City of Pineville tackling blighted property

April 24th, 2019

PINEVILLE (KALB) – The City of Pineville is tackling the issue of blighted property in the downtown area. It is an effort to restore the city’s oldest section and boost property value.

“We’ve talked about activity breading activity all along,” said Doug Gann, Director of Downtown Development. “People are going to come in and say you know there’s things going on in this town then we want to put our business here and relocate our business here and main streets I guess are falling victim to that lack of interest.”

Dilapidated homes are a problem in many cities across the country. It in part due to to a lengthy process to solve the issue. Local governments are not allowed to immediately eradicate an eyesore. “If it’s a hazard, if it’s been burned, something like that they can go in for safety wise but if it’s just a home that’s deteriorating falling apart there’s a process for that,” said Gann.

First, officials must identify the property’s code violations; next, they search tax records to find the land’s owner; then the process can take two different routes.

“Somebody may own the home and they may not have any heirs or anybody that’s involved in that property, and so it’s just an abandoned house with nobody to take care of it,” said Gann. That house then becomes adjudicated property for the city to care for, demolish, or sell.

If the property does have an owner, they contact the proprietor and serve a “Just Cause.” That document states that the city believes the home should be condemned, but they would like the resident to provide a reason why it should not be demolished. That person then appears before the city council. “And the citizens are starting to do that and say you know what I want to put this back in because I don’t want to see it torn down and so they’re making steps and plans of action to go ahead and fix that up,” said Gann.

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