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City eyes tougher regulations on vacant commercial buildings

Andy Ouriel • Mar 20, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Sandusky fire Chief Paul Ricci is spearheading a plan that would tighten regulations on the city's abandoned buildings, all in the name of safety improvements and crime deterrence.

Ricci and other fire department employees have identified 158 vacant or abandoned commercial buildings that pose safety hazards and open the door for crime. He's outlined a six-point plan that could tackle the problem:

-  identify the building’s owner, operator or occupant;

- indicate the building’s safety hazards;

- require that person to register the building with the city and pay fees, such as upgrading fire protection systems, ranging from $400 to $6,400;

- allow fire staff to inspect the property;

- secure the property for safety measures;

- create a vacant building plan for a specific property to address building issues.

Said city commissioner Keith Grohe: “This is long overdue. I've often been worried about sending (firefighters) and police into these buildings.”

For more on this story and to read statistics on vacant building fires, pick up Tuesday's Register or sign up for the e-paper here.

Want to go? 

What: Sandusky city commission meeting where Sandusky fire Chief Paul Ricci plans to discuss the proposed plan dealing with vacant buildings.

When: 5 p.m. Monday

Where: 222 Meigs St.

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