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In November of 2020, the Independence City Council passed Ordinance No. 19175 adopting the "Vacant Structure Registration and Maintenance" program.  The purpose of this program is to identify, register and monitor vacant structures, and set forth the responsibility for all people owning vacant structures, to speed the rehabilitation and re-occupancy of said vacant structures. 

Building that is vacant.

As part of the program, a vacant structure means: 

  • Any dangerous/unsafe structure, as provided by Section 4 of the Municipal Code for the City of Independence; 
  • Any residential structure that has not been legally occupied for 180 days, as defined by Municipal Code Section 4.16.001; 
  • Any free standing commercial, office or industrial real property that has less than fifty percent (50%) of the total area of the building (excluding stairwells, elevator shafts, and mechanical rooms) being legally occupied or is not being used for its authorized occupancy for more than180 days; 
  • Any multifamily residential building or structure containing five (5) or more dwelling units when eighty percent (80%) of the dwelling units are unoccupied.


A program that requires structures that are tagged dangerous or unsafe and any vacant structure that has been vacant (as defined by City Code Chapter 4, Section 16) to register the property, pay the registration fee and maintain the property. 

The purpose of the program is to identify, register and monitor such properties and to set forth the responsibility of all owners of such properties to speed the rehabilitation and re-occupation of such properties.  

The registration is valid for 6-months and must be renewed every 6-months until the structure is occupied or demolished. 

Properties will receive regular proactive inspections to ensure compliance with the Program maintenance requirements. Any violations must be addressed. 

Any owner that fails to comply with the registration requirements of this Chapter shall be subject to the general penalty provisions as provided in Chapter 4 of the Independence City Code. All fees, costs and charges assessed or incurred by the City shall constitute a lien on the real estate upon which such vacant structure is situated. 

The Vacant Property Registration Program requires maintenance to a certain standard. The property and structure must:  

• Be in compliance with the City’s Property Maintenance Code 

• Replace dead landscaping in accordance with the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO)   

• Remove or screen dumpsters in accordance with the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO)  

• Remove all signage and sign structures;  

• Pools, spas, and other water features shall be kept in working order so that water remains clear and free of pollutants and debris, or drained and kept dry and free of debris;  

• Keep all fire protection systems intact and functioning. Any registered owner wishing to disconnect the systems, must provide notification to Community Development, Fire Department and Police Department and ensure that the building no longer contains any materials or fire load beyond the structure itself.  

• Any disconnected or discontinued fire protection systems will be required to be brought up to current City adopted fire code.  

• Be maintained in a weather-tight and secure manner so as not to be accessible to unauthorized persons. Boarding of openings can only be temporary. 

Please, fill out the below application. You can either mail the application along with the fee or bring it to City Hall-2nd floor. 

Vacant Structure Application


Learn more about the Vacant Structure Registration Program by contacting Cheryl Wrisinger or Brandie Gardner at or by phone at (816) 325-7628.