Grace period for ordinance establishing vacant properties as a business in Sanford, ME, expires Nov. 1

Sanford, ME: The ordinance establishing vacant buildings as a business is nearing close of its initial 90-day window for property owners to apply for a license with the Code Enforcement Office.


Licenses involve a $300.00 initial fee and are valid for six months. The fee for a license for a given property increases at a rate of two times the prior year fee, for each additional year a building is vacant, regardless of owner or previous owners.


Only one license per vacant property will be issued to owners of vacant properties, and transfer of licenses will be prohibited between owners or properties. Any purchase, transfer, or other acquisition of a vacant property requires a new license application within 90 days of the changes to ownership status.


Any owner that has not had a license issued within their 90-day grace period will be subject to a $300.00 fine each month the building remains unlicensed. The grace period for initial registration expires Nov. 1, 2017.


Additionally, violations of the ordinance are subject to administrative warrant by the City to “conduct an inspection, court order that the owner and/or operator of the licensed activity abate any violations, pay a penalty between $100 and $2,500 per violation, per day, and pay the court costs, attorneys and expert witness fees incurred by the City,” according to the ordinance.


Any building where more than one-half of the total exterior windows and doors are broken, boarded, missing, and/or without functioning locks, is deemed a vacant property regardless of the occupancy status.




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