Quirk Bill Holds Property Owners Accountable for Health and Safety Violations
SACRAMENTO – Earlier this year, Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) partnered with the League of California Cities, to introduce a bill, AB 2598, to address health and safety violations on vacant or blighted properties. Today, that bill was signed into law.
In cities and counties across California, many commercial property owners do not properly maintain vacant properties, leading to criminal activity, escalated municipal costs because of the resources needed to police and protect them, and contribute to overall community decline and disinvestment.
“Abandoned or blighted properties should be restored to any number of things to improve their surrounding community such as affordable housing, shopping centers, or parks. Unfortunately, cities are struggling to hold property owners accountable,” explained Assemblymember Quirk.
Assemblymember Quirk points to an abandoned building right behind his district office as a need for this bill. That building, known as Centennial Hall, has been abandoned for years. Since being on the Hayward City Council, Assemblymember Quirk has attempted to revitalize that building. “There is a lot of potential,” he said, “but seismic safety issues, and the amount of debris and concerns over homelessness and illicit use have turned away potential investors.”
“We appreciate Assemblymember Quirk’s leadership on AB 2598 and the Governor’s signature on the bill,” said Dan Carrigg, Deputy Executive Director/Legislative Director of the League of California Cities. “This bill improves available tools cities use to protect residents from deteriorated or unsafe building and safety conditions.”
“Stagnant fines disincentivize property owners from cleaning up and revitalizing their property. The signing of AB 2598 ensures that property owners don’t continue these violations and simply pay fines as just a cost of doing business in California,” concluded Assemblymember Quirk upon learning his bill was signed.
AB 2598 goes into effect January 1, 2019.