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Why Not The Whole City?

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Category: Middletown City Government
Forum Name: Community Revitalization
Forum Description: Middletown Community Revitalization News
Printed Date: Apr 23 2019 at 12:14pm

Topic: Why Not The Whole City?
Posted By: VietVet
Subject: Why Not The Whole City?
Date Posted: Mar 27 2019 at 6:57am
Journal story.....

Middletown could require owners of vacant DOWNTOWN buildings to register with the city as a way to ensure upkeep and maintenance.

Officials are concerned that vacant buildings become hazards for first responders, attract vagrancy and hamper economic development efforts for the downtown area.MORE: Owner to make repairs on crumbling Middletown building City Manager Doug Adkins said the proposed ordinance is not targeting any particular buildings in the downtown Urban Central Core District.“The goal is to protect the investment of owners who have renovated their buildings and encourage further renovation and occupation within the district,” Adkins said. “This was initially requested by downtown property owners and DMI (Downtown Middletown Inc.).”Officials said there have been ongoing concerns regarding the upkeep, maintenance and emergency accessibility of vacant buildings in the downtown area.

“Most owners can be reached by the city as needed,” Adkins said. “Some are silent, some work with us regularly, others are not accessible.”
The proposed ordinance includes exemptions to these registration requirements for buildings in active renovation, those that suffer fire damage, and those that are for sale. Failing to comply with any of these standards can result in civil fines of $100 a day for each day the building is non-compliant, and the ability for the city to abate and assess violating properties.The proposed ordinance would require:• Registration of the vacant property• Designation of a local owner or agent to contact• Submission of a plan for the property• Maintaining liability insurance• Maintaining minimum maintenance standards for building In her report, Susan Cohen, city administrative services director, said the increased enforcement costs should be offset by the annual registration fee of $200 for vacant residential buildings and $400 for vacant commercial buildings in the first year.Cohen said the vacant residential fees would double each year, up to $3,200 on the fifth year, and vacant commercial fees would double each year, up to $6,400 for the fifth year. Those building owners who do not pay the annual fee will see those fees assessed to their property taxes at the city’s current interest rate.The legislation has a 10-year sunset period.MORE: ‘Do Not Enter’: A large Hamilton fire underscored the dangers of the area’s aging, empty buildings Denise Brodsky of Hamilton, who works with the SORG Revitalization organization, asked the city council to look carefully at the proposal and make sure it is supportive and not punitive.

Why just the downtown area? Why not apply this to the whole city? What happened to the "rusty gutters"/"paint peeling off houses/garages" thing years ago? Is there still a city truck that drives around looking for dilapidated properties in town? There was at one time, right? Is this still being administered in the residential areas?

I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.

Posted By: MattR
Date Posted: Mar 27 2019 at 9:15pm
Wasn't the latest building to fall over downtown owned by the city? And the one before that?

Posted By: buddhalite
Date Posted: Apr 02 2019 at 10:13am

So - if you're one of the poor people who are stuck with real estate you can't rent or sell downtown, the city wants to make you pay a registration fee ($6,400 on the fifth year!??!??!?!?!?) just to continue ownership?

Sure.  Oh yeah - if you don't pay - we'll tack it on to your already exorbitant property taxes and then you won't pay, causing the sheriff to sell it for taxes and we'll be right back to where we started.

I know there's people out here who think that a bunch of us are just anti-downtown - but here's a great example of why downtown is in it's current shape.  

Vet, I did see a 'code enforcement' truck rolling though a neighborhood the other day...

"Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it."—Henry David Thoreau

Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Apr 04 2019 at 8:27am
Journal story today.....

Despite the objections of nearly a dozen property owners Tuesday, Middletown City Council approved an ordinance to require owners of vacant buildings to register with the city to ensure upkeep and maintenance.


The new ordinance, which starts in 30 days, affects buildings and properties within the Urban Core Central zoning district that encompasses downtown Middletown.

Officials are concerned that vacant buildings not properly maintained become hazards for first responders, attract vagrancy and hamper economic development efforts for the downtown area

Dennis Vitori, a local businessman, property owner and DMI chairman.He called the legislation “a tool to make downtown more vibrant and sustainable.”

Again, I will ask the question.....why only the downtown area for maintenance of standards for building ownership? Why not apply this to the whole city?

This appears to be yet another attempt to protect the downtown area while totally ignoring the other 85% of the city. What is the reason for this decision? This focus is not totally encompassing of the entire city. They care about what their dam downtown looks like but could care less about the rest of the city. That constitutes tunnel vision. Why?

I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.

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