Time to Read the Town's Proposed Blight Ordinance

When Ridgefield hosts a Town Hall public hearing at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 8 for the town's proposed blight ordinance, First Selectman Rudy Marconi is hoping people show up and say what they think.

In June 2012, the Board of Selectmen were talking about a part of the ordinance that fines blighted properties, and about using town employees to clean them up, and how blighted properties lower nearby property values.

"We want to give people plenty of time to comment and discuss the ordinance," Marconi said.

Ridgefield has been considering an ordinance to reduce blight around town for two years, and Ridgefield is drawing parts of its proposed ordinance from neighboring towns. Ridgefield's proposed ordinance can be read in its entirety here.

Danbury has been fighting blight since roughly 2004, and the city's Unified Neighborhood Inspection Team reviews complaints. It takes months to find the person responsible for a property. Who owns it might appear simple, (perhaps a foreign bank,) but in a recession knowing the name isn't enough. In some cases, no owner or property manager can be found, said Jeff Preston, who does the ownership searches for the UNIT in Danbury.

Ridgefield's ordinance calls for a hearing within 30 days once blight has been confirmed and the owner given notice. State law allows a property owner to be fined up to $250 per day for what it calls, "willful violation."
Leoj December 31, 2013 at 09:41 AM
Well some one deleted my original comment ... And my second posting of the same ....Nice! Let's try yet again. Bottom line ... Blight is a non issue in Ridgefield ... Very rare and there are the normal town agencies to deal with the problem. The State is also formulating blight laws that will be uniform from town to town. So ... Why is this ordinance being pushed? Not because of a burning blight problem ... What does it allow and where will lead us? Hmmmm ... Town's unfettered access to private property so as to issue citations, fines, and fees based upon pretty vague concepts of safety, cosmetics, etc. your grass is too long, you need paint, bushes too big, etc. etc. etc. ... Where does this end? One thing has been proven in other towns ... It certainly ends in litigation and increased costs for the town and residents.
Leoj December 31, 2013 at 03:07 PM
OK ... But can he do this? He can flag but not arbitrarily delete. I cannot delete your comment. Something else is going on. More likely Patch, RPress, etc. controlling the discussion? Is that too conspiratorial? Look at their articles... Almost always totally on message of the town authorities, never critical, always forgetful of the past events ... Or just poorly researched .... Are they just propaganda organs for the powers that be? Let's see how fast this get deleted!
Thomas Soukup January 01, 2014 at 12:41 PM
Thunder and LeoJ.....I read your posts with great interest as I have also experienced deleted posts starting this past October. Following that, I was no longer able to post at all using Yahoo. I asked for help from Patch and they did get back to me, however, they were not able to resolve the problem other than to suggest I switch browsers, so I went to Google. Bingo,posting problem solved,however, my posts are still deleted,not all but many. I question just how Peter Gladstone could accomplish this arbitrary practice and if not,why Patch would want to sensor those who respond to articles and stay within their " terms of use" I would certainly hope that Patch could clear up these questions rather than leave so many speculating as to the cause of these deletions.
Thomas Soukup January 01, 2014 at 05:24 PM
Hi Thunder Hill Thanks for the information. Patch IT folks had me do several things including deleting my cookies, but that didn't help with Yahoo, but Google is working just fine. I guess my question is, how could anyone other than Patch or the original author delete posts? I must say I enjoy the friendly banter on Patch, but the idea on any individual being able to sensor me or anyone else is repulsive. Has Patch made any comments in this issue? Thanks again, Thomas
Thomas Soukup January 02, 2014 at 09:33 AM
Porter & Thunder I read your posts on my email and I thank you both for your reply. I was not aware that if so tagged, 3 " inappropriate" comments would result in a deletion. I now see how this could work. So would 20 favorable responses be overridden by 3 negative? It disappointments me that anyone would stoop so low as to censor another's comments. After all, the reason we bother to post is for the open exchange of ideas, or so I thought. It also disappoints me that Patch has not revised their system to avoid such a practice.


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