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Thread: Vacant building ordinance

  1. #1

    Vacant building ordinance

    We, Buda (TX), have been approached by several citizens and City Council members regarding vacant buildings in the downtown area. There are a number of absentee landlords that make a downtown revitalization extremely difficult, and the Council would like to create a vacant building ordinance to deal with some of the problems. I have two main questions:

    1: Are vacant building ordinances effective in affecting change in historic downtowns?

    2: Does anyone have examples of successful vacant building ordinances?

  2. #2
    What's the purpose of such an ordinance and how would it achieve that purpose? (I could see a vacant building ordinance actually having a negative impact by lowering rents to keep them occupied, and so less-than-desirable tenants occupying these premises.)
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    I am researching the same thing and there is a ton of information on the Internet. Just google the topic.

    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    What's the purpose of such an ordinance and how would it achieve that purpose? (I could see a vacant building ordinance actually having a negative impact by lowering rents to keep them occupied, and so less-than-desirable tenants occupying these premises.)


    The purpose of this ordinance is two fold:
    One is to ensure that the landlord maintains and preserves the historic structure so you do not end up with demolition through neglect
    It also provides a list of law enforcement of which buildings are vacant and to keep a closer eye on to avoid vandalism.
    Two it provides a financial stick to encourage absentee landlords to bring the building back into service. Most cities would prefer to have less than desirable businesses than empty and run down buildings.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  4. #4
    Quote Originally posted by Brocktoon View post
    The purpose of this ordinance is two fold:
    One is to ensure that the landlord maintains and preserves the historic structure so you do not end up with demolition through neglect. It also provides a list of law enforcement of which buildings are vacant and to keep a closer eye on to avoid vandalism.
    Two it provides a financial stick to encourage absentee landlords to bring the building back into service. Most cities would prefer to have less than desirable businesses than empty and run down buildings.
    Thanks, Brocktoon. I hadn't considered that the underlying purpose was to deal with longer-term vacancies.
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

  5. #5
    You might want to make it broad enough to take care of residential properties that might get abandoned due to the current crisis.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    Thanks, Brocktoon. I hadn't considered that the underlying purpose was to deal with longer-term vacancies.
    'Dunker, no problem...in a property rights state like Arizona there are few if any tools to motivate an absentee landlord.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

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