Fate of vacant Pine Street properties discussed at public meeting

CAMBRIDGE, Md. – For years, efforts have been underway to revitalize the Pine Street community in Cambridge. On Friday, those efforts continued as community members and city leaders discussed the fate of certain properties in the area.

Rhodana Fields, a Neighborhood Revitalization Manager with Habitat for Humanity Choptank said, “We really wanted to open it up to the community bring the community in folks that live there and make sure that we’re hearing their feedback on those properties as well.”

On Friday, the revitalization team identified 13 homes they want to demolish in the area, one they want to fix up and one they want to move.

Fields said, “Something with a unique history and an identified character, we hope we can preserve and then some that are just functionally obsolete or its structurally damaged beyond salvage, it’s probably time for those to go.”

To demolish a home it must either be non-functional, non-energy efficient, unsafe, undersized or simply too expensive to renovate.

Fields said, “We’ve identified a number of properties that just structurally they’ve been abandoned they’re structurally falling apart they are historic properties but probably the highest and best use for them would just be to be demolished.”

Some in attendance on Friday said they think all of the homes identified should be demolished.

Wayne Towers, a Cambridge resident said, “I just can’t imagine anybody who would want either house there to remain in place.”

Others said they’re glad the city is considering revitalizing at least some of the homes. They added that they’re glad that the homes that do get demolished will either have their property preserved as open space or will be replaced with an entirely new house.

Jermaine Anderson, a Cambridge Resident said, “What I like out of this is it gave thought to what the process would look like with a new house in that particular spot, or in the small houses they become shared lots through other people that live into the community to get parking off the street.”

The city says all of this work is just the start of the plan, not the whole thing. We’re told there will be several more meetings like this one in the future.

People in attendance on Friday told organizers that they want to see more transparency down the line. While they were grateful the city held this public meeting, they wished it would have been held on the weekend instead, when more people could attend.

Categories: Local News, Maryland