What is Blight?

Look across your township’s landscape and what do you see? The scene may or may not be picturesque. Portions of your township’s landscape may harbor blight that can hurt a community’s image, property values and the environment. Blight is generally defined as anything that deteriorates the physical surroundings and quality of life in a community. It can include everything from unkempt lawns, inoperable vehicles, junk, abandoned items and litter, to graffiti or dilapidated structures.

Blighted property usually violates several local ordinances. An inoperable vehicle (vehicle code) can be parked next to a dilapidated structure (building code), which has weeds growing around it (noxious weed ordinance) that mask a pile of junk (junk ordinance).


Blight problems are not simply aesthetic. There are also economic, environmental and public health issues. In addition to the general nuisance of viewing a junk pile, an unhappy neighbor may worry that the blight next door devalues his or her property. In addition to being unsightly, an old car or inoperable snowmobile can harbor environmental hazards such as gas, oil, antifreeze and battery acid. If these materials leach into the ground, they can eventually contaminate area wells. One drop of oil has the potential of contaminating thousands of gallons of groundwater. For communities that rely exclusively on groundwater for domestic drinking water supplies, this is a very serious problem.

A pile of salvaged lumber can harbor pests and vermin that may migrate to homes. Aside from the immediate impacts on neighbors, blight can negatively affect the image of the entire community. If potential residents or business prospects travel through the countryside and notice blight, it sends a message that could motivate them to go elsewhere. Quality begets quality. Blight begets blight. Working to improve blight situations in your own township can make your community more attractive by maintaining property values and quality of living for residents.

Click here for an article about blight from MTA publication.

Help your community to eliminate blight. A blight complaint form can be obtained Here.

Please address your completed form to the attention of our Code Enforcement Officer.

There are several ways to send the completed form to our office: