To the editor,
At the City Council's direction, the city's Planning Director has presented to the Land Development Code Review Subcommittee (LDCRS) proposed legislation that would deal with the problem of distressed and abandoned properties. (Island Reporter editorial of Aug. 25, 2011.)
Among the solutions presented is one requiring all declared violators to register and pay the city $100 in order to discuss their violations. What... these owners have not acted responibly in the past, and now we are proposing that they pay the city for the privilege of discussing their violations?
To further complicate the problem, if violators do not correct any problem within a year, they pay a reduced annual fee of $75. Could this possibly be interpreted as an automatic extension of time to correct any problems?
Would not any inspection dealing with interior problems require a court order?
As to unsatisfactory exterior conditions (i.e., lawn, etc.), perhaps consideration could be given to a plan adopted by Shell Harbor subdivision years ago. Owners are given notice as to the problem and given 30 days to correct the problem.
Non-compliance results in having independent contracctor perform necessary work and owner is billed for same. The city could place a lien on subject property.
The editorial on which this letter is based calls for examination of how other municipalities deal with this problem. This certainly sounds reasonable unless Sanibel, as usual, goes about its own independent way. Maybe even 19 pages won't be required.
Sanibel and Columbus, Ohio