ICON Ready to Confront Problem Properties

We continue to increase the number of people participating in the ICON meetings. There were three new representatives at the September meeting which makes a total of 39 different participants representing 19 neighborhood associations from 6 wards.

Our next meeting will be Monday, October 25th, 7 p.m. at the First Church of the Brethren (Ash and Yale in Harvard Park). We encourage everyone who has attended at least one of the ICON meetings to join us for this special meeting. We will be voting on By Laws to formally organize the ICON Coalition into a PAC. We would like all of you to be part of that special event.

We will also have a member of city legal review with us some of the issues related to putting together city ordinances. Gail Simpson has spoken to Jennifer Johnson on our behalf regarding problem properties in our neighborhoods and how we can strengthen current ordinances or introduce new ones. As part of that issue Jennifer has offered to look up information about boarded properties. 

 Gail has also found an excellent source of information from other municipalities addressing vacant, problem properties.

Make sure you read through this material so you know what others are doing that we may also want to incorporate into our ordinances.

Go to www.bpichicago.org/VacantPropertyResources.php  This page has 3 documents which provide an overview of nine tools that have proven most effective as municipalities have worked to reduce the negative impact of vacant properties. Each succeeding document (1,2,3) goes into more detail and provides more examples of ordinances being used by different municipalities.

How Can Municipalities Confront the Vacant Property Challenge?, and

3  How Can Municipalities Confront the Vacant Property Challenge? An Appendix to the Toolkit,

In an effort to strength our approach to resolving problem properties in Springfield, Gail, Mark, and Sam have indicated their willingness to review  different ordinances as part of the following three phased approach to resolving the problems:                                                                                    

1) registration and periodic inspection of rental property (Cahnman)                                  

2) increased fines and reduced time limits to correct violations (Mahoney)                          

3) initiate foreclosure procedures to acquire problem properties.  (Simpson)

Each alderman reviewed their initial thoughts on the specific steps and received feedback from the ICON participants.

Another issue ready to be reviewed is the results of a recent commission studying the new garbage pickup program.

The ICON website will soon be on line. The list of boarded properties to be  review at our meeting will be included on the ICON website in addition to a direct link to each neighborhood association site.

Remember we’re looking for 6 votes! It all starts with you being proactive! Gather information, pass it on to others, and then educate your aldermen.