Aberdeen City Council approves new rules for vacant or dilapidated buildings

Buildings in downtown Aberdeen will be held to a higher standard following the passage of new rules for condition and appearance.

On the agenda during their Wednesday meeting, the Aberdeen City Council voted unanimously to amend the Aberdeen Municipal Code to require building owners within the downtown area to maintain their properties or face fines.

This change will apply to buildings within the Downtown Parking and Business Improvement District and extend west to Park Street.

Under the changes, buildings either occupied or unoccupied will be held to a standard of appearance.

The city has defined general minimum maintenance requirements for buildings, requiring owners to maintain all exterior surface areas, including removing chipped paint or rust from the sides of the buildings and sealing entries from water and weather.

Buildings must be kept free from moss, algae, dirt, grime, holes, breaks, and of any loose or decaying materials.

The requirements mean that buildings must be secured without broken glass or doors, covering any broken potential entryways and repairing them within 72 hours, with extensions available by request.

City officials would be tasked with conducting inspections to enforce that building owners are complying with the updated rules.

Violations would be issued on a daily basis as long as the issues persist.

In addition, vacant commercial properties must be registered with the city, with documentation if the buildings are under a current building permit or repair project, renewing that registration on a yearly basis.

Those vacant building registrations would come with a fee paid yearly if the building remains unoccupied, with fees added on for delinquent documentation.

Those fees are said to be placed into the Good Neighbor’s Fund, with access for other building owners to apply for assistance with their building maintenance.