Friday, April 11, 2008

city's new approach on vacant properties

An article today says that the Chicago may require better security on vacant properties if a proposed ordinance passes. I think this idea is a mixed bag at best. If passed and enforced, it could make things safer for the neighbors of vacant buildings, who are sometimes endangered by squatters and illegal activity in those buildings. It could also put increased financial stress on the owners of those buildings.

I have to wonder if this will ultimately accelerate the number of teardowns. My gut feeling is that this represents future urban renewal in disguise. Many of the buildings that could be threatened are graystones or bungalows - categories of homes that are currently the subject of preservation initiatives. If the ordinance passes and financially strapped owners lose their bungalows and graystones to the city, will those properties be saved or lost? Your $0.02?

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