OGDEN -- Owners of historic properties in Ogden will now face greater scrutiny and legal action if they allow their buildings to deteriorate.
The city council voted Tuesday night to adopt an ordinance that addresses "demolition by neglect" for all locally designated historic resources.
The council-initiated ordinance allows the city Landmarks Commission or the city's building official to investigate potential demolition by neglect of a historic property.
If demolition by neglect is found, the property owner would be able to work with the city to bring the property back into compliance, appeal the findings or make a claim of undue economic hardship.
Options will also be available for property owners to work with the city to develop an alternative plan to preserve the historic structure.
"The intention is to prevent the neglect of significant landmarks and to maintain these historic structures within our community," said Councilwoman Susie Van Hooser. "It's a proactive approach to help preserve our historic structures, whether that be a home, a business or just a community building we feel is very important to preserve."
Under the ordinance, if a property owner is found in neglect and fails to complete a repair as ordered by the city, civil penalties will apply.
If an owner fails to comply with the order and the deterioration of the structure continues, the Landmarks Commission may submit a request to the city attorney to seek injunctive relief to stop further deterioration of the structure.
Mayor Mike Caldwell said the ordinance will help keep Ogden's history alive and well for generations to come.
"Protecting our history is important, especially when you come from a community with such a rich, amazing history as Ogden," the mayor said. "The fact that we've protected and maintained our (historic structures) and people can have this rich, eclectic, historic experience downtown is very important to what we're trying to accomplish in Ogden."
The demolition by neglect ordinance applies only to formally nominated and formally designated historic resources and to properties within the Crossroads of the West Historic District receiving federal funding. City council action is required to formally designate a historic resource.