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Property Value Protection Ordinance Still Under Review

by Cassidy Noblejas Bartolomei, published

On September 18, 2012 San Diego City Council passed the Responsible Banking Ordinance (RBO) and the Abandoned Property Ordinance (APO). The RBO, sponsored by council president Tony Young, was passed unanimously, as did the APO, sponsored by council member Todd Gloria. A third ordinance, the Property Value Protection Ordinance (PVPO), is still under review by City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, despite Young’s initial preference to present the PVPO with the other two. Each of these three ordinances intends to raise the level of accountability for those who do business within San Diego.

The RBO requires banks to disclose data on their local lending, investments, and services, including any foreclosures or loan modifications that are made. It also requires that banks submit a two-year plan detailing how they will meet lending and services in San Diego. These community reinvestment plans will be reviewed by, what the language of the ordinance n called, City of San Diego Community Reinvestment Review Advisory Committee.

“The Community Reinvestment Review Advisory Committee is established pursuant to Chapter 2, Article 2, Division 39 of this Code, Responsible Banking Ordinance to review Community Reinvestment Plans, evaluate annual reports on Community Reinvestment Plan activities, and provide the City Treasurer and City Council with recommendations regarding the community reinvestment performance of financial institutions as provided in the Responsible Banking Ordinance.”

Like the RBO, the APO requires property owners and money lenders to reinvest in the city through strengthening security codes surrounding abandoned properties and holding owners responsible for keeping properties up to more stringent regulation. The APO is a revised version of the Vacant Structure Ordinance, which now focuses on the abatement and rehabilitation of abandoned properties.

The PVPO, which is expected to be brought before City Council this October, has not been finalized. City councilmember David Alvarez has sponsored this ordinance, and Policy Advisor Gabriel Somler of Alvarez’s office stated earlier this week,

“Our office drafted a potential ordinance before the Abandoned Properties Ordinance was passed last week, but the scope of the PVPO has changed substantially in light of the APO passing… Diane Silva-Martinez in the City Attorney’s Office… will be harmonizing the two ordinances.”

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