Keeping track of vacant properties: Olympia considering a registry

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Olympia's Land Use and Environment Committee will endorse an ordinance establishing a vacant property registration program to assist the city in identifying abandoned or vacant property.

During the committee meeting yesterday, John Mahone of Olympia Code Enforcement discussed a brief program overview to prevent the vacant properties from becoming attractive nuisances in the community.

"We get a lot of complaints about squatters, illegal activity, property maintenance concerns – like broken windows –that have been plaguing the county for many decades," Mahone said.

Mahone said Olympia has a large number of vacant properties owned by people who are outside Washington State and also out of the country.

"Locating 'absentee' property owners is difficult and time-consuming. It is more challenging to us when these properties are in pre-, mid-, or full foreclosure," Mahone said.

Mahone added owners need to be aware that they are responsible for maintaining these properties inside the city limits of Olympia.

The committee will send the draft ordinance to the city council.

If the city council approves the ordinance, the program will require an annual registration of the vacant properties, require the owner to have a local representative, manager, or agent of the property, and require them to maintain the property in accordance with the city's codes, laws and ordinances.

Mahone said not maintaining the property impacts the city resources, environment, livability and prosperity of the community.

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  • JoeRogoski

    How many properties does the city own that are in disrepair or occupied by the homeless? Will they be included. Will the database be public information?

    Monday, June 20 Report this