Tallahassee City Commission to Consider a Registry for Foreclosed Vacant Property

Tallahassee City Commission to Consider a Registry for Foreclosed Vacant Property

On Wednesday, February 8, the Tallahassee City Commission will consider a staff recommendation to draft an ordinance creating a registration process for properties in foreclosure. 

Noted in the meeting agenda, vacant and unmaintained properties may have a range of problems including, lowering the property value for neighboring homeowners, the accumulation of trash, unsanitary conditions which could further advance the spread of disease, and providing criminals a hideout.

Some local governments in Florida have chosen to track vacant and abandoned properties in order to mitigate blight and update property owners so they may be aware of the property’s status. Tracking the vacant/abandoned properties creates a legal record of the property’s status.

Communities in Florida that have implemented an oversight process report security improvements, more investment, and blight reduction. In addition, the approach results in a database of vacant and foreclosed properties.

There are three model ordinances currently in use by 10 local government entities in Florida as a tool for enforcement:

  1. The Vacancy and Abandonment Model Ordinance: This type of ordinance requires property owners to register properties after a certain length of vacancy. The ordinance length of vacancy varies but is usually between 60 and 180 days.
  1. The Foreclosure Model Ordinance: This type of ordinance requires registration of the vacant or abandoned property by a formal, state-required notice of default or intent to foreclosure filed as a part of a judicial proceeding or advertised by the mortgagee or servicer as a part of a nonjudicial foreclosure process. This model ordinance was created because municipalities found some properties were in foreclosure and had been vacated well before the foreclosure sale. 
  1. The Hybrid Model Ordinance: This type of ordinance has shared characteristics of the Vacancy and Abandonment Model and the Foreclosure Model. This model ordinance can be initiated by vacancy and by foreclosure-related actions.

Staff notes that the City of Tallahassee has a Vacant-to-Vibrant-Program which helps restore vacant properties. The purpose of the program is to transform blighted, vacant properties and use them to create community amenities such as, gardens, parks and public art.

However, currently there is no registration process. Staff is only able track vacant and abandoned properties owned by the city. These properties may often be used for affordable housing and other revitalizing projects.

Staff is recommending the adoption of the Foreclosure Model ordinance.

9 Responses to "Tallahassee City Commission to Consider a Registry for Foreclosed Vacant Property"

  1. Significant blight reduction will only come when the incentives for smart, creative infill are far greater than the benefits developers (like Boulos and the Ghazvinis) reap after they clearcut forests and fill in wetlands to their greedy heart’s delight.

  2. I first suspected that keeping track of these buildings could enable the city to also keep track of where vagrants were. I’ve read the city has sent people out to locate and do counts of them, so this would make some sense if that were the case.

    I’m so tired of the the city’s use of the word “vibrant.” It’s either a meaningless buzzword or a coded implication of more concrete, gaudy art. I’d prefer it to mean letting things turn green. But I get the feeling certain commissioners would rather spend on giving our city a more urban aesthetic.

  3. Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo has said, vacant buildings should be turned into low income housing because we all should have to live with all the crime that come with that.

    I agree, what is the City doing about crime. As government continues to raise our taxes, we all will turn to crime just to make ends meet.

  4. It looks like the City Commission has a “friend” who needs a nice high paying do-nothing job with the city. For certain it’ll pay well over $100,000 a year. All at the taxpayer’s expense.

    Perhaps they’ll be looking for a DOPE – Director Of Property Enhancement.

  5. There’s already a pretty good property database owned and operated by the Property Appraiser’s office. Instead of reinventing the wheel, work with that office to include the functionality you want and/or need. That can be done in less than a month with existing staff. But that doesn’t really let the city spend money ad nauseum, does it?

  6. Usually, Foreclosed Property that is sold is usually bought by a Contractor or Developer who is going to Rehab it or tear it down and build New so, why waste you time on these Properties?

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