Linda Kelleher's Presentation

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Linda Kelleher from the City of Reading's Presentation at New Tools in the Blight Fight Summit in Pittsburgh on March 8, 2012.

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Linda Kelleher's Presentation

  1. 1. City of Reading, PAReinventing the BPRC ProcessLinda A. Kelleher CMC City Clerk
  2. 2. BPRC Enacted by the City of Reading Council in 2006 Composed of representatives from City Council, the Planning Commission, the Redevelopment Authority, and at large citizens First hearing in 2009, after training sessions with BPRCs in Allentown and Harrisburg
  3. 3. What is a Blighted Property? Any property that is regarded or declared a “public nuisance” and unfit for human habitation, or Any property without functioning utilities, or Any unoccupied property that is tax delinquent for a 2 year period, or Any property receiving a notice to rehabilitate and failing to take corrective action within 12 months, or Any property meeting the statutory definition of “abandoned”
  4. 4. Definition of Abandoned Has a municipal lien for the cost of demo that remains unpaid for a period of 6 months. Has a total of municipal liens (for tax or municipal claim) on the property in excess of 150% of Fair Market Value Has been declared abandoned by the owner, including, an estate that is in possession of the property.
  5. 5. What does blight look like?
  6. 6. Blight doesn’t have to be ugly
  7. 7. A Look at Reading 34,208 Households in Reading as per 2010 census In 2008 1,479 vacant properties identified In 2012 approx ¼ of all City properties meet at least 1 blighted criteria due to the increase in foreclosures and the sluggish economy
  8. 8. Why use the BPRC? Do you have property owners who refuse to comply with your municipal codes? Do you have property owners who refuse to pay their municipal bills on time? Do you have minimal success enforcing your codes through MDJ and Court Hearings? End the Game
  9. 9. Eliminating blight through demo
  10. 10. And Rehab/Re-use
  11. 11. The Beauty of BPRC No appeal before the MDJs! Encourages owners to pay delinquencies and rehab their properties! Requests for continuations are rejected! Gets people’s attention faster than any citation!!!!
  12. 12. Start with a Warning This letter is to advise you that the City of Reading Blighted Property Review Committee is considering adding your property at 121 North 3rd Street, which meets at least one of the blight criteria under the State statute, to their Target List. A property qualifies as blighted under the statute if it has codes violations, lacks utility service, is vacant, is tax delinquent, etc.
  13. 13. BPRC Process Forms Blighted Property Review Committee Determination Hearing XXXXXXXXXXXXXX at 6:00 p.m. City Hall, Council Chambers 815 Washington Street In the matter of: «Addr1» «Owner1» «Owner2», owner(s) The above-listed property was found to be vacant, as per Codified OrdinancesChapter 1, Section 1-544 (6). This property has been identified as non-compliantwith the City’s Property Maintenance Code Section 3 General Requirements, such as trash accumulation, unsecured building, uncut grass/weeds, vermin etc. It has also been determined to meet one or more of the conditions of blight identified in the City of Reading Codified Ordinance Chapter 1, Section 1-544 as specified in the enclosed violation notice, which was also posted upon thesubject property on April 13, 2011. This provides the property owner with notice to abate the specific conditions identified therein. As per Codified Ordinance Chapter 1, Section 1-545, if the above-listed propertyis certified as blighted, the City of Reading Redevelopment Authority has the right to take the property via eminent domain proceedings if the conditions are not abated.Persons affected may appear at the hearing to show cause why this action should be stayed, modified, or rescinded. For additional information or to register for the hearing, call theCouncil Office at 610 655 6204 or e mail Council@readingpa.org________________________________________Lee Olsen, AIA, NCARB, Chair________________________________________Linda Kelleher, Secretary Determination Notice
  14. 14. BPRC Process Forms with Checklist
  15. 15. BPRC Process Forms CITY OF READING, PENNSYLVANIA BLIGHTED PROPERTY REVIEW COMMITTEE OFFICE 2-24 815 WASHINGTON STREET READING, PA 19601-3690 (610) 655-6204 November 19, 2010«Owner1» «Owner2»«OwnerAddr1»«OwnerAddr2»Re: «Addr1»Dear «Owner1» «Owner2»:This letter is your official notice that the City of Reading Blighted Property Review Committee (BPRC) has determined«Addr1» to be blighted at the BPRC Determination hearing that occurred on Thursday, November 18, 2010, under theprovisions set forth in the Urban Redevelopment Blighted Property Acquisition Act (Act of May 24, 1945, P.L. 991, 385§12.1, as amended June 23, 1978 P.L. 556, 94 §2; 35 P.S. §1712.1). Your property exhibits one or more of the nineconditions of blight listed in the Law and identified in previous correspondence regarding this matter. You are herebynotified of the Certification Hearing for this property scheduled for January 20, 2011, which shall also be posted onupon the property.As the owner or agent of «Addr1», you are hereby ordered to eliminate the conditions resulting in this blightdesignation before the BPRC Certification Hearing scheduled for January 20, 2011at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers, CityHall. If these conditions are not addressed, your property will become eligible for condemnation and acquisition by theRedevelopment Authority of the City of Reading under the Urban Redevelopment Blighted Property Acquisition Actand the Pennsylvania Eminent Domain Code.Removing your property from this process requires working closely with the City of Reading Building, Trades, Fire andCodes Offices to remediate the problematic conditions cited in the determination hearing. Please contact Mr. StevenHaver, Community Development Specialist at (610) 655-5336 to discuss your options or if you have any questions aboutthe conditions that have resulted in your property being classified as blighted.For more information about the blighted property process, contact City Clerk Linda Kelleher in the City Council Officeat 610 655 6204. Sincerely, City of Reading Blighted Property Review Committee Lee Olsen, ChairAttest:____________________________________Linda A. Kelleher CMC, City Clerk FAX: (610)373-2858 Determination Order
