Demolition process

We explain how the Director of Inspections can declare a property a nuisance and order either demolition or rehab in Minneapolis.

Nuisance abatement process

Under the authority of City Ordinance Chapter 249.30, the Director of Inspections is authorized to declare a property a nuisance and order either demolition or rehab (Director’s Order).

According to the ordinance, a building within the city shall be deemed a nuisance condition and subject to abatement actions if it is:

  1. Vacant and unoccupied for a period of at least six months; or
  2. Unfit for occupancy because it is condemned for boards or maintenance for a period of at least 60 days.
  3. Has a negative impact on property values as a result of deterioration of the subject building; or
  4. Has an unjustifiable rehab costs: Evidence, including but not limited to rehabilitation assessments completed by CPED, clearly demonstrating that the cost of rehabilitation is not justified when compared to the after-rehabilitation resale value of the building.

Director's order

Staff periodically evaluates each property on the Vacant Building Registration list to determine if a Director’s Order to abate the condition is appropriate. The most common abatement action ordered by the City is demolition.

Properties are evaluated using the following criteria:

  • Fire damage (severity is considered)
  • Condition of the property
  • Length of time the property has been condemned and vacant
  • Activity by owner (code compliance inspection completed, permits pulled)
  • History or prior involvement with the Problem Properties Unit
  • Proximity of the address to other boarded and vacant structures
  • Market potential of property after rehab

Once staff has determined the necessary abatement action, the following occurs:

  1. Staff sends out a Director’s Order to Raze and Remove. The notification goes by certified mail to the owner of record, taxpayer and all interested parties (mortgage companies, lien holders). The notice gives 30 days to comply with the order or 21 days to appeal.
  2. The order to abate is published at least three times in Finance and Commerce.
  3. The order to abate is posted on the property with the process to appeal.
  4. If the owner appeals, the item is scheduled before the Nuisance Condition Process Review Panel.
  5. The date and time for the appeal is sent to the owner, neighbors within 350 feet of the property, and the neighborhood organization. The neighbors are invited to submit impact statements if they choose.
  6. The recommendation of the Nuisance Condition Process Review Panel is forwarded to the City Council, and the City Council takes final action.

How long does this take?

If the owner does not either appeal the order or demolish the property, the City is authorized to hire a contractor and demolish the property. It usually takes another 60 to 90 days before the building is demolished by the City.

If the owner appeals the decision and enters into a restoration agreement, the total process to make all the corrections generally takes about three to six months.

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Fire Inspection Services Division

Regulatory Services






Public Service Building
505 S. Fourth Ave., Room 510B
Minneapolis, MN 55415