NEW PORT RICHEY — City Council members have passed an ordinance creating a registry of foreclosed homes in the city in an effort to clean up blighted properties.
Council members unanimously passed the ordinance Tuesday evening. It requires property owners of foreclosed homes to pay $150 to register with the city and to maintain those properties according to a code outlined in the measure.
"I think this is something that should help keep track of some of these problem properties," said Deputy Mayor Rob Marlowe.
During a first reading of the ordinance, council member Judy DeBella Thomas opposed the ordinance, but she did not attend Tuesday's meeting.
City officials did tweak two parts of the ordinance that drew opposition from council members during the first reading. The ordinance states that a property manager for foreclosed properties must be within 50 miles of the city, which was increased from 20 miles in the first proposal.
Council members had also bristled at a rule that required posting 18-by-24-inch signs on vacant or abandoned properties that must be visible from 45 feet, giving a property manager's name and a 24-hour contact number.
Instead, the council approved a required 8½-by-11-inch sign with that information that must be posted in a window of a foreclosed home.