Unless otherwise expressly stated, for the purpose of this Chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated below:
   (a)   "Owner." Any and all persons in whose name the property is titled, and any and all persons, agents, servicing companies, firms, third parties, or financial institutions that has an interest in the property as a result of an assignment, sale, mortgage, transfer of a mortgage, or similar instrument or any such person or entity having an agreement with any one of the above for the purpose of securing and/or managing the property.
   (b)    "Secured by other than normal means." A building secured by means other than those used in the design of the building.
   (c)   "Unoccupied." A building which is not being used for an occupancy that is authorized by the Owner.
   (d)   “Unsecured." A building or portion of a building which is open to entry by unauthorized persons without the use of tools or ladders.
   (e)   "Vacant building." A residential building (excluding government-owned buildings) which is:
      (1)   Unoccupied and unsecured; or
      (2)   Unoccupied and secured by other than normal means; or
      (3)   Unoccupied and an unsafe building as determined by the Zoning Inspector or the Geauga County Building Department; or
      (4)   Unoccupied with all utilities disconnected or shut off; or
      (5)   Unoccupied and has zoning or building code violations; or
      (6)   Illegally occupied, which shall include loitering and vagrancy; or
      (7)   Unoccupied for a period of time over 90 days and having an existing violation issued by a Zoning Inspector or the Geauga County Building Department; or
      (8)   Unoccupied with a mortgage that has been or is being foreclosed; or
      (9)   Unoccupied for more than 90 days after the Owner's death; or
      (10)   Unoccupied and abandoned by the Owner.
   (f)   "Evidence of vacancy." Any condition which, on its own or combined with other conditions, would lead a reasonable person to believe the property is vacant. Such conditions may include, but are not limited to: significantly below-standard utility usage; overgrown and/or dead vegetation; an accumulation of newspapers, circulars, flyers and/or mail; an accumulation of trash, junk, and/or debris; broken or boarded up windows; the presence of abandoned vehicles, auto parts or building materials; the absence of window coverings, such as curtains, blinds, and/or shutters; the absence of furnishings and/or personal items consistent with habitation or occupation; statement(s) by governmental employee(s) that the property is vacant.
(Ord. 16-127. Passed 10-13-16.)