Law in Phoenix forces vacant properties to secure with polycarbonate instead of plywood


Phoenix, AZ: A fresh idea has become a part of Phoenix’ vacant property ordinance measures: polycarbonate; also known as reinforced plastic.


In March, Phoenix made it law for all properties vacant for greater than 90 days to secure all openings—windows, doors, etc.—with polycarbonate; typically, such openings are secured with plywood.


Some reasoning for the change involves the unintentional possible advertisement that accompanies plywood boarding: This property is vacant, so no one is there to see what goes on inside.


The plastic windows assist, when combined with other property maintenance measures, in keeping vacant structures from adding to blight and further enticing criminal activity.


There is a downside to the cost though: Polycarbonate securing is typically three to five times the cost of plywood securing. However, considering the oftentimes charge to vacant property owners to cover repairs brought on by criminal activity in vacant structures, the increased cost could balance out.


Ascent combines focused research and centralized operations oversight to create innovative outsourced solutions for code enforcement violations, vacant property registration ordinances, property preservation, and other vendor management needs from across the United States.