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Norwalk to Adopt Blight Ordinance

Will target "most heinous" residential buildings

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Norwalk, CT | Added on August 14, 2013 At 01:31 PM

Come January 1, Norwalk can issue blight citations to residents.

Tuesday the Common Council unanimously adopted the city's first ever blight ordinance to target some of the city's most unattractive buildings.

"The one percent of the one percent of the buildings that are truly heinous," said councilman Michael Geake.

Blight can be boarded windows, rotting walls, or abandoned cars.  Council members noted it's a good start for Norwalk…with room for improvement.

Councilman Bruce Kimmel said the new ordinance is a "good first step."

"I hope the ordinance committee goes back to this ordinance and tries to tighten it up," said councilman Matt Miklave.

Councilman Warren Pena echoed the notion of the ordinance being a good first step, but said it had "some shortcomings."

Many agreed one of those shortcomings is the fact that the ordinance only targets residential buildings, and not commercial buildings.

"The complaints I get repeatedly are about commercial properties," said Miklave.

"There are a lot of commercial properties in this city that need to be looked at and taken care of," said councilman Fred Bondi.

According to the ordinance, a property owner will receive a written warning giving them a time period to fix the housing blight.  If that doesn't happen, a citation will be issued, fining the owner $100 every day the violation continues.

Tuesday the Council OK'd a related ordinance that requires landlords not living in their property to register their living addresses -- so they can be contacted regarding any housing blights.

Both ordinances take effect January 1.

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