Boarded up housing ordinance still a challenge

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - In the Enderly Park neighborhood there are dozens of boarded up houses. Some stick out more than others, which creates a challenge for city code enforcement.

"The owners decided to take plywood and paint it black,"said neighbor Jason Williams. We found several homes along Tuckaseegee Road boarded up from the inside. It's almost impossible to tell they're vacant from the street. It just looks like the lights are off.

It's a stark contrast from other homes boarded up with natural-looking plywood on the outside. They can quickly become eyesores in a neighborhood. They are also easily noticed by code enforcement.

"It makes them look better, but they're not doing what the city asked them to do," said Williams.

The City of Charlotte started enforcing a new ordinance on boarded up properties three years ago. It requires property owners to register those buildings within 48 hours of being boarded up. The properties must be brought up to code, sold, or rented within six months. If not, the owner faces a daily $50 fine.

Walter Abernathy, who manages code enforcement for the city, said they enforce the ordinance but don't have the manpower to canvas neighborhoods looking for violators. He said it's fine to board up houses from the inside, but the ordinance still applies.

He said it's up to neighbors to report the problems they see. It's easy to do online. Click here for more information

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