Minnesota state statues allow cities to enact ordinances to handle the problems associated with hazardous and vacant buildings. In turn, the Minneapolis legislature enacted a statute authorizing the city to rehabilitate or demolish buildings to enhance livability, preserve the tax base, and abate public nuisances created by these buildings.
The ordinance allows the director of inspections to secure vacant and hazardous buildings and serve notice on the property owner. If the owner fails to reply within six days, the director may authorize the building be secured by boarding up all openings, or in the case of an emergency, the director may order the building to be boarded immediately. After a building is secured for sixty days without abatement, the owner must pay to have the gas shut off and the building winterized to prevent further damage.
Buildings may be labeled nuisances for several reasons, including but not limited to: remaining vacant and unoccupied for the use they were originally erected for a period of six months; or failure to meet the minimum occupancy standards set out by city ordinance, housing maintenance code, or other defined means for sixty days. Upon the director’s determination that the property is a nuisance, he shall order the building to be demolished or rehabilitated, and give notice to the building owner specifying the conditions composing the nuisance. The ordinance also provides the owner with a chance to appeal the nuisance determination.