April 29, 2017, 1pm PDT
In New York state, municipalities can apply to use a new tool that gathers property data and sifts for red flags. The intent is to identify potential blight before it sets in.
January 30, 2017, 12pm PST
Pasadena is adopting accessory dwelling unit (ADU) reform in response to state legislation designed to spur affordable housing options by easing restrictions on ADUs. But is it really entrenchment dressed as reform?
December 13, 2016, 7am PST
Pasadena's accessory dwelling unit is designed more to prevent than accommodate accessory dwelling units. Planner and Pasadena resident Jonathan P. Bell implores the city's Planning Commission to reform it.
December 6, 2016, 11am PST
Lax code enforcement is one of the concerns being raised by the devastating fire that occurred during a rave-style party, Artists had taken up residence in the building, which was not permitted for either general assembly events or residences.
October 21, 2016, 7am PDT
The BlightSTAT system has helped New Orleans track and improve blighted conditions around the city.
Data-Smart City Solutions
October 16, 2016, 1pm PDT
The city of Pittsburgh launched a Buildingeye website to provide new access to the development and approval process in the city.
November 18, 2014, 9am PST
When Los Angeles County Planner Jonathan P. Bell wrote about informal housing in the region, several commenters responded. So Bell decided to answer questions and critics.
November 12, 2014, 7am PST
Pittsburgh will attempt to spur economic development and streamline the city's permitting and code enforcement process by reorganizing the Bureau of Building Inspection.
July 24, 2014, 11am PDT
Baltimore is increasing lawsuits against negligent property owners with outstanding code violations. As part of the city's "Vacants to Value" initiative, forfeited properties are transferred to receivership and auctioned to new owners.
June 21, 2014, 11am PDT
An academic look at unauthorized housing in the Los Angeles area: Interview of Jacob Wegmann by Los Angeles County Planner Jonathan Bell
August 26, 2012, 11am PDT
Suffering from widespread blight from foreclosures and absentee owners, a new "unofficial" Facebook page lets Atlanta residents play code compliance officer.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
June 21, 2012, 5am PDT
The demolition of a Tulsa resident's edible garden, deemed "too tall" by city inspectors, has sparked a civil rights lawsuit, and is generating national attention.
September 10, 2011, 1pm PDT
As bank-owned homes become a source of blight and crime, cities struggle to effectively hold banks accountable for their maintenance. Large banks tend to be the worst offenders, often failing to remove trash and weeds or paying fines.
August 27, 2011, 1pm PDT
In Antelope Valley, Calif., questionable code enforcement practices encroach the Fifth Amendment taking clause while the obfuscation of facts by public officials mars the transparent aspect of the planning process.
April 7, 2009, 11am PDT
Officials in Fort Worth, Texas, are searching for ways to deal with buildings left vacant by businesses struggling during the recession. Other cities and the state of Texas are also addressing the issue.