Blight in Fresno Is a Major Problem
Blight in Fresno is a major problem that many Fresno residents have long had to withstand. Currently, Fresno has more than 250 documented blighted properties in violation of municipal codes. Blight is a fact of life that some may see as an eyesore, but the reality is that there are much greater ramifications.
The overall well-being of families living in neighborhoods with blight should not be jeopardized. The safety of residents is put at risk through illicit activity that follows blight. In addition, property values drop in these neighborhoods, and taxpayers end up paying for the cost of blight. If the problem persists and actions are mediocre, the problem will only continue to grow.
Documenting the problem is one of the essential steps in combatting the problem. The city has a responsibility to enforce municipal codes. Fresno residents can report blight by calling 559-437-1427 and providing the address of the property or the nearest cross streets. In addition, vague municipal codes need to be revisited and revised. The mayor’s recent initiative in organizing a task force to address the issue is a step in the right direction, but it should not stop there. All stakeholders must be willing to engage in dialogue and participate in upcoming public hearings such as the City’s General Plan scheduled on Dec. 11 at Fresno City Hall.