Vacant property registry back on the agenda for Spokane City Council
Spokane, WA: After having been deferred in August, the suggestion has surfaced again to instigate a vacant property registration to handle upward estimates of 300 properties that present current and/or future issues regarding safety and economic stability for the community.
Based on the positive results seen in other cities across the nation, the city council has proposed an ordinance that would require the parties responsible for an abandoned property to provide a current local contact in charge of the property’s maintenance, address any known or discovered maintenance issues, and register the property as vacant, which includes a $200 fee annually for each property.
Spokane’s code enforcement department would be in charge of enforcing the ordinance, though a third party vendor would likely be contracted for administration of the registry itself. A Class 1 civil infraction penalty resulting in a $500 ticket was presented as an option for dealing with those choosing not to comply with the code within the first 30 days of notification.
Some hesitance concerning the possibility of government overreach had been voiced in the past, and remains a concern for the new proposal, and such concerns along with the ordinance itself will be addressed at the city council’s Oct. 20 meeting.
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