County residents who allow their property to become eyesores beware. Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III, County Council Chair Andrea Harrison and others have announced a plan to deal with blighted properties.
The Property Standards Reform Action Plan is a 25-point agenda outlining code enforcement services designed to enforce the county code and improve the quality of life. The five-part action plan addresses key areas that include policy, operations, management, staff and technology and equipment.
Baker and Harrison were accompanied by Adam Ortiz, the acting director of the Department of Environmental Resources (DER), and other county officials.
“Few functions of the Prince George’s County Government are as critical to our quality of life as our code enforcement programs,” said Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III. “This plan was developed collaboratively with the County Council, County employees, municipal officials, engaged residents, and civic and homeowners associations as well as the business community. It will result in more effective and efficient service of our government for all who live, work, and invest in Prince George’s County.”
Said County Council Chair Andrea C. Harrison (D) – District 5, “Vacant and blighted property has a debilitating effect on communities and the welfare of our residents. The Department of Environmental Resources’ 25- point plan provides solutions to help rid our neighborhoods of blighted houses, and prepares communities to share in the renaissance taking place across Prince George’s County.”
Ortiz added that the plan reflects the high standards that Prince George’s residents demand.
“This initiative is about the standards we see every day,” he said. “By ramping up demolitions of blighted properties, holding property owners accountable and bringing illegal businesses into line, we will restore home values and attract the people and investment we need in our County.”
The announcement took place against the backdrop of a blighted home set for demolition in the 7000 block of Hawthorne Street in Landover. The neighborhood is located within the county’s Transforming Neighborhood Initiative of Kentland/Palmer Park, initiated by Baker. The abandoned property had received numerous violation notices and had been cited by DER over many years. Finally, county officials at DER had the property demolished, as the law allows.