$500 a day fines in PTC for failing to register vacant houses?


Vacated homes will have to be registered with the city after they remain empty for more than 180 days, according to a new ordinance that will be considered Thursday night by the Peachtree City Council.

The idea is for the city to keep track of vacant homes for safety purposes and also to help protect the property values of nearby homeowners, city officials have said.

The fire and police departments would be told about the vacant homes, and city staff would also be empowered to make inspections when necessary to insure the property isn’t taken over by vagrants, for example, according to Interim Community Development Director David Rast.

The ordinance suggested by city staff would require a $200 registration fee and for additional inspection fees, with the first one being $50, the second $75 and $100 for each additional inspection.

The ordinance also empowers the city to declare an unregistered vacant home as being vacant.

Property owners who fail to provide required information, provide false information, or fail to act on a requirement under the ordinance would face a fee of up to $500 a day, according to the staff proposal.

There are a few cases in which exceptions could be made to having a home declared vacant, according to the proposed ordinance. They include:

• A vacant structure being actively marketed for sale or lease for less than 12 months by a licensed real estate broker or an owner who is regularly advertising the property;

• A vacant structure that is under contract for sale or lease for less than 12 months; and

• A vacant structure that has a city building permit issued for remodeling or repair.

In other business, council is being asked to approve an agreement that would allow for the creation of a disc (frisbee) golf club that would help maintain the city’s course directly across Willowbend Road from City Hall.

The club wants to raise money by offering memberships and sponsorships while also hosting small local tournaments at first. The club’s future goal is to build an 18-hole course somewhere in the city to enable the recruitment of state-level tournaments, according to a memo from city recreation staff.