Mayor Proposes Nuisance Ordinance

Hopes to keep properties from becoming neglected nuisances.


Mayor Scott Galvin has proposed an ordinance that would attempt to keep residential properties from becoming nuisances, reported the Boston Globe.

The ordinance would require landlords of all vacant properties, as well as those in foreclosure, to register with the city's Building Inspector annually. Also included in the ordinance would be homes occupied by someone other than the owner.

The annual registration would require a $50 fee, reported the Globe.

A number of properties have been reported nuisances in the last two years, including , the and

Mayor Galvin reportedly told the Globe that the registration process would help the city maintain a database on possible nuisance properties, making it easier to keep track of the problem properties.

Earnhardt April 18, 2012 at 11:33 AM
How about 1071 Main Street? will that be declared anytime soon?.....
David Chesler April 18, 2012 at 04:59 PM
“It benefits the safety of every citizen in the city and more importantly, the first responders who may have to respond to one of these properties.’’ (From the Globe article cited.) So why do they propose charging $50 to the owners? What are the costs of registering, and where does the $50 go? Do vacant residences still have to pay property taxes and flat water bills? That's already a lot of revenue into the city without a lot of use of city resources.
Edward Quinn April 18, 2012 at 06:50 PM
I think this is a wonderful idea. I wish it had more teeth when it came to foreclosed property. To make sure it is maintained to a minimum standard in a neighborhood. I certainly do, applaud the Mayor for taking such a bold step. Now lets pass it and enforce it.
Earnhardt April 18, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Where do you think the 50 will go? I can guess a hundred things, and they would probably all be right. I doubt the city collects form vacant properties, hence this big grandstand move by the Mayor, Look at 1071 Main St. its occupied, so they ignore it totally, especially our useless Alderman. When it goes vacant, THEN they will declare it a nuisance.
anna April 19, 2012 at 01:30 AM
Home owners who live in the home should be included.
Earnhardt April 19, 2012 at 01:39 AM
I have a feeling you know where the 50 bucks will go. I am sure we can both come up with many places the money will go and we would both be right. Vacant residences get declared a nuisance because the City cannot collect, Hence the nightmare we have thats known as 1071 Main Street has not been declared, It's not vacant so the City collect, Thats wht the Mayor decided to grandstand in the Globe, If 1071 Main was in HIS ward, it would have been razed a long time ago.
JJ April 19, 2012 at 02:05 AM
654 main st
Earnhardt April 19, 2012 at 11:13 AM
The mayor is grandstanding. The 50 bucks will go into the general fund probably. As for vacant properties, since the City cannot collect on them, they get declared a nusiance, As for a night mare like 1072 Main St. there are tennants there, so since the City can still collect tax money on it, they will allow this mess to continue, If 1071 Main was in the Mayor's ward, it would have been gone a long time ago.
Roth Gill April 19, 2012 at 10:06 PM
Tell me if I'm wrong...I'm sure someone will, but does this ordinance only apply to rental property and property in foreclosure? Who will enforce this registration and how? If you are in foreclosure...you already aren't paying your bills...but you'll be on top of things to register your foreclosed or rental house? Landlords of nuisance property's obviously don't care about the condition of their property or the tenants that might be problems, but they're going to take care to register?! Come on....the city is lucky if people register their dogs? What will be the penalty for NOT registering their property? What about the homes that are nuisances that are owed and occupied and not rented or in foreclosure? The idea is good, but needs to be more detailed. I don't think the Mayor is "grandstanding", but if it warms your cockles to use that term, I'm sure he'd be willing to hear you out at a city council meeting, then you can bring your 1071 main st. issue right to the people that will hear it. Either way, I think this is a step in the right direction.
Earnhardt April 19, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Warms my cookies? what's with that? Get serious. It was a grandstand move, Was it in our local paper? was it discussed at City Council? NO! it comes out in the Globe. That's a grandstand move. As for "My" 1071 main st. It's the entire wards problem. No one does anything about it. Why? because the City gets their revenue from it. hope my detailed response "warms your cookies"... The City Council and the Mayor are not on good terms right now. It's all talk from the corner office,,, more warm air...
David Chesler April 20, 2012 at 12:52 AM
If it goes into the general fund (my best guess too -- funds are fungible, so even if they declare something in the budget is funded by it, it works out) it's simply a property tax by another name. If a property is foreclosed, the bank will want to sell it (at least in Woburn, where any residential lot is valuable, even in the worst case that there's a tear-down on it) so it's easy enough for the city to collect on any liens that would come from services provided after a nuisance hearing. It strikes me as wrong to tax some class of owners (especially those not using other city services) because their property _might_ become nuisances. Any of our properties might become nuisances at some point, but we don't generally punish people for what they might do in the future. Also agreed it was odd that it came from the Globe and not a city meeting.
Edward Quinn April 20, 2012 at 12:38 PM
