Windsor targets abandoned homes

City council is tackling a "blight mitigation strategy," developed by city staff.

Proposal would make it easier for city to demolish derelict buildings

The City of Windsor plans to get tough on owners of abandoned or derelict buildings.

City council will deal with a "blight mitigation strategy," which was developed by city staff.     

The building department carried out extensive research of bylaws in other cities to see how they deal with the problem.

The proposed strategy, which goes before council next week, defines a vacant building as a place that has not been used or occupied by the owner for at least 120 days.

A derelict building is defined as one that has been abandoned for at least two years - or one that's damaged beyond repair.

Under the strategy, new rules would force owners of vacant buildings to disconnect utilities and keep the property free of rodents and pests.

If they don't, city inspectors will do the work and add the cost to property tax bills. Inspectors would also have the power to order demolition.

31 buildings identified for demolition

The city's chief building official said the city has identified approximately 31 buildings for demolition.

"Those are based on years of history of orders being issued and no action being taken, then further deterioration of those sites," said Lee Anne Doyle.

Many councillors have said they hear from residents when a vacant building becomes an eyesore in their neighbourhood, saying it impacts their quality of life and property values.

Ward 3 councillor Fulvio Valentinis has his own top 10 list of derelict buildings in his ward.

With files from Gino Conte