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Tampa City Code Enforcement officials crack down

6:18 PM, Jul 22, 2013   |    comments
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A picture of vacant home Mayor Bob Buckhorn tweeted on Sunday along with, "Going to hit the slum landlords hard today. No excuse for anybody to leave their property looking like this."



Tampa, Florida -- Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is cracking down on poorly kept properties this week. 

The City has developed a concentrated task force for the next 30 days to identify properties that are an eyesore and hazardous to the community. Officials warned property owners with a 21-day notice to clean up their lot or in 21 days they will be back with a $75 city fine. 

District Supervisor Susan Wenrick said she already reported dozens of warnings on Sunday and saw an immediate response from neighbors.

"They started to get rid of their piles of trash and debris on their lawns right away," said Wenrick. "It is like the 'Broken Window' theory, but in reverse. The theory where one broken window leads to more broken windows -- well, I want the reverse to happen. More neighbors painting their homes, cleaning their lawns and planting flowers starts to spread to other neighbors."

Mayor Buckhorn said he will continue to monitor neighborhoods that are known for illegal dumping after the 30-day task force effort ends.  He said the challenge is the foreclosed properties that are banked owned. 

"There are 6,000 registered foreclosed properties, not all of them are in violation, but those that are in violation are difficult to monitor because the banks only pay a fee for us to come by and clean them instead of us writing a citation to a property owner directly who has to clean his or her property," Wenrick said.

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