The City of Negaunee is announcing the adoption of the 2018 Negaunee Property Maintenance Code at their December meeting. According to City Manger Nate Heffron the ordinance is aimed at eliminating and deterring blight.
More commonly known as the PMC, this code is used as a tool that effectively sets maintenance standards for buildings and property conditions. Negaunee’s PMC will focus on commercial, industrial, and rental homes properties for blight elimination, residential homes are not included under this ordinance. Heffron says that the city will not be enforcing this code until later this year due to the policies and procedures that need to be established that will help guide and administer the program.
The Planning and Zoning Administrator will administer this program and will receive training in inspection techniques and education. Several programs are offered under the International Codes Council may be used for this training and certification.
When asked how all of this will work Heffron replied, “We wanted to have a community approach to solving the blight problem in Negaunee; we did this by first creating an advisory committee of non-elected individuals to help mold this ordinance. We are continuing this approach by creating a Diversionary Team”. According to the PMC, the Diversionary Team is a group of five members from the general public that will work with property owners on longer projects to eliminate blight. Heffron says “A non-compliant property owner will receive a letter indicating their violations. The property owner will then have 120 days to become compliant. If the list of violations requires more than 120 days to complete the property owner will be encouraged to seek relief from the Diversionary Team. The team will work with the property owner to determine an approximate timeframe to abate all the violations on their list“. Heffron further explains that “Legitimately a property owner could say several years, however, the team will not allow for that long of a timeframe because it’s too open-ended. Instead, the team will negotiate with the property owner to work on several of the items on their list and give them a timeframe to complete, basically whittling down their list”. According to Heffron, upon completion of negotiated items the owner will perceivable be granted additional time to complete other items on their list, this will be repeated until no violations exist. The City will soon be seeking out individuals that would like to serve on this team.
As for fines and fees, Heffron says that city does have mechanisms within the PMC to collect fines and fees, but only in the case where property owners do not comply with the ordinance. “We are not interested in collecting fines or fees, we are interested in working with property owners to eliminate blight”, Heffron stated.
A copy of the PMC can be viewed online: Property Maintenance Code, or at the Negaunee Public Library.
Questions concerning this release may be directed to the attention of the City Manger, Nate Heffron at (906) 475-7700 ext. 11. (See attachment)