Fresno City Council approves anti-blight ordinance

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A plan to clean up Fresno's run down neighborhoods won approval from the city council on Thursday.

The program called "Restore Fresno" will require property owners to clean up visible blight, like garbage and boarded up windows. It will also require them to register any vacant properties with the city.

Fresno State professor Janine Nkosi was among those who pushed the ordinance. She says it's critical to identify vacant properties, as soon as possible. "Vacant properties in the city of Fresno are currently costing us millions of dollars. Nearly $500,000 in 2014 alone for vacant property fires. So it puts the lives of firefighters at risk, it puts the lives of residents at risk, it attracts criminal activity and its costing us a lot of money.

City council member Clint Olivier argued against making landlords register their vacant properties. But a majority of the council disagreed with him. The new ordinance is billed as being a first step toward restoring Fresno's older neighborhoods.
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