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Mayor Byron Brown announces crackdown on commercial property neglect

Posted at 4:23 PM, Feb 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-16 14:43:18-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown announced Saturday a series of new code enforcement measures which will crack down on neglect by commercial property owners in the city.

The mayor's office says the new series of measures will:

· Aid inspectors in identifying unstable structures earlier and therefore adds pressure on owners to properly maintain their properties
· Create a new administrative hearing process to work with owners and reduce Housing Court caseloads
· Propose legislation seeking higher fines and stiffer penalties for noncompliance and
· In extreme cases, seek to obtain ownership of problem properties when owners refuse to undertake critical repairs

“It is absolutely unacceptable that some commercial property owners are keeping their structures in substandard conditions in the City of Buffalo,” said Mayor Brown. “Commercial properties are very important to our City, they are the places where many of us work, shop and gather. That is why we cannot allow negligent owners to let their commercial properties fall into a state of disrepair that endangers tenants and the patrons. These stronger measures will ensure public safety, protect older structures and hold problem property owners accountable.”

The mayor's office says the city has compiled a list of nearly 250 properties identified as being in "poor" condition, inspections of those properties will begin immediately and will be conducted by City of Buffalo Department of Permit and Inspection Services (DPIS) inspectors and members of the Buffalo Fire Department.

If the properties don't comply with code, the owners will be issued a citation and have ten days to remedy the issues or face an administrative hearing the mayors office says.

Mayor Brown has also proposed increasing the property neglect fines.