ST. CHARLES, Mo. (KMOV.com) – A new bill introduced in St. Charles would allow the city to keep a registry of vacant properties.
The registry would require property owners to report any commercial buildings that have been vacant for 90 days or more.
Bruce Evans, the Director of Community Development, says his department proposed the idea and drafted the bill. Council President Laurie Feldman is named as the sponsor.
Evans said the registry would address a long term issue in the city and help control the appearance and condition of vacant properties.
Some owners allow properties to fall into disrepair, leaving broken windows, uncut grass and poor appearance that could affect surrounding property values, according to Evans.
“They attract people for purposes that we really don’t want in the city, so we want to make sure they are maintained, that they’re clean that they aren’t attractive to those type of people and we hope it will deal with that problem,” Evans said.
The new bill would require owners of vacant property to register it and get an inspection from the city. The standards to pass inspection would be basic and less stringent than those for occupied buildings.
The property owners could be fined if they fail to register or comply with inspection requirements.
The council planned to discuss the proposal at a meeting Tuesday night. If passed, the registry could get up and running by the beginning of 2013.