CIRCLEVILLE – Over the last six months the city of Circleville’s administration has presented several new Ordinances through City Council aimed at how they deal with vacant buildings, Property Maintenance, and nuisance complaints. We already discussed how the city is dealing with nuisance properties here:http://www.sciotopost.com/city-circleville-adds-teeth-nuisance-property-problems/
Circleville City Mayor said they “needed teeth” in the form of consequences that effect these properties to get results. In March of this year City Service Director Terry Frazier presented a ordinance to adopt the International property and Maintenance Code, “this is a model code that regulates the minimum maintenance requirements for existing buildings.” and a Vacant Building Enforcement program. These were passed through City Council in the prior few months.
The Maintenance Code ordinance reads, “This Ordinance defines the minimum regulations to govern the the conditions and maintenance of a property, buildings and structures within the City, to provide the standards for supplying utilities and other facilities to structures within the city; to insure that structures are safe, sanitary and fit for occupancy and use, and to establish regulations for the condemnation of buildings and structures unfit for human habitation and use.”
“Prior to the passing of this ordinance, buildings didn’t have to have water, they didn’t have to have sewer, you could live in a home here in Circleville without windows, well this ordinance changes that so we can now address these issues. We have several houses in Circleville where people are living in these conditions with small children,” said the Mayor.
The second Ordinance is aimed at Vacant Building Enforcement, “The purpose of Vacant Building Enforcement Programs is to regulate the maintenance of properties with are in foreclosure process, abandoned or vacant. It has been established that structures left vacant for extended periods of time have been shown to breed crime, pose safety risks, and to resume property values and the economic viability of the community in which they are found.
“We have hundreds of vacant buildings in the city of Circleville,” according to the City Mayor, “How we determined that was if you haven’t had water in over 3 months. Of course there are sometimes good reasons why a homeowner or commercial property owner doesn’t have water, and we will determine that as we go through this process, but the goal of this is to minimize vacant buildings the in the form of fines that compound over time. We need to fill them up or sell them”
The Mayor during the meeting eluded to some of the downtown commercial property building that have sat vacant for many years and talked about how nice it would be to have those buildings in either business operation or in rental for the city of Circleville.