Franklin, VA, approves derelict, vacant property ordinance to reduce blight in community

Franklin, VA: City Council approved an ordinance for required renovation or demolition of derelict buildings that are vacant property, boarded property, or property not lawfully connected to utilities.


When the City finds a property that it qualifies as “derelict,” it will notify the owner of the status resulting in a code violation, and the owner is required to register a plan with the City for either renovation or demolition, per ORDINANCE NO. 2018-01; either option will require review and approval by the City, before either option is undertaken by the owner.


At the request of the property owner, “after demolition or renovation of the derelict building, the real estate assessor shall reflect the fair market value of the demolition costs or the fair market value of the renovation improvements, and reflect such value in the real estate assessment records. The real estate taxes on the amount equal to the costs of demolition or an amount equal to the increase in fair market value of renovations shall be abated for a period of not less than 7 years in accordance with the tax abatement provisions of Virginia Code Section 15.2-907.1 (8), and is transferable with the property.”


If a property owner does not respond to the City’s requests for plans, the City may act on the derelict property per Code of Virginia § 15.2-900 for “nuisances,” which allots the City options for renovations or demolitions at the possible expense of the owner.




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