CITY OF CRANSTON
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
A Public Hearing on the following proposed Ordinances will be held before the Ordinance Committee on Thursday, September 12, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. City Council Chambers, 869 Park Avenue, Cranston, R.I. pursuant to Section 3.12 of the Charter.
Complete copies of proposed Ordinances are available for public review at the City Clerk’s Office, and the Cranston Central Library and the City’s website cranstonri.com under calendar by clicking on the meeting date.
“Individuals requesting interpreter services for the dear or hard of hearing must notify the City Clerk’s Office at 461-1000 ext. 3197 seventy-two (72) hours in advance of the hearing date.”
Michael Favicchio, Chair
Maria Medeiros Wall, JD
PROPOSED ORDINANCE NO. 7-19-03 IN AMENDMENT OF CHAPTER 15.12, OF THE CODE OF THE CITY OF CRANSTON, 2005, ENTITLED “HOUSING STANDARDS” (Creating the Cranston Nuisance Task Force)
It is ordained by the City Council of the City of Cranston as follows:
SECTION 1: Article III “Enforcement” of Chapter 15.12 entitled “Housing Standards” is hereby amended as follows:
15.12.315 - Public Cranston nuisance task force.
A. Establishments. A public The Cranston nuisance task force is established. The purpose and primary goal of the task force is to work with the property owners to establish a plan to abate identified nuisances in a timely manner through a collaborative effort of task force members and the property owner(s). Where there is ineffective cooperation from a property owner(s), the task force may review appropriate legal remedies to abate the nuisance, including, but not limited to, filing a receivership petition in the municipal court.
B. Members. The members of the public nuisance task force shall consist of the following members:
1. The Director of the Building Inspections or his or her designee within the Division of Minimu Housing,
2. The Police Chief or his/her designee,
3. The Fire Chief or his or her designee,
4. The Director of the Planning Department or his or her designee,
5. The Housing Prosecutor or another designee of the City Solicitor or his or her designee,
6. The City Council person from the Ward in which the subject property is located
7. A City Council person Citywide chosen by the Council President,
8. And other persons or agencies deemed necessary by the task force members.
9. When deemed appropriate, the Attorney General may designate a representative to assist the task force with continuing chronic nuisances.
C. Mission. The task force shall investigate problem residential properties by reviewing police reports; building, housing and zoning code violations; fire safety code violations; and complaints of properties with potentially hazardous conditions. The primary mission of the task force shall be on properties that present ongoing, chronic code violations and numerous calls for police, fire or emergency service. The goals of the nuisance task force are as follows: track and report on nuisance residential properties; research and document best practices to address nuisance properties; develop and implement strategies for nuisance abatement that are individually tailored to targeted nuisance properties; meet with and assist owners, neighbors and interested parties of nuisance properties in abating the nuisances; request prosecution for those liable for nuisance properties who fail or refuse to abate nuisances; facilitate the transfer of abandoned or otherwise severely neglected properties to responsible owners; identify potential urban redevelopment and neighborhood revitalization opportunities and to facilitate the coordinated and efficient realization of these opportunities; provide multilingual community education and awareness with respect to foreclosure, nuisance avoidance and abatement, responsible ownership, and landlord-tenant relations; complete a comprehensive review, identify improvements and propose revisions of city ordinances; and improve the overall quality of housing stock and quality of life in the neighborhoods in the city.
D. Chair and Meeting. The housing prosecutor or another designee of the city solicitor director of the building inspections shall serve as chair of the public nuisance task force. The task force shall meet regularly, as necessary, to consider and review subject properties and to meet with notified property owner(s) regarding the abatement of a public nuisance.
E. Procedures. Members of the task force shall identify residential properties that present chronic public nuisance issues for the city and, after adequate review and investigation, notice shall be sent to the property owner(s) to abate the identified nuisance(s) or provide the task force with a comprehensive plan for abatement within ten (10) days. A request will be made to the property owner(s) to meet with the task force to discuss the public nuisances maintained on the subject property and develop and abatement plan. The plan must resolve all nuisance related issues within ninety (90) days following the task force’s approval of the plan. Upon request, the task force shall provide general but limited guidance during the abatement process. However, the property owner(s) shall remain solely responsible for knowing all laws, code and regulations applicable to the maintenance of the property. To assist the task force in identifying nuisance properties, the director of the building inspections shall maintain a track spreadsheet of the issuance of all building code violations organized by the address of the subject of the violation, the record shall include the specifics of the violation and fines assessed. It shall not include the identity of the complainant. It shall also include the dates and results of the Department of Inspections investigation and the dates and results of municipal court proceedings. Notwithstanding the foregoing, no information will be provided unless in compliance with the Rhode Island Access to Public Records Act (RIGL 38-2 et seq.)
F. Enforcement. Upon referral by the nuisance task force, the city solicitor may initiate an action in the municipal court or any court of competent jurisdiction to abate a chronic nuisance property, to impose penalties pursuant to this chapter, including, but not limited to, a fine of $500.00 for each day of continuing violation, to seek alternative remedies under city or state laws and to seek any other relief authorized by law.
SECTION 2. This Ordinance shall take effect upon its final adoption.
Sponsored by Councilmember Vargas