Medford tackling "zombie homes," sending notices to five residences

KTVL file photo of a zombie home from October 12th, 2016.

MEDFORD, Ore.-- The city of Medford is leading the state in tackling zombie homes.

News10 has been following this story since October.

Medford is implementing the receivership ordinance. This will prevent zombie homes, or abandoned properties, and help reduce the blighted look in some areas.

City Councilor Clay Bearnson said Medford is the first in the state to start implementing the ordinance. The city attorney told him that other jurisdictions have the ordinance, but have not moved forward with it.

On Thursday, city councilors voted on a list of five homes that will go through the receivership program.

"I'm thoroughly excited about it," Bearnson said. "A lot of these properties have been boarded up for a very, very long time, and I'm anxious to see something done with them. I'm anxious to see us move forward."

A notice will be sent to those five homes. The interested parties will have 60 days to contact the building director and forward a plan to abate the violations.

If no one responds within the 60 days, the city can move forward with cleaning up the property.

Bearnson said this is not just a matter of aesthetics, but it is also about public safety. He said the zombie homes attract nefarious activity, like drugs and suspicious fires.

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