Property maintence bill sails through Philly Council committee

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A Philadelphia City Council committee has approved a series of bills to give property owners a “how-to” manual on maintaining their properties. 

Overgrown weeds and trash strewn across the property are the kinds of things that can get an owner cited for failing to maintain a lot.

City Council’s Committee on Licenses and Inspections is adopting the International Property Maintenance Code so land owners will have clear rules for what they have to do to avoid a citation.

Councilman Bobby Henon said the unambiguous regulations leave no room for excuses.

“A clear and enforceable property maintenance code that gives property owners the most up to date information on how to keep their properties maintained safety,” Henon said of the code. “It aims to give the property owners a well-organized, thoughtful and comprehensive manual.”

A second bill would give city officials the right to enter a fenced-in vacant lot. That access can be critical in many situations, according to Tom Conway, deputy managing director.

“This will help us out, especially when we are cleaning every other vacant lot on the block and we have to leave one when it’s fenced in,” Conway said. “A lot of these have not been cleaned in years, and we’re talking 8-foot-high weeds in there.”

A third bill removes the five-day waiting period to issue a graffiti violation.

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