April 8, 2008

Blight Committee bites the dust

The city’s Blight Committee, created a decade ago to spearhead a “war on blight,” has been tossed on the trash heap.
In its place will be a new Code Enforcement Committee with more far-reaching power that can deal with both the appearance and structural integrity of property within the city.
“It streamlines the process,” said city Councilor Ken Cockayne, who called the change a great move.
The new law says that all structures in the city should be free of abandoned vehicles, nuisances, refuse, pollution and filth.Under the terms of the new statute, the exterior can’t have broken glass, loose shingles, holes, cracked or damaged siding, crumbling brick or other conditions “reflective of deterioration or inadequate maintenance.”
Violators face $100-a-day fines that can pile up quickly if property owners refuse to comply with orders to clean up unsightly or unhealthy conditions.
“The bar has been raised,” said city Councilor Kevin McCauley, who helped push for the change.
Both McCauley and Cockayne said that aggressive new efforts to crack down on blight and code problems are already making a difference.
McCauley said the team approach taken to push for code enforcement is helping to educate property owners about legal requirements and assisting them in tackling the problems they have.
Police Officer Tom Lavigne, who focuses on code issues, and Building Official Guy Morin like to go together to deal with property owners who have problems that need attention."We always take a friendly approach," Lavigne said, because the goal is voluntary compliance. The pair try to let people know about programs that might help them comply with the law."It's an educational effort as much as an enforcement effort," Mayor Art Ward said.City Councilor Mike Rimcoski said he went out with the pair on some calls and found they were getting much success out of taking a helpful approach instead of a confrontational one.City Councilor Kevin McCauley said that the team approach has made a difference.
Both Bristol Hospital and the Greater Bristol Chamber of Commerce called for passage of the new law, which will take effect in a couple of weeks.
The meetings of the new committee are open to the public. Its records will also be available under state open government rules.

Who would serve on the Code Enforcement Committee?
* Police Chief
* A police officer designated to do code enforcement
* Zoning enforcement officer
* Health director
* Fire chief or his designee
* Public works director
* Chief building officer
* A citizen appointed by the mayor


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Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

What if you can't afford to fix a little exterior problem like some loose shingles or a few crumbling bricks, or even a bit of damaged siding?
Most older homes have something that falls under this description.
How zealous are they going to be?
Will it work like zoning enforcement, which must have a complaint before any action is taken, or is Tom Lavine just going to cruise around looking for problems?

Anonymous said...

Just more government.

And probably more employees.

And nothing else will change.

And the beat goes on.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Tom will hit the pot holes on the connor of Jan Rd And Alba drive if he out driving around and will get them fixed.

Anonymous said...

At least MCCauleys and Zoppos neighborhood will get taken care of.

Anonymous said...

is Tom Lavine just going to cruise around looking for problems?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The blight nazi's now have even greater power .

They will be targeting whomever , wherever , whenever they choose .

My guess is that anyone with a complaint about their actions will move to the top of the list .

Anyone and Everyone has the potential of being a victim of the blight nazi's .

The only safe place in Bristol is .........

Anonymous said...

The end of the legacy of arrogant buffoon Joe Wilson.

Odin said...

They've been enforcing Bristol's building and housing codes for months, with no complaints, even from professional landlords. The only objections are from anonymous bloggers. Why would that be?

Anonymous said...

..duh, anonymous bloggers are dumb? all in favor just send a dot message of (5) five of these .....

Anonymous said...

I think Odin is dumb.

Anonymous said...

....9:17, Right there with ya.....!

Anonymous said...

Zoning doesn't go around looking for problems -they act on complaints and obvious large issues. They aren't going to start inspecting homes for cracks in siding.

Anonymous said...

More of the Big Brother over looking everything they can get there hands on.

Anonymous said...

....11:50: It's THEIR not THERE....and if "big brother" is keeping an eye on slumlords and making them keep up with their civic responsibities...GO BIG BROTHER!

BRISTOL - 1
SLUMLORDS - 0

Anonymous said...

Check todays' legal notices in the Bristol Press ....

Bristol wants someone on standby to demolish business and residential properties .


SEIG HEIL !!!!!!!

HORRAY FOR THE BLIGHT NAZI'S !!!

Anonymous said...

....10:51: It's HURRAY not HORRAY...geez

Sounds like Bristol has a plan...Works for me. Seems the only people who need to fear the wrecking ball are the blight mongers, a.k.a. slumlords...and you sound pretty frightened there 10:51 - could it be the that you're a slumlord????

Anonymous said...

April 10, 2008 12:23 PM
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Not frightened .... but armed and more than willing to protect my residence from the blight nazi's when they come .

It's interesting to see some bloggers continually throwing around the term slumlord so they can freely spew their racist venom .

Please note .... the ethnic cleansing of Bristol will NOT be completed w/o bloodshed .

Anonymous said...

3:15, Ethnic cleansing, racist venom, blight nazis, and now you're armed and ready for blood shed???....And you think Bristol is the one with the problems???

Wow, seriously, you need some help. Your paranoia is making you sound more than just a little unstable....

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Zoning doesn't go around looking for problems -they act on complaints and obvious large issues. They aren't going to start inspecting homes for cracks in siding.

April 9, 2008 11:05 PM
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Wake up !!! ..... They opened a website so folks can turn in their neighbors .

I wouldn't be surprised if they have a program in grammer schools so kids can turn in their parents .

Anonymous said...

I think this is good and bad. I'm afraid people who can't afford to put costly siding up will be the targeted bunch. I can see if a structure is unsafe, but if there is just some peeling paint, leave the people alone. No one wants anyone to go bankrupt just to please their neighbors.

Anonymous said...

if any of you ignorant degenerates ever made an effort to find out exactly what the code ordinance is about, you would realize why the readers of these blogs believe that your mental state has been declared "structurally unsound" - talk about something needing to be demolished.

Anonymous said...

"I wouldn't be surprised if they have a program in grammer schools so kids can turn in their parents."

You are pathetic.

Anonymous said...

And you would be a slumlord and leave junk cars etc. Naysayers are at it again ! Or should I say still. I guess they don't care what Bristol looks like !

Anonymous said...

....4:05, It's GRAMMAR school, not GRAMMER school....Sounds like you've got a lot more problems than blight nazis....

Don't worry....They won't be having programs at school so kids can turn in their parents. The kids are too busy actually learning to SPELL....

Anonymous said...

Just imagine what kind of government and city we would have if things weren't questioned!!

Taxes would be EVEN higher than they will be, and who knows what kind of legislation would be rammed through.

Anonymous said...

April 11, 2008 11:20 AM:

I know...you're right of course!

Anonymous said...

11:20 Just imagine if everyone were like you . You call them questions , I call them complaints. It's not hard to complain but to complain like you and do nothing makes people wonder ! Can you imagine while your imagining what government would be like if all were like you ? You don't do anything and if you think you moaning fixes government , you better start thinking.