Officials use drone to inspect eyesore building in North Providence

Officials use drone to inspect eyesore building in North Providence

Officials have conducted another inspection of this building on the corner of Mineral Spring Avenue and Smithfield Road and expect that they’ll have to cite the owner. (Breeze photo by Ethan Shorey)

NORTH PROVIDENCE – The years-long standoff between town officials and a local doctor over what officials have deemed an “eyesore” building at the corner of Smithfield Road and Mineral Spring Avenue took an upward trajectory Monday when inspectors used a drone to check out the top of the structure.

Zoning Official Mike Carnevale said the inspection went off largely without incident, a far cry from two years ago when Dr. Anthony Farina called the police on officials due to accusations that they broke into his property to inspect it.

Carnevale said he expects to have an analysis of Monday’s inspection and photos taken by the drone within a week.

The Breeze reported in late 2016 that the owners of the building were complying with an order to shore up the vacant building.

In January of 2017, the town rescinded an order to demolish Farina’s boarded-up building at 1840 Mineral Spring Ave., after Farina had required improvements done to shore up the building. Superior Court Judge Richard Licht signed a consent order at the time. It called for the town to withdraw its demolition order, and it dissolved a temporary restraining order from Farina, who owns a doctor’s office next door.

Mayor Charles Lombardi and town officials say they’re taking every step possible to either get the building fixed up to a more presentable condition or torn down. Lombardi noted that new signs have gone up indicating that it’s for lease, giving him hope that the location may finally be up for improvements.

Lombardi said prior to Monday’s inspection that he expects “we might be citing the doctor again” based on the condition of the property.

“We believe it’s in violation of a number of codes,” he said.

A call to Farina’s office was not returned.

Carnevale said he brought a police officer with him to the office last week to witness him delivering a notice of the coming inspection on Monday. He said both that incident and Monday’s inspection went mostly without incident other than initially being told that inspectors were trespassing again.