Proposed Commercial Code Enforcement Ordinance

City of Fort Wayne Seal

From the cover page:

The City of Fort Wayne is preparing to adopt a commercial code as a new City ordinance. The purpose of the proposed ordinance is to protect property values and community vitality by assuring that nonresidential property owners maintain their buildings and properties at or above established minimum standards, much like those currently required for residential properties.

The neglect of commercial and other non-residential properties has been a concern voiced by many in our community in recent years. This concern was most recently re-emphasized when the City of Fort Wayne City Council adopted the Southeast Area Development Strategy in July of 2007 as an amendment to the City’s Plan It Allen! Comprehensive Plan. One of the Strategy’s final recommendations was to draft and adopt a new commercial property maintenance ordinance citywide.

The City’s current Housing and Building Code, Chapter 152 of City Code, deals primarily with
residential properties. It only addresses non-residential property in sections dealing with building safety.  A multi-departmental team began working on the new ordinance with stakeholder and community support in August of 2007. While the proposed ordinance focuses on working with owners through detailed work plans and benchmarks, it also seeks to assure serious consequences in cases of system abuse and chronic, serious property neglect. Care has been taken to avoid unduly penalizing investors and entrepreneurs who have already made a strong, positive impact on Fort Wayne through the renovation of older or deteriorated structures.

The current draft of this ordinance may be viewed below. It is due before City Council by midsummer.  If passed by Council, the new ordinance will take effect on January 1, 2009. For further information about the proposed commercial code ordinance, contact Pam Holocher, Deputy Director for Planning and Policy at 427-2139, or Cindy Joyner, Director of Neighborhood Code Enforcement, at 427-1323.

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