Vacant Building Monitoring - What & Why

What's Happening Now?

On November 19, 2018, City Council passed Council Bill 119407, which made changes to SDCI's vacant building monitoring program. This bill was amended by Council Bill 119497 passed on April 22, 2019. The new rules went into effect on June 1, 2019.

The new rules include new categories of properties in the monitoring program. All development projects that include a vacant building will be enrolled. All properties with new violations that have received a previous Notice of Violation for violations of the vacant building maintenance standards will also be enrolled. Fees have gone up and the frequency of inspections increased from quarterly to monthly. 

Previously, City Council passed vacant buildings legislation (Council Bill 118971) on September 5, 2017. The ordinance changed the Land Use Code and the Housing and Building Maintenance Code in order to respond to an increase in the problems associated with vacant buildings in the city. 

Vacant buildings, and the problems associated with them, have become increasingly common in neighborhoods throughout the city in the last few years. These buildings can be difficult to adequately maintain, and are often entered or inhabited without the owner’s permission. This can lead to greater fire risks, illegal drug use and other criminal activities, and other health and safety hazards for occupants, neighbors, and emergency services providers.

For more information about our vacant building regulations, see our Vacant Buildings Standards page.

Project Goals

The ordinances:

  1. Help ensure that vacant buildings are adequately secured and maintained
  2. Reduce the public health and safety risks associated with hazardous vacant buildings
  3. Give property owners more flexibility to demolish vacant buildings
  4. Help prevent dangerous situations through inspections of more vacant buildings before problems start

The End Result

The City Council adopted the first round of vacant buildings legislation in September 2017. That legislation took effect on Monday, October 9, 2017. Amendments enhancing the vacant building monitoring program were effective June 1, 2019.