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January 15, 2014

City council sets stricter rules for boarded-up windows, doors

Materials must be painted, time limit instituted.

Stricter measures are on the way for boarded-up windows and doors in an effort to reduce blight in Logansport.

The new rules are reflected in an amendment recently passed by Logansport City Council to the city’s ordinance pertaining to abandoned buildings.

“[M]aterials applied to temporarily secure doors and windows must be surface coated with exterior grade paint matching the exterior of the subject structure,” the amendment states.

When the amendment came before council, it stated the materials used to secure the windows and doors could not be in place for more than 45 days out of any two consecutive calendar years.

Logansport City Councilman Chuck LaDow said at the meeting he understood the need to reduce blight, but felt in many cases it’s actually safer to board up empty windows and doors. He then introduced an amendment increasing the amount of days materials could be in place from 45 to 180 and reducing the number of calendar years from two to one.

The amendment passed unanimously, as did the measure in its entirety. The council will hold its second and final vote on the matter at its Feb. 3 meeting.

City officials expressed support for the measure when it was first introduced to city council in committee earlier this month.

Logansport Mayor Ted Franklin said there are several properties in town with boarded-up windows and doors owned by banks, companies and individuals based in other cities. The owners’ distances contributes to their lack of desire to improve properties’ appearances, he said.

“Curb appeal is gone when they just put plywood up and walk away from it,” Franklin said.

Before their unanimous approval, council members expressed concerns in committee that making the city accountable for keeping tabs on all of the boarded-up windows and doors may be too big of a responsibility.

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