Council tweaks property maintenance measures

City Council last week introduced a trio of ordinances related to property maintenance, including changes to the foreclsoure registry created last year.

O-22-15, would repeal O-31-14, requiring registration and maintenance of properties that are vacant or in foreclosure. The governing body is scheduled to take a final vote on the ordinance after a public hearing at its regular meeting on Sept. 14.

UPDATED: With no comment from the public or its members, City Council unanimously adopted the ordinance Sept. 14 by a vote of 8-0, with one member absent (6th Ward Councilman Raymond Giacobbe, Jr.).

City Council created a foreclosure registry last summer. The city budget anticipates about $40,000 from registration fees from the foreclosure registry.

City Administrator Cherron Rountree said the state law changed last year to allow the city to implement fines and to include commercial properties now too. “The goal is to get stores rented. It’s an economic and quality of life issue,” she said, adding that the new ordinance is modeled after others in the state.

City Council also introduced an ordinance (O-24-15) amending a chapter of the city code governing minimum standards for governing the repair, closing or demolition of buildings unfit for human habitation occupancy or use. The measure changes some specific standards on property maintenance, Rountree said, and also loosens notice requirements on perpetual offenders.

City Council also introduced an ordinance (O-25-15) establishing Chapter 320, property maintenance code, of the code of the city, establishing minimum standards governing the maintenance, appearance, condition and occupancy of residential, commercial, industrial and storage premises.

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