From the Norfolk City Code of Ordinances:

 

ARTICLE VI. DERELICT BUILDINGS

Sec. 27-70. Violations. Unless otherwise specified, any person violating any provision of this article shall be guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor. Each day a violation continues shall be deemed a new and separate violation.

Sec. 27-71. Definitions. For purposes of this article the following terms shall have the following definitions:

Derelict building means a residential or nonresidential building or structure, whether or not construction has been completed, that might endanger the public's health, safety or welfare and for a continuous period in excess of six months has been:  (i) Vacant;
(ii) Boarded up; and (iii) Not lawfully connected to electric service from a utility service provider or not lawfully connected to any water or sewer service from a utility service provider.

Director means the director of neighborhood preservation or his designee.

Person means any individual, firm, owner, sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, unincorporated association, governmental body, municipal corporation, executor, administrator, trustee, guardian, agent, occupant or other legal entity.

Sec. 27-72. Enforcement. The director of neighborhood preservation is hereby vested with the authority to require the abatement of derelict buildings pursuant to the provisions of this article and other applicable codes, laws and regulations.

Sec. 27-73. Notice of declaration of derelict building.

(a) Whenever it shall come to the knowledge of the director of neighborhood preservation that there exists upon land in the city any derelict building, he shall notify the owner of the derelict building that the owner must submit a work plan within ninety (90) calendar days to either demolish the derelict building or renovate the derelict building so that lawful use and occupancy of the building or structure is possible.

(b) The notice of declaration of derelict building shall be sent by certified mail to the owner at the address in the real estate tax assessment records. If the owner's address on the real estate tax assessment records is the address of the derelict building, the director of neighborhood preservation may also post a copy of the notice on the derelict building.

(c) The notice of declaration of derelict building shall also constitute a notice of violation under article I of chapter 27 of the Norfolk City Code.

(d) Any person sent a notice of declaration of derelict building pursuant to this section who shall fail to comply with the time specified for submitting a work plan shall be guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor.

(e) Nothing in this article shall prohibit an owner from requesting that his building or structure be evaluated for a declaration of derelict building.

Sec. 27-74. Submittal of work plan by owner; approval by director.

(a) The work plan required to be submitted by the owner shall be on a form prescribed by the director of neighborhood preservation. The work plan must provide a proposed time within which the plan must be commenced and completed. The work plan may include one or more adjacent properties of the owner, whether or not all have been declared to contain a derelict building. The contents of the plan and the proposed schedule shall be subject to approval by the director of neighborhood preservation and shall be deemed noncompliant until such plan is approved.

(b) Once the director of neighborhood preservation approves the work plan, the contents of the work plan and the schedule for commencement and completion of the work plan shall be binding on the owner. Failure to comply with the contents of the approved work plan or the dates for commencement and completion, shall constitute a class 2 misdemeanor.

(c) Any approval granted by the director of neighborhood preservation under this section shall not relieve the owner of property located in any historic district from complying with the approval requirements established by relevant provisions of the zoning ordinance before any demolition permit can be issued or any demolition can commence.

Sec. 27-75. Work plan completion; permit fee refund.

(a) If the approved work plan calls for demolition of the derelict building, upon submittal of proof of demolition within the prescribed time period, the owner shall be given a refund of the demolition permit fees.

(b) If the approved work plan calls for renovation of the derelict building, upon submittal of proof of renovation in the prescribed time period, the owner of the derelict building shall be given a refund of fifty (50) percent of the building permit fees.

Sec. 27-76. Tax abatement.

(a) Prior to commencement of an approved work plan to demolish or renovate a derelict building, the owner may request the real estate assessor to make an assessment of the derelict building.

(b) After demolition, at the request of the owner, the real estate assessor shall reflect the reduction in the assessment as a result of the removal of the derelict building.

(c) After renovation, at the request of the owner, the real estate assessor shall reflect the fair market value of the renovation improvements in the real estate tax assessment records. The real estate tax in an amount equal to the increase in the fair market value of the renovations shall be abated for a period of fourteen (14) years, and is transferable with the property.

(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the tax abatement process is not available for any property which either is a registered Virginia landmark or is determined by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources to contribute to the significance of a registered historic district.

Sec. 27-77. Additional remedies of city.

Notwithstanding the provisions of this article, the city may proceed to make repairs, secure the derelict building, demolish the derelict building, abate the nuisance, or exercise any and all other remedies, pursuant to Code of Virginia, title 15.2, the Uniform Statewide Building Code, the Norfolk City Code and the Norfolk City Charter.