OPEN AND VACANT STRUCTURES
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OPEN AND VACANT STRUCTURES

The City’s Vacant Building Ordinance (VBO) is an effective tool for helping to remove blighted property from concerned neighborhoods.
According to the Fresno Municipal Code Section 10-617, open and vacant houses and other structures are deemed an "attractive nuisance."  Vacant houses, garages, and other structures must be secured so they may not be entered by children, vagrants, or animals.
The Ordinance also addresses the problem of vacant buildings falling into dilapidated, deteriorated, or hazardous conditions. Property owners are required under the Ordinance, to actively maintain, monitor, and keep secure all vacant buildings. This includes residential, multi-residential, accessory, commercial, or industrial structures.

Vacant buildings are often sites for illegal activities.

The cost of boarding up a house or structure prior to a problem occurring may actually save expense and legal issues! Frequently, people go into vacant buildings, kick holes in walls, graffiti, tear off fixtures, and break windows; as well as other illegal activities. These actions create costs and potential liabilities for the owner. Vacant buildings are also potential fire hazards. This is especially true in winter, when vagrants might enter an unsecured house and build a fire to keep warm. Vacant buildings are sometimes also used as drug houses and sites where prostitution occurs. Boarding up your vacant structure will help prevent these types of activities in our City.

Enforcement of this Ordinance

If enforcement of this Ordinance by the City involves any violations relating to a blighted building  on an individual property; the property owner will be required to submit a Vacant Building Plan to the City every 6 months in order to demonstrate how the building and grounds will be brought into compliance and kept in compliance. The owner is also required to pay all applicable fees and fines. Failure to comply with the Ordinance may result in legal action against the property, its owners or agents, for fees, penalties, and all other costs incurred by the City while enforcing the Ordinance.  All remedies to obtain payment for any enforcement actions shall commence and could include monthly late fees, liens, assessments, and/or result in possible demolition.

Guidelines and Tips

For more information regarding compliance with the City’s Vacant Building Ordinance (VBO):

Weed Abatement and Vacant Structures
Housing Standards
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Please call Community Revitalization at 621-8400 or use our on-line reporting system.

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