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(a) The owner, agent, lessee, or party in control of any vacant building, or a mortgagee that has filed and is currently maintaining an open foreclosure action regarding a vacant building shall maintain the vacant building as follows:
(1) Grass and weeds shall be kept at a maximum height of eight inches. Shrubbery must be kept trimmed and neat and kept from encroaching on or touching the building.
(2) All building exteriors shall have adequate weather protection, including, paint, siding, and/or similar finishes in good condition.
(3) All buildings and grounds must be secured against trespassers and rodents. This includes maintaining all exterior doors, windows and yard fencing in a good and secure condition. No boards, plywood or similar means or materials may be used to secure windows and doors. Doors, and/or windows that are deemed insecure shall be secured by their replacement with similar, new doors or window units equipped with locking hardware.
(4) Roofing on all buildings shall be in good, weather tight condition with no leakage.
(5) Any accumulated trash or debris must be removed from the property immediately.
(6) Graffiti, tagging or similar markings must be immediately removed or painted over with an exterior grade paint that matches the exterior color of the structure.
(b) Adherence to this section does not relieve owner or agent in control of the property of any obligations set forth in any covenants, conditions, restrictions, regulations and/or codified ordinances or building codes which may apply to the property.
(c) Registration required.
(1) The owner, agent, lessee, or party in control of vacant building, or a mortgagee that has filed a foreclosure action that is currently pending regarding any vacant building shall register the building with the Village Zoning Inspector and maintain the registration up to date. Registration must be done within thirty days of receiving a notice of vacancy from the Village Zoning Inspector.
(2) An application for registration of a vacant building shall include all of the following information on forms provided by the Village:
A. The name of the owner, agent, lessee, or party in control of the property and/or foreclosing entity submitting the registration application;
B. The direct mailing address of applicant, P.O. boxes are not an acceptable address;
C. A contact name, telephone number and email address for the applicant;
D. In the case of an applicant whose name or business address is located outside Columbiana County, Ohio, the applicant shall provide the name and mailing address of a local property management company as well as a the contact name, telephone number and email address of the person responsible for the security, maintenance, and marketing of the property;
E. The fee required by this chapter.
(3) Registration shall remain valid for twelve months from the date of issuance. The owner, agent, lessee or party in control, or mortgagee in foreclosure, shall renew the registration upon expiration for as long as the property remains vacant.
(4) The owner, agent, lessee, party in control, or mortgagee in foreclosure of any vacant building, shall inspect the property at least one time each month on the interior and exterior of the property to verify that the requirements of this section, the Codified Ordinances of the Village, and any other applicable laws are being met. A written report of such inspections shall be provided to the Village upon request.
(d) Exemptions. Waivers exempting compliance with the provisions of this chapter can be obtained, within thirty days of receiving a "notice of vacancy", in writing on a form provided by the Village under the following circumstances as long as the property is kept in safe, secure, and habitable condition in the owner's absence:
(1) Fire damaged buildings provided cleanup, repair or demolition is initiated within ninety days from the date of the fire.
(2) An owner or the estate of a deceased owner who is actively attempting to sell, rent, or lease the property; provided however the sale, rent or lease price is at or below the fair market value of the property according to a certified general appraiser meeting the education and licensure requirements of the State of Ohio, and must comply with "duties of owner" listed in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(6) hereof.
(3) A publicly visible "for sale/lease/rent" sign posted on the building with an accessible contact number.
(4) An owner or the estate of a deceased owner who is actively attempting to fix, restore, or bring a building up to code, whereas renting or leasing the building is not feasible, as long as plans and timelines are provided and work on the building is active to the Zoning Inspector's approval.
(5) To qualify for exemption, all taxes must be paid and current for the building and the building may not be in violation of the Village Code of Ordinances.
(Ord. 2017-2013. Passed 2-13-2018.)