City Ordinance Section18

Within the city limits of Virginia, it has been reported that we have over 8% of the properties in our town that are vacant.   While we have some well cared for properties in Virginia, it has been found that vacant buildings are a major cause and source of blight in residential and non-residential neighborhoods, especially when the owner or responsible party of the building fails to actively maintain and manage the building. 

 Vacant Building Registration

Starting on January 1, 2020, all residential or commercial vacant buildings that have been vacant for more than 30 days must be registered with the City.  

 A building is defined as vacant if no person or persons actually and currently conducts a lawful business or lawfully resides or lives in any part of the building on a permanent, non-transient basis for more than 30 days.  This includes a single-family property, single commercial buildings, and multi-family buildings that do not have any occupants.

 Some exemptions to the vacant building registration include:

  • A parcel of land that does not have a building located on it.
  • Extended vacationers or snowbirds
  • Fire-damaged property

How Do I Register My Vacant Building?

To register your vacant building, you must complete a Vacant Building Registration form.   Click HERE For a VACANT BUILDING APPLICATION.  These forms can also be obtained by contacting Kris M at City Hall at (218) 749-3563. 

 Fees for the first year of vacancy (2020) are set at $50.00.  Each year of vacancy after 2020 will be determined by the fee schedule set by City Council resolution.  

 Why Is the City Enacting This Ordinance?

Neglect of vacant buildings, as well as use of vacant buildings by transients and squatters, creates a risk of fire, explosion or flooding to the vacant building and adjacent properties. Vacant buildings that are boarded to prevent entry by transients and other long-term vacancies discourage economic development and retard appreciation of property values. There is a substantial cost to the city for monitoring vacant buildings whether or not those buildings are boarded.  This cost should not be borne by the general taxpayers of the community; but, rather, these costs should be borne by those who choose to leave their buildings vacant.

 What Happens if I Do Not Register?

If an owner does not comply with the Vacant Building Ordinance, the city may commence abatement and recover its costs for correction of items found to be a blight factor in accordance with subsection 425.25 of this code and Minnesota Statutes, section 429.101.

 If you have any questions, please contact Kris Marafioti, City of Virginia, at 218-749-3563.