Since I have only this report to go by weighing in specifics is certainly premature. There are a few facts that are commonly known one is foreclosures are up in Massachusetts as well as the entire country and likely to start climbing again as the big Banks continue to catch up on the mess they created with their robo signings etc.. In community after community the banks do little or nothing to the property they now control these properties become not only a burden to the housing market by continuing to expand excess inventory. In far to many areas they are allowed to run down, become vandalized and blight a neighborhood (causing values in these micromarkets to suffer as well). All of these are a cost to every community not just ours. Forcing banks to register also may give us a better handle on just how this is effecting our community. As for slum lord property goes this is a complicated property owner issue that has plagued this city for as long as I can remember and the list grows even as we clean up many of the problems. Any one remember the Berlandi property on Main St in Ward 2, it took a long time and a lot of work to clean this up. Property rights are a very delicate matter. We do not want to move to the point that a neighborhoods opposes one neighbor because their grass is allowed to grow for 2 weeks instead of one week. Case after case in land court proves that a nuisance case is a subjective standard and a city and town has a long road to making the issue stick.
Edward Quinn April 20, 2012 at 12:40 PM
So I do support the Mayors proposal as a way to put absentee owners on notice. This will help a host of Departments in the city to know what and where to watch and how to respond to complaints.
Earnhardt April 21, 2012 at 01:41 AM
and whats next? your paint starts peeling and your home is a nuisance? until I see guidlines here I will be totally against this. We have the blight in our neighborhood, in fact its in our so-calle Aldreman's back yard, and yet it never even gets looked at. Sorry until there are guidlines which MUST be followed this wont fly. How can you allow a rental property with junk all over and collapsing roof to remain uncheckedm but you are going after a homeowner with a shabby garage? grossly unfair
Edward Quinn April 21, 2012 at 11:42 AM
I do agree with your comment on peeling pain. I did feel that this would not be appropriate and we as residents always need to be vigaliant on issues like this .Yet I did not see anything in the original article or any of the subsequant posting that suggested even remotely that this was the case in the ordanance. Instead it appeared to be directed at the condition which has led to so many of the nuicence filings and many of those listed. So unless more is offered to support the claim that it would go after property owners who live at their home over issues like how long their lawn is etc. I still think the intention and purpose so far publicly released is a good step for the city and one more tool to help deal with some of the property that everyone agrees is a nusience property. More importantly lets hope the measure will be a wake up call to banks that control vacant foreclosed properies to securethem and main tain them to a minimum standarded.
Earnhardt April 21, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Thats the point, no one saw anything unless you get the Globe, As I stated until I see the ordinance I am totally against this. from what Has been discussed here, There has been no sightings of the ordinance, The Mayor should have called the Daily Woburn paper first , then discussed it with the council, then talk to the big time paper. Instead he chose to "grandstand". After all. peeling paint, high grass, a pothole in your driveway may be considered a nusiance. Do you want Government telling you when to paint? when to cut your grass? Thats why we need to see the ordinance proposal. If not, well what would be the guidlines?
Edward Quinn April 21, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Your point is well taken but, don't you see the discussion was based on the article not speculation about what it may entail that discussion will occur with the city council and I trust them to make a good decision in most cases and I plan on attending the hearing on it. My comments are based on the article statements and on all occasions I was very clear I would not support a neighborhood witch hunt proposal (read back). As written I still think it is a good idea and I plan to support that idea. Whipping everyone into a fear frenzy is counterproductive and the real reason why this country is in trouble. Polarizing the discussion on a set of facts that has yet to be stated is doing a grave disservice to the community. Fear mongering is just so counterproductive that we risk paralyzing our city into doing nothing about any issue. So please stick to the facts as presented the time for you imagined scenario is not here yet and may never come to a public discussion. I hope so at least.
Earnhardt April 21, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Yes I did see the discussion. all I stated was until I see what the ordinance will contain I will not supportt it, I think I was also very clear on that. Im not whipping anything up. I simply stated what it will take for me to support it, form what I know now, and what has been posted on here, There is nothing concrete. Besides, What does a homeowner do if they are living day to day? does the city tear down their home because its a "nuisance"? Until I see what the plan is Its got no legs. And quite frankly, Maybe your ok with conforming if the Govt. wants you to take steps to keep your house nice and picture book perfect, But I'm not, Ill keep it nice, Ill keep it safe, but Ill do it for me. Not for City Hall.
Earnhardt April 21, 2012 at 02:28 PM
P.S. I dont trust City Govt. to make good decisions, They can't even get along half the time. Its a minuture Washington D.C. you know it, and I know it.


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