COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Columbia City Council approved an ordinance that would require property owners to list vacant structures on a Vacant Building Registry.
Failure to list your vacant structure on the registry within the designated amount of time (within 120 days of it becoming vacant) could end up costing you $500 in administrative penalties.
Even if you do list the structure on the registry, each year after the first registration, there’s an annual renewal fee that eventually hits $1000 per year on non-residential structures and $500 per year for vacant homes.
Neighbors at the meeting said this isn’t fair to low-income property owners who are figuring out what to do with their properties.
“It would be oppressive for the poor man who maybe has a building that may be vacant, a home that may be vacant, who really needs assistance, marketing ideas, information and community support,” said neighbor Rebecca Parms.
But city council members say this is all about trying to clean up the city and keeping neighborhoods safe.
“This ordinance is really to improve the neighborhoods, not to harm them,” said Mayor Pro Tem, Tameika Isaac Devine.
You can see all of the details for the ordinance by clicking here and scrolling to page 9.