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Enforcing Cincinnati's chronic nuisance ordinance

A city attorney said officials are working to aggressively enforce a tougher chronic nuisance ordinance Council approved last year. 

Mark Manning started in March and works in the District One police headquarters. 

He spoke to a Council committee last week. 

A property is declared a chronic nuisance once crime and disorder there reaches a certain level.  The goal is to hold the owner responsible for those problems. 

Manning said the numbers can be overwhelming.  Right now there are more than 3,300 properties with violations and an additional 5,000 to 6,000 reports of nuisance activity a month.

"And what we've attempted to do in response to that is kind of triage our enforcement effort," Manning said.  "So as a result of that we get a list 4 times a year, every quarter, from the police department of the top 50 properties.  And those properties in terms of the number of nuisance activities on those properties.  And those properties are the ones that receive an initial notice."

Property owners are then asked to put together abatement plans.  Manning said that's an important piece of the enforcement effort.

"Obviously the abatement plans are a critical aspect of this entire process," Manning said.  "The goal is really to get the owners to work strategically with the city as a whole to reduce these nuisance activities on the property."

If that effort fails, owners can be billed for police calls to their properties.  They can also be fined and face other criminal penalties. 

Manning said since March the city has billed owners $10,000 for police services. 

The city soon will be forming an advisory committee of stakeholders to keep them briefed on the chronic nuisance ordinance.

Jay Hanselman brings more than 10 years experience as a news anchor and reporter to 91.7 WVXU. He came to WVXU from WNKU, where he hosted the local broadcast of All Things Considered. Hanselman has been recognized for his reporting by the Kentucky AP Broadcasters Association, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and the Ohio AP Broadcasters.