Chronic Nuisance Properties

Project 1: Addressing Dangerous Buildings and Enforcing Unkempt Property Code


Over the past two years, significant progress has been made in code enforcement related to dangerous buildings and unkempt properties. In 2016, the City was successful in obtaining passage of a revised Code 74, and currently the enforcement staff is processing more service requests (over 9,000 per year) than were processed ten years ago despite the current staff being half the number of what it was then.

There are still significant impediments to code enforcement, however, with much having to do with how terms such as “vacant property” and other terms are defined in the code. Refining these definitions to facilitate more rapid actions by inspectors requires input from multiple City Departments: Building Development Services, the police department, the legal team and others. 

The City plans to use the findings of the inspection team to identify the specific elements of the current language that are impossible to enforce, and request identification of particularly troublesome properties from Neighborhood Associations and others. 

  • Status: In progress
  • Timeframe: 18 months
  • Scope: Entire City
  • Cost: TBD

Project 2: Addressing Unhealthy, Unsafe Rental Properties

Working with the West Central Neighborhood and Zone Blitz partners, the City has developed a “Safe Housing Inspection Pilot Program” to inspect the interior of structures to ensure that a minimum standard of life safety standard is created and expected for any person who rents a property. 

Help Needed


Hotel Vouchers or other accommodations for displaced residents; Assistance getting the word out; Assistance from partners to help serve as “eyes and ears” alerted to life safety issues.

  • Status: Planning phase
  • Timeframe: Oct.– Dec. 2016
  • Scope: West Central Neighborhood
  • Cost: TBD
  • Want to help? Sign up here.

Project 3: Expanding and Adding Neighborhood Cleanups


The City has traditionally funded annual or semiannual cleanups in which used appliances, other large items and/or leaves and brush will either be transported to a central location within the neighborhood or left at the curb to be removed by paid haulers contracted by CPO and funded by the City to assist with the neighborhood cleanups. These cleanups are helpful in economically depressed areas where many residents have no practical means to get large items removed. Moreover, without the means to haul off brush, it can pile up in yards creating health and safety problems. While existing neighborhood cleanups certainly help, it came to our attention that may be much larger than such efforts are designed to handle, and their reliance on volunteers – often the same folks year after year – limits their reach, leaving many neighborhoods under-addressed.

In cooperation with interested neighborhood associations, a subcommittee will be formed to coordinate a combination of traditional neighborhood cleanups and pilot curbside cleanup offerings. Doling has been selected to be considered for the curbside pickup pilot. 

Help Needed


Volunteer labor; Pick-up trucks; Dumpsters; Cleaning supplies / tools; Assistance getting the word out; Food and drinks for volunteers; Funding.

For the curbside pilot: Volunteer labor; Donated service of front-end loaders and dump trucks; Help from recyclers; Waived tipping fees at the City-owned landfill.

  • Status: Planning phase
  • Timeframe: 18 months
  • Scope: All 9 Zone 1 neighborhoods
  • Cost: TBD
  • Want to help? Sign up here.