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Spencer Board of Aldermen to discuss changes to housing code

By Amanda Raymond
amanda.raymond@salisburypost.com

SPENCER — The Spencer Board of Aldermen will consider an ordinance that will make changes to the housing code to deal with dilapidated or deteriorated houses, as well as neglected, abandoned or vacant houses in town.

The board will meet on Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 600 S. Salisbury Ave. at 7 p.m. The meeting was moved from its usual date because the Town Hall served as a polling place for the elections.

According to the proposed ordinance amendment, the purpose of the ordinance is to promote the health, safety and welfare of the town’s residents.

One of the board’s main goals was to clean up the town, which includes dealing with the dilapidated or deteriorated houses in the area.

The ordinance outlines conditions that would make a house unsafe, including no potable water service or a missing roof. It also lists the responsibilities of owners and occupants for taking care of their houses.

The owner of properties with violations will have 48 hours after being notified to correct the unsafe conditions or submit a compliance plan to a housing inspector.

For vacant, neglected or abandoned houses, owners will have to notify the town when a property has to be boarded up so that it can be added to the vacant residential structure inventory.

Houses will not be allowed to remain boarded up for more than two years, and after six months the owners will have to agree to an “Intent to Repair” plan created by the land management department.

If violations are not corrected by the deadline set by the inspector, the owner could be subject to a civil penalty of $250 for the first day of noncompliance. Fifty dollars will be added to the charge for each day afterwards.

The board will have the option of adopting the ordinance at the meeting. The changes will become effective the day the ordinance is adopted.

In other business, the board will:

  • Hear reports from town departments and the town manager.
  • Hear reports from the mayor and delegates.
  • Hear public comment.
  • Consider approving liens to be placed on properties in the 100 block of 10th street, the 600 block of Long Ferry Road, the 400 block of Forestdale Drive and the 800 block of Fifth Street.
  • Consider combining the Zoning Board of Adjustment and Planning Board.
  • Hear a presentation about the Literary Arts Festival and Music Jam at the Library Park.
  • Authorize the accounts payable clerk to sign town checks.

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.

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