Urban planning community

Poll results: Regulate Meth and other drug production sites?

Voters
13. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes, occupancy should be controlled until proof that a structure is reasonably safe

    2 15.38%
  • No way, check before selling, buying or renting dummy...its a private issue

    6 46.15%
  • I've got another idea.......

    2 15.38%
  • Polls are stupid.....

    3 23.08%
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Thread: Zoning or building codes regulating known meth homes/units

  1. #1
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Zoning or building codes regulating known meth homes/units

    Luckless Pedestrian got me thinking about the law enforcement and planning connections that seem to be making the news lately. I've heard that some jurisdictions are considering or have created strict new regulations against using known Methamphetamine production homes/buildings without first completing a decontamination process.

    It would seem reasonable to expect the police departments/drug task forces to notify building departments of known drug production homes/condo's/commercial structures after a bust. Since Meth production uses some nasty stuff (not sure about the specific chemicals used) why not pass some zoning regulations that make it a code violation to rent, sale or use a property known to have been a drug production facility without first proving that it is decontaminated and safe for human habitation? This would seem to me to be the type of cooperation between law enforcement and planning that makes sense.....what say you all?
    Skilled Adoxographer

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    The Health Department should record a Notice of Violation against the title so that when a title search is performed, the potential buyers should know about. Once the property has been cleaned, a second notice should be recorded stating what actions were done, when it was done, and that buyer beware.

  3. #3
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by cololi View post
    The Health Department should record a Notice of Violation against the title so that when a title search is performed, the potential buyers should know about. Once the property has been cleaned, a second notice should be recorded stating what actions were done, when it was done, and that buyer beware.
    Yes...this should be a health code problem...not zoning.

    Remember a criminal act or the product of a criminal act is not a land use, and zoning is for regulating land uses.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  4. #4
    I could be wrong (I often am), but under federal and most state environmental regulations, anyone who has ever owned a property is responsible for cleaning it up. So if one buys a property and it is contaminated by a past meth lab, one could be on the hook for its clean up. The only good solution is to check before you buy.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    These places are usually condemned by Licenses and Inspections, or a Dept of the likes. This has nothing to do with zoning.

  6. #6
         
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    Our Community Development Department which includes Building Inspection, Code Enforcement and Planning prohibits the occupation of any know meth production facility, apartment or house until the site is certified as safe by an industrial hygienist or similar professional. Just a couple of blocks from our City Hall an entire apartment building has been contaminated and they are currently gutting the building to reduce the levels of dangerous chemicals to a level that is safe for people to move back in. People were experiencing health impacts from the contamination.

    It may not be a zoning issue but it is a public health, safey and welfare issue. Many people who rent apartments or homes with lower rents do not have the additional money it would take to have a unit tested before signing a lease agreement and many landlords will not allow such testing because they don't want to know the results.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    I agree it should be a health department thing and not a zoning thing. But from a health point of view, I think that those properties should be looked at as unsafe structures and treated as contaminated sites. Tear down and scrape the site. Oh and the property is to be seized from the bank/or owner and the sale of the empty lot used to recoup cleanup costs.
    Invest in the things today, that provide the returns tomorrow.

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