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Front Royal works to address blighted buildings

29 February 2020 Front Royal/Warren County News

The Town Council is continuing efforts to rid the community of worn-down and potentially dangerous buildings. The council is considering an ordinance that would allow them to “abate, raze, or remove” any blighted structure that the town declares a nuisance. These are structures that are dilapidated, deteriorated or violate minimum health and safety standards. Examples may include a building in danger of falling or infested with rats.

After receiving a complaint about a building, an employee would come inspect the building in question. If the employee deems the building unfit, the property owner would be sent a notice. The owner then has 30 days to prepare a written report of how they plan to fix the issues within a reasonable time. If the owner fails to respond appropriately, the town would develop a plan to repair or remove the structure themselves. Any cost incurred by the town would be covered by placing a lien on the property. Demolishing property would only be resorted to if repair issues were cost-prohibitive, such as a gas leak.

The proposed code must go through a second vote by the Town Council before it is officially adopted.

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