Ordinance addresses blighted property

No one likes to look around their neighborhood and see blighted property or junk lingering in neighboring yards. For years, junky, vacant cars have been an issue homeowners want addressed. Thanks to a new city ordinance, the Lafayette Police Department is now taking care of the problem, requesting owners remove the vehicles.
“(It could be) a vehicle that hasn’t moved in months, it may have grass growing through it. There may not be an engine in the car,” said Police Chief Jim Craft. “It may be wrecked and still sitting there.”
Chief Craft says the effort is all complaint based. Since enforcement of the ordinance, they’ve received 82 complaints, so far with good cooperation. But, besides being an eyesore and potentially depreciating property value, Craft says there are other reasons to crackdown on junked cars.
“Street level drug dealers will use that to stash drugs or narcotics,” said Craft. “So, if they’re stopped and asked by police, the drugs are not in their possession.”
The owner will carry the financial responsibility for towing and removal. While blighted property is a whole separate issue to tackle, this is a big step in the right direction.
“(There’s) health issues, environmental issues, crime,” said Craft. “The cleaner it is, the better the appearance, the less crime you’re going to have, the more safe our community becomes.”

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