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Regulation Local property maintenance code


We are looking to beef up our property maintenance code in response to several issues that have come up recently as we work to revitalize the our downtown and cope with unprecedented development activity.

I was wondering if anyone had any really good examples. We have somewhat of a foundation but it does not go quite far enough. We are looking to do things such as the following:
  • Prohibit boarded up windows
  • Prohibit parking on grass in most zoning districts (our rural large lot/ag will be exempt)
  • Prohibit inoperable vehicles from being stored outdoors (we have some of this in place at the moment but needs to be improved)
  • Expand inoperable vehicle definition to include expired registration
  • Expand our refuse/junk/debris definitions and regulations
We would also like to put a vacant building ordinance into place what would require building owners to put up some sort of display in the windows of vacant buildings within downtown in an effort to prevent the visual effects of vacancy.

Does anyone have any examples that they would like to share? I know I will need to cross check these with our state regs, but I know that everything that I listed is possible here.
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Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
The 2018 International Property Maintenance Code model code is a good place to start to adopt whole cloth, adopt with specific local amendments or simply 'permanently borrow' portions as needed.

The bigger issue is going to be the strength of your staff capacity, willingness to be 'mean' and sticking to specific standard operating procedures for your staff.

One of the major components for actual abatement in cases of non-compliance is determining the path of prosecution. Will you decide to or have to go before a court/judge/magistrate to get compliance or can you and will your electeds have the intestinal fortitude to implement administrative abatement?

In my experience in Ohio, we could, as charter cities, mitigate nuisance and/or violation conditions on a property after constitutionally compliant notice. This included cleaning out trash accumulations to towing inops to full property improvement demolition (aka demo vacant abandoned structures).

Good luck.
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The 2018 International Property Maintenance Code model code is good place to start to adopt whole cloth, adopt with specific local amendments or simply 'permanently borrow' portions as needed.
This is what our community does. Our standards are a bit more stringent than the IPMC calls for, so the edits are adopted every time a new edition is put out. We regulate most of the items from your bulleted list. For parking on the grass, we have provisions scattered in the zoning ordinance to cover this, but have this language specific to RVs, boats, trailers, etc. that could be reworked for your purposes:
The parking of recreational vehicles and equipment, including travel trailers, campers, boats and similar recreational equipment, is prohibited within the required yard areas of any "R" district, except recreational, vehicles and equipment are permitted for periods of not to exceed five consecutive days, whereupon said vehicle shall be completely removed from the property for a minimum of eight hours. The vehicle and/or equipment shall be parked on a dust-free, weed-free surface constructed of asphalt, concrete, crushed gravel or paver stones and covering at minimum the entire footprint of the parked equipment. Crushed gravel parking areas must be constructed of a sand or gravel base with weed barrier, and at least four inches depth of crushed stone, and feature a defined edge unless otherwise approved by the zoning administrator or building inspector.