NEW PORT RICHEY — The city’s property maintenance codes are woefully inadequate to handle the blight that officials say is plaguing New Port Richey.
That was the message from city leaders during a work session Tuesday night at which city staffers made a pitch to the City Council to tighten the city’s code ordinance. City Manager Debbie Manns told the council that current blight around the city, if left unchecked, could get worse without basic additions to the ordinance.
“It creates a strong possibility that severe blight is going to occur,” Manns said.
She pointed to several glaring omissions in the city codes, leaving code enforcement officers’ hands tied. Currently, the city has no means to deal with swimming pool conditions, unlicensed or inoperable vehicles on lawns, and roof tarps and window boards, which can remain on homes indefinitely. Manns also questioned the current ordinance, which states that code enforcement cannot cite owners until they have 12 inches of grass or weed growth on their property.