Well it did not take to long for a landlord to challenge the ordinance.
There was a public* hearing last week in which a landlord challenged the city over exactly what constitutes a vacant property and the hearing examiner judge ruled in their favor.
At issue is the definition of occupant, and the judge agreed with the defendants.
I am still awaiting a summary of the ruling and what that may mean for the vacant house ordinance and it’s recent change of a 30 day requirement. Either the city will have to repeal the entire ordinance and rewrite from scratch, or ditch the entire thing.
It’s unfortunate on some level, because there really are some places that need to be fixed up and rented out, but I do agree with the landlord that challenged this, as long as someone is using the property or working on it, technically it is occupied.
I was told a few weeks ago that their has been some investigative reporters digging around on all the vacant home rentals Sanford has hoarded and boarded up just east of Sanford between Grange and Minnesota Avenue. I rode my bike around the area and you could see dozens of vacant homes. I think one one block I counted three in a row.
I’m not sure what the happy medium is but if a landlord is actively trying to improve their property, leave them alone.
*The city has been telling people in the press that these code enforcement hearings are NOT open to the public unless invited by the defendants, but that is not true, anyone can attend.