There is no doubt that Ridgewood, NJ is characterized by gorgeous homes which have been lovingly maintained by residents with unbelievable community pride. Our pretty, tree-lined streets, and stunning homes that ooze curb appeal, are part of the reason why Ridgewood has consistently ranked as one of the "Best Places to Live in New Jersey".
The desire to maintain the high-standards of properties within our beautiful village have led some residents to express concerns about abandoned homes that have become blemishes in otherwise preserved neighborhoods. The fear of these uninhabitable properties affecting neighboring home values, and the idea of the dilapidated buildings becoming a safety concern, has caused Ridgewood officials to sit up and take notice.
The Village Council has decided to adopt New Jersey's own "Abandoned Property and Rehabilitation Act" which outlines exact definitions for "abandoned properties" and defines how steps can be taken to work with the city and fix the property.
Any property, within Ridgewood, that has been legally unoccupied for over six months can be classified as "abandoned" if it meets one other criteria. This secondary criteria has been met if:
- The build has been in need of repair for a period of six months, OR
- A previous construction/improvement project on the property has been paused for six months, OR
- One or more property tax installments have been missed, OR
- A public official deems the build to be a "public nuisance".
Village officials have created a comprehensive list of all residential and commercial abandoned properties in Ridgewood. This list will be published in the newspaper, and property owners are sent a notice. If outstanding tax installments are paid, and property owners take measured steps to remediate the poor conditions of their building, then they can be taken off of the list. Otherwise, the Village can choose to demolish the property after one year passes.
It's important to note that some abandoned properties won't be featured on the list, if the owner is working to fix the property.
For more information check out the news story at NorthJersey.com.