The July 27th town council meeting in Cherry Hill was heavily focused on the township’s ability to handle dangerous properties. Several public comments were offered in regards to Ordinance 2016-9, which seeks to provide the township with a procedure to repair, close, or demolish buildings that pose danger to human life, and more easily recover the costs for doing so. The ordinance was approved despite unanimous public comment to reconsider the ordinance for what constituents referred to as, “an incomplete ordinance”.
I personally offered comment to the council and mayor during the public comment portion of the evening in regards to the seemingly ever growing number of foreclosed, vacant, and abandoned homes in Cherry Hill.
During the comment, town council members and the mayor were encouraged to find more aggressive ways to manage such properties, and return them to the market.
Cherry Hill routinely has the third-most amount of properties listed for Sheriff sale in Camden County, currently listing 93 properties; 7 more than Camden City.
Some properties in Cherry Hill have required protective tarps to be affixed to the roofs, in order to prevent further weather damage.
As more and more properties fall into the hands of banks and mortgage companies, especially in the Kingston Estates neighborhood, few seem to make it back onto the market, thus negatively impacting the property values of neighbors.
Being that Cherry Hill has also lost several business partners due to the Economic Opportunity Act, with companies such as Subaru and Cooper Hospital leaving the township, Cherry Hill could face tough budgetary issues in the near future, especially if the departing businesses are not replaced and the foreclosed homes remain uninhabited.
I’d like to thank Mayor Cahn and the members of town council for attentively and passionately listening to my concerns, as well as those of my neighbors during the meeting. I’d also like to encourage my fellow Cherry Hill residents to speak up should they have similar issues with delinquent properties in their neighborhoods.