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The original item was published from 6/24/2014 3:47:25 PM to 7/12/2014 12:05:01 AM.

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Frederick News

Posted on: June 24, 2014

[ARCHIVED] City Identifies Four Blighted Properties

The City of Frederick’s Director of Public Works, with assistance from the City’s Code Enforcement and Legal Departments and Frederick City Police, identified four properties in the City as “blighted”.


CONTACT: Susan Harding, Public Information Officer, 301-600-1385
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, June 24, 2014

City Identifies Four Blighted Properties

Frederick, MD – The City of Frederick’s Director of Public Works, with assistance from the City’s Code Enforcement and Legal Departments and Frederick City Police, identified four properties in the City as “blighted”. The City’s definition of blight can be found in the City Code, Chapter 12.5, Article II: Receivership*. Letters went out to owners of blighted properties, alerting them as to the status of their property and the actions required for remediation.

“The blight designation is an important step toward Receivership. Receivership is a taking of property and is reserved for only the most egregious cases”, said Mayor McClement. “The City has thoroughly reviewed these properties prior to designation to ensure that we can present a comprehensive and solid case to the Courts, if and when we do take that step.”

At the direction of Mayor McClement, staff assessed properties against the criteria for the “blight” designation, beginning April 2014. The City’s Blighted and Vacant Property Committee recommendations included a “Top 10 Blighted Properties Blotter” and staff worked to name ten (10) properties. Upon final physical inspection and review of the documentation to support the designation, the Director of Public Works determined that four (4) properties currently meet the criteria for blighted structures. Those properties are as follows (alphabetical by street name):

1. 361 Madison Street
2. 123-125 North Market Street
3. 300-304 North Market Street
4. 116 W. All Saints Street

Owners of the blighted properties may come into compliance by addressing open notices of violation (NOV’s). A blighted property brought up to code, cannot be deemed blighted under the law. Properties other than these may be identified as blighted at any point in the future and added to this list, if their condition meets the criteria in the Code. Code Enforcement has assigned Inspectors to continuously monitor these properties, identify any changes to their condition, and issue NOV’s and citations as permissible under City Code. Any property owner that receives a citation has the right to a hearing before the Court.

The City has improved access to information by the public to Code Enforcement cases by creating an active GIS map layer, found on the City website at www.cityoffrederick.com. Additionally, code complaints may be reported via the Report a Code Complaint link on the City website, through the iSpires iPhone app, or by calling 301-600-3825.

The City recently approved funding to implement technology into the inspection process. The use of a tablet and in-vehicle printer has been tested and distribution of the devices and associated training will occur over the next few months. These improvements will further the City’s goal to increase process efficiencies and streamline operations. These types of improvements will assist Code Enforcement staff to meet the continuously increasing workload.

The Mayor and Board of Aldermen will update the public on all Code Enforcement process improvements and discuss escalating fines for persistent code violators at a workshop scheduled for July 2nd at 3:00 p.m. in the Board Room of City Hall. The public is invited to attend and make comments.

For more information, contact Nikki Bamonti, Executive Assistant, 301-600-3835 or email nbamonti@cityoffrederick.com


*City Code of Ordinances, Chapter 12.5, Article II, Receivership:
http://www.cityoffrederick.com/documentcenter/view/4094

Code Enforcement GIS Map:
http://spires2.cityoffrederick.com/gis/general/index.html

Report a Code Complaint online submission form: https://www.cityoffrederick.com/forms.aspx?FID=81

iSpires App download:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ispires/id862605376?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

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