Vacant Building Registration



In an effort to ensure that Menasha’s Downtown remains vibrant and maintained, the Common Council has approved an ordinance amendment regarding vacant buildings within the C-2 Central Business  District. It has been found that vacant buildings have a detrimental effect on the maintenance of the building and the profitability of neighboring businesses.


Once a commercial buildings becomes vacant, the owner of the building has 30 days to register their building with the City of Menasha Community Development Department. Current vacant commercial buildings have 30 days from the date they received the Vacant Registration Letter from the City, to submit the Vacant Building Registration Form to the Community Development Department or to inform the city that the building is not vacant by provided proof the building is no longer vacant.


“VACANT DEFINED: For the purpose of this Section, a vacant building is defined as any building, zoned Central Business District (C-2), that has commercial units that are abandoned, unoccupied, empty, or has a retail business that is not open to the public more than 13 days a month. A day is a period of time, not less than 4 consecutive hours in a 24 hour period, which a business is open to the public and an employee of that business is present at the property.”


If property owners do not register the vacant building or provide proof that the building is no longer vacant to the City after 30 days from the date the Vacant Registration Letter was sent, the property owner is subject to a minimum of a $500 fine. Vacant building shall renew their registration with the City every 6 months that the building remains vacant and will be required to pay a $250 fine upon re-registration. A building that is vacant for more than a year, or that has failed multiple inspections, may be recommended by the Landmarks Commission to the Plan Commission to be blighted pursuant to Wisconsin State Statute 66.1333(2m)(bm).


Once the property is registered, it will be added to the Vacant Building Registration list. Properties on the Vacant Building Registration List are subject to an inspection once every 6 months, to ensure building is being maintained in accordance with local building and health codes. Property owners will be notified of any building or health violations that the inspector finds and a re-inspection fee of $500 will be imposed until the violation is corrected. If the inspector is unable to gain access to the building during the time they are scheduled to do the inspection, the property owner will be required to pay a $85 fine.


All fees collected through the Vacant Building Ordinance will be put into the Community Block Development Façade Renovation Grant/Loan Program to assist with capital improvements on the exterior façade of commercial properties in the C-2 Central Business District.


How Do I Register?

Fill out the "Vacant Building Registration Form" located here.

After you have filled out the form email it to the City Planner.

If you prefer to mail the form please send it to:
ATTN: Community Development Department
100 Main Street
Menasha WI, 54952 

Once you have registered please inform Community Development if the building is no longer vacant. If the building remains vacant in the next six months you will be contacted to set up an inspection time/date.
Vacant Building Registration Ordinance