Vacant property registration ordinance under consideration for Oneonta, NY

Oneonta, NY: The Common Council is considering a vacant property registration ordinance, to speed up the rehabilitation process.


The ordinance would require owners of vacant property to register it with the City within 30 days of it becoming vacant, within 30 days of being notified by the Code Enforcement Office of being required to be registered, or in the case of a new owner the new owner must re-registration within 30 days of transfer of ownership; some exceptions may apply based on active marketing or rehabilitation underway.


Registration must include names and current contact information for owners of the property, current contact information for an agent designated in charge of the property should the owners not reside in Oneonta (to be available for contact at any time), current contact information for all known lien holders or others with an ownership interest in the property, and a vacant building plan (see below); any changes to the information provided must be submitted within 30 days.


A vacant building plan must include the minimum of one of the three following:

     1. If the building is to be demolished, a demolition plan indicating the proposed time frame for demolition.
     2. If the building is to remain vacant, a plan for the securing of the building, along with the procedure that will be used to maintain the property and a statement of the reasons why the building will be left vacant.
     3. If the building is to be returned to appropriate occupancy or use, a rehabilitation plan for the property not to exceed 365 days, unless the Enforcement Officer grants an exception; the building must be secured during the rehabilitation.


Registration fees are $500 for the first year of vacancy, $1,000 for the second year, $1,500 for the third year, and $2,000 for fourth and all years following; due at the time of registration. Additionally, utilities to the property must be turned off, and a winterization must occur; along with proof of those actions being completed.


An inspection with the Code Enforcement Office must be scheduled to occur within 7 days of when the registration, or re-registration, occurs for a property.


Failure to complete within timeframes provided, failure to adhere to ordinance requirements, or other violations of City Code could result in fines or other measures allowed by law.




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