Janesville, WI, amended its vacant property registration ordinance, clarifying definition of vacant

Janesville, WI: City Council has amended its vacant property registration ordinance, clarifying the definition of a vacant property from its initial creation in 2017.


The change would require owners of a property to supply proof of utilities in use, not just hooked up, to show the property is occupied, rather than vacant.


Properties would now be considered vacant if it was not the primary resident of the owner and does not have a resident living in it, versus the past language of the ordinance that was arguably allowing the use of a property as a storage area for personal possessions to be considered as “occupied”.


Vacant properties would now only have an exemption from registration for 6 months while actively for sale, instead of the previous language that implied the exemption from registration while being “for sale” lasted in perpetuity.


The City would still have the ability to apply discretion on a case by case basis to determine if circumstances would allow or now allow any other exemptions from registration requirements, as well as maintaining exemptions for “snowbird residences” or active renovation efforts.


All other areas of the ordinance remain in place.




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