Zombie wars: Ohio law aims to reduce blighted properties

Posted at 3:10 PM, Sep 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-27 15:10:33-04

A new Ohio law is being viewed as a national model for eliminating zombies -- zombie properties, that is.

The measure taking effect Wednesday speeds up foreclosures on vacant and abandoned properties, called zombies because they languish like the living dead.

The legislation was passed in the General Assembly and was signed by Republican Gov. John Kasich. It establishes a fast-track system trimming Ohio's foreclosure process from two years or more to as little as six months.

Backers say the law protects property owners' rights by requiring at least three of 11 listed factors to be present before foreclosure can begin. Factors include disconnected utilities, boarded-up windows and accumulated trash.

Cleveland-based blight opponent Robert Klein says a vacant property isn't a bottle of wine and "does not get better with age."