http://www.flickr.com/photos/daquellamanera/ / CC BY 2.0
If Triplett gets her way, you'll know exactly who owns buildings like these.
Last June, a bill designed by Alderwoman Kacie Starr Triplett
to crank up the heat on deadbeat owners of vacant buildings never got out of committee. Yesterday, it finally did.According to Tim Logan
of the Post-Dispatch
, the bill
passed by a 6 - 3 vote at a Housing, Urban Development and Zoning comittee hearing Tuesday morning. Now it's off to the full Board of Aldermen, which could make a decision next week. (Click here
for Logan's story)
As we blogged
yesterday: under Triplett's bill, any structure in St. Louis that's been
abandoned for six months and violates building code will go into an
online registry. Its owner will get $200 tacked onto their
real estate taxes. If they don't pay, they'll get hit with a $250 fine
and the city could foreclose on the property.
According to the mayor's office as of March 2009, there are about 900 LRA and 4,000 privately-owned
abandoned structures in St. Louis.
writes that a major opponent of the bill was the Ninth Ward's Ken
Ortmann, who suggested that the online database would tip off
ne'er-do-wells to abandoned buildings they could pillage.
As a counterpoint, Alderwoman April Ford-Griffin
who's gotten a lot of heat in the last couple years for alleged
collusion with land magnate Paul McKee and his lax property maintenance
in the Fifth Ward, said that in voting for this bill, the important
constituencies to consider are frustrated neighbors and residents, not
Triplett said in an e-mail that her bill applies to both
residential and commercial properties, and banks and mortgage companies
would have to comply. Furthermore, all vacant properties would be
required to have an "authorized agent" in the St. Louis area. "No more
P.O. boxes or LLC's," Triplett said.