Huntington, WV, amended its vacant property registration ordinance to require contact information on buildings
Huntington, WV: City Council amended its vacant property registration ordinance, requiring contact information for owners to be posted to those vacant properties.
Vacant buildings are defined as “no person or persons actually, currently conducts a lawfully licensed business, or lawfully resides or lives in any part of the building as the legal or equitable owner(s) or tenant-occupant(s), or owner-occupants, or tenant(s) on a permanent, nontransient basis” or the property is not maintained to Code or utilities are not in continual use.
The ordinance requires a property vacant for more than 210 consecutive days to register, with annual renewal and fees, and be secured and maintained, per the ordinance, for the duration of the vacancy.
Registration must include current contact information for owners, those responsible for the property, and payment of an annual fee; with changes to any information due within 30 days:
- No fee for properties vacant for less than one year;
- For properties vacant at least one year but fewer than two years, $0.20 per square foot; and calculations of area set at minimum 1,200 square feet and maximum 15,000 square feet on any one structure.
- For properties remaining vacant, the fee increases $0.20 per square foot, each year.
- For all vacant properties located in the "business district" (as defined in the ordinance), the fees are doubled.
The amendment for adding contact information to the vacant properties requires current contact information for owners to be displayed in clear view on the home; the City will prepare placards with contact information and provide them to owners.
The date the placard requirement goes into effect has not been set, but will be presented when the ordinance amendment is published on the City website.
Failure to register, pay fees, keep information current, or maintain the property can result in fines of $100 to $500 per violation, with each month of a violation continuing constituting a separate violation.
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