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CITY OF MELBOURNE, FLORIDA MINUTES – REGULAR MEETING BEFORE CITY COUNCIL JANUARY 27, 2009

immunity of Code Enforcement Officers; and providing for additional maintenance, security, and supplemental authority. (Authorized by Council - 10/28/08)

Note: The

City Council

president of

a town home

received an email dated January association, encouraging Council to

27 from Gary Altpeter, approve the ordinance.

vice

The City Attorney Gougelman read Ordinance No. 2009-06 by title. excerpt from the agenda report:

The following is an

At previous Council meetings members of the Council raised concerns about properties that had gone into foreclosure, become vacant, and fallen into disrepair. The primary concern was that as blight conditions were starting to appear in various neighborhoods, citizens were asking for increased Code Enforcement attention. Additionally, there was concern that the blight conditions could adversely affect property values.

Property in foreclosure is difficult for Code personnel to deal with. Mortgage holders and homeowners whose property is in default have less interest in maintaining properties in foreclosure than do property owners who live on site. The problem is exacerbated because properties in foreclosure many times become vacant or are abandoned. Also, it is difficult to deal with large mortgage companies with huge numbers of properties in foreclosure. Merely finding the mortgage company’s contact person who has authority over the foreclosed property is sometimes difficult.

Council requested that the City Attorney draft a proposed ordinance requiring that mortgage holders preparing to foreclose a mortgage must register with the City. Because the goal of this program is to make it easier for the City to bring about code compliance rather than to make money, the City would be prohibited from charging a registration fee. The proposed ordinance would also provide enhanced requirements for mortgage companies to perform maintenance and security on abandoned or vacant properties subject to foreclosure or properties still occupied which are being foreclosed upon. The program is intended to deal with properties that could create neighborhood blight.

Prior to issuing a notice to the property owner of default on the mortgage and monthly thereafter, the lender would be required to inspect the property to determine if it is vacant or

in disrepair.

If the property is vacant or is otherwise subject to default, the lender must

register the property with the City. If the property is vacant, the mortgagee must post the property with information how a local contact person with responsibility for the property can be contacted. Registration must include the mortgagee’s contact information. Failure of the mortgagee to maintain the property in accordance with the basic requirements constitutes a violation of the ordinance, subject to citation of City Code by the City’s Code Enforcement staff. Mortgagees would also be required to secure and inspect the property such that the property is not accessible to unauthorized persons.

The ordinance would cut down on wasted staff time hunting for the property managers of mortgage companies. It would make it easier to enforce lot maintenance requirements, because the City would know who the mortgagee’s local contact person is. If a mortgagee

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