On November 7, 2017, the Duncanville City Council adopted an amended vacant building ordinance; Vacant Building Ordinance No. 2324. This ordinance regulates commercial and industrial vacant structure properties, which includes church properties located in non-residential zoning districts and shopping centers that are over 50 percent vacant. The ordinance establishes new features not included in the City’s previous vacant building ordinance. Properties not included in this regulation include the following uses: Single or Multi Family structures, churches and their ancillary buildings (unless they are in a non-residential zoning district), and partially vacant shopping centers (unless those centers are over 50% vacant).

New features contained within this ordinance include:

  • Registration of vacant properties
  • Contact information
  • Proof of liability insurance of no less than $100,000
  • Minimal marketing requirements include listing property and the appropriate sale or leasing signage
  • Submission of criminal trespass warrant
  • Submission of floor plan for first responders
  • Notice of change of ownership; and
  • Must adhere to additional standards of care and maintenance for property including securing of the structure

The proposed registration fee is $750 annually with an inspection fee based on $0.01 per square foot of space. Fee waivers to this ordinance are allowed based on an adherence to the standards of care contained within the ordinance. Waivers are good for only a 12-month period with the property owner applying for the waiver each year. Fee waiver exemptions will be evaluated based on four criteria:

  • Property has been devastated by a catastrophe such as fire or flood.
  • The property owner is deceased or is no longer legally competent.
  • The owner of the property has obtained a building permit and is progressing in an expedient manner to prepare the premises for occupancy.
  • The owner of a property has maintained the property to the standard of care required under this article, as well as all other applicable ordinances and laws.

If you are an owner or agent of a vacant building as it pertains to this ordinance, you will be required to register the building under the auspices of this ordinance. Enforcement of this ordinance is set to begin January 1, 2018. For more information about this ordinance, please contact the City of Duncanville Code Enforcement office at (972) 780-5041. With your help, we can all make Duncanville a better place to live, work and play!

To view Vacant Building Ordinance No. 2324, click here.