SUSSEX COUNTY, Del. – Sussex County is revamping the process of cleaning up untidy properties.
Sussex County Council voted to allow officials to handle cases internally, as opposed to sending the cases to court.
Officials can also now issue fines to those who do not comply with keeping their properties clean. “The new compliance times in the code revisions are more reasonable and allow our officials to take quicker action on a vacant or foreclosed property when it’s needed to do that. It also provides a way for owners to extend their compliance times if they are making progress,” said Sussex County Government Affairs Manager Michael Costello.
Plus, those who have been asked by the county to clean up their properties can now request more time to comply if they’re making progress. Costello says the county wanted to be able to better serve their constituents and update their rules. “We wanted to bring our property maintenance rules up to date for some time in order to be more responsive to the types of complaints our officials receive. Something new in the revision is the addition of scrap appliances and certain tire accumulations which were not covered under our earlier provisions,” said Costello.
In the past these cases could sometimes take up to three months to resolve. But now they can be dealt with as fast as 30 days. The cases often deal with tall grass, excessive trash, and broken down vehicles and appliances on private properties. The new rules go into effect immediately.