(a)   Definitions.
      (1)   “Vacant”: A structure shall be considered “vacant” for the purposes of this chapter if it has not been occupied for a period of six (6) consecutive months or more, except a structure shall not be considered vacant if it is only seasonally not occupied and such period is less than twelve (12) months. A structure shall be considered “vacant” for the purpose of this chapter even if it is being maintained on the exterior, and even if the owner of the property is actively attempting to sell or rent the property.
      (2)   “Abandoned”: An “abandoned” structure is a structure that is not occupied for any period of time during which the Village has not been able to communicate with or located an owner or party with the legal authority to be in control of the property, and after the Village has made reasonable attempts to communicate with or locate the owner or a party in control.
      (3)   “Occupied”: “Occupied” shall mean the presence of a person or persons either:
         A.   Living in a structure and using some portion of such structure as a dwelling unit, as defined in the Codified Ordinances of the Village; or
         B.   Working in a structure and using some portion of the structure for the operation of a business.
      (4)   “Property”: “Property” shall mean all portions of the real estate of a parcel in the Village, including lands and structures of every type.
   (b)   Any structure that contains a structure that is vacant or abandoned shall be considered a nuisance unless and until the owner, agent, lessee or party in control of the property shall, at minimum, take all actions required in this section. The exterior of a vacant or abandoned structure, including the property and structure, shall be maintained in compliance with all applicable ordinances of the Village, and the interior shall be maintained in a safe, secure and preserved manner to prevent and abate any threat to the health or safety of the public or anyone entering the structure, and to prevent and abate any threat of fire or health violation, or to its structural or historical integrity. The structure shall be winterized to prevent freezing of pipes, and all points of entry shall be kept locked and secure. Sufficient property and liability insurance shall be maintained covering the property up to an amount at least equal to the fair market value of the property. The Village shall provide the insurance carrier, if known, and any lien holder of record for the property a written notice of the requirements of this section and that the property is considered vacant or abandoned property in violation of this section or any other ordinance applicable to the property or structure to provide proof of insurance, and no owner or agent shall fail to provide such proof when so ordered.
   (c)   The Commissioner may take any action necessary to inspect a vacant or abandoned property, and to abate a vacant or abandoned property nuisance, as authorized in this chapter. Upon inspection of a vacant or abandoned structure, the Commissioner may take any action authorized by law to ensure that the property, including the structure, is maintained according to the requirements of all applicable ordinances.
   (d)   No insurance company doing business in the Village shall pay a claim of any named insured, including any lien holder, for damage to a vacant or abandoned structure, other than fire damage, unless and until the carrier follows the procedures in this section. The carrier shall request from the Village an affidavit signed by the Commissioner that states whether the Village has any unpaid costs or whether any abatement orders have been issued containing an estimated cost of work associated with the abatement of any existing nuisance condition, as defined in this chapter, at the insured property. The Village shall provide an affidavit in response to the request of a insurance carrier within thirty (30) days of receiving a request. If the affidavit states that the Village has no unpaid costs or outstanding abatement orders, the carrier may pay the claim. If the affidavit states that there are unpaid costs, the insurance carrier shall pay to the Village such costs or the full amount of the claim owed to the insured, whichever is less. If the affidavit states that there is an outstanding abatement order, the insurer shall pay into an escrow fund established for the purpose of this section the amount of the estimated cost of abatement or the full amount owed to the insured, whichever is less. Funds shall be disbursed from the escrow to the Village upon the presentation of an invoice showing the amount incurred by the Village to abate the nuisance. Funds shall be disbursed to the insured only upon the written authorization of the Clerk-Treasurer, which shall be provided after the Village is provided proof that the nuisance has been abated, or that an amount equal to the amount in escrow has been expended in the performance of work to abate the nuisance on the property.
(Ord. 2007-26. Passed 9-18-07.)