Problem Properties: Defenses to code Violations

This ordinance passed on 7/5/2016.

ICON thanks Alderman Proctor, Alderman McMenamin, the Realtors, and Corporation Council and looks forward to seeing the results in Springfield’s older neighborhoods.

The Problem

Chronic offenders 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

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.

Why should everyone in all areas of the city care?

  • 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.

ICON supports this change to the Defenses to code violations.