Vacant Building Registry
Under City Code Chapter 19, the owner of a building which has been continuously vacant for a period of 12 months or more must register the building with the building code official; provided, that a building shall be deemed "continuously vacant," as that term is used in this subsection, even if it is sporadically or intermittently occupied during the twelve-month period.
To register a building, the owner, or the owner's agent for the building, provide the following information to the building code official:
- Registration form;
- The address of the vacant building;
- The name, address and telephone number of the owner and the owner's agent;
- A detailed statement which estimates how long the building is likely to remain vacant, and the reasons for it remaining vacant during that period;
- A description of the measures that will be taken while the building is vacant to ensure that the property is maintained in compliance with all applicable building and health codes;
- Proof that the owner or agent has implemented an on-going rodent abatement and prevention plan for the interior and exterior of the building; and,
- If the building is located in an historic district pursuant to article IX, Downtown Central Business District and/or article XIV-B, Tourist/Historic District, of the Hopewell Zoning Ordinance, as amended, or in any conservation, rehabilitation, or slum blight district established by city council, a description of the measures that will be taken to ensure that the building does not sustain significant structural damage due to neglect must be provided. Buildings located in the tourist historic district must meet the moth balling requirements outlined in the City Point National Historic District Handbook and Guidelines Manual.
The building owner shall pay an annual registration fee of $100.00. The fee shall be paid at the time that the building is initially registered. For each subsequent year, or any part of such year, that the building remains continuously vacant, an annual and non-refundable fee of $75.00 shall be paid within 15 days of the anniversary date of the building's initial registration.
Violations and penalties
Failure to register a vacant building as required by this article shall be a civil violation punishable by a civil penalty of $250.00.
The building code official shall mail to the owner of a registered vacant building notice of the upcoming anniversary of the initial registration date and of the need to renew the registration of the building if it remains vacant. The notice shall warn the owner that a civil penalty will be imposed pursuant to this section if the owner fails to renew the registration within 15 days of the anniversary of the building's initial registration.
Notice of the imposition of a civil penalty pursuant to this section shall be mailed to the owner, at the address to which property tax notices are sent, at least 30 days prior to the imposition of the penalty.