Another borough in Pennsylvania looks to vacant property registration to fight blight


Apollo, PA: Another borough of Armstrong County is considering a vacant property registration program to get a handle on blighted property.


The Council will vote this month to instigate an ordinance where all vacant properties would have 60 days from time of notification to register. Following, if the property owner fails to register and fails to make repairs to come into compliance within a year, they would face a fine of $500.


The qualifications for what is or is not a vacant property have yet to be specified, as well as the rules for what repairs would constitute compliance, but will be included in the details presented at the vote.


If the vote succeeds, the program would immediately go into effect, with notices being sent in short order to known blighted property owners and a system for residents to contact the city with concerns about potential vacant property would be put in place.


An addition to the ordinance proposal involves property owners that leave for extended periods. Those owners would need to have a property manager in place and the city notified of the contact information for that person, in case the property falls out of compliance with the proposed code.


The possibility of seizing, via eminent domain, vacant property of owners failing to comply with the regulation within a set time period is also under discussion.


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