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Friday, Feb 3, 2023
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New Law Takes Fight to the Blight

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders on Feb. 7 signed a new law designed to beef up the city’s ability to clean up blighted properties.

Under the new law, owners of vacant structures can be fined up to $5,000 a year, rather than the $250 quarterly, not to exceed $1,000 a year, under the existing law.

The new law will require owners of neglected vacant property to file a statement of intent annually, until the property is cleaned up, rather than filing a one-time statement of intent, stating how they plan to clean up the area.

The new law also gives neighborhood code compliance officers better tools to deal with properties where owners continue to pay fines but don’t fix the problem.

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Previously, nuisances had to be cited separately under different codes. Under the new law, all nuisance conditions will be addressed from one Municipal Code section.

According to the mayor’s office:

– Hundreds of vacant or abandoned properties currently blight San Diego neighborhoods.

– Vacant property laws have been on the books in San Diego since 1993, and the Neighborhood Code Compliance Department has been able to successfully work with many property owners during that time to rehabilitate blighted property.

– Since its inception, some 700 properties have been returned to productive use and 30 properties have been demolished.

– Currently, there are 165 vacant or abandoned properties identified by the city’s Code Compliance Department.

, Pat Broderick

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