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Milwaukee's community renewal program: urban renewal techniques
(May 1964)

III. Conservation,   pp. 7-21


Page 13

that group consent and pressure will reinforce the group decision. Although it may be difficult to draw absentee
owners into any type of block organization, an attempt should be made to keep those owners fully informed as
to plans for the total area and to gain their participation in a specific improvement program.
To restore value to deteriorating areas the city will participate in the mutual program by (1) improving
neighborhood facilities and installing new public improvements, (2) removing dilapidated structures and non-
conforming uses, (3) providing advisory services to encourage property rehabilitation, and (4) enforcing codes.
Public Improvements. The installation of public improvements contribute to the desirability and prestige
of a neighborhood, and thus to the community image of its value. There are practical and urgent reasons for in-
stalling public improvements in the project area as soon as possible. Owners are not willing to improve their
properties so long as their homes look out on nuisances and eyesores that deteriorate their value as investments
and as homes. To residents of a conservation area the program consists, first, of the public improvementsand
second, of the rehabilitation of their houses. The improvements represent visible proof that the area is going to
be given new status and prestige. These improvements should have a high priority in scheduling to stimulate pri-
vate rehabilitation.
Dilapidated Structures and Non-Conforming Uses. Within any conservation area there are specific
structures that will be removed because of their poor condition, their non-conforming use, or because their
location is needed for a proposed public improvement. Although the number of these structures may not be great,
the resulting improvement will be a major factor in neighborhood restoration.
We should expect to find some dilapidated structures that are in such poor state of repair that most pro-
perty owners are unwilling to bring them up to the minimum standards required by law. When the project is
underway, if the specific structures are still in poor condition, they will be purchased with renewal funds and
the buildings improved or demolished as their condition dictates.
There are also structures that do not conform in use to their surrounding environment and in some cases
do not conform to the city's zoning ordinances. Many of these buildings, although structurally sound, tend to
exert blighting influences on surrounding properties. Since some have more detrimental effects than others, a
list of priority of purchase with available funds should be made.
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