Northeast Times

Problem properties are targeted

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City Coun­cil­man Bobby Hen­on last week in­tro­duced an or­din­ance that would des­ig­nate cer­tain prop­er­ties as nuis­ances, cre­ate a Prob­lem Prop­erty Task Force and provide for pen­al­ties for, and re­medi­ation of, such nuis­ance prop­er­ties and the evic­tion of ten­ants un­der cer­tain terms and con­di­tions.

The task force would con­sist of 11 city of­fi­cials, along with oth­er ap­pointees of the may­or’s dis­cre­tion. It would for­ward re­com­mend­a­tions to the man­aging dir­ect­or, who’d chair the task force and is­sue an an­nu­al re­port to the may­or and City Coun­cil.

A prob­lem prop­erty, ac­cord­ing to the or­din­ance, is one that has had two or more vi­ol­a­tions in a 24-month peri­od and res­ul­ted in a fi­nal de­term­in­a­tion of li­ab­il­ity, and one whose con­di­tions are a danger to health or safety.

An own­er would have 14 days to cor­rect the prob­lems. For each day that the vi­ol­a­tion per­sists bey­ond that time, the own­er can be fined up to $2,000.

If the man­aging dir­ect­or finds that ten­ants have cre­ated the prob­lems, the ten­ants can be evicted and/or have their leases ter­min­ated.

In com­ments at the April 19 Coun­cil ses­sion, Hen­on said he has seen some North­east neigh­bor­hoods slowly de­teri­or­ate.

“Code en­force­ment is the No. 1 de­fense that we have against blight and the de­teri­or­a­tion of our neigh­bor­hoods,” he said.

Hen­on named eight prop­erty own­ers that he’ll ask to testi­fy at an up­com­ing joint hear­ing with the city de­part­ments of Li­censes and In­spec­tions and Pub­lic Safety.

“If they are un­will­ing to come vol­un­tar­ily, sub­poen­as will be is­sued,” he said.

Among those men­tioned by Hen­on was An­thony Can­cel­liere. The coun­cil­man’s of­fice has re­ceived 13 com­plaints about a prop­erty Can­cel­liere owns on the 3400 block of Cottman Ave.

Hen­on and Can­cel­liere have spoken.

“Mr. Can­cel­liere has com­mit­ted to fully co­oper­at­ing and part­ner­ing with me and the city in any way pos­sible and to ad­dress­ing any con­cerns that we may have,” the coun­cil­man said. “His will­ing­ness to come for­ward and work with me is ex­actly what I am ask­ing every­one else on the list to do. Let’s work to­geth­er.”

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Mean­while, Hen­on last week of­fi­cially launched his City Hall iPhone ap­plic­a­tion, avail­able for free down­load from the iTunes store.

Phil­adelphi­ans can use the app for any neigh­bor­hood is­sues they think need to be ad­dressed.

To down­load the ap­plic­a­tion, go to ht­tp://www.bobby­hen­on.com/the-city­hall-app ••End­Frag­ment 

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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