Problem Properties: Chronic Nuisance Properties – Criminal Activities & Code Violations

An amendment to 98.06 Chronic Nuisance Properties passed 10/18/2016. The change added code violations to the previous crime-related criteria.

From Springfield IL MuniCode…:
98.06. – Chronic nuisances…
Download a PDF version of 98.06. – Chronic nuisances…

The Problem – Repeatedly failing to maintain property, especially bad landlords

Properties owners failing to maintain property to code, especially problem landlords with multiple properties across the city who do so intentionally to minimize costs and maximize profit, have a disproportionately negative effect on older neighborhoods across the city. Nearby properties are less attractive to purchasers or renters, lower neighborhood property values and net worth of property owners, and lower the neighborhood quality of life.

The Goal

Holding the worst property owners accountable without impacting property owners who maintain their property is a wise use of city resources, the ultimate goal being to reduce the negative impact of substandard housing and problem tenants in older neighborhoods.

Why should everyone in all areas of the city care?

The perception that Springfield doesn’t care about all areas of the city, that it isn’t a good place to live and do business, and that it isn’t serious about being a great city affects everyone in the city.

ICON supported this change to the Chronic Nuisance property ordinance, speaking to the City Council July, 2016
ICON Remarks to City Council

Springfield ICON is asking you to approve this change to the Defenses to Code Violations ordinance.

The problem is caused by chronic offenders who repeatedly abate violations at the last minute just in time to avoid fines.

As a result, such properties are out of compliance most of the time, and the city spends limited resources forcing property owners who have learned how to “game” the system into compliance some of the time.

The goal of this ordinance is to discourage such behavior by fining repeat offenders who manipulate the system and cause long-term problems to neighborhoods and the City.

This is a tool for City inspectors and City legal to more effectively and efficiently hold accountable and limit the impact on all of us
by property owners who fail to abide by community standards.

Maybe you represent a ward that doesn’t have very many properties not in compliance. Why should you and the people in your ward care?

You should care because:

  • Limited city resources are being used by people who are intentionally violating city code. Those resources could more profitably be used elsewhere in the city.
  • Properties that are poorly maintained negatively impact the attractiveness of that neighborhood to new residents.
    When property values decline in any area of the city,
    tax revenue decreases, which affects everyone in the city.
  • The City just passed a residency ordinance. We heard that Springfield should improve its appeal to prospective employees so people want to live here instead of being forced to live here. What message does it send to prospective employees who drive through the city to their job interview and see dilapidated properties?
    What message does it send to prospective developers who drive through the city to view job sites and see garbage piled in yards and alleys?
    What message does it send to tourists who visit Lincoln sites and see homes with overgrown weeds throughout our city?

The perception that Springfield doesn’t care about all areas of the city, that it isn’t a good place to live and do business, and that it isn’t serious about being a great city affects everyone in the city.

We ask that you ALL vote in favor of this change to the Defenses to code violations.