Reuse of Vacant Lots and Buildings

City Council Priority: Reuse of Vacant Lots and Buildings

At the Council Goal Setting in March 2019, the Council expressed a desire to focus efforts on the reuse of vacant lots and buildings.

Listed below are a number of the action items associated with this Tier 2 priority:

  • Develop a strategy for addressing reuse
    • Create a pilot program
  • Complete initial assessment of lots and determine priorities (i.e., those that are a nuisance and/or have blight)
    • Pick a limited number to focus on as part of pilot
  • Develop a plan to engage with property owners

Update – August 2019: City Attorney Abates Three Lots

In August of 2019, the City Attorney’s Office worked to abate three lots selected by Common Ground. Furthermore, the Neighborhood Law Program identified a significant flaw in current legislation that allows vacant lots to go unabated for 6 months or more.

Update: January 2020: City Attorney’s Office Amends City Ordinances

In January of 2020, the City Attorney’s Office worked with Common Ground, Code Enforcement, Community Services Section (CSS), and Fire, the Neighborhood Law Program and drafted amendments to the ordinances, including the vacant building ordinance, which currently serves to register and track vacant and foreclosed residential buildings. They proposed amendments that would add commercial properties and vacant lots to the registration requirement and help to identify responsible persons. Additionally, lots and properties that are the source of complaints would have additional requirements such as the installation of attractive fencing. The ordinance is expected to be brought to City Council for consideration by the end of Fiscal Year 2020.