Danville Shows How to Fight Blight

Danville is demonstrating how a proactive approach, backed up by practical and enforceable borough ordinances can keep deteriorating properties in check.

Danville’s efforts were featured recently during the annual educational conference of the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors in Harrisburg.

Under the borough’s property maintenance code, owners of properties identified with maintenance or safety issues have two years to make repairs. If that doesn’t happen, a citation is issued ordering the repairs to be completed with the possibility of demolition to follow, said Jackie Hart, the borough’s director of code and building development.

“We heavily enforce the property maintenance code and also enforce the rental registration ordinance that helps eliminate blight,” Hart said.

In cases where more immediate attention is required, the borough can use its quality of life ordinance, which addresses issues such as high grass, an accumulation of trash and snow removal.

“The quality of life ordinance helps us enforce regulations in a swift manner where we are able to issue tickets versus using the property maintenance code, that requires us to give 20 days for an individual to appeal our decision,” Hart said.

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