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Phoenix City Council launches vacant property registry to better communicate with local lot owners

Photo of vacant property registry
It’s lots like this one pictured above are the focus of vacant property registry now online at Phoenix City Hall. (Photo: city of Phoenix/DigitalFreePress)

Enforcement of vacant property registry begins February 2024

Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

Phoenix City Council is moving forward with the vacant property registry, which is now open to the public.

Emboldened through ordinance passed by Phoenix City Council last month, properties vacant for more than 30 days that meet the following criteria are now required to register with the Neighborhood Services Department:

  • Non-residential properties
  • Unimproved land that is 10,000 or more square feet
  • Residential properties with 50 or more units

Officials at City Hall say the vacant property registry takes an important step toward addressing the municipal need for increased communication with vacant property owners.

Before establishing the vacant property registry, the city faced challenges with locating property owners, especially those who reside out-of-state, officials there say.

The new ordinance addresses these challenges by requiring owners to register annually, provide contact information and report occupancy changes within 10 days, according to Spencer Self, who serves as the Phoenix Neighborhood Services Department director.

“This is a huge win for Phoenix neighborhoods,” he said in a prepared statement. “The vacant property registry will enable the city to respond more efficiently to issues like blight and crime and put us in direct contact with property owners to provide essential education and resources.”

The Neighborhood Services Department aims to educate property owners about property maintenance requirements and available public resources by offering access to waivers and educational materials through a digital portal. Those public resources include:

  • Authority to Arrest (ATA)
  • Graffiti Removal Waiver
  • Private Property Access Waiver
  • Common Blight Violations
  • Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

“The Neighborhood Services Department is committed to partnering with residents and providing resources to help preserve and enhance Phoenix neighborhoods,” Mr. Self said.

Enforcement of new registry rules go into effect next month with fines ranging from $500 to $2,500, according to the Neighborhood Services Department, which urges property owners to register as soon as possible.

“We made the registration process very simple,” Mr. Self said. “The free, online portal is available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.”

The Vacant Property Registry is available now on myPHX311, a municipal online service portal.

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