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File #: 18-0001    Version: Name:
Type: Action Item Status: Passed
File created: 11/17/2017 In control: City Council
On agenda: 1/11/2018 Final action: 1/11/2018
Title: BILL (for introduction) - Amending Section 10-617 of the Fresno Municipal Code relating to Blighted Vacant Buildings
Sponsors: Planning and Development Department
Attachments: 1. Attachment 1 - Blighted Vacant Building Ordinance.pdf




January 11, 2018



FROM:                     JENNIFER CLARK, Director

Development and Resource Management Department


THROUGH:                     KELLI FURTADO, Assistant Director

Development and Resource Management Department


BY:                                            TIM BURNS, Code Enforcement Manager

Development and Resource Management Department







BILL (for introduction) - Amending Section 10-617 of the Fresno Municipal Code relating to Blighted Vacant Buildings





Staff recommends the Council approve the amendment of Section 10-617 of the Fresno Municipal Code related to revisions of the Blighted Vacant Building Ordinance.  




The proposed amendments to the Blighted Vacant Building Ordinance (Ordinance) will simplify the citation process with the goal of improved efficiencies and increased compliance by responsible property owners.  The proposed amendment removes the $250 citation per day, per violation and includes a cap on citation amounts. 





Vacant, blighted buildings are an attractive nuisance (a dangerous or negligent condition likely to attract children).  These nuisances disturb the peaceful enjoyment of surrounding properties by reducing market values and by creating a dangerous environment due to physical hazards and unauthorized activities occurring on the property.  Additionally, there is a higher cost to provide law enforcement, fire-fighting and prevention, and code enforcement activities in neighborhoods heavily impacted by vacant and blighted homes.


The City’s Ordinance has been effective since June 20, 2015.  At that time there were 1,136 properties identified as blighted and vacant.  In April 2016, Fresno Municipal Code section 1-409 was amended to address the authority of the City’s Hearing Officer. 


As of December 15, 2017 there are 629 active blighted and vacant residential building cases in various stages of inspection by the Vacant Building Team, a specialty unit within Code Enforcement. 


An example of the difference between the existing, and the proposed amendment citation structure is outlined below.  For the purpose of the example, it is assumed that there are five violations in each situation, that each citation is for a 30 day period (totaling a four month period), and that the property owner corrects the violations after the fourth citation is issued. 



Current   (5 Citation Example)

Proposed  (5 Citation Example)



Citation #1:  $37,500

Citation #1:  $2,500

Citation #2:  $37,500

Citation #2:  $5,000

Citation #3:  $37,500 

Citation #3:  $10,000  At 3rd Citation:  Referred to CAO for Evaluation of Potential Receivership 

Citation #4:  $37,500

Citation #4:  $10,000



$150,000 Citation

$27,500 Citation



The proposed amendments to Section 10-617 will enhance the City’s enforcement abilities with the goal of compliance and preservation of existing housing stock. 




This is not a “project” for the purposes of CEQA pursuant to CEQA Guidelines, section 15378(b)(5), as it is an administrative activity that will not result in direct or indirect physical changes to the environment.




Local Preference is not applicable to this proposed ordinance change.




There is no direct fiscal impact from the passing of this ordinance.  However, there are fines and penalties assigned in the ordinance which will impact revenues depending upon the number and severity of cases identified.


Attachment 1 - Vacant Blighted Building Ordinance