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County Council approves measure calling for registration of foreclosed homes

Post by Steve Maynard / The News Tribune on March 26, 2013 at 6:46 pm with No Comments »
March 26, 2013 6:46 pm

The Pierce County Council unanimously approved a measure today calling for foreclosed homes to be registered and abandoned residential properties to be maintained.

Owners who don’t comply could face enforcement steps, including penalties.

Many details – such as what the registration fee and penalties would be – remain to be worked out.

After that, the council will need to adopt an ordinance in the summer enacting the new program.

County Council analyst Hugh Taylor said he expects an ordinance to be developed by the end of June with the council making a final decision by the end of August.

The resolution approved Tuesday calls for the county’s public works and utilities department, the planning and land services department and the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department to develop recommendations. The county also would seek input from others including the banking industry, mortgage companies and the Sheriff’s Department.

“This is a problem that crosses multiple agencies of county government,” said Steve Wamback, of the public works and utilities department.

Council member Stan Flemming, R-University Place, spearheaded the proposal to address the problem of foreclosed, abandoned homes turning into eyesores and health hazards.

Flemming said he’s heard nothing but positive feedback about the registration and maintenance requirements for unincorporated Pierce County.

“Everyone has said uniformly, ‘This bill is long overdue. It’s about time that we did something about it,’” Flemming said.

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