Salem, OH, discusses revisions for vacant property registration ordinance, clarifies requirements to register

Salem, OH: The City has clarified the rules regarding vacant property registration: Every vacant property is to register.

The vacant property registration ordinance passed on Jan. 3, 2017, took effect at the beginning of February, but the requirements as to whether properties falling into exemption categories had to still register remained murky.

Vacant property owners must register within 90 days after the structure becomes vacant or no later than 30 days after notification to register by the zoning, housing, or fire department; with plans for maintenance and the future use of the property submitted at the same time.

Those property owners without acknowledged exemptions will pay an annual monitoring fee of $250 per structure for the first year of vacancy, $500 for the second year, and $1,000 thereafter. Failure to register with plans and payment of fees can result in fines.

Under the clarification, vacant properties must still register, but if they fall within a series of possible exemptions for vacancy then the fee may be waived; though failure to perform timely registration could still trigger fines.

Language and legislation to implement a revised vacant property registration system is currently in talks, with the intent of creating further clarity for property owners and a more simplified system for registration and tracking by the city. 




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