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Phoenix vacant property registry could begin Jan. 1, 2024

The Phoenix City Council will soon be asked to approve a new requirement for vacant commercial properties, in an effort to reduce trespassing, crime and blight.

The city’s Neighborhood Services Department is ready to launch a free online portal for commercial property owners to register sites that are vacant longer than 30 days. 

Code compliance manager Christina Vasko said the registry will offer ways to combat the most common complaints: “A graffiti removal waiver to allow NSD staff to access the property to address graffiti vandalism, a private property outreach access waiver to allow Office of Homeless Solutions staff or contractors to access the property to provide outreach and offer services.”

She said the registry would also provide information and resources on crime prevention through environmental design and property maintenance standards.

If the council approves, the registry would open Jan. 1, 2024, and enforcement would begin February 1 for commercial lots larger than 10,000 square feet and residential properties with more than 50 units. 

“By offering education and resources on the front end, we hope to avoid many of the issues we see with vacant properties, expedite resolution if they do occur, and hold property owners accountable when the violations are not resolved appropriately,” Vasko said.

Violations that are not corrected could result in fines from $500 to $2,500.

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As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.