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Be Very Afraid: Enter the Blight Police

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With a nod to the "broken windows" theory, San Francisco is mulling over a new way to clean up the city. Plan: Slap fines on owners who fail to maintain their properties. Sponsored by Supervisor Sandoval, the proposed measure is targeted towards commercial buildings and absentee landlords. That doesn't mean other people won't be hit with fines for not cleaning up graffiti or repairing an awning: Under the proposal, if someone should report a problem with a given property, the city will give its owner 30 days to take care of it before they do it themselves — and stick them with the bill. Neighborhood grudge matches to rise to levels never before seen, no doubt, as anyone can report anyone. "You never know when your neighbor is going to rat you out. You've got your garbage police, graffiti police, now your blight police," says one member of the SF Apartment Association.

And what about those who don't have the means to make the mandatory repairs? No mention of those people. So will this measure actually reduce crime? Some people will of course say yes, but it's hard to predict the social impact of such a measure. One thing we do know for sure though, the city would be a lot shinier for the tourists.
· New proposal to clean up SF neighborhoods [ABC 7]
· Social Outcast: 1200 Masonic Avenue [Curbed SF]