NIAGARA FALLS – Mayor Paul A. Dyster is putting commercial building owners in the blighted parts of the city on notice.
Either shore up the eyesores that drag down property values, Dyster said Wednesday, or city inspectors will crack down on you.
Dyster gave more details on a new code enforcement crackdown announced in last month’s State of the City address.
He said the “blight blitzes” will begin within a month in the center city neighborhoods and will focus on the many blighted buildings in those areas.
“This is not a surprise attack,” Dyster said in a statement. “This announcement gives owners the chance to get buildings in order. If they choose not to, they will be financially penalized.”
“Blighted storefronts drag down the local economy and they are unfair to surrounding neighbors,” he added. “Enough is enough.”
Inspection teams will focus on buildings that break the city’s code requirements, the mayor said.
He identified broken windows and overgrown vegetation as obvious issues to be addressed.
The inspection program will be funded by a federal grant managed by the city’s Community Development Department, said Seth A. Piccirillo, community development director.
“The blight blitz is part of our targeted neighborhood approach,” Piccirillo said. “We are pinpointing commercial blight in specific areas and using federal grant funds to get the job done.”
Dyster also pledged to work with the City Council to develop new regulations aimed at preventing “land speculators from allowing their properties to become nuisances to the public.”
He did not give more details about this initiative but said in his State of the City speech that his goal is to “make it impossible for land speculators to hold down development in Niagara Falls by hanging on to multiple key development parcels year after year, decade after decade, with no regard for how this impedes the overall development of the city.”