(A)   The registration of buildings and payment of fees shall adhere to the schedule of fees and payments outlined in § 153.14 and other applicable provisions of this chapter.
   (B)   (1)   The requirements of this chapter shall be applicable to each owner of any building that is found to be vacant pursuant to the language contained herein.
      (2)   Each such owner shall cause to be filed with the city:
         (a)   A notarized registration statement including the street address and parcel number of each such vacant property or building;
         (b)   The names and addresses of all owners, as hereinafter described; and
         (c)   Any other information deemed necessary by the Building Code Enforcement Department.
      (3)   In the event the owner(s) of structure/property deemed vacant does not register the structure, the city shall cause the structure/property to be registered, and in the event the owner(s) do not pay the registration fees then the city shall have the authority to institute legal proceedings consistent with legal remedies identified in this chapter.
   (C)   The registration fee(s) as required by this chapter shall be billed to the owner(s) and shall be paid within 30 days of the date of billing.
   (D)   For purposes of this chapter, the following shall also be applicable:
      (1)   If the owner is a corporation, the registration statement shall provide the names and residence addresses of all officers and directors of the corporation and shall be accompanied by a copy of the most recent annual franchise tax report filed with the secretary of state;
      (2)   If an estate, the name and business address of the executor of the estate;
      (3)   If a trust, the name and address of all trustees, grantors, and beneficiaries;
      (4)   If a partnership, the names and residence addresses of all partners with an interest of 10% or greater;
      (5)   If any other form of unincorporated association, the names and residence addresses of all principals with an interest of 10% or greater; or
      (6)   If an individual person, the name and residence address of that individual person.
   (E)   (1)   On June 1, 2022, all owners of property within the city that contain a vacant structure, as defined in § 153.03, shall register the same with the Building Code Enforcement Department. For those structures that subsequently qualify as a vacant structure after June 1, 2022, the owner thereof shall be required to register the structure with the Building Code Enforcement Department 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 City Manager, Building Code Official, Fire Chief, and Chief of Police of the city, so as to ensure that the purposes of this chapter are met. Specifically, the above named city officers shall have the authority to require that the property owner provide a professional opinion (e.g., an architect, engineer, and the like) to determine the structural integrity of the building, the repairs necessary to ensure its structural integrity and that it will be safe for entry by firefighters 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 Code Official and Fire Chief shall rely upon the West Virginia State Building Code and Fire Code, as well as other applicable law, for guidance during any such structural review.
      (2)   If none of the vacant structure or vacant property owners at issue are shown at an address within the state, the registration statement also shall provide the name and address of a person who resides within the state and who is authorized to accept service of process on behalf of the owners and who shall be designated as a responsible, local party or agent, both for purposes of notification in the event of an emergency affecting the public health, safety, or welfare and for purposes 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 30 consecutive days or more.
      (3)   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 any other building code or housing 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. See § 153.14 for registration and vacant building fees.
(Ord. 2022-06, passed 3-7-2022) Penalty, see § 153.99