A long-running community battle to have a Wellington Street, Launceston, property tidied up might be over with the introduction of broader council powers to get rid of fire risks and unsightly rubbish.
Retired Launceston supermarket operator John Stewart last week welcomed a commitment by the Launceston City Council to examine 198 Wellington Street to see if any action to tidy up the property was required.
Council general manager Robert Dobrzynski said last week that property owners who maintained unsightly properties that were a hazard or detracted from the amenity of a street or neighbourhood to the detriment of other property owners should beware.
``As soon as the powers proposed in legislation are passed, the council will commence addressing these property areas,'' Mr Dobrzynski said.
The state government announced the draft bill last week after a lengthy campaign by councils for increased powers.
It will mean councils will be able to fine residents who ignore abatement notices whereas now only a magistrate can enforce them.
The new legislation could resolve one of the Launceston Council's longest running community campaigns to clean up a property, led by Mr Stewart.
Mr Stewart used to operate a supermarket in the building next door to 198 Wellington Street and still owns the property.
He and other property owners in the area collected signatures for a petition presented to the council in 2001 calling on it to issue abatement orders on the owner to have the property cleaned up.
They have continued to write to the council demanding action to have what they describe as a fire hazard fixed.
Mr Stewart said the owner moved overseas to live more than 15 years ago and nobody had been able to contact him about the property.
Mr Stewart wrote again to the Launceston Council in 2007 saying that the property remained an enigma.
``A neighbouring property owner and myself have been trying for 10 years to have this property attended to as its condition depreciates the value of our properties and deters rental prospects,'' Mr Stewart said.
Mr Dobrzynski said that the council wanted the powers to deal more efficiently with property owners who disregarded the amenity of their neighbours or ignored abatement notices.