Please support local news coverage –

Donate Here

Barrington official condemns Chachapacassett Road home

Owner evicted, questions surround property's future

By Josh Bickford
Posted 8/4/20

Barrington Building Official Dennis Begin ordered a Chachapacassett Road home "unfit and dangerous for human occupancy" last month, forcing the property's owner to find a new place to live.

On …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Not a subscriber?


Start a Subscription

Sign up to start a subscription today! Click here to see your options.

Purchase a day pass

Purchase 24 hours of website access for $2. Click here to continue

Day pass subscribers

Are you a day pass subscriber who needs to log in? Click here to continue.


Please support local news coverage –

Donate Here

Barrington official condemns Chachapacassett Road home

Owner evicted, questions surround property's future

Posted

Barrington Building Official Dennis Begin ordered a Chachapacassett Road home "unfit and dangerous for human occupancy" last month, forcing the property's owner to find a new place to live.

On July 13, Mr. Begin conducted an inspection of the home, accompanied by two Barrington police officers, the town manager, the director of the planning, building and resiliency department, and an official from the East Bay Community Action Program.

The inspection revealed a variety of problems at the home, including a collapsed ceiling, broken kitchen and bathroom fixtures, mold, piles of clutter, and doors and windows that could not be opened. Mr. Begin ordered that the utilities to the property be shut off and that the windows and doors be boarded up.

It was then posted as "condemned."

Mr. Begin and Barrington Town Manager Jim Cunha are no strangers to the home at 23 Chachapacassett Road, and its owner Mary Gelfuso.

"It's been problematic for years," Mr. Cunha said during a recent interview. "We've cited the owner. We've talked to the owner. The owner basically does nothing."

Last winter, Mr. Cunha sent a crew from the Barrington Department of Public Works to clean up the exterior of the property. They picked up garbage and other items that were strewn about the yard, cut back overgrown trees and shrubs and cut the grass.

The uninvited yard work was not warmly received. In fact, Ms. Gelfuso stopped by the town manager's office a day later to complain about it. She also filed a larceny report with the police department, stating that various items had gone missing from her yard. Officials with the DPW said they were just doing what they were told to do when they cleaned up the property. (And the town manager bought a snow shovel and dropped it off at Ms. Gelfuso's home.)

Mr. Cunha said the town went to district court to force the owner to repair her home, but progress was stymied by the owner, he added.

Eventually, Mr. Begin set a date to visit the home and conduct an inspection. Following the ruling, Ms. Gelfuso was ordered to leave the home; the town was obligated to pay for lodging for Ms. Gelfuso for 30 days, but Mr. Cunha said she is not staying at the hotel the town had reserved.

Ms. Gelfuso has 60 days (from July 13) to submit a plan to the town for either cleaning up the property or demolishing the home. She is to work with the other parties who hold liens on the property, including mortgage companies and the town, which placed a lien on the property following a previous cleanup.

Mr. Cunha said Ms. Gelfuso has requested an opportunity to go back into her home to retrieve belongings.

"It's boarded up," he said. "We gave her plenty of notice…"

The town manager said property has been a blight on the surrounding neighborhood. He said some people who own nearby homes have complained about the condition of 23 Chachapacassett Road for years.

Please support your local news coverage

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the local economy - and many of the advertisers who support our work - to a near standstill. During this unprecedented challenge, we continue to make our coronavirus coverage free to everyone at eastbayri.com - we believe it is our mission is to deliver vital information to our communities. If you believe local news is essential, especially during this crisis, please consider a tax-deductible donation. 

Donate Here

Thank you for your support!

Matt Hayes, Barrington Times Publisher

2020 by East Bay Newspapers

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Mike Rego

Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike about The Post or to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc. in East Providence, email mrego@eastbaymediagroup.com.