City Council member's new initiative aims to crack down on nuisance properties in Philadelphia

Christie Ileto Image
Monday, May 16, 2022
New initiative aims to crack down on Philly's nuisance properties
There's a new initiative from a city council member to target and shutdown so-called nuisance properties that continue to plague Philadelphia neighborhoods.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The 2900 block of Ridge Avenue has routinely been a block littered with nuisance properties, according to Council member Kathy Gilmore Richardson.

Richardson has been flagging businesses illegally selling drug paraphernalia.

"What we do is look at these locations. We see what they're selling, see if they have permits to sell tobacco or drug paraphernalia and nine times out of ten, they don't," said Gilmore Richardson.

She along with Philadelphia Police, L&I and a community rep go out once a month and look for nuisance properties reported by residents.

To date, her office has submitted 77 stores citywide to L&I for review and inspection and 22 of those stores have either been shut down or the stores stopped illegal activity, but continue to operate as corner stores or whatever business they are zoned for.

Seven stores are in the court of appeals process.

Gilmore Richardson believe there are many other businesses in the city just like these.

"Oh this is just the tip of the iceberg," she said.

Meanwhile, her store tours have ramped up as we head into the summer, with the goal to clear neighborhoods of businesses fueling crime.

"If they go to another location, we will go to that location. We will continue until we can close down these stores that are illegally operating in these communities," said Gilmore Richardson.

She's asking residents to report these types of nuisance businesses when they see them start to open up in their neighborhoods.

Her next tour is May 19th.