Unsafe Structures & OTA

When compliance of unsafe structures cannot be obtained Order To Take Actions hearings are scheduled. All parties having interest in the property are notified and the cases are brought before the hearing officer. The hearing officer may affirm or deny the Building Commissioners orders or he/she may impose additional civil penalties or issue orders for demolition of the unsafe structure.

Unsafe Buildings and Structures and Order To Take Action

When is a structure deemed unsafe?

A building or structure is deemed unsafe when it does not provide adequate egress, or which constitute a fire hazard, or is otherwise dangerous to human life. When a building or structure, in relation to an existing use constitutes a hazard to safety or health, or public welfare, by reason of inadequate maintenance, dilapidation, or abandonment as specified in the Property Maintenance Code and/or the Unsafe Building Statue the Building Code or any other ordinance are declared to be public nuisances and shall be abated by repair, rehabilitation, or demolition.


How does the OTA process work?

Whenever an enforcement officer finds that a violation exist, he/she shall caused to be served upon the responsible party a written order (notice) to abate the violation. If after a reasonable time limit the responsible party notified fails to abate the violation the code officer will forward the information to the Building Commissioner for a hearing date. At the conclusion of the hearing and after due consideration of any information presented by the code officer and the responsible party, the Hearing Officer shall render a decision as to whether a nuisance or unsafe condition exist.

For additional information please contact the Building Commissioner at 574 294-5471 extension 1009.

Is the final decision always demolition?

Demolition is always the last option unless an emergency exists which creates a dangerous and imminent health or safety hazard to persons, property or the general public which requires immediate action. If a structure is demolished, whether contracted by the City or privately, a clean hole inspection is required. Please provide 24 hrs. notice for the inspection to be performed.


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Sommer Bowers,
Customer and Executive Services Manager

Municipal Building (City Hall)
229 S 2nd St
Elkhart, IN 46516
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  • Phone:  (574) 294-5471 x 1024
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  • Hours: 8:00 am-5:00 pm Monday-Friday

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