Dozens of properties busted for blight 

More than 100 properties have been slapped with penalties after violating a law meant to keep The City free of eyesores such as weeds and broken windows.

Under a law passed in 2008, a property is considered blighted for various reasons, including dead trees, trash strewn about or if the paint on the outside of a building is worn and peeling. Other examples include defaced or broken windows, and a significant amount of graffiti.

Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval originally proposed the ordinance when he was supervisor of District 11. Areas such as the Excelsior were receiving consistent complaints from residents.

But while there are many addresses in the outer Mission on a list of blighted properties, there are also several hot spots for run-down properties that appear to have been forgotten. Several addresses are in the Tenderloin, Chinatown, lower and upper Haight, northern Valencia Street and the Bayview.

The Department of Public Works sent out bills for $250 to each of the properties on June 3. Only 15 owners have paid the bills, according to DPW.

The department assesses the property owner $250 for the inspection if blight is found, according to DPW spokeswoman Christine Falvey. When the fines were approved, officials said there would be daily fines as well, but those have not been levied.

The department has been charging the owner to clean up their properties, at a cost of hundreds of dollars. Of the properties, 10 have been cleaned up by DPW itself. The fees, which are about $37,000, will be assessed on the owner’s property tax. As the program begins, The City does not have the funds to abate all the blighted properties on its own.

Unsightly

128: Blighted properties found since November
15: Property owners who have paid $250 fee
10: Properties Department of Public Works has cleaned
$32,000: Approximate total of blight fees

Source: DPW

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

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Rich Bunnell

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