Shavano Park City Council on Nov. 27 approved setting up procedures to address unsafe, substandard or dilapidated buildings.

The background

Local officials said, until recently, the city had the power to enforce building and fire codes, but had no ordinance authorizing abatement of substandard residential and commercial structures.

According to city staff, the newly adopted ordinance provides a fair and transparent process for dealing with a building deemed unsafe.

Digging deeper

The newly passed ordinance features language that empowers the city’s building official—the city manager, building inspector or fire marshal—to enforce provisions of both building and fire codes alongside requirements contained in the ordinance.

Additionally, the ordinance establishes a building standards board that will have the same residents appointed to the board of adjustment.

According to the new rules, once a building official or fire marshal determines a structure is substandard, the city may notify the property owner of the need to repair or demolish the building.

The structure in question must also be secured, and the city can recommend abatement proceedings to the building standards board.

Structure owners will be fined up to $500 per day for an unsafe commercial building and up to $100 per day for a substandard residential structure until they comply with the new ordinance.