[Adopted 5-21-2008 by Ord. No. 5-2008]
The purpose of this article is to establish a blighted property review committee within the City of Monessen to implement the provisions of the Urban Redevelopment Law of 1945, as amended, in order to promote and accelerate reuse and reinvestment in properties in the City. The committee shall be known as the "City of Monessen Property Reinvestment Board" (hereinafter referred to as the "Board").
From time to time as necessary, the Council of the City of Monessen shall, by resolution, establish rules/regulations for Board operation.
The Board shall consist of four members,* holding two-year terms, consisting of the following:
One member of Council, appointed by Council;
A representative of the Redevelopment Authority, appointed by the Authority;
A representative of the City Planning Commission, appointed by the Commission;
A representative of the Executive Branch of City government, appointed by the Mayor.
Any vacancy on the Board shall be filled for the unexpired term by the respective appointing agency. If the vacancy is not associated with any agency, Council shall make the appointment.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Redevelopment Authority shall have the power to acquire by purchase, gift, bequest, eminent domain or otherwise any blighted property as defined herein, either within or outside a certified redevelopment area, and shall have the power to hold, dear, manage and/or dispose of said property for residential or related uses and commercial or industrial reuse, as provided by law, and consistent with the procedure set forth herein.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A. A vacant or unimproved lot or parcel of ground on which a municipal lien for the cost of demolition of any structure located on the property remains unpaid for a period of six months after the lien, if filed.
- B. A vacant property or vacant or unimproved lot or parcel of ground on which the total of liens on the property for City tax and/or any other type of municipal claim exceeds 150% of the fair market value of the property as established by the Westmoreland County Tax Assessment office; or
- C. Property which the owner, including an estate, in possession of property has declared to be abandoned.
- A. Any premises which, because of physical condition or use, is regarded as, or has been declared, a public nuisance in accordance with the City's housing, building, plumbing, fire and related codes.
- B. Any premises which, because of physical condition, use or occupancy, is considered an attractive nuisance to children, including, but not limited to: abandoned wells, shafts, basements, excavations and unsafe fences or structures.
- C. Any dwelling that the appropriate Code official has designated as unfit for human habitation because it is dilapidated, unsanitary, unsafe, vermin-infested or lacking in the facilities and equipment required by the City Code.
- D. Any structure that is a fire hazard or is otherwise dangerous to the safety of persons or property.
- E. Any structure from which the utilities, plumbing, heating, sewerage or other facilities have been disconnected, destroyed, removed or rendered ineffective so that the property is unfit for its intended use.
- F. Any vacant or unimproved lot or parcel of ground in a developed neighborhood which has become a site of accumulated trash and debris or a haven for vermin by reason of neglect or lack of maintenance.
- G. Any unoccupied property which has been tax delinquent for two years before the effective date of this article, and those in the future which are delinquent for two years.
- H. Any vacant property which has not been rehabilitated within one year of the record owner's receipt of notice to rehabilitate from the appropriate City Code official or board.
- I. Any abandoned property.
- RESIDENTIAL AND RELATED USE
- Shall include residential property for sale or rental and related uses, including, but not limited to, park and recreation areas, neighborhood community service and neighborhood parking lots.
- A. Property which is unoccupied or its occupancy is unauthorized by the property owner;
- B. An unimproved lot or parcel of ground which has been liened for the cost of demolition of any structure located on the property, and said lien remains unpaid for six months from the filing of the lien; or
- C. An unimproved lot or parcel of ground which has remained in violation of any provision of City building, property maintenance or related code for six months.
The Board and the City Planning Commission, upon making a determination that any property is blighted as defined in this article and the Urban Redevelopment Law, as amended, must certify the blighted property to the Redevelopment Authority, except that:
No property shall be certified to the Redevelopment Authority unless it is vacant.
The Board shall not certify any property to the Redevelopment Authority unless the property owner or his agent designated by him for receipt of notices within the City has been served with notice of the Board's determination that the property is blighted; and the Board's recommendation of the action which the owner must take to eliminate the conditions which resulted in the determination of blight; and notice that failure to eliminate the blight may subject the property to condemnation pursuant to law.
The Board shall not certify to the Redevelopment Authority any property which the Board has determined to be blighted: (1) before the time period for appeal has expired and no appeal has been taken; (2) or, if an appeal is taken, after a denial of the appeal, disposition; and (3) the owner or his agent has failed to comply with the order of the City or its Office of Code Enforcement.
The Board shall serve notice of its determination of blight by:
Any owner or person who is aggrieved by a Board determination that specified property is blighted may appeal the decision in the manner described below. The appeal shall be on a form prescribed by the City and shall state the specific reasons for appeal.
The appeal must be filed with the Redevelopment Authority, in writing, within 30 days after service of the required notice. Appeals shall be filed at the office of the City of Monessen Redevelopment Authority.
Council may, from time to time, establish or modify by resolution an appeal filing fee. The required fee shall be payable to the City of Monessen and must accompany the appeal. Until modified by Council, the appeal filing fee shall be $50.
The Board, in its discretion, may advise the Redevelopment Authority in the establishment and modification of policies, priorities and procedures for the disposition of properties which the Redevelopment Authority acquires through the Board's certification process.
The Board, in its discretion, may advise the City's Department of Community Development in matters relating to the provision of financial, advisory and technical assistance to support affecting reinvestment and rehabilitation of properties acquired through the Board's certification process.
The Board, in its discretion, may advise other appropriate agencies in matters relating to the disposition of publicly owned properties in the City.
Acquisition and disposition of blighted property by the Redevelopment Authority under this article shall not require preparation, adoption or approval of a redevelopment area plan or redevelopment proposal. However, at least 30 days prior to acquisition of any property, the Redevelopment Authority shall notify the City Planning Commission of the property and request the Commission's recommendation for the property's reuse. The Redevelopment Authority shall not acquire the property if the City Planning Commission certifies that disposition for residential or related uses would not be in accord with the City's Comprehensive Plan.
The Redevelopment Authority shall dispose of property which is not located within an urban renewal project area by deed in accordance with the provisions set forth in applicable law.