Snow Hill Looking for Solutions to Vacancy Issue - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Snow Hill Looking for Solutions to Vacancy Issue

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Empty store fronts in Snow Hill. (Photo: WBOC) Empty store fronts in Snow Hill. (Photo: WBOC)

SNOW HILL, Md. - Leaders in Snow Hill are taking steps to address the vacancy issue in town.  Empty businesses and homes have become a real issue so town officials offered up a proposal that they said "lit the fuse" in Snow Hill and got the conversation started about how to fix the problem.

Inside The Corner Shoppe in downtown Snow Hill, you'll find Richard Smith behind the counter.  Smith told WBOC on Friday that downtown could use a boost and an influx of more businesses. 

"I would love to see them getting people in here.  The idea is that you have to take the time to really work with the people and the town is really trying to do that now," said Smith.

The town of Snow Hill is not only trying to work with people, but fill empty buildings.  Empty store fronts are very visible in downtown Snow Hill and empty homes are littered throughout the neighborhoods.  Suzanne Timmons is the owner of The Sassy Girl Boutique and she said vacancies have become a real problem in town.

"It's absolutely an issue, but it's an issue that can be taken care of with people coming together as a community and working together on those properties and getting something done now.  Not waiting and letting them sit around like they have been," Timmons said.

Snow Hill recently proposed a vacant property ordinance.  The rule would have established new guidelines for vacant residential and commercial properties.  It would also require registration, inspections, and the paving of fees and violations.  The ordinance was met with some resistance at a recent public hearing but it at least got people talking about the issue.

"Well, I think it's much better to use a carrot than it is to use a stick.  If you're going to do this kind of thing, encourage people to do better, not discourage people from getting involved," said Smith.

The Mayor of Snow Hill told WBOC he has created a new committee to further the discussion on the vacancies and work towards a solution everyone can agree upon in town.

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