(a)   At the time of adoption of this article, all owners of realty within the City of Summersville that contain a vacant structure, as defined above, shall register the same with the Office of the Building Inspector of the City. For those structures that qualify as a vacant structure and after the adoption of this article, the owner thereof shall be required to register the structure with the Building Inspector within 30 days after the structure is found to meet the definition of a vacant structure.  The registration form shall require information from the registrant deemed necessary by the Administrator, Building Inspector, Fire Chief, City Engineer and Police Chief of the City, so as to ensure that the purpose of this article is met.  Specifically, the above named City officers shall have the authority to require that the property owner provide a professional opinion (architect, engineer, etc.) to determine the structural integrity and that it will be safe for entry by fire fighters and police officers in time of emergency, and that the building and its contents do not present a hazard to the public during the time the building remains vacant.  The above named officers shall have the authority to issue orders to the owner for corrective action deemed necessary.  The Building Inspector and Fire Chief shall rely upon the West Virginia State Building and Fire Codes, as well as other applicable law, for guidance during any such structural review.
   (b)   If none of the persons listed, as above, is shown at an address within the State, the registration statement also shall provide the name and address of the person who resides within the state who is responsible, local party or agent, both for purpose of service of any and all notices or registration statements as herein authorized and in connection herewith.  Registration shall be required for all vacant buildings, whether vacant and secure, vacant and open or vacant and boarded, and shall be required whenever any building has remained vacant for sixty (60)  consecutive days or more.  In no instance shall the registration of a vacant building and the payment of registration fees be construed to exonerate the owner, agent or responsible party for compliance with the Building Code or Fire Code requirement.  One registration statement may be filed to include all vacant buildings of the owner so registering, but each structure constitutes a separate fee.  The owner of the vacant property as of the last day of the month when the property has been registered of each calendar year shall be responsible for the payment of the non- refundable registration fee.  Said fee shall be billed by the City; and based on the duration of the vacancy as determined by the following scale:
      (1)   No fee for properties that are vacant for less than one year;
      (2)   $200.00 for properties that are vacant for at least one year but less than two years;
      (3)   $ 400.00 for properties that are vacant for at least two years but less than three years;
      (4)   $600.00 for properties that are vacant for at least three years but less than four years;
      (5)   $ 800.00  for properties that are vacant for at least four years but less than five years; and
      (6)   $1,600 for properties that are vacant for at least five years, plus an additional $ 300 for each year in excess of five years.
         (Passed 3-25-14)