Demolition by neglect is the destruction of a building through abandonment or lack of maintenance, or the gradual deterioration of a building when routine or major maintenance is not performed. The purpose of the demolition by neglect provisions in the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) is to prevent demolition of landmarks or structures in local historic districts by the neglect of the property.
Conditions of Neglect
According to the UDO, a building can be declared to be in a condition of demolition by neglect if one or more of the following conditions exist:
Any fault, defect, or condition in the building which renders the same structurally unsafe or not properly watertight
Building parts that may fall and injure the public
Defective or deteriorated floor supports, walls, ceiling, roofs, chimneys, or vertical or horizontal supports that split, lean, list, buckle, sag, or split
Deteriorated or inadequate foundation
Anyone in the community can initiate an investigation of a potential demolition by neglect condition by petition to the Planning Director. The staff notifies the property owner of the pending investigation and gathers information on the condition of the structure. Then, one or more public meetings are scheduled to gather evidence on the issue. The Planning Director makes a determination as to whether a condition of demolition of neglect is found. If the property owner wishes to appeal the Planning Director’s decision, the appeal is made to the HPC.
If a property is found to be in a state of demolition by neglect, corrective measures will be required of the property owner. An order of abatement may be applied for by the City and civil penalties may be assessed for failure to comply with the terms of the demolition by neglect determination. The ordinance provides safeguards from undue economic hardship to the property owner.