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Thread: RE: [IowaAPA] How to deal with problem properties * vacant, abandoned and blighted buildings

  1. #1
    Trnka, Joe
    Guest

    RE: [IowaAPA] How to deal with problem properties * vacant, abandoned and blighted buildings

    Check with Randy McVey, the Long Range Planner for the City of Cedar
    Rapids. Cedar Rapids has several historic districts that are listed at
    either the local or national level (some are listed on both levels).
    Cedar Rapids probably has a definition of blight that could be of use to
    you.

    Also, Cedar Rapids a survey of blighted neighborhoods about 2 years ago
    that had originally been done in the 1980s with HUD money. That may also
    be of use. I don't think Randy was involved in the blight survey but he
    probably knows about it.

    Randy's contact info:

    Randall McVey
    Long Range Planner
    City of Cedar Rapids
    Department of Development
    50 Second Avenue Bridge - Sixth Floor
    Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

    (319) 286-5076
    randymc (AT) cedar-rapids (DOT) org

    Joe Trnka
    Howard R. Green Company
    St. Paul, MN

    -----Original Message-----
    From: IowaAPA (AT) yahoogroups (DOT) com [mailto:IowaAPA (AT) yahoogroups (DOT) com] On Behalf
    Of Laura Carstens
    Sent: Monday, January 09, 2006 9:45 AM
    To: IowaAPA (AT) yahoogroups (DOT) com
    Subject: [IowaAPA] How to deal with problem properties * vacant,
    abandoned and blighted buildings


    The City of Dubuque's Historic Preservation Commission is trying to
    define / determine blight in connection with the Demolition by Neglect
    section of the City's Historic Preservation Ordinance.

    The Commission has noted the City's enforcement difficulties related to
    poorly defined blight. The Commission feels that the Demolition by
    Neglect section of the Historic Preservation Ordinance could more
    effectively be enforced if blight was clearly defined.

    We looked into current local, state and federal codes for developing a
    definition for blight that can be used to augment the Demolition by
    Neglect section of the Historic Preservation Ordinance. We have not
    been able to find a definition for blight in the Iowa Code that can be
    applied to a single property.

    We are interested what other cities in Iowa are doing to deal with
    problem properties * vacant, abandoned and blighted buildings * whether
    they are in historic districts, residential neighborhoods, or anywhere
    in a community.


    Laura Carstens
    Planning Services Manager
    City of Dubuque
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 09 Jan 2006 at 12:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Laura Carstens
    Guest

    [IowaAPA] How to deal with problem properties * vacant, abandoned and blighted buildings

    The City of Dubuque's Historic Preservation Commission is trying to
    define / determine blight in connection with the Demolition by Neglect
    section of the City's Historic Preservation Ordinance.

    The Commission has noted the City's enforcement difficulties related to
    poorly defined blight. The Commission feels that the Demolition by
    Neglect section of the Historic Preservation Ordinance could more
    effectively be enforced if blight was clearly defined.

    We looked into current local, state and federal codes for developing a
    definition for blight that can be used to augment the Demolition by
    Neglect section of the Historic Preservation Ordinance. We have not
    been able to find a definition for blight in the Iowa Code that can be
    applied to a single property.

    We are interested what other cities in Iowa are doing to deal with
    problem properties * vacant, abandoned and blighted buildings *
    whether they are in historic districts, residential neighborhoods, or
    anywhere in a community.


    Laura Carstens
    Planning Services Manager
    City of Dubuque
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 09 Jan 2006 at 12:42 PM.

  3. #3
    Laura Carstens
    Guest

    RE: [IowaAPA] How to deal with problem properties * vacant,abandoned and blighted buildings

    Thanks, Joe.
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 09 Jan 2006 at 12:42 PM.

  4. #4
    Jeff D Benson
    Guest

    Re: [IowaAPA] How to deal with problem properties * vacant, abandoned andblighted buildings

    Ames has been discussing the definition of blight and slum in reference to
    our Urban Revitalization Program. You are right, state law definition is
    very broad. It is drawn from CDBG definitions that are also very broad.
    Based on web site reviews, other States use the same definitions.

    The options appear to be to
    leave it broad and have the Council can make the judgment based on
    community conditions and values at the time
    try to narrow it down with detailed checklists based on your building
    demolition (unsafe building) code, with or without a quantitative
    measure, such as costs to fix problems
    use the state definition as a filter to pick and choose elements from
    your building demolition code to craft a definition for your town

    We have not made decisions on this yet, but I suspect none of the answers
    is perfect and perhaps they are all pretty much the same value.

    I was hoping Dubuque had the answer!

    Jeff

    Jeffrey D. Benson, AICP, ASLA
    Planner, Department of Planning and Housing

    City of Ames, Iowa

    515 Clark
    P.O. Box 811
    Ames, IA 50010

    Ph: 515-239-5269
    Fax: 515-239-5404

    e-mail: jbenson (AT) city (DOT) ames.ia.us

    "Caring People ~ Quality Programs ~ Exceptional Service"
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 09 Jan 2006 at 2:19 PM.

  5. #5
    ERIK LUNDY
    Guest

    RE: [IowaAPA] How to deal with problem properties * vacant, abandoned andblighted buildings

    City of Des Moines handles these problem properties under a public nuisance
    process that does not rely on the traditional definitions of slum & blight
    found in urban renewal statute or federal funding regulations. The
    following link to Chapter 60 Article III of the Des Moines City Code should
    help you get started:


    http://library2.municode.com/mcc/hom...ethod=cleardoc

    Specific questions should be directed to Ben Bishop Neighborhood Inspection
    Administrator at bcbishop (AT) dmgov (DOT) org

    Erik Lundy, AICP
    tru2cy (AT) msn (DOT) com

  6. #6
    Hughes, Gary
    Guest

    RE: [IowaAPA] How to deal with problem properties * vacant, abandoned and blighted buildings

    In 2001 the City of Cedar Rapids reaffirmed the "slum / blight" qualification for previously established (neighborhood) urban renewal areas with an "inventory" of existing conditions. These (five) areas also have a predominance of low/moderate income persons, and Federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) activities are usually satisfied on the basis of providing area benefit to low/moderate income persons. However, when it is necessary to qualify a CDBG activity on the basis of eliminating or reducing slum and blighting conditions on an area basis (such as within urban renewal area), certain criteria is required by HUD. For example: date when the area was qualified, conditions that contributed to its qualification as "slum/blight", and how a particular CDBG funded activity would address such condition(s). The reaffirmation re-established the qualifying date and conditions. Given the generality of Chapter 403, Code of Iowa, the site inventory (from field exterior inspection) divided property according to condition as: (1) sound; (2) needs maintenance; (3) deteriorated; and (4) dilapidated.

    This effort only addressed "area" qualification, and not individual property qualification. In-fact, CDBG reg's will not allow "slum/blight" qualification on a "spot" basis if that property is located within an established urban renewal area.

    To address "slum/blight" for individual properties, I would assume that there's some basis in local building / housing code . . . for criteria that would determine when a property is no longer suitable for human habitation.

    Gary
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 10 Jan 2006 at 8:54 AM.

  7. #7
    ppoorman@aol.com
    Guest

    Re: [IowaAPA] How to deal with problem properties * vacant, abandoned and blighted buildings

    Contact PHillip Delafield at 283-4200 the Building Official for the City of
    Des Moines for specifics on how we do it in Des Moines.

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