Evanston city officials have scheduled a news conference for this afternoon to announce what City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz describes as “increased enforcement efforts” against properties associated with violent crime and public nuisances.
Bobkiewicz says the news conference, featuring presentations by Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and Police Chief Richard Eddington, will include discussion of efforts by police, fire and property standards workers to clean up such properties.
Under the city’s nuisance premises ordinance, which was last revised in 2007, the city can require property owners to take a variety of steps to abate nuisances — including evicting tenants — from buildings where a felony has occurred or where two or more misdemeanors or city code violations have occurred within a six-month period.
Enumerated potential violations include liquor, drug and gambling offenses, animal control violations, weapons, noise and disorderly conduct rules as well as violations of zoning and property maintenance codes.
Failure by a property owner to follow-through with ordered corrective actions could result in fines of up to $6,000, and, in extreme cases, forfeiture of ownership of the property to the city.
Aldermen at a Human Services Committee meeting earlier this month complained about buildings that have been the scene of criminal activity — including one at 1716 Dodge Ave. where a 31-year-old woman was found dead in the yard of a suspected drug overdose on Saturday morning, Oct. 31.