Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Two eye-sores in Geelong are the Ritz and the burnt-out house in Ryrie Street next to the eye doctor. Nothing has been done in years to force the owners to clean up. At least the Geelong Council are deciding to fine the owners.
Geelong council: New ‘ Ritz law’ set to bite negligent property owners
.OWNERS of dilapidated buildings like the Ritz who refuse to fix their properties could be fined $2000 a month by the City of Greater Geelong. Deputy mayor Michelle Heagney, who is responsible for the planning and central Geelong portfolios, yesterday said the council was embarking on a process which would allow it to fine irresponsible property owners.
“We are looking at fining them $2000 a month, every month, and maybe if we start to do that, that $24,000-a-year starts to become enough of a headache to get them to change their behaviour or to sell their property,” Cr Heagney said. “The Ritz will be the first one we go after.”
Cr Heagney said “the Ritz law” was part of a local law review looking at what council could do to make owners of derelict Geelong buildings more accountable. “There’s a new clause in our local law which they’ve put in place and it’s specifically aimed at the Ritz building,” she said.
At Tuesday night’s council meeting, where councillors voted to approve the Local Law Review, Cr Heagney said the City was putting all negligent property owners on notice.
“We’re coming and we’re going to get you, so start looking after your properties,’ Cr Heagney challenged.
The strengthening of the dilapidated buildings law is just one of a number of changes to local laws signed off on by the Geelong council this week.
And the burnt out house
A NEIGHBOUR of a derelict house in Ryrie St says it is unsafe and insecure, despite making complaints to City Hall. The house on Ryrie St, just east of Geelong Hospital, was involved in a spectacular blaze five years ago.The house had already been abandoned and there had already been complaints about squatters. Neighbour Helen Cant has lived next door for some years, and said it had not been easy.She said she had written another letter to Geelong city council recently and the council had said it would write to the owner again asking him to ``make good’’
The owner Rex Harding, who lives across the road from the dilapidated and burnt out house, said at the time of the blaze that he had experienced problems with people jumping the security fence and entering the house.