04/03/07 — Send a message: Dilapidated housing and other eyesores no help for city

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Send a message: Dilapidated housing and other eyesores no help for city

Two more houses have been added to the list of structures that city of Goldsboro officials say no longer need to be part of the city’s streetscape.

And this time, they are not giving anybody any more time to get the repairs made.

The latest additions to the list of dilapidated houses in Goldsboro are just two more examples of what happens when property owners are allowed to ignore the rules about upkeep — and laws give them just too many chances.

The long process that is required before condemning a property is meant to help those who are trying, but simply cannot get the work done quickly.

The problem is, the multiple opportunities for appeals are often used as shelters for those who would rather wait than get the job done. That leaves structures that are hazardous and eyesores lining some Goldsboro streets — and that is not good for anyone.

It is time for Goldsboro officials to close the loopholes and to get really serious about cleaning up the city. And that starts with increased citations followed by immediate cleanup orders. If those deadlines are not met, then the structures should be torn down and action taken against the property owners to recover the costs. That is the only way to prove to property owners that this city means business.

Dilapidated properties do not send the message of a town that is progressive and ready for business. By making sure that there is swift and severe action taken against those who allow properties to become eyesores, city officials will let those with money to invest know that there is reason to look more closely at locating or expanding a business in Goldsboro.

All the money and fancy storefronts in the world won’t lure anyone to a revitalized downtown Goldsboro if the neighborhoods surrounding it are rundown and without promise of increasing real estate value. And those homeowners who are trying to improve their surroundings deserve the support that comes with serious property regulations.

The action taken by Goldsboro City Council Monday was a good first step. The decision will let these violators and others know that there is no more time to wait — that this city is going to get the job done.

All that is left is to make sure that this momentum continues and the rest of these irresponsible property owners are put on notice — they could be next.

Published in Editorials on April 3, 2007 1:02 PM