Lawrence city commissioners on Tuesday unanimously agreed to start the process of condemning a dilapidated house and property at 1106 Rhode Island Street.
But commissioners are not seeking to condemn the property to tear down the house but rather want to gain control of the property so the house can be restored.
Commissioners directed staff members to start drawing up the paperwork to start the condemnation process after the owners — members of the Barland family — had not yet presented a plan on how to bring the property up to city codes.
The house and adjacent barn are part of the North Rhode Island Residential Historic District, and commissioners said they want to avoid tearing down the buildings. The house dates back to 1871, and the property was the site of one of the city’s early dray wagon businesses.
Commissioners were told that the process, which will include a court setting a price the city must pay for the property, would take at least 90 days, and that the city could stop the process if the Barland family comes up with a plan to bring the property up to city code.
If the city does acquire the property, commissioners said they would create a process for people to submit proposals to purchase the property from the city and rehabilitate it.