Blight Police Want to Beef Up After Cottage's Untimely Death

Front page Chron today: the plight of vacant homes in such "blatant disrepair" that they either invite "safety concerns" or all too convenient emergency demolition orders. The story comes in the context of the just-demolished 1861 cottage in Russian Hill.

The owners, two developers who had bought the house for $1.3M in 2007, had put up scaffolding, but did little else— until they were granted an emergency permit to demolish the building, as it was deemed an imminent collapse threat.

The preservation-minded are understandably a bit upset at this sequence of events, but perhaps there's hope for the blight police: the Building Inspection Commission's pushing to bulk up the city's anti-blight ordinance (even more?) so that owners of long-vacant homes have to register them with the city, pay annual fees, and keep their properties secure.

Also, building inspectors would receive police training, presumably so they could apply their indignation in the more satisfying field of ass-kicking.

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