A Little Too Tough on Blight?

The City of Chula Vista has a highly successful anti-blight ordinance- so successful that some critics say they may actually be delaying the recovery of the local real estate market.

Since implementing the program, Chula Vista has collected almost $752,000 in fines.

"Initially, some lenders expressed shock at fines that on occasion can exceed $10,000. Officials say the large penalties were necessary to force a change in lender behavior.

Traditionally, cities have waited until lenders have taken formal possession of abandoned foreclosed homes before issuing citations. That can take months in some cases, forcing municipalities to address blight issues on their own. Typically, they remove weeds and drain swimming pools, seeking reimbursement later. Chula Vista has used its measure to place the burden on lenders."

Full Story: City under gun to ease blight fight

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