Vacant Building Ordinance
Intergovernmental Agreement Passed between Cook County and Village of Oak Lawn
Last week, the Cook County Board of Commissioners passed an Intergovernmental Agreement between Cook County and the Village of Oak Lawn to participate in the County’s Vacant Building Ordinance. President Preckwinkle introduced the Intergovernmental Agreement on September 10, 2012.
The agreement is the result of the efforts undertaken by the Bureau of Economic Development, the Department of Building and Zoning, the Department of Administrative Hearings and representatives of the Village of Oak Lawn. Under the agreement, the Cook County Department of Building and Zoning will work with Oak Lawn employees to determine if buildings within the village are vacant and have not been registered with the County. Building and Zoning will then institute the administrative hearing process where necessary. The stakeholders will also work closely together to register vacant buildings with the County.
The Vacant Building Ordinance will work alongside the Village of Oak Lawn’s municipal property maintenance ordinances, and allow the village to hold property owners and mortgagees accountable by making them subject to fines for failing to register their properties. Through a negotiated agreement with the County, Oak Lawn will also be able to receive fifty percent of all registration fees, fines and penalties collected by the County in conjunction with the Vacant Building Ordinance.
The Vacant Building Ordinance, which came into effect earlier this year, was co-sponsored by President Preckwinkle and Commissioner Bridget Gainer (D-10th). It seeks to eliminate blight in communities hit hard by the foreclosure crisis. The Ordinance requires owners and mortgagees to register their properties with the County and maintain the interior and exterior of the buildings to certain standards. Additionally, it expedites the adjudication process that continues to clog up the County’s court system.
For more information on the Vacant Building Ordinance, go to: www.cookcountyil.gov/BuildingZoning.