New law in Groton bans blight - WFSB 3 Connecticut

New law in Groton bans blight

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GROTON, CT (WFSB) -

Property owners in Groton were put on notice that before Halloween the community may have a new law banning blighted properties.

Town officials said the decision was 10 years in the making and said it's not for aesthetics, but safety.

Last month, after 10 years of debate, the Town Council approved a law banning blight. If unchallenged, it could take effect in 45 days.

Town planner Mike Murphy said their definition of blight is if the neglect effects safety.

"Our ordinance did focus on mostly significant growth blockages to public access, unsafe conditions," Murphy said.

There were some homes in Groton that have been identified as blighted, such as an unoccupied cape and a home on Ann Avenue.  Private investors replaced the decayed structure on Ann Avenue with a brand new house.

Violators of the new blight ordinance face a sliding scale of fines from $10 to $100 per day. The exact daily fine will be determined by inspectors.

The new blight ordinance not only effects residential property owners, but commercial property owners as well. One property being targeted as blighted is located on Route 12.

The property on Route 12 has been unoccupied for years, and town leaders said the building is a mess. The parking lot is crumbling and strewn with garbage.

"It makes us all look bad," said Paul Amaral, who bought blighted property. "We need to invest in our properties, into our business and this is exactly what I'm doing."

Amaral continues to rehab the former blighted building on Route 12.

"Between the exterior and interior, this was in definite need of TLC," Amaral said.

Amaral told Eyewitness News that by removing the blight, it not only improves the neighborhood, but eventually his bottom line and the towns.

To read the full ordinance, click the following link.

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