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Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following terms shall, for the purpose of this Chapter, have the following meanings:
(a) "Authorized Agent" means a person that resides within Lorain County, Ohio who shall be authorized in writing by the owner or person in control of a vacant commercial building to be responsible for the security and maintenance of the building and property, who shall have access to the building and property, and who shall be available at all times during business and non-business hours in the case that an emergency occurs requiring immediate response and/or to make immediate repairs.
(b) "Commercial Buildings" means any structure or part thereof, that is used or designed to be used for any private or public manufacturing, commercial business purposes whether or not legally zoned for such use.
(c) "Evidence of Vacancy" means any condition that on its own or combined with other conditions present, would lead a reasonable person to believe the building is vacant. Such conditions include but are not limited to, none or significantly below standard utility usage, overgrown and/or dead vegetation, accumulation of newspapers, circulars, flyers and/or mail, accumulation of trash, junk, debris, broken or boarded up windows, abandoned vehicles, automobile parts or materials, the absence of window coverings i.e. curtains, blinds and/or shutters, the absence of furnishing and/or personal items consistent with habitation or occupation, statements by neighboring property owners, delivery persons, U.S. Postal Service employees and/or governmental employees that the building is vacant.
(d) "Fire Chief' means the Fire Chief of the City of Lorain or his designee.
(f) "Fire Department" means the Fire Department of the City of Lorain.
(g) "Key Box" means a secure device with a lock operable only by the Fire Department master key and containing building entry keys and other keys that may be required for access in an emergency.
(h) "Owner" means any person who, alone or jointly or severally with others, shall have the legal or equitable title to a property, and shall include executors, administrators, trustees or guardians of the estate of the owner, and any purchaser or assignee under a certificate of sale pursuant to a mortgage foreclosure as evidenced by the signature of the judge upon the confirmation of sale, whether or not the deed has been filed with the Lorain County Recorder's Office. The term "owner" shall also include partnerships, corporations, and other unincorporated associations. Any individual owner, regardless of whether they share ownership responsibility with any other person, any general partner or a partnership, and any officer of a corporation or unincorporated association, shall have direct and personal responsibility and liability for compliance with the provisions of this Chapter.
(i) "Person" means an individual, partnership, association, syndicate, company, firm, trust, corporation, governmental corporation, department, bureau, agency or any entity recognized by law.
(j) "Person in Control" means the owner of the property; a mortgagee or vendee in possession; a receiver; an executor; a trustee; and any person, public or private entity, lessee or holder of a lessee estate in the property, and/or its duly authorized agents, with the authority to bring a building or property into compliance with the provisions of this Chapter, including but not limited to any mortgagee that has filed an action in foreclosure on the particular property at issue, based on breach or default of a mortgage agreement, until title to the property is transferred to a third party.
(k) "Police Chief' means the Police Chief of the City of Lorain or his designee.
(l) "Police Department" means the Police Department of the City of Lorain.
(m) "Property" means not only the vacant commercial building and any other structures of any kind or nature located on the lot, but also the entire parcel of land surrounding the vacant commercial building, including, but not limited to, fences, walkways, walls and appurtenances.
(n) "Vacant Commercial Building" means a commercial building that is not occupied by its owner, lessee or other person in lawful possession, or at which substantially all lawful manufacturing, or commercial business operations and/or occupancy has ceased, or which is substantially devoid of content. Vacant commercial building shall not include those that are owned and operated by a state, local or federal governmental entity, or public school system.
(Ord. 69-16. Passed 7-5-16.)