Tuesday, May 16, 2000

Pair offer to clean up property or raze home

By Michael D. Clark
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The two plastic surgeons who abandoned a now-condemned Anderson Township house for more than a decade offered Monday evening to clean up their property or have it demolished.

        Jerry and Pamela Silver refused to appear before a public meeting of the Hamilton County Board of Health but sent their attorney with a proposed agreement that let them try to save their abandoned and refuse-ridden former home.

        The board voted 4-0, with one member abstaining, to accept the Silvers' proposal, which calls for them to determine by June 5 if the two-story house at 5986 Crittenden Drive can be cleaned of dangerous molds.

        If so, the Silvers agreed to have the condemned home cleaned and inspected to meet health codes by August 1.

        James Moore, attorney for the Silvers, who left their Crittenden Drive home more than a decade ago to move to Owensville in Clermont County, said neither doctor would comment regarding their mysterious abandonment.

        The board's vote of approval is contingent upon Dr. Pamela Silver signing off on the agreement, which was hastily drawn up Monday without time to garner her approval. She must sign the agreement by Friday.

        If she does so, the Silvers then have until June 5 to deliver a report from a health expert in structure

        cleaning that states their former home is salvageble despite the buildup of hazardous mold. If the home can be rehabilitated, the agreement states that the Silvers will have until Aug. 1 to do so.

        One of the first questions from board of health members was why the Silvers had abandoned the home while continuing to pay electric and water bills but allowing the structure and their posses sions — including a kitchen full of food — to deteriorate over a decade?

        Mr. Moore said the two doctors had moved to Clermont County for more land and intended to build a bigger house but found they could not afford it.

        Their new house is smaller and they had to leave their property in the old house, said Mr. Moore.

        “They intended to build a bigger house it didn't work out,” Mr. Moore said.

        Hamilton County Health Commissioner Tim Ingram said that in recent weeks the Silvers had hired cleaning crews and had removed more than two tons of animal feces, trash and medical instruments and records from the property.

        “As long as I've been commissioner ... I've never seen a property trashed and left in this condition,” said Mr. Ingram. “I mean these are educated, board-certified doctors. They should know better.”

        Despite the agreement, Mr. Ingram said, “There's a real question that the property can be salvaged.”

        The Hamilton County Building Department is also investigating whether the home, which is now boarded shut, is structurally sound after years of damage from leaking water.


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