May 26th, 2024

City continues work to update unsightly property bylaw

By Medicine Hat News on March 21, 2024.

City administrators are evaluating a move in Edmonton to create a higher taxable class for "derelict" residential property in an effort to spur development of problem properties in that city and boost available housing.--News Photo Collin Gallant

@MedicineHatNews

City councillors will hear a plan to update the unsightly property bylaw today in a committee meeting.

Last fall council directed staff and the city solicitor’s office to examine ways to strengthen enforcement power for bylaw officers dealing with complaints about dilapidated buildings.

Potential changes will be outlined to the regular meeting of the development and infrastructure committee today.

Changes could include a $50 increase in fines for a first offence, or $300 to $400 in total, requiring boarded up windows be painted to match building trim, higher security standards, broadening definitions of “good repair” and parked vehicles, and expanding which city employees could issue tickets.

Changes would have to be approved by council at a future meeting.

In the fall, council’s corporate services committee heard the tax assessment office would observe an Edmonton city pilot project in 2024 to create a special tax class for badly damaged or vacant buildings.

A cost-benefit analysis would then be applied to the situation in Medicine Hat, where administrators believe 28 homes would qualify.

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