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.”
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