Vacant substandard structures are also addressed by this division under the Condemnation Ordinance. If a structure in your neighborhood has been abandoned and becomes a nuisance or a hazard please advise our department and we can begin inspections. The condemnation procedure is a lengthy process, but has proven successful in removing blight within neighborhoods in recent years.
The average condemnation takes 6 months to complete if there is no property owner or lienholder opposition. In order to be condemned a structure must be evaluated by a building inspector who will make a judgment based on the condition of the systems (i.e. electrical, plumbing, mechanical) and apparent stability of the structure (i.e. missing or broken doors, windows, roof). If the Inspector determines the structure can proceed with condemnation due to its deteriorated condition, a title search is ordered for the property.
This must be done to allow for notification of the property owner and all interested parties to the property. They will be given opportunity to correct the deficiencies noted within a specified time frame. If no progress is made during that time period a final notice will be sent certified mail to all persons with a financial interest in the property. This notice will contain a date for a scheduled condemnation hearing that will take place before the Condemnation Board if such corrections are not made to the property.
The Condemnation Board meets as necessary on the second Monday of each month at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall – 400 S. Ohio unless otherwise posted or scheduled. These meetings are open to the public and are posted on the bulletin board outside City Hall as well as advertised in the newspaper.
When a structure goes before the Condemnation Board they can take one of several actions: 1) they can condemn the structure immediately, 2) they can give the property owner additional time, or 3) they can table or take no action on the item.
If the Board condemns the structure immediately, the City still has to notify the property owner and lienholders of the decision of the Board and give them 30 days from the date of notification within which they can appeal the action to District Court. Once that time has passed, the City will solicit bids for demolition of the structure by an independent contractor. The requests for bid are sent via fax, mail or e-mail to anyone requesting to be on the bidding list. At the given time, bids are opened and the City enters into a contract with the lowest responsible bidder. The lowest responsible bidder must be licensed or bonded, insured and registered with the City. They must also obtain a demolition permit through the City following all requirements normally imposed on demolition permits (i.e. asbestos survey when required).
Once the demolition of the structure is completed and accepted by final inspection of the Building Inspector and Code Enforcement Officer, the cost for the total amount incurred in the demolition of the structure is billed to the owner of the property. If that amount is not paid in full, or arrangements for payment made, within a reasonable time, the City will place a lien on the property for the full amount of expenditures.