Vacant property registration ordinance approved for Watertown, NY

Watertown, NY: City Council has approved a vacant property registration ordinance.


Registration will be due within 30 days vacancy. Registration consists of: details of the property, current contact information for all owners or all owners and a representative in charge of the property if the owners do not reside in Jefferson County or an adjacent county, and payment of a $50 fee.


Properties that remain vacant for more than 90 days must maintain the property within City code, pay an additional fee of $750, and schedule inspections for the property by the City; with the $750 fee to be paid again annually based on the property registration date, for the duration of the vacancy.


A property will not be considered vacant if it is actively listed for sale with a licensed real estate agent, and remains in compliance with the State Property Maintenance Code. A registration fee will not be due if a plan for rehabilitation is submitted and approved by the City, and the plan maintains its approved timeline and progress.


If the owner of a property deemed vacant fails to register and pay all fees within a timely manner, then an administrative fee of $150 would be filed as a lien against the property.


Violations of any areas of the ordinance, failure to register, or providing false information when registering, can result in fines of $500 per month of non-compliance and be subject to prosecution by the City Court.




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