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Residents to have say on Dunedin's proposed crackdown on blighted homes



Dunedin residents will get to weigh in on a proposed ordinance that would force banks and homeowners to clean up properties in long-term foreclosure as well as neglected rental or homesteaded properties, or risk losing the homes.

City staff has recommended that Dunedin create a chronic-nuisance ordinance similar to one adopted last year by Madeira Beach.

Right now, the staff said, banks and owners tend to ignore local code enforcement liens, which are subordinate to the mortgage on a property and are unenforceable on homesteaded properties.

Under the proposed city ordinance, a property with repeated code violations would be deemed a chronic nuisance and would be required to create a corrective action plan. If the city had to take action, city cleanup costs would be considered a special assessment and would be added to the home's tax bill.

The ordinance could also be used to crack down on residential and commercial properties that are the subject of multiple instances of criminal activity.

The measure appeared to win the preliminary support of city commissioners and code enforcement board members during a city workshop Tuesday. But Mayor Dave Eggers asked the staff to plan a town hall meeting to educate property owners and also hear any potential "unintended consequences" the ordinance might present.

The measure would then require two public hearings before it could be approved by commissioners.

Watch video of commissioners' discussion here.

[Last modified: Monday, September 23, 2013 11:20am]


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