Berkowitz plans to get tough on owners of abandoned properties
No one likes to see abandoned buildings in their neighborhood. A proposal before the Anchorage Assembly Tuesday from the Berkowitz administration would get tough on owners who let their vacant properties become eyesores.
Municipal Attorney Bill Folsey said the proposal would require owners to register their property with the municipality within 30 days of it becoming vacant or abandoned. A registration fee of $100 would be charged the first year. If the property is still vacant a second or third year the fee would climb to $200 then $300. Falsey said fines would be assessed for owners who didn’t comply.
“The failure to register the property, failure to sign the property or to secure the property would each come with fines,” said Falsey. “So if we provide notice to a property owner this building needs to be boarded up or this graffiti needs to come down, those will have much stronger monetary consequences at the end of the day if this ordinance becomes law.”
Falsey said owners would also need to do more to secure their properties to make sure they are safe and not negatively impacting neighborhoods. He said the city already has codes that cover vacant buildings, but the new ordinance would be much more specific.
“This ordinance would say a vacant or abandoned property, among other things, should not have any broken windows or broken doors,” said Falsey. “It should be secured so the persons who do not belong should not be going in or out of the property. And it should be relatively clean, minimally clean, so they’re not covered in graffiti or other trash.”
The proposal will be introduced at the Anchorage Assembly meeting Tuesday evening and a public hearing is expected on July 26th.
Lauren Maxwell can be reached at email@example.com.
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