HARRISBURG – State Senator David G. Argall (R-29) is introducing legislation to help municipalities prevent blight and remediate abandoned properties.
The Neighborhood Blight Reclamation and Revitalization Act would expedite the process of prosecuting owners of blighted properties and give municipalities the authority to go after the financial assets of negligent owners. The bill would clarify the identity of property owners and hold them responsible for the municipal costs to secure, remediate or demolish blighted structures.
“Blighted properties present an imminent danger to many, including children, who see an abandoned building as an exciting opportunity for exploration, not knowing that a serious injury or tragedy could be just a step away. I know because I was a coal region kid who loved to explore abandoned buildings. And, unfortunately, I had plenty of opportunities.”
Property owners would also be required to bring any property they own that has serious code violations which threaten the public’s health and safety into code compliance before they could obtain any municipal or state permits or approvals for any other property they own in the Commonwealth.
Argall’s legislation is based on the findings and recommendations of the Blight Task Force, a statewide coalition of housing and municipal organizations dedicated to tackling the problems of blighted and abandoned building across the Commonwealth.
“My primary goal for 2009 is to see this legislation pass the Senate and the House and be signed into law,” Argall said. “This was the dream of Senator Rhoades when he first introduced this legislation last session, as well as the goal of the Blight Task Force which he created. I am proud to now chair that same task force, and I want to thank its members for many hours of hard work to create this legislation,” he added.
Contact: Nick Troutman