Chipley City Council to Revise Abandoned Private Property Ordinances

CHIPLEY, Fla. - Chipley city council members are taking steps to clean-up their city.

They're trying to get rid of abandoned homes and businesses that have become eyesores.

Currently, the city doesn't have the authority to clear those properties.

So the City of Chipley Attorney Michelle Jordan, is recommending council members 'beef-up' current code enforcement ordinances; number 783 and 833.

"The city's current ordinance codes doesn't allow for the city to go on the property physically and clean it up on their own," said Jordan. 

Residents have voiced their concerns about the vacant buildings. 

"The city's code needs to be essentially beefed up so that the city has the ability to go onto private properties that - are not in compliance with the city's health code," said Jordan. 

Jordan singled out some of the structures that are considered the worst.

The old Mongoven bank building in Downtown Chipley on South Railroad Avenue and 5th Street is abandoned.

Property owners of a home on 2nd Street began demolition two years ago, but never finished clearing the property.

"There are title issues and sometimes environmental issues - the holders of the certificates aren't applying for - the tax deeds. And so they're not kind of being cycled through that process either," said Jordan.

New Life Fellowship Pastor Vincent Spencer is right next door to the Mongoven building.

"It is an issue, a sight issue, especially when we own adjacent property and we're trying to communicate a visual image to the community," said Spencer.

He says passerby's have noticed vacant property.

"We get quite a few people coming by and saying 'pastor what's going to happen with that - what is going to be going on with it'. What is the city doing with it."

"No one wants to move into a house that's caving in," added Jordan.

Jordan plans to present the amended code enforcement ordinance at the council's next workshop, on Thursday, August 3rd at 5 p.m.

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