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Vacant downtown building


We've got a building in our downtown that has been vacant for years, and the owner seems to be unwilling to rent it to anyone or to re-use it. It's an old ice-cream parlor, and all of the equipment is still inside; including Pepsi cans on the counters, etc. The owner simply closed the building without cleanup. We're in the midst of a downtown revitalization project, and would like to encourage him to sell or rent the building out...are there any ordinances or legal avenues that we could use to nudge him along? Thanks in advance. This storefront is an eyesore when you look in the windows.


Cyburbian Emeritus
Had a similar situation in my first planning job. Excpet it was a hardware store full of "new" cans of lead based paint, etc... We eventually resorted to active code compliance - the fire inspector, building inspector, zoning administrator, et.al. went through the place and wrote up EVERY violation they could find. After 4-5 months of constant complaince letters and citations, the guy died (joke was that he was on the toilet with compliance letter clenched in fist) and we got court order to tear the place down. The lesson: If its that important to you, use every tool you've got!