NEW CANAAN — The town has a blight ordinance, but no blight committee. That may soon change.

Stephen Karl, a member of the town council and the Bylaws and Ordinances Subcommittee, said officials were looking at forming a blight committee to alleviate some of the building department’s responsibilities.

“The building department has received some complaints about blight, and because his office is so busy, we’re considering putting together a committee to handle complaints of blight in New Canaan,” Karl said.

Chief Building Official Bryan Platz, who is also the blight enforcement officer, said such a committee would help delve into complaints more thoroughly.

“The blight committee would be a first step forward toward clearing up some of the language and definitions of blight. It’s the complaints that are somewhat in the gray area that they would help with,” Platz said.

Towns like Darien, Westport and Stamford have instituted town bodies to address blighted properties.

The town’s southern neighbor, Darien, enacted a blight committee and policy in January 2017. There are 13 different criteria for defining blight, which include collapsing walls or roof, broken or boarded-up windows and having overgrown brush or grass at least one foot in height.

Complaints in Darien can be filed anonymously.

The Darien blight review board has five members and a blight prevention officer, in addition to three ex-officio members that include the first selectman, the director of planning and zoning and the director of human services.

The idea to create a blight committee in New Canaan is being discussed at the town council subcommittee level. Once passed, it will head to the town council, which can vote to establish it as an ordinance.

Members of the Bylaws and Ordinances Subcommittee include Cristina Ross, Tom Butterworth, Mike Mauro, Sven Englund and Jim Kucharczyk.

The Board of Selectmen would appoint members to the committee, maintaining a political balance between the two parties.

When asked if complaints could be made anonymously, Karl said that would be discussed within the subcommittee, but he leaned toward making sure plaintiffs filed with their information.

“Given our history, if it’s something serious, we would like to know who’s making the complaint,” Karl said.

humberto.juarez@hearst

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