N. Branford council shelves blight ordinance

Friday, June 19, 2009
By Rachael Scarborough King, Register Staff

NORTH BRANFORD — After discussing the possibility of implementing a blight ordinance in town at several recent meetings, the Town Council decided this week not to pursue the issue.

Council members raised the issue some months ago, and asked Town Manager Richard Branigan and Town Attorney Timothy Yolen to report on the town’s current response to properties with potential health and safety issues, and other aspects of implementing a blight ordinance.

Right now, Branigan said, the town’s zoning enforcement officer will send notices, work with property owners and issue a cease-and-desist order if necessary. If the violation continues, the town could take a property owner to court, Branigan said.

He added that situations involving the court system are infrequent.

“It’s not common — we’re talking about less than a dozen cases a year, hopefully,” he said. “Most people are responsive on the first instance or the second instance.”

Branigan said that complaints about properties with overgrown grass or other aesthetic issues tend to rise in the spring and summer. But he added that he does not think there are many areas that pose a problem.

“You really have to stretch the definition to find blight here in North Branford, and that’s not a bad thing at all,” he said.

After discussing the ways that nearby towns deal with blighted properties, Town Council members decided to stick with North Branford’s current system for now.

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