We had really nice workshop on dilapidated buildings yesterday! Here’s why:

 

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Quick! Someone hide those chairs!

The purpose of this meeting was to discuss, amongst the council and representatives of different departments, what the county should do when properties go into disrepair. Councilman Donald, who called for this workshop, gave us a run-down of what he wanted to happen. He said the purpose of this meeting was to explore an issue and come up with some ideas on how to fix this problem. We want to cry tears of joy at these words!  We almost forgot that some government officials are actually interested in discussion and fruitful debate! Who could blame us though? Look at the nonsense we’ve become accustomed to lately:

So, thank you for restoring some of our faith in our government folks!

There was a ton of discussion as to what should be done. We were given info on what is currently on the books:

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Given some examples of what other counties do:

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Plus, we were shown examples of some properties that have gone into severe disrepair:

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Issues of foreclosure and hoarding were also brought up. There are no easy answers, as Tony kept reminding us with his slippery slope arguments, since the government has to determine when someone is simply exercising their right to do what they wish with their property, and when someone is either endangering public safety and/or bringing down their neighbor’s property values. Most people were in favor of compiling a list of run down properties and also looking into passing some new legislation since the Maryland legislature recently passed a law that will help with this issue. Contacting the Department of Aging was also brought up when you happen to know that an elderly person is living in the property in question.

Since this was just a workshop, there will be more discussion and possible legislation in the future. Mr. Donald closes the meeting thanking everyone for , “a very mature and intelligent discussion”.  We are sure those words would not have exited his mouth had our two monkey wrenches shown up. Be thankful for small blessings folks!