On Tuesday, September 8, the Metuchen Borough Council voted to pass ordinance 2015-10, which addresses vacant and abandoned properties and storefronts within the community. After the ordinance was proposed earlier in the summer, the Middlesex County Association of Realtors® worked with members of the Borough Council to address some concerns over areas of the ordinance that pertained to storefronts and commercial properties. The original proposal detailed a timeline for which properties would be considered vacant that many Realtors® in the area were opposed to since it’s not uncommon for commercial properties to remain on the market for upwards of a year before being sold. There was also concern about who was responsible for determining a property’s value, and what constituted a property being properly “marketed.”
The ordinance — with its updated language — takes effect immediately, and includes the stipulation that a property must be vacant for six months prior to being declared officially vacant, as well as a clear basis for determining how a property is valued and marketed. You can read the complete ordinance here.