Friday, September 9, 2011

City reports a lot more vacant property: where are the ones in our neighborhood?

Looks like the city is reporting about twice as many vacant properties as last year. The city maintains a list of vacant properties, which are taxed at 5 times the rate of regular properties, and this year there are 1350, up from 444 last year. There are also 243 properties classified as "blighted" meaning they're basically falling apart. Those properties are taxed at 10 times the normal rate. The rates, if you're keeping track, are $5 for vacant properties or $10 for blighted properties per $100 of assessed value, versus $0.85-$1.85 per $100 for most places.

Not sure if this means there's more vacant places, or what I would guess, that they're just enforcing it more. That sounds good to me.

Most of these places are residential properties, and the city has published a list. Taking the idea from the Park View blog, I made a map of all of the Ward 1 properties, below. Some of them are being renovated, but others are just abandoned. You can see that the northwest area of the neighborhood (i.e. Park View) has the most.

And here's the link to the data and map.


  1. Unfortunately, all it takes to get off the blighted property list is to get a building permit for that property, regardless of whether not you use it. So buildings like 3228 Hiatt Pl are not "blighted" in the city's definition, but clearly are by any reasonable standard.

  2. Incorrect; to get off vacant list, you can claim an exemption if you have a building permit and are doing active construction. To get off blighted list, you have to be fixing whatever issues the building has to cause it to be designated blighted.

  3. Then why isn't 3228 Hiatt Pl on that list even though they have not done any work on that place in years despite renewing their permit?

  4. any idea how to get a property off the vacant property list if you bought it 6 months ago and have been living in it since then? (assuming the city is just behind in catching up on their paperwork)

  5. Interesting question. I would contact Jim Graham.


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