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On tap for Tuesday: continued discussion of how Fredericksburg should handle its first case of using a state law to address an abandoned home with an unresponsive, out-of-state (if even alive) owner.
For some broader perspective on the issue, here is a story in today’s Virginian-Pilot that looks at how larger cities are dealing with the problem that abandoned homes and absentee landlords pose in neighborhoods. This story points out some of the ways that Virginia’s state laws limit what cities can do to solve this problem.
One example: Wilmington, Del., charges fees to owners of abandoned properties to deter their neglect and to recoup the cost of city maintenance of these properties (including grass-cutting, weed-taming and board-nailing). Vice Mayor Kerry Devine has brought up that idea in meetings here, but as the Pilot’s story notes, you can’t do that in Virginia; the state doesn’t allow it.