Legislator Drafting Bill To Help Mt. Airy Deal With Blight

It would give the town more authority in getting property owners to fix up their rundown buildings.


Annapolis, Md (KM) It’s a problem many cities and towns are facing: blighted properties. Officials from the town of Mount Airy explained to the Frederick County Legislative Delegation last week  of their need for urban renewal authority to deal with blighted properties.

Officials say Mount Airy has a blight ordinance, and can write citations for broken windows and other violations. But it wants the authority to deal with property owners to get them to fix up their dilapidated buildings.

Frederick County Delegate Dan Cox says he’s drafting a bill to help the town. “One of the issues has been a couple of buildings  that have for 20 or 30 years in a blighted condition,” he says. “They {Town of Mt. Airy}  came to the delegation seeking authority for that under the Maryland Code to bring those landowners up to speed. But the problem with the authority is to actually do a change with the blight. And that’s what they’re looking at doing.”

He says part of the legislation will include the option for demolition. “I think that’s the last step. I think the focus of the Town of Mount Airy is to bring the owners to the table to say ‘look, here’s our plan. Here’s what you have indicated to the town for years you’re going to do to bring these buildings up to par, to fix the broken windows, and dilapidated condition,'” he says.

Delegate Cox says the bill has not been submitted to the General Assembly; it’s  still in the drafting stage. But he says a draft  has been circulated  to the Town of Mount Airy for its consideration.


By Kevin McManus