if the building is reoccupied in that time there is no fee whatsoever. I’m happy to do
that. That is probably very optimistic because you do have the court system and I
don’t know how fast that moves. The other option is, let’s say it takes six months
before it is reoccupied, I would then look at the special assessment for the Vacant
Building fee. It is my practice to prorate the fee so it isn’t the full annual fee.
I’m afraid going into the Vacant Building program is triggered automatically in these
conditions. I get you are addressing the conditions but I have to assess if there is
anything exceptional about this that the Code shouldn’t apply. I don’t see that here.
Conditions were bad and we don’t have firm ownership, as well as the gross unsanitary
conditions. I know you aren’t in the business of doing that and respect the
responsibility you’ve taken on this. You are being good neighbors and I want to be
supportive. At the same time, I can’t say the City can walk away from its Code on this.
I’m trying to figure out how to make it as painless as possible. That would be putting
the fee waiver in place and revisit it if it does go to assessment. You’re in a tough
position, you have family and legal issues going on, it is four hours away. It is a big lift
and you’re in the game.
Chris Ryan: thank you.
Moermond: I’ll put that waiver into place. I think it does need that Code Compliance
Inspection because of its hoarded status. If an inspector goes in and sees nothing,
that’s great. I think it does need to happen though.
Chris Ryan: let’s say the inspector goes in, gives it a clean bill of health, being
occupied is what removes it from the Vacant Building list? If it is up to Code? That is
also in those 90 days, someone fixing it up and moving it in? Or it has to be fixed up
and it is no longer vacant?
Moermond: the thing that governs whether or not it is in the Vacant Building program is
when it becomes habitable under the Code. That would be when the Certificate is
issued indicating the repairs have been made. Let’s say a flipper did pick it up and fix
it up by February. They were then in the program for 5 months. We could prorate it as
soon as that Certificate is in hand. It is just no one can move in until that Certificate is
issued. That’s the distinction. The Council is the decisionmaker and I give them a
recommendation. They will have a record of our conversation today and the appeal you
filed, the photos from the inspector. You could try and make a case that you don’t
think it should be a Category 2. Where you will have trouble is that it is empty and it
does have those violations.
Mackenzie Ryan: in order for us to make an argument—I’m not disagreeing it could be
considered a severe health hazard—but as soon as that is gone and we have no
evidence of rodents? It has water, electricity, heat. It isn’t a very pretty house, but it
has siding. To make that argument between Category 2 and Category 1 it is hard when
we don’t have specific things to show there have been corrections.
Moermond: I hear you, and there are things we talk about that trigger your being put
into the Vacant Building program and those are the violations immediately observable
by the police and sent to Vacant Building inspectors. Then there is how you get it from
that to being occupied again. It isn’t simply a matter of cleaning it. It is becoming code
compliant. It isn’t just shoveling out the rotten food. We don’t know what is underneath
that. Once it reaches that state City policy is you have to bring it up to minimum
standards. That list comes forward in that Code Compliance Inspection Report which
can’t be done until it is cleaned out. What gets it into the program and what gets it out
of the program are two different things, two different lists. That is something people
commonly ask about.
Mackenzie Ryan: I know. It just seems like it is built for us to automatically file without