A new ordinance approved Tuesday by the San Diego City Council will come down harder on homes that appear vacant and unsightly.
The Abandoned Properties Ordinance imposes stricter upkeep requirements on city homes and will allow police officers and code inspectors to better respond to nuisances, backers of the ordinance say.
Homes left vacant are often subject to gang activity or vandalism, which results in neighborhood blight and decreased property values.
Now, homes and properties that violate codes will be classified as nuisances. The expanded definition will make it easier for police officers to respond to the properties.
The ordinance will also force property owners to file their plans for restoring the areas found to be in violation of the code.
“This ordinance is about nipping in the bud the problems abandoned properties inflict on our neighborhoods and fast-tracking their rehabilitation,” said Councilwoman Sherri Lightner.
Both Lightner and Councilman Todd Gloria helped to secure approval for the ordinance.
A similar ordinance championed by Councilman David Alvarez is gaining support in the city. The Property Value Protection Ordinance would collect fines from banks that own foreclosed properties. A council vote on that ordinance is expected this fall.