‘Exempt’ home under city’s VPR program labeled vacant, causes revaluation of program
Augusta, ME: The objection by a local resident to the fee from the vacant and abandoned property registration ordinance instigated in October 2015 has caused revaluation of the program’s scope.
After receiving a city notice to register and pay $100 every six months for a vacant home, the owner, Paul Marcot, put a sign in the front yard stating, “not abandoned.”
Marcot regularly visits the property and has plans for it, making the property likely exempt under the ordinance as it is “actively managed.”
After Marcot lodged a complaint, City Council determined it needed to redefine the measures for establishing when a property falls under the purview of the program and how owners can challenge “vacant” or “abandoned” labels in order to avoid future situations where properties are unnecessarily included.
City Council is including in its assessment a possible addition to the ordinance to require all property owners to keep property from disrepair and becoming a blemish on neighborhoods, or else face fines and further city action.
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