Fighting blight

Workers board up a condemned house on West All Saints Street after receiving complaints from neighbors about activity in the vacant building. Staff photo by Bill Green

The city now has a bigger hammer to help it fight its most habitually blighted and vacant properties.

Frederick's Board of Aldermen voted unanimously Thursday to pass an ordinance that would allow the city to set up a receivership program.

With receivership, the city could take the owner of a habitually vacant, unsafe and nuisance property to court. The court could either force the owner to make upgrades, or take the property from the owner and sell it to a qualified owner, with requirements attached to fix up the property in a set time frame.

Alderman Michael O'Connor said the city does not believe receivership to be "the magic solution."

The city would use the tool sparingly, if at all, said Alderwoman Carol Krimm.

The city needs to beef up all of the resources it has to really tackle the city's issue with problem properties, O'Connor said.

Hopefully, the fact that the city now has this tool will persuade property owners "to frankly do the right thing first," O'Connor said.

The city has dealt with certain vacant properties for more than a decade.

Receivership was recommended by an ad hoc committee in July 2012 as a final defense, along with other recommendations to focus more on code enforcement and tracking data.

(18) comments

rscott25

That said, maybe we need to beef up the quality of the workmanship that goes into some of these new homes we keep approving. In HS I helped build some of the homes up here in Hillcrest, and the quality was crap. But because it was some politically powerful builders here in Frederick, they got away with it. There are things in my house and those in Cloverhill my family could not get away with when my family built the home I grew up in due to code.

rscott25

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the courts. Most of these properties they will find are owned by lawyers and big businessman from MontCO. Many of the rentals in Hillcrest area were those. They rented them out and the renters would not do squat, and neither would the owners. They just wanted the rent. This will come down MD Constitutional law if either side wishes to push the issue, as far as property rights. Eminent Domain I doubt would apply. New Orleans had a huge issue with this, and had to do a lot of maneuvering to get something like this passed. But their Constitution was also based off Napoleonic Law, which favors the owners, where ever they may be. Areas of Baltimore look like bombed out villages in Afghanistan if you into certain neighborhoods.

fredneckian

We will be having this same discussion in 2014. And 2015. And beyond. Nothing will be done.

frederickhole

[thumbup]

josephdavis

And nothing will change, the vacant/blighted properties will stay vacant and blighted because nobody will have the stones to wield this new club.

baxka1

Legalized theft.....Steal from one and sell to your friends....

frederickhole

NO, its called take care of your property or else we'll get someone else who can. [wink]

baxka1

Whatever you say Skippy.....Its really not your bus. what I do with my property..

frederickhole

"you're". and if it is city limits, then it IS the cities business. [wink]

fredneckian

If your is incorrect in Baxka's reply it is incorrect in your original post. Think about it.

Your property
Your business

And since we're getting picky, it is city's business. Cities means more than one city.

brian

The blighted properties sitting on Market St. and others are an eyesore and decrease property values. Further, those on third through seventh are keeping other businesses from wanting to expand up to and beyond that point.

president8444

Who pays?? for clean up.Board em up as on S Market, next.

Comment deleted.
Comment deleted.
frederickhole

[thumbup]

quemzeee2

This is going to be interesting, We have one family that buys townhouses, sub leases them to there children who run a concrete company who subleased the town houses to there "employee" who speaks no english who sub leases the town house to his "employees" who speak no english who fills the town houses up with other non english speaking persons. Dont ya love it. LOL And the place is a total dump. A total dump.
No coincidence it it election time and NOW they pass this. Way to late.

CRSmith88

(sp) Way *too late, as in " It may be 'too late' to save this county from invasive bigots"

Comment deleted.
watson4sherlock

If you'd ever been to a ghetto you would know the difference.

kingesquivel

Ad Hoc vs Duk Ro...

kingesquivel

Yeah!!! [thumbup]

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