Waterbury isn't looking to ban plywood on abandoned homes - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Waterbury isn't looking to ban plywood on abandoned homes

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Recently Ohio became the first state in the nation to ban plywood on vacant buildings. (WFSB) Recently Ohio became the first state in the nation to ban plywood on vacant buildings. (WFSB)
WATERBURY, CT (WFSB) -

We've seen it before, vacant buildings with boarded up plywood windows, but the state of Ohio is actually banning that, hoping it will battle blight.

Waterbury has its fair share of boarded up homes and businesses, and while some might not like the look of the plywood, it is cost effective.

"When you see plywood like that, people inside, they don't have a place to sleep, they don't have a place to live, its why you see people trespassing,” said Raymond Belec, of Waterbury.

Recently Ohio became the first state in the nation to ban plywood on vacant buildings.

It applies to homes that have been foreclosed on with the hope that it will prevent blight and hopefully get them back on the market.

"Waterbury, the city has to do something about all the situations like that because, right now we've got a lot of abandoned houses,” Belec said.

While plywood is not perfect in keeping people from getting inside an abandoned building, Waterbury’s building official says right now, it’s their best option.

An option being used in Ohio is a clear plastic sheet of polycarbonate, the material used in airplane windows, which while hard to break, is pricey.

Gil Graveline says that wouldn't work in Waterbury, where he could board up an entire home, for roughly the same cost of just one or two sheets of the polycarbonate.

"The special polycarbonate, that pool of money doesn't go far,” Graveline said. “The building code, it doesn't say use steel plates, screening, it doesn't say plywood, it doesn't say polycarbonate, it just says make it secure and safe." 

The city’s building official also said from a fire standard, going away from plywood would make it harder for firefighters to get inside an abandoned building.

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