Town of Bridgeville, DE
Sussex County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Town of Bridgeville 4-10-2017 by Ord. No. 17-1. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Building construction — See Ch. 96.
Dangerous buildings — See Ch. 99.
Housing standards — See Ch. 148.
Numbering of buildings — See Ch. 165.
Rental property — See Ch. 180.
The purpose of these regulations is to protect the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Bridgeville, to monitor the number of vacant properties in the Town, and to assess the effects of these buildings on nearby property.
A building or dwelling or any other structure shall be deemed vacant if no person actually or currently conducts a lawfully licensed business, or lawfully resides in any part of the building as the legal or equitable owner or tenant on a permanent, nontransient basis. Rental buildings or dwellings which are actively seeking a tenant shall not be subject to this chapter for a period of 180 days from the time the buildings become vacant, as described in this section.
[Amended 3-9-2020 by Ord. No. 20-4]
The requirements of this section shall be applicable to each owner of any building or property consisting of one or more dwellings that shall have been vacant for more than 180 consecutive days. Each owner shall file a notarized vacant property registration statement, which shall include the street address and parcel number of each vacant building, the names and addresses of all owners, and any other information deemed necessary by the Town Manager, or their designee.
Registration shall be required for all vacant buildings, whether vacant and secure, vacant and open or vacant and boarded, and shall be required whenever any building has remained vacant for 60 consecutive days or more. Once a building has remained vacant for 60 consecutive days, a registration statement and initial registration fee shall be required to be filed within 30 days thereafter. In no instance shall the registration of a vacant building and the payment of a registration fee be construed to exonerate the owner, agent or responsible party from responsibility for compliance with any other building code, housing code or property maintenance requirement. One registration statement may be filed to include all vacant buildings belonging to a single owner; however, a separate registration fee, as required by § 217-5 of this chapter, must be paid for each vacant property.
The vacant building registration fee shall be set at $100 for the first calendar year in which the building is deemed vacant. The registration fee shall be set at $300 per year for years two through five that a building remains vacant. All buildings or dwellings that remain vacant for more than five years shall pay an annual registration fee of $500. A vacant building registration fee shall be nonrefundable. Should any owner of a vacant building fail to pay the amount due, said amount shall constitute a debt due and owing to the Town, and the Town may commence a civil action to collect such unpaid debt.
Upon proper registration and payment of prescribed fee, a placard, signed by the Town Manager or his/her designee, shall be issued to each vacant building. The placard must be displayed on the front of the building while the property remains vacant. Each placard shall be effective for the calendar year (January through December) in which it is issued.
Any person who violates or permits the violation of any provision of this chapter, upon conviction thereof, shall pay such fines as set out in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article II, Penalties.