City of Philadelphia Bill No 120229
As previously reported the City of Philadelphia's Council Committee on Licenses and Inspections were reviewing a proposed bill that would require foreclosed and vacant properties to be sealed with steel security panels.
On June 14, Bill No. 120229-AA unanimously passed the City Council and on June 27, was signed by the Mayor.
Key points of new legislation:
- Language to be added to the City Code (in italics) includes:
- ……If securely fastened windows and doors fail or are inadequate to prevent trespassers from entering the building, the owner shall close and secure all accessible openings using a commercial-quality, 14 gauge, rust-proof steel security panel or door, or such other materials deemed by the Department to provide an equivalent level of protection considering the specific characteristics of a property and its location. Security panels and doors shall be secured from the building interior, allow emergency access such as by key, and have an exterior finish that allows for easy removal of graffiti.
- A new owner of an LVCIP (Large Vacant Commercial or Industrial Property ) or FVRP (Foreclosed Vacant Residential Property) shall register such property no later than five days following the transfer of title.
- The owner of an LVCIP or FVRP shall post the property with the owner's name and address, the name and address of the property manager responsible for inspecting the property and performing remediation under PM-306.2.1, and the twenty four (24) hour contact telephone number of the property manager. The [poster] posting shall be made using a weather-resistant sign no smaller than eighteen (18) inches by twenty-four (24) inches, and shall be in plain view, with print that may be easily read from the sidewalk or street immediately abutting the property.
- A vacant structure deemed unsafe pursuant to this Section for failure to secure it against entry shall be sealed with commercial-quality, 14 gauge, rust-proof steel security panels or doors, or such other materials deemed by the Department to provide an equivalent level of protection considering the specific characteristics of a property and its location, when any of the following criteria have been met:
- The structure is an LVCIP or FVRP subject to the requirements of PM-306.2.1;
- A separate violation has been issued with respect to the structure for failure to secure it against entry;
- The Department determines that the structure is especially hazardous based on any of the following factors: there is evidence of unauthorized entry into the structure, based on complaints, police information or records, or physical evidence; the property is located in an area with a high rate of crime connected to vacant buildings orlots, based on statistical crime numbers or consultation with the corresponding police district; the structure creates a significant fire hazard, due to its noncompliance with Fire Code requirements, condition, materials, size, or proximity to residential housing; and any additional factors identified by the Department. The Department may convene or utilize a task force to review relevant evidence and make recommendations to the Department. A notice, order, or other action made pursuant to this Section may be appealed pursuant to A-803 by the property’s owner, a neighboring resident, the representative of a neighborhood nonprofit or community group, or any other aggrieved person.
To view the Bill in its entirety, please click here.
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