East Whiteland has proposed a Demolition by Neglect Ordinance:
Ordinance-DemolitionbyNeglect (East Whiteland)
The problem with a Demolition by Neglect Ordinance is what does it actually save? It’s not like whatever fines they impose will be extraordinarily punitive to a developer, will it? Two examples of active demolition by neglect in my opinion are Linden Hall or the historic house rotting next to Clews and Strawbridge .
And then there are the non-developer demolition by neglect instances. The houses along Sproul Road or 352, for example. Some are owner occupied or rented, others vacant with absentee landlords and or estates. And along there is an entrance to a what? A 10 acre or so parcel approved for development a few years ago? (Which is what I wondered why the surveyors were out on King near Frazer Road and King that although the township could never tell me why the surveyors were out, I wondered after the fact if that was why? But I digress.)
How would this proposed ordinance affect homeowners or renters who might not have any financial choice in how the property looks?
Or what about abandoned factory sites like Bishop Tube? While it is pending whatever happens it is crumbling and rotting away. There are photos on the Internet going back to 2010 that are interior shots. Shouldn’t an ordinance like this also be able to encompass properties like that? After all they are also demolition by neglect pending redevelopment of the property, only it’s not historic except for the chemicals present like TCE.
I am not against a Demolition by Neglect Ordinance. I just wonder if it will be punitive towards those who truly deserve it? And it is not just developers who let historic properties rot. And it’s not just historic properties which suffer from demolition by neglect.