What to do about city's vacant, blighted buildings? - KMOV.com

What to do about city's vacant, blighted buildings?

City leaders will consider creating a registry of buildings vacant for at least six months, with code violations.

Alderman Kacie Starr Triplett of the 6th Ward is proposing a bill - aimed at reducing the number of vacant buildings with ongoing safety issues.

Board Bill 322 would increase fines, add them to the property tax bill, and create a public database of problem properties and the owners. Money generated by additional fines would be put into a special fund to increase enforcement of building violations.

Read the bill here:  stlcin.missouri.org/Document/aldermen/PDF/BB3224.pdf

Alderman Jeffrey Boyd, who co-sponsors the bill, says the additional steps are needed to help track down property owners and hold them accountable. He says the bill does not aim to take properties and put them under city ownership. The city already owns vacant property, but the bill does not address problem properties that may already be under city control.

Boyd said critics are concerned that making a database of problem properties available to the public would invite crime and vandalism on those sites.  Boyd dismisses the argument, saying property information is already public.

City of St. Louis property look up:  stlcin.missouri.org/assessor/lookup.cfm

The bill is expected to go before the full board of aldermen next Friday, at 10 a.m. stlcin.missouri.org/alderman/calendarall.cfm

Diana Zoga is a general assignment reporter at News 4.  You can reach her at dzoga@kmov.com

Or, follow her on TWITTER:  twitter.com/DIANAZOGA

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