SCOTTVILLE — Almost 30 property owners will be receiving letters from the City of Scottville informing them that it’s time to clean up their property or fix their house. The City Commission discussed the property code violators Monday during its regular meeting.
City Manager Amy Williams said violations vary from houses needing paint, siding or other repairs or the property, in general, needs to be cleaned up. Blighted homes and yards can often negatively impact property values. Lower property values not only mean the city collects less taxes but also means home owners have a more difficult time earning equity in their homes.
The city’s ordinance gives city hall the ability to ticket, place liens on the property or even take the violators to court. In the past the city had avoided such actions because it could not afford enforcement. But, public meetings held over the past few years that helped create the new city master plan, showed that citizens in Scottville want the city cleaned up. City commissioners also placed cleaning up properties as their number one goal for the year.
Williams said one of the challenges is that a high number of the violators are rental properties. She said it will be more difficult to get landlords to comply but the city plans to use all measures possible to do so.
Williams said the intention of the increased enforcement is not to penalize people or cause financial hardship. Because of that the city is willing to work with violators to help them get financial help. The city will direct them to programs that may be available, like through Five CAP. However, code violations cause neighbors’ homes to decrease in value and that just isn’t fair, Williams said.