(a)   Definitions.
      (1)   "Owner" shall be defined as the record owner of the property on the Lake County Auditor's website, the vendee of a land contract, 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 and that is in control of the vacant building and/or has the right to control the vacant building.
      (2)   "Vacant building" shall be defined for the purposes of this chapter, as a building which is not occupied by its owner, lessee or other person in lawful possession for a period in excess of sixty days, or at which substantially all lawful business operations or residential occupancy has ceased for a period in excess of thirty days, or which is substantially devoid of content. The following conditions with respect to the property on their own or combined with other conditions present are evidence that the building is vacant and subject to the provisions of this chapter: Such conditions include, but are not limited to: significantly below standard or disconnected utility usage, overgrown and/or dead vegetation, accumulation of newspapers, circulars, flyers and/or mail, accumulation of trash, junk, and/or debris, broken or boarded up windows, interior mold growth on and around windows and window coverings, abandoned vehicles, auto parts or materials, the absence of window coverings such as curtains, blinds, and/or shutters, the absence of interior furnishings and/or personal items consistent with habitation or occupation, or statement(s) by persons with personal knowledge, such as neighbors, that the dwelling is vacant.
   (b)   Registration and Registration Fee. The owner(s) of any dwelling structure that has become vacant, as defined above, shall within sixty days after the structure becomes vacant, or within thirty days after the effective date of this Section 1466.01(b) whichever is later, register with the Zoning Inspector or designee and designate an authorized agent located in Lake County for each vacant dwelling structure. The registration shall remain valid until December 31 of the year of the date of issuance. The owner(s) shall be required to annually renew the registration by January 1 of each subsequent year for as long as the dwelling structure remains vacant and shall pay an annual registration fee of three hundred dollars ($300.00) for each registered dwelling structure. The annual registration fee shall not be prorated. The owner(s) shall notify the Zoning Inspector within twenty days of any change in the registration information by filing an amended or designee registration statement on a form provided by the Zoning Inspector or designee for such purposes. The registration statement shall be deemed prima facie proof of the statements therein contained in any administrative enforcement proceeding or court proceeding instituted by the City against the owner or owners of the dwelling structure. The failure of the owner(s) of the vacant dwelling structure to obtain a deed for the property or to file the deed with the county recorder shall not excuse the owner(s) from compliance with this Section 1466.01.
(Ord. 2010-O-10. Passed 9-14-10; Ord. 2021-O-11. Passed 4-27-21.)