Should Port Chester require buyers to obtain a new Certificate of Occupancy when purchasing property in the village?
As a of led to what one trustee called "" and housing safety remains the top issue in Port Chester, some trustees and residents want to eliminate any ambiguity when a property changes hands.
It's a proposal that has picked up traction after a series of revelations from code enforcement staff, who are sifting through from the building department. A staggering number of those files contain references to or to hand-written notes on an old ledger. Others property records contain no certificates at all.
In the meantime, as staff at the Department of Code Enforcement ramp up the process of cleaning up decades of alleged corruption, landlords and real estate attorneys have begun to complain about long delays in property transaction paperwork and difficulty reaching staff at the building department.
But trustees say the housing problems are so severe and widespread that they feel compelled to act before the latest fire claims a life.
"It makes no difference what the local attorneys say before the board of trustees, and deviation in doing what's right will sooner or later result in a death," said Republican Bart Didden. "Maybe the attorneys are willing to take that risk, but as a trustee, I am not."
Trustees will meet tonight at 7 p.m. at the village courthouse, on 350 N. Main St. They're expected to schedule a public hearing on Certificates of Occupancy, and Assistant Village Manager Christopher Steers is expected to deliver his quarterly code enforcement report tonight. Check back for details from tonight's meeting.
Follow Port Chester Patch!