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.