City of Medford Public Hearing to Address Vacant & Foreclosed Properties

The city council will be having a public hearing tomorrow nite to discuss vacant & foreclosed properties in Medford and propose legislation to address these properties and their effect on neighborhoods here in Medford. There's some strong rules proposed, below is part of the public notice:

Direct Link to Public Notice: http://www.medford.org/Pages/MedfordMA_CouncilAgenda/I0242ADA3

Hopefully these regulations are adopted to make sure our neighborhoods are preserved. Medford hasn't been as hard hit as other areas of the country, this should help to avoid it doing so in my opinion.

A Public Hearing will be held by the Medford City Council in the Howard F. Alden Memorial Chambers on Tuesday, Evening, May 5, 2009 at 7:00 P.M. on a petition of the Medford City Council to amend the Zoning Ordinances of the City of Medford, Chapter 94 as follows:

City of Medford
Amendment to Revised Ordinances
Chapter 94 Zoning

Vacant and Foreclosing Properties

227
Section 94-482 REGISTRATION OF PROPERTY;
NOTICE OF FORECLOSURE

A. All owners shall register vacant and/or foreclosing residential, commercial, or industrial properties with the Building Commissioner on forms provided by the Commissioner. All registrations must state the owner's or agent's phone number and mailing address. The mailing address may not be a post office box. This registration must also certify that the property was inspected by the owner or agent and identify whether the property is vacant at the time of filing. If the property is vacant, the owner or agent shall designate and retain a local individual or local property management company responsible for securing and maintaining the property. This designation shall state the individual's or company's name, phone number and 24 hour emergency contact information, and local mailing address. The mailing address may not be a post office box. If the property is in the process of foreclosure, then the registration shall be filed within seven days of the initiation of the foreclosure process as defined in § 94-481above. If the Commissioner determines that the property is vacant and that foreclosure proceedings have not been initiated, the registration must be received within 14 days of the Commissioner's first citation for improper maintenance.

B. All property registrations are valid for one calendar year. An annual registration fee as determined by the Building Commissioner shall accompany the registration form. Subsequent annual registrations and fees are due at least 30 days prior to the expiration of the previous registration and must certify whether the foreclosing and/or foreclosed property remains vacant.

C. Once the property is no longer vacant or is sold, the owner must provide proof of sale or written notice and proof of occupancy to the Building Commissioner.
§ 22
Section 94-483 MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTS

A. Properties subject to this article shall be maintained in accordance with the relevant sanitary codes, building codes, and local regulations concerning external and/or visible maintenance. The owner, local individual or local property management company shall inspect and maintain the property on a monthly basis for the duration of the vacancy.

B. The name and twenty-four-hour contact phone number of the local individual or property management company responsible for maintenance shall be affixed to the property. This sign shall be posted on the front of the property.

C. Adherence to this article does not relieve the owner of any applicable obligations set forth in City ordinances or regulations, covenant conditions and restrictions, and/or homeowners' association rules and regulations.

Section 94-484 INSPECTIONS
The Commissioner or designee shall have the authority and the duty to inspect properties subject to this article for compliance and to issue citations for any violations. The Commissioner or designee shall have the discretion to determine when and how such inspections are to be made, provided that such policies are reasonably calculated to ensure that this article is enforced.
§ 227-12 Violations and penalties.
Section 94-485 VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES

A. Failure to register with the Commissioner shall be considered a violation of this article and is punishable by a fine of $300. Each week that such violation continues shall be considered a separate offense.

B. Failure to identify the local individual or local property management company shall be considered a violation of this article and is punishable by a fine of $300. Each week that such violation continues shall be considered a separate offense.

C. Failure to maintain the property shall be considered a violation of this article and is punishable by a fine of $300. Each week that such violation continues shall be considered a separate offense. Any expenses incurred by the City of Medford relative to securing or maintaining property shall be recoverable by placing a lien on the property.

Section 94-486 APPEAL
Any person aggrieved by the requirements of this article may seek an administrative appeal by making written application to the Mayor. The Mayor may designate a hearing officer to hear appeals pursuant to this article. Any person aggrieved by a final decision issued under this article by the Mayor may seek relief in any court of competent jurisdiction as provided by the laws of the commonwealth. Any appeal made shall be requested in writing within 30 days of the date of the decision

Section 94-487 REGULATORY AUTHORITY
The Building Commissioner has the authority to promulgate rules and regulations necessary to implement and enforce this article.

Hopefully you'll either attend the meeting or tune in on Medford Public Access.

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