Developer: Ordinance impacts those trying to improve Saginaw - WNEM TV 5

Developer: Ordinance impacts those trying to improve Saginaw

Posted: Updated:

A local developer is finding himself in a dilemma after he was socked with an extra charge for owning a property he fixed up to sell.

Wesley Banning said he owes the city of Saginaw $900 because of an ordinance he didn't even know existed.

He said all he was trying to do is follow his passion, flipping old abandoned houses.

“Without our history, if it’s all gone, what do our kids, how do they know where we come from? Our ancestors come from? And how hard people worked to build this stuff?” Banning asked.

Banning’s latest project was a home on Adams Street purchased back in 2015.

“My goal was to save another beautiful property, fix it up and get some more tax back on the city so we can help build up the city,” Banning said.

With the house almost complete, Banning said he went to have the water turned on and that's when he got the news of that hefty bill.

“They said we had to go register our property. So, we went to the office and they said that there was an ordinance put on the books in 2013 that any property that’s unoccupied that isn’t your main residence, you have to register it,” Banning said.

The $900 fee accumulated over the last three years under Ordinance 151. Banning said he thinks more could've been done to make him aware.

“The land bank whose main purpose is to buy houses and sell them knew nothing about this. So, if the city entity didn’t know how would the public know?” Banning said.

John Stemple, chief inspector with the city, said the ordinance has been around for a few years now and he’s glad that its being brought back up, because he wants as many people as possible to be aware.

“This ordinance was put in place to give us some tools to deal with those vacant properties and require there be maintenance as well as registration,” Stemple said.

The fee allows that to happen.

“It’s simply a fee to maintain the records and enforce the ordinance,” Stemple said.

However, Banning said he feels it's an unnecessary financial burden and could potentially curb the number of people looking to get involved in revitalizing the city.

“I think it’s going to discourage them. It’s more government involvement. It’s more of a financial burden put on people who are already stressed financially fixing up these houses,” Banning said.

According to the ordinance, anyone who plans to own a house in Saginaw they are not going to live in has 60 days to register the property with the city clerk online, or in person.

Copyright 2017 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

Powered by Frankly
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2018, WNEM; Saginaw, MI. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.