Monday, May 6, 2019

Plainfield Progress on Abandoned Properties

Plainfield's City Council approved an abandoned properties ordinance more than a decade ago.  But there was not adequate leadership or commitment in city administration to take the ball and run with it.  This is an important tool to get vacant and deteriorating properties restored so they are not eyesores and back on the tax rolls. We are now using it to our advantage.

Shep Brown is the new Director who oversees Community Development.    He shared with me that there are 276 properties on the abandoned properties list.  Here is the breakdown by ward:
  • Ward 1 - 54
  • Ward 2 - 68
  • Ward 3 - 51
  • Ward 4 - 103

This list is the first step in turning properties from liabilities to assets.  In some cases the threat of future city action, like taking possession of a neglected property, is enough to spur the owner into action to properly care for his or her property.  Or sell to a new owner who will do right by the property, the neighbors and the city. 

The city can take ownership if a property is not fixed up to Plainfield's code standards. 

Mr. Brown shared that he inherited a list with very little turnover.  But the last 12 months tell a different story, according to Mr. Brown.  Properties are coming off the list.  I have asked him to share data to show this story in the near future.  Stay tuned.

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