TOWNSEND -- The owners of a five-building residential complex may be facing court action because of unresolved health and safety issues identified by the Board of Health and the Fire Department.

Numerous violations exist at the Pine Ridge Estates, said Nashoba Sanitarian Rick Metcalf from the Nashoba Associated Boards of Health. He gestured toward a three-inch thick pile of folders.

Security issues such as unlocked buildings, plumbing and electrical violations, unsealed holes where old air conditioners were removed and "numerous life safety violations" have been written up. Some have been unresolved since 2009, he said during the Jan. 31 Townsend Board of Health meeting.

"We enforce minimum standards for human habitation," he said. "As the Board of Health, we go in and do inspections of individual apartments" if tenants call to complain. He said 17 apartments had violations and "five common areas have violations as well."

The septic systems also have problems. "I'm pretty sure there's 17 systems out there. I think it's seven that's failed," Metcalf said. He plans to coordinate with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to deal with the ongoing septic issues.

The complex, owned by the Pine Ridge Meadow Condo Association, was built in the late 1960s or early 1970s, Fire Department Capt. Mike Grimley said. "They met code at the time they were built." Bringing the complex up to modern code could be daunting. "There's a whole laundry list that just opens up everything," he said.

Little has been done to address the violations, Metcalf said. "They've done a few of the items but they haven't been completely taken care of," he said. One septic system has been upgraded.

"Give me a work order," he said.

"Provide us with a plan of action," Grimley said.

The Fire Department most recently visited on Jan. 29, said Code Enforcement Officer David Mazza. "Most of our violations have not been corrected. I didn't see a need to issue more violations at this point if we're going the court route," he said.

The owners have filed a request for a hearing and appeal on the existing violations but the hearing has not yet been held, Town Administrator Andy Sheehan said. He gave the Board of Health and Fire Department permission to speak with town counsel to put a case together.

"I've seen all the violations. Four years is plenty of time," Sheehan said.

In other business:

Other agenda items were tabled until the next meeting, including budget discussions, as well as trash-removal and health-code violations at Panda Wok.

Tessa David, director of the North Central Regional Solid Waste Cooperative, told the board she is putting together a document with information on recycling sites in the region. It will be published through Nashoba Publishing.