Abandoned Properties Rehabilitation Ordinance
On January 10th, the Mayor and Council passed the “Abandoned Properties Rehabilitation Ordinance”.
The ordinance is substantially similar to a New Jersey Statute (N.J.S.A. 55:19-78) that permits a municipality to gain control of abandoned properties and return them to productive use. The ordinance sets forth a procedure whereby the City can move towards developing abandoned and neglected properties. After these properties are developed, the owner is compensated only to the extent that funds remain after deducting expenses for development and administration.
While the ordinance permits the City to invoke its power of eminent domain, the primary purpose is not to take property. Rather, the ordinance is designed to prevent owners from allowing properties to deteriorate and contribute to wider decay.
Abandoned properties impact residents’ quality of life. They pose safety and health hazards to the community. Abandoned properties also reduce the real estate value of adjacent properties and discourage people and businesses to remain in, or move into, the Hackensack residential and business communities.
The Mayor and Council recognize the social, economic, environmental and aesthetic impact abandoned properties have on the City and will use all tools at its disposal to ensure that owners maintain their properties so as not to diminish the quality of life of those who live and work here.
City officials will assemble a preliminary list of properties that are eligible for development under the ordinance and notify the owners. The list will also be published and available on the City’s web site. Owners who have abandoned or non-utilized properties are strongly encouraged to make every effort to restore these properties and find suitable uses consistent with applicable land use law.