Review of nuisance and vacant property ordinance continues Tuesday at 6:30

GREENFIELD — A Town Council committee will continue its discussion of a proposed ordinance that would require all property owners to maintain their properties, at least to the point where they don’t abandon them and let them slip into disrepair.

The Economic Development Committee will return to the proposed ordinance on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the meeting room in the police station on High Street.

Last month during the EDC’s public hearing on the matter, local carpenter and contractor Gary Seldon of Traver Court said he is against such an ordinance. He said it is too strict and would take away people’s liberties.

When committee Chairman Patrick Devlin closed the public hearing that night, he said the committee needed to take some time to write a nuisance and vacant property ordinance that everyone in town can live with.

The ordinance, proposed by Mayor William Martin, is meant to protect the health, safety and welfare of the Greenfield residents, while preventing blight, he said.

But some believe it goes too far and could be misinterpreted.

Martin said he wants to protect the property values and integrity of neighborhoods, as well as town resources by avoiding the creation of nuisances, which then the town has to deal with at some point. He said inadequately maintained properties are at risk of fire and unlawful entry.

It is not known whether the committee will vote to send a recommendation to the full council this month or suggest a rewrite of the proposed ordinance.

Devlin said there are currently about two dozen vacant or nuisance properties in town and not much to regulate them.

The committee, which consists of at-large councilors Devlin, Mark Maloni and Dalton Athey, as well as Precinct 4 Councilor Steven Ronhave and Precinct 5 Councilor and former President David Singer, said it would like to see an ordinance that balances property owners’ rights with everyone else’s rights.

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