Property Sweep Begins Tuesday

Property Sweep Begins Tuesday

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Mobile, AL -

I found an awful home on Congress Street to use as an example in this story.  The porch is a barely sturdy arrangement of board and exposed nails.  The home looks like it was hit by fire a long time ago.  Even though the house had a notice for three months telling people to keep out, I still found someone inside making it home.  I asked the man what he was doing there, but he just raised his head off the mattress on the floor and then went back to sleep.  Rundown homes and businesses are easy to find it's just a question of whether an increased round of citations can fix anything.


"We're looking for consistent methodical enforcement because a complaint based system just is not enough," says Mary Anne Ball with the Downtown Mobile Alliance.  Today property owners watched a presentation on what the city's looking for.  The city is looking for property owners to clean up and keep their buildings secure from break-ins and vagrants. 


"The property maintenance code is really most concerned with first and foremost with the safety and security of the structure and then in turn the surrounding neighborhood," says Laura Clarke with the Urban Development Department.  They say aesthetics will follow.  They're looking for junk, rotten porches, plant overgrowth or anything else.  They plan on making files for every property in the loop including ones that are perfectly fine.  Those that are doing fine may get a letter from the city thanking them for keeping their property up to snuff.  Property owners seem split on whether this increased enforcement will do any good.


"Everyone gets notices of what their violations are I think they'll try to comply as best as they can," says property owner Scott Gonzalez.  Others are more pessimistic. 


"It's like everything else the city does, it's not thought out, it's not comprehensive it's just another boondoggle I guess they need more money, I don't know," says property owner Casey Ginn. 

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