Nothing will change until our local government holds them to a higher standard. It is like dealing with children, they will get away with what they are allowed to get away with. The council needs to pass an ordinance on the appearance and upkeep of these buildings and parking lots, then generate a list of expectations to local businesses, then start writing out citations if they don't comply. The city selectively enforces ordinances now on city residents, okay, they occasionally enforce ordinances on residents and that's ninety percent of the problem.
A perfect example is that horrible auto upholstery business's building allowed to fester on Madison Avenue. Is that the vision our council has for our town?
People will do what you allow them to do. Let's raise our standards just a hair