After a decade in practice and a variety of community feedback, the city’s vacant and abandoned ordinance is up for revision and the public is invited to participate in a community conversation on March 9 about the proposed changes.
The conversation will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the City of Battle Creek Department of Public Works multi-purpose room, 150 S. Kendall St.
The ordinance was adopted in the fall of 2005 because the city determined that the existence of vacant and abandoned buildings lowers property values; leads to deteriorating housing conditions; undermines the quality of life in the community; affects public health, safety and general welfare; and also can result in injury and criminal activity. The proposed ordinance revisions support the city’s continued efforts to improve the conditions of neighborhoods and the overall health and attractiveness of our community.
“Many communities, certainly our size and larger, have a vacant and abandoned property ordinance,” said Community Services Director Marcie Gillette. “We want these properties to be put back into productive use but, while they’re abandoned, we want to make sure they are safe and not a danger to the neighborhoods.”
All properties that meet the definition of vacant and abandoned must be registered with the city, and monthly exterior inspections are conducted to ensure the properties meet minimum code standards. Based on feedback from previous community conversations and work with local contractors, builders, realtors, landlords and inspections, the city has identified potential revisions to the ordinance to better reflect its intent.
The purposes of the upcoming community conversation are to provide an opportunity for the public to learn more about the more-than a dozen proposed changes to the ordinance, and to gather feedback. Input will be shared with the City Commission during a work session on April 12 and help inform decisions related to the ordinance.
Those who cannot attend the conversation are welcome to send feedback to PublicInput@battlecreekmi.gov. The April 12 work session is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall, 10 N. Division St.
Beginning this Wednesday, March 2, an overview of the proposed changes will be available on the city’s website, www.battlecreekmi.gov. Scroll down the home page to the City Spotlight section.