About those ugly properties

It’s been stated plainly and often why the town can’t just make unsightly premises disappear. Even if certain legal obligations weren’t in play (they are), the cost can’t be taken lightly. Say it costs the town $50,000 to clear up the two derelict motels that are causing so much grief. That’s about a one per cent tax increase. It comes out of our pockets. Who knows – it could be much more than that.

Of course the town would attempt to collect the cost from the property owners, who have very little incentive to pay.

But of course the town can’t just wade in. There are solid legal reasons that protect private property from government interference. Nobody wants a return to the days when those in power could do what they wanted, when they wanted. All kinds of protections against such tyranny are in place.

And here’s one consequence: the owners of those hotels must be given the benefit of the doubt. They must be given many opportunities to do the right thing. Only after all of that will the courts give a municipality the right to send in the bulldozers.

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