City of Springfield to hear vacant property registry ordinance

An abandoned house along South Fountain Avenue in Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

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An abandoned house along South Fountain Avenue in Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

The City of Springfield is considering establishing a vacant property registry.

Shannon Meadows, community development director for the City of Springfield, said a registry would help the city keep track of vacant properties in the city.

“We have more structures in our communities than we have people that need to use them,” Meadows said.

Meadows said, if established, the registry would do three things — one, provide what is called a, “24-hour responsibility contact.”

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This would mean the owner could be reached immediately, like in the case of someone breaking into a home.

Second, it would protect first responders if they ever had to get inside of the property. It would do so by requiring owners to file quarterly inspection reports that say if there are any structural problems within a home.

Third, it would allow the city to address code violations directly with owners.

The issue was pulled from this week’s city commission agenda, but was still part of public discussion at the meeting.

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“We have a problem…, but this particular piece of legislation will be counterproductive,” said Tom Lagos, a Springfield businessman.

Some residents want more than just a registry for vacant properties.

“I think it needs to happen as well as a rental property registration. But by putting those into effect without enforcement, you weaken them,” said Bryan Potts.

While nothing is official yet, the commission will hear the ordinance for the first time at the next commission meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 10. The meeting is open to the public and anyone looking to share their thoughts is welcome to speak.

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