Source: Sherman Publications

Vacant property ordinance adopted

by Susan Bromley

January 09, 2013

Brandon Twp.- The township board has adopted an ordinance that will help keep foreclosed or abandoned homes and property from falling into disrepair.

The board approved the vacant property registration ordinance during their Jan. 7 meeting.

Building Director Bill Dinnan said the ordinance allows the township to address the blight issues that come with vacated unoccupied structures and is necessary to maintain the quality of properties that have become vacant.

“Due to the economic downturn in the past few years, a substantial number of properties have been left abandoned, damaged, blighted and not maintained,” he said. “Finding those properties has been a work in progress and is very time consuming as there is no ordinance requiring the owners (personal or financial institutions) to register them with the township.”

The new ordinance requires owners of vacant properties to register them and maintain them in a minimum safe condition and also requires a fee be paid to offset the time required to administer the program. The ordinance applies to all personal and commercial properties and requires that within 30 days of the property being vacated, it be registered as such with the township planning and building department. Owners are responsible for maintaining vacant property, including keeping it properly landscaped, free of debris and graffiti, and keeping structures secured. Owners must also inspect or cause the inspection of the property weekly, by a property management company

Violations of the ordinance are subject to fines.