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Frederick News

Posted on: November 1, 2021

Vacant Property Registration Required Beginning December 1, 2021

Beginning on December 1, 2021, in accordance with the passing of the Vacant Property Registration Ordinance (City Code section 12.5-54), the owner of any property vacant for at least one year must register that property with The City of Frederick. The Vacant Property Registration Ordinance was passed in late 2020 by the Board of Aldermen.  

The registration requirement applies to all nonresidential buildings and mixed-use buildings. A "nonresidential" property is one not devoted to exclusive residential use (which may include, but is not limited to, a single-family dwelling unit, townhouse, or condominium). Buildings located in the DB, DBO, MU-1, and MU-2, and zoning districts with a ground-level designed for nonresidential occupancy are considered vacant if more than fifty (50) percent of the occupiable square footage of the portion of the first floor immediately adjacent to a public right-of-way is vacant. 

“This effort aims to reduce long-term vacancies which can lead to blight, ensure owners meet minimum standards of maintenance for their vacant properties, and allows the City to engage with property owners and find the best potential uses to return properties to productivity,” shared Mayor Michael O’Connor.   

All owners of nonresidential or mixed-use buildings that have been vacant for at least one year as of December 1, 2021 are required to register the property by that date. If at any time after December 1, 2021a nonresidential or mixed-use building becomes vacant for at least 1 year, owners are required to register the property at that time. The failure of an owner of a vacant property to register when required or to comply with inspection requirements or maintenance standards is a municipal infraction punishable by a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00). Each day a violation continues will be deemed a separate offense. 

View the registration application and full ordinance at Beginning December 1, 2021, the public will also be able to report a vacant property to the City via this website.  

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