Abandoned building bylaw ready for implementation

Selectman Michael Berry said the town has been notified that its abandoned property bylaw, approved by Town Meeting last spring, has passed a review by the state attorney general’s office. Berry said Town Administrator Michael Boynton met with the building inspector last week regarding implementation of the measure. The bylaw targets owners of abandoned properties where the building inspector has found substantial physical distress, such as broken windows or doors, fire damage, collapsed roofs, or accumulations of debris. Owners would be required to register those properties with the town and submit plans to remedy the problems. Owners whose abandoned properties remain on Walpole’s registry for longer than 90 days will be charged fees to cover the town’s monitoring costs. If the town is forced to ultimately do maintenance work, liens can also be placed on the property to cover those costs. Berry said the goal of the bylaw is to get properties up to code, not to fine their owners.

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