Jun
23

Site Owners Must Secure Their Holes or be Fined

June 23, 2010

Evidence of the struggling Chicago real estate market can be seen around the city via open building foundations and excavation sites from stalled construction projects that couldn’t get funding. Now, owners of those sites could face another financial struggle.

Chicago real estate

Do you think the Chicago Spire hole should be considered a public nuisance?

The Chicago City Council Buildings Committee has approved an ordinance introduced by Mayor Richard M. Daley that requires property owners to secure their open sites or face a fine.

The ordinance coins these open sites “public nuisances” since they are not only ugly, but they also pose a safety hazard to children.

“When construction projects stall due to economic conditions, open foundations and excavations present a danger to communities, especially to children who may be tempted to play in or around these sites,” said Mayor Daley. “Site owners have a responsibility to prevent accidents.”

In addition, open foundations can collect water, which creates the perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes that carry the West Niles virus.

Under the ordinance, owners with a dangerous open excavation site must fill it in or secure it with fencing, and failure to do so can result in a fine of up to $1,000. If the site continues to remain open, fines up to $1,000 a day can be imposed.

If the city has to secure a site, the property owner could receive a fine of three times the city’s cost.

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Tracey

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