Durham officials agreed this week to consider a blight ordinance.
The issue was raised during Monday's Board of Selectmen meeting by selectman Steve Levy, who said he'd received complaints by residents concerned about abandoned properties.
"I think it is time we consider it," answered First Selectman Laura Francis, who admitted that she did not previously support a blight ordinance. While she does not consider blighted properties "a widespread problem" in Durham, Francis agreed that more residents have been coming forward to complain about them.
"Our zoning regulations address it, but only to a certain point," she said.
Levy said he worried about the impact such properties might have on families.
"I think of the impact of a family that might have to sell their home that's next to a house that's been partially destroyed by fire and say abandoned for three years and the devastating impact that could have in even a rich economy, let alone in a bad economy when housing values are down," he said.
While officials did not mention any properties specifically, concerns have been raised by neighbors over a home located at 322 Tuttle Road.
The home was extensively damaged by a Jan. 2010 fire and despite previous reports that the listed owner, Alicia Alfono, was in the process of selling the property, it remains vacant two-and-a-half years later.
"I still don't think we have the widespread problems that other towns do, however I think we have more of it now so that if we did implement something like this it wouldn't look like we were just targeting one or two pieces of property," said Francis.
"This might strengthen our ability to address it."