Vacant Property Registration Fact Sheet
VACANT PROPERTY REGISTRATION FACT SHEET
The City of Grant is given the power and authority pursuant to Nebraska Revised Statute §18-1720 to define, regulate, suppress, and prevent such nuisances. Furthermore, the City of Grant is given the power and authority pursuant to Nebraska Revised Statute §19-5401 to create and maintain a Vacant Property Registration. Therefore, vacant properties shall constitute a public nuisance. A vacant property registration ordinance places a duty on the owner of Vacant Properties to assist the City of Grant in preventing public nuisance.
Recognizing that vacant commercial and residential buildings and properties contribute to blight, discourage economic development, diminish area property values, endanger public health and safety, attract criminal activity, create fire hazards, and also discourages neighborhood stability. It is the responsibility of property/building owners to prevent vacant properties/buildings from becoming a burden to the neighborhood and community and a threat to the public health, safety, and welfare. Maintenance of the public health, safety, and welfare thus requires the City of Grant to maintain an accurate registration of all vacant commercial and residential buildings and properties.
DEFINITION OF VACANT PROPERTY
Evidence of vacancy means any condition or circumstance that on its own or in combination with other conditions or circumstances would lead a reasonable person to believe that a residential building, commercial building, or property is vacant.
Vacant means the property/building has been vacant for 180 days or longer and during such time, has continuously exhibited evidence of vacancy.
Such exhibited evidence of vacancy may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Overgrown or dead vegetation, including grass, shrubbery, and other plantings; or
- An accumulation of abandoned personal property, trash, or other waste; or
- Visible deterioration or lack of maintenance of any building or structure on the property; or
- Graffiti or other defacement of any building or structure on the property; or
- Any other condition or circumstance reasonably indicating that the property/building is not occupied for residential purposes or being used for the operation of a lawful business.
Vacant property/buildings shall not be used for storage unless specifically allowed pursuant to the City of Grant Zoning Ordinance.
REGISTRATION OF VACANT PROPERTY
The owner of a vacant property/building must register said property/building with the City of Grant within thirty (30) calendar days of written notice provided to the owner or the owner's resident agent of the existence of the vacant property/building on the form provided by the City of Grant. Such notice shall be served on the owner or resident agent by personal service or by certified mail, return receipt requested. If the owner is a non-resident, such notice shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of the owner. If notice by personal service or certified mail is unsuccessful, notice shall be given by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the City of Grant or by conspicuously posting the notice on the property or building which is vacant. A copy of the notice under this article shall be recorded by the City of Grant Clerk or their designee in the records of the Register of Deeds for Perkins County, Nebraska and indexed against the premise(s).
REGISTRATION & SUPPLEMENTAL FEE.
The owner of a vacant property/building shall pay a registration/supplemental fee as established by resolution adopted by the City Council of the City of Grant for the period the property/building remains vacant. This fee may include the initial inspection of the property/building by the City of Grant Superintendent and/or their designee.
EXEMPTIONS FROM REGISTRATION
The vacant property registration ordinance provides the following exemptions to the vacant property/building registration and fee requirements, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Property/buildings only considered to be a seasonal residence; and the property/building is in compliance with all applicable City of Grant Revised Municipal Codes.
- Property/buildings of an owner who is temporarily absent for more than one hundred eighty (180) consecutive days, but who has demonstrated his or her intent to return with a timetable in writing on file with the City of Grant Clerk; and the property is in compliance with all applicable City of Grant Revised Municipal Codes.
- Property/buildings that are scheduled for demolition and has a written timetable for demolition on file with the Grant City Clerk.
- Property/buildings under construction or renovation pursuant to a valid building permit issued by the City of Grant.
- Property/buildings subject to divorce, probate, or estate proceedings; and the property is in compliance with all applicable City of Grant Revised Municipal Codes.
- Property/buildings that are "for sale," "for rent," or "for lease" and where the owner can produce sufficient good faith evidence of active marketing of sale, rent, or lease; and the property is in compliance with all applicable City of Grant Revised Municipal Codes.
- A property/building that is vacant because it has suffered significant fire, weather, and/or an act of God, or vandalism within the previous one hundred eighty (180) calendar days;
- All property/buildings owned by government entities including the United States Federal Government, State of Nebraska, and any political subdivisions thereof shall be exempt from all sections of this article.
REMOVAL FROM REGISTRATION
An owner may have his or her vacant property/building removed from the vacant property registration by providing sufficient notification and evidence, that the property/building no longer meets the definition of a vacant property. The City of Grant will then evaluate or inspect the property to determine whether the property/building should be removed from the registration list.