Springfield Vacant Property Registry goes into effect Jan. 1

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The City of Springfield?s Vacant Property Registry goes into effect on Jan. 1 ? but those who own vacant properties do still have plenty of time to register.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The City of Springfield’s Vacant Property Registry goes into effect on Jan. 1 — but those who own vacant properties do still have plenty of time to register.

The first of the year will start a clock for property owners.

For a property to be considered vacant, it has to be empty for 90 days after Jan 1.

A duplex or multi-unit home would only need to register if the entire structure, not individual units, was empty for 90 days.

By April 1, if the property is still vacant — that signals to the owner that they need to register the property with the City.

The owner then has 30 days from the official vacant status date to register.

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“We do believe in community development and as city administration that the vacant property registry is a large tool in our toolbox dealing with market decline within neighborhoods and our overall housing market within the city,” said City of Springfield Community Development Director Shannon Meadows.

Owners of multiple vacant properties will have to pay the $100 yearly registration fee for each vacant property.

At present, the city is still working on finalizing how property owners will register with the city — but Meadows said they will be able to register both online or in person.

If owners fail to register, they will be contacted by the city.

The registry provides a 24/7 point of contact for emergencies and city code problems and was adopted by the city in October.

The Springfield Fire Rescue Division has previously said that half of their fires in a year are in vacant homes, and some of their firefighters have gotten hurt because it was unclear what was inside the homes or if there were any hidden dangers.

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“Getting a good picture of who owns and who is responsible for structures that are vacant is not only important for the health and safety of our first responders and city personnel but also important for the longevity and success of neighborhoods,” said Meadows.

The city is hopeful that the registry will also provide information to would-be buyers of properties so they may get in contact with current owners.

Meadows said that may facilitate more rehabilitation of properties before they become unsalvageable and are subject to demolition.

“We cannot demolish our way out of the problems that we have with empty structures in neighborhoods,” she said. “Demolition is not the only solution. So this tool enhances our ability not only as a government but as a community to reach in and really do the heavy work of transitioning our neighborhoods together.”

90 — Days that a property must be empty to be considered ‘vacant’

30 — Days from vacant status to register property

$100 — Dollars per property to register

The News-Sun has brought readers extensive coverage of the City of Springfield’s Vacant Property Registry since it was introduced to the city’s commission earlier this year.