  16. 16. BPRC Process Forms Blighted Property Review Committee Certification Hearing Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. City Hall, Council Chambers 815 Washington Street In the matter of: «Addr1» «Owner1» «Owner2», owner(s) The above-listed property was found to be vacant, as per Codified Ordinances Chapter 1, Section 1-544 (6). This property has been cited by the City’s Codes Office for various quality of life violations of the City’s Property Maintenance Code Section 3 General Requirements, such as trash accumulation, uncut grass/weeds, graffiti, etc. On April 13, 2011, the property owner was provided with notice to abate the specific conditions identified in the determination notice. On May 19, a hearing was held and the property was determined to be blighted in accordance with the ordinance. Notice is hereby served via regular and certified mail that the owner has 60 days to abate the blight conditions in evidence at the subject property. Failure to do so will result in the property being certified as blighted. As per Codified Ordinance Chapter 1, Section 1-545, the City of Reading Redevelopment Authority has the right to take the property via eminent domain proceedings if the conditions are not abated and the property is certified as blighted. Persons affected may appear at the hearing to show cause why this action should be stayed, modified, or rescinded. For additional information or to register for the hearing, call the Council Office at 610 655 6204 or e mail Council@readingpa.org ________________________________________ Lee Olsen, AIA, NCARB, Chair ________________________________________ Linda Kelleher, SecretaryWith Certification Notice
  17. 17. BPRC Process Forms CITY OF READING, PENNSYLVANIA BLIGHTED PROPERTY REVIEW COMMITTEE OFFICE 2-24 815 WASHINGTON STREET READING, PA 19601-3690 (610) 655-6204 November 19, 2010«Owner1» «Owner2»«OwnerAddr1»«OwnerAddr2»Re: «Addr1»Dear «Owner1» «Owner2»:This letter is your official notice that the City of Reading Blighted Property Review Committee (BPRC) has determined«Addr1» to be blighted at the BPRC Determination hearing that occurred on Thursday, November 18, 2010, under theprovisions set forth in the Urban Redevelopment Blighted Property Acquisition Act (Act of May 24, 1945, P.L. 991, 385§12.1, as amended June 23, 1978 P.L. 556, 94 §2; 35 P.S. §1712.1). Your property exhibits one or more of the nineconditions of blight listed in the Law and identified in previous correspondence regarding this matter. You are herebynotified of the Certification Hearing for this property scheduled for January 20, 2011, which shall also be posted onupon the property.As the owner or agent of «Addr1», you are hereby ordered to eliminate the conditions resulting in this blightdesignation before the BPRC Certification Hearing scheduled for January 20, 2011at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers, CityHall. If these conditions are not addressed, your property will become eligible for condemnation and acquisition by theRedevelopment Authority of the City of Reading under the Urban Redevelopment Blighted Property Acquisition Actand the Pennsylvania Eminent Domain Code.Removing your property from this process requires working closely with the City of Reading Building, Trades, Fire andCodes Offices to remediate the problematic conditions cited in the determination hearing. Please contact Mr. StevenHaver, Community Development Specialist at (610) 655-5336 to discuss your options or if you have any questions aboutthe conditions that have resulted in your property being classified as blighted.For more information about the blighted property process, contact City Clerk Linda Kelleher in the City Council Officeat 610 655 6204. Sincerely, City of Reading Blighted Property Review Committee Lee Olsen, ChairAttest:____________________________________Linda A. Kelleher CMC, City Clerk FAX: (610)373-2858 Certification Order
  18. 18. 2009 BPRC Success 12 properties certified as blighted 3 - demolished under waiver 5 - rehabilitated by owner or NGO 3 - undergoing Eminent Domain 1 – contested in court (recently extinguished due to lack of action) Next step...ramp up the process
  19. 19. 2010 BPRC Success:32 properties certified as blighted, almost triple of first year output, BUT... Hearings still too process bottlenecked Hearings still lengthy and wearing for BPRC members and staff Efficiency Improvements Required!!
  20. 20. 2011 Streamline the Process!45 Minutes for a 12-15 property hearing Affidavits from City Offices Summary Sheet to enter conditions into the record Consent Agenda format when property owners are not present Turned 32 properties a year into 120 properties a year
  21. 21. Property Summary Sheet
  22. 22. Improvements for 2012 Centralize support process into existing Codes Department Automate form creation with the City’s database Rehab follow up from responsible departments – Codes or Building/Trades Utilize new legal tools from Act 90 Add blight criteria to the Property Maintenance Code
  23. 23. After the HearingWork with legal to select an acquisition process...eminent domain or otherWork with NGOs to take title, rehab and sell for owner occupancyWork with your local realtors to develop a program that supports rehab and reuse
  24. 24. Morale of the Story?Don’t let this Turn into this
  25. 25. Reading Blighted Property Review CommitteeQuestions?Linda.kelleher@readingpa.orgPhone: 610-655-6204

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