Grassroots efforts by Fresno community instigate ordinance to quell blight


Fresno, CA: Community leaders’ efforts to fight blight with a vacant property registration ordinance have passed City Council vote, with plans for further expansion of the ordinance underway.


The ordinance passed April 30, thanks in large part to the Faith in Community group, other neighborhood groups, and Fresno State students readily documenting blighted property and petitioning government officials to establish a vacant property registration.


The ordinance requires property owners to register vacant homes with the city after 30 days of vacancy, and keep all exterior property in line with city code. Additionally, doors, windows, or other entrances can no longer be boarded with plywood in lieu of replacing the appropriate window or entrance covering.


The anti-blight rules for the exteriors of the vacant structures are only phase one. Phase two will likely involve inspections of interiors, increases to fines for noncompliance, and further measures to quash the rise of arson, drug involvement, prostitution, and other illegal activities plaguing the vacant and abandoned structures dotting the community over the years.


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