EDISON, NJ – Council President Ajay Patil plans to introduce an ordinance requiring the registration of abandoned and vacant properties, also referred to as “zombie homes.” Mr. Patil plans to introduce the ordinance at the August 22, 2018 meeting. A recent report by NJ.com placed the number of vacant properties in Edison at over 500.
“I’ve actually been studying this problem for a few months now” said Mr. Patil who is proposing a plan that requires the owners of the vacant and abandoned property to register the property, provide contact information that the Township will maintain, and provide periodic reports on the status of the property. “The problem right now is that the Township does not have a real grip on which properties are abandoned. By requiring registration of the property, the town can better manage this issue” said Mr. Patil.
Mr. Patil cited three main reasons for his proposed ordinance. “First is public safety. If we don’t know where these properties are, we don’t know what’s happening inside. Second is accountability. By having the owner appoint a contact person, we can communicate issues with the property. Third is quality of life. Many of the zombie homes are not maintained well, depreciating the value of surrounding properties.”
Mr. Patil’s ordinance will also require the owners pay a minimal annual registration fee. Additionally Mr. Patil said that the proposal will also better define what is an abandoned or vacant space. “We hold our residents accountable. It seems fair that we hold the owners of these vacant and abandoned premises accountable as well” said Mr. Patil.