Though it is not mentioned in the staff report for this item, the reason for this is often people who purchase these properties as investments do not care to take on the unhappy hassle of actually putting people in them. As rentals, airbnbs, or whatever you might care to imagine. Party pads perhaps. Or homes for exotic pets who require the privacy of suburban living and a pool. Help me out here.
These properties are being left vacant because the remote owners, more often than not people who cannot be seen as being members of the community because they aren't, obtained these wickiups solely as an investment and not a place for anyone to actually live. A practice that first attracted some local attention because of its prevalence in Arcadia, where elephantine McMansions are often built and then left to sit empty.
Arcadia has become a city noted for its unoccupied investment properties owned by people from other locales. Pacoima perhaps. Or Indio-Palm Springs. The fear being it could happen here as well. And perhaps that already has.
Here is a portion of the staff report. You can link to the entire thing here.
By my reading the purpose of this ordinance will be to make the owners of these empty investment cribs show some responsibility for taking care of them. I mean, a little paint every once in a while, plus the attentions of a gardener, couldn't hurt. Right?
That plus make these absentee owners pay some fees for leaving their houses empty. I guess as a reminder to them, or something. Neighborhoods hollowed out by such investors do damage the interests of those who are actually living in town, so there are victims with needs that really should be protected.
Plus it hardly makes for a sense of community. Absentee owners are never seen reading periodicals at the Library, or attending Kiwanis meetings.
Of course, the property rights fanatics won't be happy. In their minds you could turn those places into waste treatment facilities and even that would be nobody's business. Upwind or down. How little they seem to care about the rights of those property owners who have have actually lived in town for a while.
What I find interesting is that the authors of this Staff Report didn't dare risk discussing the reasons why so many of these wayward homes are being bought, only to be left empty and neglected. Maybe it was deemed politically incorrect or something. Or they don't want to be viewed as being social critics. At least not in print.
I am sure this will pass unanimously. When was the last time you saw something on a City Council meeting agenda that didn't?