal Town Hall is a glaring reminder to staff and council of their frustration.

Vice-Mayor Eugene Tewalt suggested trying to get the newest of Warren County’s three state House delegates, 29th District Representative Chris Collins, on board to take the enforcement issue to the General Assembly.

“All we need is (the authority) the cities have.  We need to get somebody on our side,” Tewalt told his colleagues.

Waltz suggested reaching out to other Virginia towns with the same problem. Tewalt agreed that a group initiative might give the issue some impetus at the state level.

A total of 16 structures made the list, and two were removed, this year.

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