Elmwood Park wants to ensure vacant homes kept up
Leroy Pfieferm said whoever owns the vacant home near his is still not maintaing the property properly. | David Pollard~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 7, 2012 6:09AM
ELMWOOD PARK — Homes vacant due to foreclosure or turned back over to the bank will still have to keep up appearances.
Elmwood Park trustees have passed a Vacant Building Ordinance to make sure whoever is responsible for a vacant home in Elmwood Park takes care of it. The ordinance was created as a result of the number of home foreclosures taking place across the country.
Elmwood Park Village Manager Paul Volpe said the ordinance is intended to protect resident public health and safety.
“These properties fall on disrepair and they become a detriment to the neighborhood and we’re not going to let that happen,” he said.
The owner of a vacant house, be it an individual or bank, would have register the vacant house with the village. The registration fee is $50.
An inspector from the village’s code department would inspect the house inside and out and make sure proper guidelines are met. The inspection cost is $100.
The home would have to be clean and secure and the window and doors of the house could not be boarded up.
Volpe said there could be some exceptions in regards to a vacant home being boarded up, especially if the house is not secure. If so, the owner would have to make sure proper repairs are made to make the house secure. The boards would then be removed.
If the home is not being taken care of by the owner, the village will step in to make needed repairs and to ensure the home is secure and the property clean. The village would charge the owner for the work done.
Volpe said they’ve already had people out cleaning up vacant homes in the village.
“No weeds that are 2 feet high, or if there is a hole in the roof; we are not going to tolerate that,” he said. “We don’t want boards on windows and the doors. Nobody wants to live next to a property like that.”
For those who continue to not maintain their vacant property, they will be fined from $100 to $750.
Although the recession has caused many foreclosures, Volpe wants the village to be a reflection of positivity.
“In Elmwood Park we want it clean, safe and secure,” he said. “We’re not going to let these houses drag down the neighborhood.”