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The goal of the Vacant Building Registration (VBR) Program is to establish a process for identifying and registering vacant structures within the City of St. Marys. Additionally, the program shall govern the responsibilities of the owners of vacant structures, and provide incentives for structures to be returned to productive use.
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Structures left vacant for extended periods of time have been proven to breed crime, pose public safety risks, reduce property values, and decrease the economic viability of the community. With the registration, the City will have access to current owner contact information or the person responsible for the property, a plan for the property to be returned to productive use, and access to the property to conduct semi-regular interior and exterior inspections.
Any and all designated vacant structures located within the corporation limits of the City of St. Marys are required to register with the City of St. Marys Fire Department.
No. The program only applies to vacant structures.
The definition of a vacant building is outlined in Chapter 1343.02
Yes. The following are examples of structures that are exempt from the VBR Program:
A new owner shall register or re-register a vacant building within 30 days of any transfer of an ownership interest in the vacant building unless the building is to become occupied immediately upon transfer.
Contact the Director of Service and Safety to explain your specific situation and provide documentation proving that the building is not vacant (i.e., current lease agreements).
The owner of a vacant structure must renew their registration every 12 months.
Yes, a fee schedule was established in order to provide appropriate incentives for owners of vacant buildings to care for them properly, seek to fill them, and in some cases demolish them. The annually increased fee amounts are intended to absorb the costs for possible demolition, hazard abatement, or repairs to vacant buildings. If an owner successfully restores the building to occupancy or demolishes the structure within the first 12 months, then the fee will be refunded.
An owner of a structure which meets the definition of a vacant building shall register with the Fire Department within 30 days of being notified.
If a registration form is filed late, an additional late fee shall be paid in addition to the annual registration fee and shall be equal to the annual registration fee or one thousand dollars, whichever is less.
Whoever violates any of the provisions of the VBR shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree. A separate offense shall be deemed committed each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues.
A vacant building plan, at a minimum, must contain one of the following:
Yes. The Director of Public Service and Safety and the Fire Department reserves the right to inspect any premises in the City for the purpose of enforcing the VBR Program. An owner of a vacant structure shall provide access to all interior and exterior portions of a vacant building in order to complete inspections.
All structures will be subject to the following inspections:
Any inspection at the discretion of the Director of Public Service and Safety or the Fire Department.
The VBR Program will begin enforcement of the regulations in December 2019.