The Pierce County Council has voted to toughen the rules for abandoned or blighted properties in unincorporated areas in an effort to protect neighborhoods.
The Council voted 7-0 on Tuesday, Feb. 25, to close gaps in the county’s regulatory authority to address blight.
“Abandoned and poorly maintained properties lower property values, attract vandalism and other illegal activities, and pose health and safety risks,” said Councilmember Stan Flemming (District 7), the lead sponsor of Ordinance 2014-4s. “Our current code is outdated and doesn’t adequately address this problem. These new rules follow best practices and will improve our ability to respond to citizen complaints.”
The ordinance creates a more efficient enforcement procedure for properties that fall below minimum standards. For example, the county currently must wait 185 days after receiving a complaint before it can seek court action. Under the new rules, that time is cut to 92 days.
“When first responding to constituents about this issue, we found that Pierce County had no standards in place,” said Council Chair Dan Roach (District 1). “Now we have common-sense standards that will protect our communities and property owners from blight.”
The ordinance now goes to Executive Pat McCarthy for her consideration. She helped craft the final version that was approved.
The new rules would take effect April 1.
Stan Flemming, Councilmember
Dan Roach, Council Chair