Fargo’s Enforcement of Cleaning Up Derelict Houses Making Progress
In the past year, twelve derelict houses have been demolished.
FARGO, N.D. (KFGO) – Fargo’s enforcement of cleaning up dangerous, vacant houses and commercial buildings is making progress.
City Inspections Administrator Bruce Taralson said former city policy was less stringent, allowing those blighted structures to be boarded up and left in many cases. That changed about 2 years ago when Taralson came on board.
Complaints from neighborhoods to city leaders and long overdue clean-up plans were put in motion.
In the past year, twelve derelict houses have been demolished. Of those, the city hired contractors to raze three of the properties when no owner could be found. The remainder were torn down by owners or new buyers. He said in several instances, new homes have already been built on the vacant lots which he said is good for in-fill, using existing infrastructure which offers affordable housing.
He said the inspections department is not in the business of tearing down houses but in the business of making neighborhoods safe. He said, “at all costs, we want to keep the house and allow it to be repaired or remodeled.”
The process of declaring a house dangerous, and if necessary, condemned and demolished, is very detailed and can take months to complete, with the final decision up to city commissioners.
The inspections department now has 13 houses under its microscope. Taralson believes only a couple will end up being demolished.
Taralson says most of the houses are within a mile of downtown, in older areas of the city.