Thursday, April 21, 2011

A tool to get rid of nuisance properties

Pinky Kravitz has an interesting piece in today's Atlantic City Press. He references a New Jersey state statute that allows municipalities to adopt ordinances citywide that allow for radical action against slumlords and abandoned properties.

New Jersey has an Abandoned Property Rehabilitation Act. Six months ago, Atlantic City approved an ordinance implementing the state law that allows municipalities to take possession of a property even in the absence of tax delinquency on the basis of a finding by a public officer that the property is in need of rehabilitation. The public officer must also prove the property owner has not taken action to rehabilitate the property in six months.

The act applies to all properties - residential and commercial - and may be enacted throughout the entire municipality.
This is something that the City of Millville needs to seriously consider. Center City is full of abandoned properties that the slumlord owners have walked away from. The banks, usually from Texas or elsewhere, are content to leave the properties boarded up, yards littered with debris.

These properties absolutely detract the neighborhood, and cause surrounding property values to plummet even more, if that is possible.

We have slumlords such as Dennis Ingraldi of Vineland, with rental properties that are just plain ugly, with tenants that deal drugs ans participate in other nuisance activity.

It is far past the time that Millville uses these laws for the benefit of the city overall. Take these abandoned properties, and sell them to homeowners that have the ability to repair them, and who have the resolve to live in the neighborhoods and participate in true efforts of rejuvenation.

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