Curwensville Borough Continues Work on Abandoned Property Ordinance

CURWENSVILLE – Curwensville Borough is continuing to work on a proposed vacant, abandoned or blighted property ordinance.

At Monday’s meeting, the council discussed the proposed ordinance, which is designed to address a growing problem with property owners who fail to maintain vacant properties within the borough.

The ordinance is still in its draft form and the council took no action to approve or deny the ordinance during Monday’s meeting.

If approved, the ordinance would require owners or agents responsible for the property to register the property by Jan. 31 of each year. Failure to register would result in a $300 fine.

Agents and property owners would be required to keep and maintain the property in good and safe condition, in accordance with all applicable codes and laws.

The property owners or agents would also be required to provide access to borough officials for inspection prior to the initial occupancy of rehabilitated properties and prior to the sale of any vacant property; upon any changes of ownership; complaints or other reasonable cause. The proposed ordinance would also impose fees if properties must be re-inspected, if violations are found.

The proposed ordinance would also impose annual fees based on the amount of time the structure has been vacant. The proposed fees are as follows:

  • Up to, but not more than 2 years – $200
  • 2 years, but less than 3 – $400
  • 3 years, but less than 4 – $800
  • 4 years, but less than 5 – $1,000
  • 5 or more years – $1,500

Vacant properties, which are family-owned due to the immediate death or hospitalization and are maintained for personal use only, can become exempt from the annual fee, if approved for a homestead exemption.

The council voted to send the proposed ordinance to the borough solicitor for review.

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