Madeira Beach cracks down on nuisance properties - WFLA News Channel 8

Madeira Beach cracks down on nuisance properties

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There's a beach clean-up going on in Pinellas County, and it doesn't have anything to do with picking up trash off the sand.

The small community of Madeira Beach is cracking down on nuisance properties. They city recently started enforcing a nuisance ordinance that targets problems such as loud parties, too much drinking, drugs, burglaries and domestic violence.

The twist is-- the city is holding landlords responsible for their tenants bad behavior.

"The aim is to get landlords to be responsible for what they bring into our community," said incoming city commissioner, Elaine Poe.

Poe spent months researching the ordinance and pushing for it to be adopted. The ordinance states that if police are called to a property three or more times in a month, landlords could face fines. They could be forced to evict their tenants, or they city could condemn their property.

The city has already been able to condemn several properties near Gulf Blvd. and 141st Avenue.

"We displaced 30 people who were dealing drugs on this corner," explained Poe. "Prostitution out here, drunk and disorderly, fights in the street."

A developer has agreed to build new structures on the site.

It's already made residents feel safer.

"It's nice to be able to sit out on the veranda and hang out and not have to worry about seeing a drug deal go down or an episode of cops break out right there in front of you," said local business owner and resident Doug Andrews.

Poe said she's been getting calls from other beach community that are interested in adopting the ordinance, too.

"The whole idea is to get us all unified with this ordinance," Poe said. "So that the property owners don't let this happen."


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