The newest group tasked with addressing blight in Frederick hopes that offering an online survey will help both applicants and city staff members work through some of the complicated details associated with tackling the problem properties.
The nine-member committee is the third group formed in the last six years to address blighted and problem properties, or properties that have continually been cited for various code violations. The group formed in March and will spend about a year researching vacant and underused properties and code violations in the city.
Committee Chairman Tony Checchia said Monday that members of a subcommittee, formed to address metrics and hurdles for solving blight issues, came up with the survey idea.
Processes such as new construction, demolition requests, major rehabilitation projects, and maintaining properties, among others, can be overwhelming to some applicants, Checchia explained.
Committee members agreed that it can be intimidating when applicants are trying to make changes to their properties, and that by soliciting feedback, changes can be made to make the process easier.
Checchia said members also believe redundancies can be eliminated or explained if committee members learn what they are. The answers to the survey should provide them with that information, Checchia said.
In the same aspect, city planning, development and code enforcement staff members who are on the front lines dealing with property maintenance and construction issues could also use better resources to do their jobs.
“We would love to hear from you guys about the things that frustrate you the most from an application standpoint,” Checchia said to several staff members who attended Monday’s meeting. “We feel like you guys need more resources, and our recommendation is going to be to give you the resources to get what you need done.”
The surveys — one for applicants and the general public and one for staff members — would be available online through a venue such as Survey Monkey, Checchia said. Members of the Property Revitalization Committee are set to come up with the questions at their next meeting in July and set up the surveys from there.