South River's Vacant Property Ordinance (PDF) requires owners of vacant properties to register their properties and pay an annual fee for registration. It further requires property owners to maintain the property in compliance with municipal codes. For further questions, please call our Borough Administrator.
Vacant Properties in the Borough
Our borough likes to see properties being active and utilized. The Great Recession contributed to a lot of real estate challenges around the country and we are experiencing many of those same issues in South River. Unfortunately, many properties around the borough sit vacant, in many cases in a dilapidated state, and the neighbors are the ones who suffer. We want to encourage vibrant neighborhoods with property owners that proudly care for their curb appeal. We passed a Vacant Properties Ordinance to codify these values and to begin rectifying the challenges facing our borough.
Vacant Properties Ordinance
The Vacant Properties Ordinance enables the borough to take several actions to ensure the beauty of a neighborhood that is often inhibited by vacant properties. In many cases, these properties are bank-owned and in those cases, failure to maintain these properties is a calculated decision that neighbors pay for in the form of decreased neighborhood beauty that oftentimes leads to property value reductions. The Ordinance is designed to tackle this issue. While we have no interest or power to force owners to sell their properties, the Ordinance provides incentives that encourage owners of vacant properties to activate or sell their property to another who will.
The money collected from these efforts will be placed into a South River Beautification Fund designed to provide the borough with funds to address some of the property issues around the borough. We are working on administering these funds in creative ways to provide the greatest benefit to residents and neighborhoods. The overall goals of the Beautification Fund will be to ensure funds are immediately available to address dilapidated property issues.