What Properties May Fall Under the Blight Abatement Program?
Generally, to be considered for the Blight Abatement Program, a property must meet the definition of “blighted" under the Spot Blight Abatement Statute established under Va. Code Ann. 36-3.
"Blighted property" means any individual commercial, industrial, or residential structure or improvement that endangers the public's health, safety, or welfare because the structure or improvement upon the property is dilapidated, deteriorated, or violates minimum health and safety standards, or any structure or improvement previously designated as blighted pursuant to Va. Code Ann. 36-49, under the process for determination of "spot blight."
How Does It Operate?
After the owner is notified that the property is blighted if the property owner does not remove the blight or present an acceptable plan to cure the blight within a reasonable period of time, under powers granted under the Code of Virginia, the county can declare, by ordinance, any blighted property as a nuisance and then compel the abatement of the nuisance.
If the owner or owners fail to abate the nuisance, the county may do so and charge and collect the cost thereof from the owner of the property in any manner provided by law for the collection of state or local taxes.
How Long Does It Take to Eliminate a Blighted Property?
Through voluntary cooperation of the property owner(s), eliminating blight can be completed in as few as 60 days. Without cooperation of the property owner, enforcement procedures may become a time consuming legal process of public hearings, additional notifications, solicitation of bids, permitting and finally the removal of the blight.