Removing blight to promote public health and safety
Since 2001, the City’s blight removal program removed over 5,900 abandoned homes and over 700 commercial buildings, targeting structures that posed the greatest threat to health and safety. These demolitions also converted large areas of unused impervious surfaces to vacant lots that absorb stormwater. The primary goal of the City’s demolition program is to enhance public health, safety, and welfare through the removal of unsafe, blighted and dangerous structures. When a blighted structure is demolished, contractors are required to remove just about everything on the site, including foundation walls and any pavement. In addition, all utility connections, including water and sewer service, are disconnected. Existing large trees are protected through demolition as much as possible and left on site.
Although the purpose of the program is blight removal and neighborhood stabilization, demolition also reduces impervious surfaces. Buildings, roofs, driveways and concrete entryways on a property prevent water from being absorbed into the ground where it lands. By removing the impervious surfaces on a property, rain and snowmelt can absorb into the ground instead of entering our sewer system.