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Any building used or to be used as a residence which is not legally occupied or at which substantially all lawful construction operations or residential occupancy has ceased for a period of at least three months, and any commercial property that has not been legally occupied or at which substantially all lawful construction operations have ceased for a period of at least three months, and which exhibits evidence of vacancy such that a reasonable person would believe that the property is vacant. Any property that contains all building systems in working order, is being maintained on a regular basis, has not been cited by the Town for any violation of municipal ordinance within such time and is being actively marketed by its owner for sale or rental shall not be deemed vacant.
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The owner of any such property in order to be exempt from the payment of a registration fee shall provide adequate proof to the Town of the bona fide active marketing of the property for sale by providing such evidence of such bona fide active marketing activities as shall be reasonably required by the Town, including but not limited to, copies of listing agreements and/or pending contracts of sale or other advertising or marketing efforts being made by the property owner directly to promote the sale of the property. Retention of a realtor is not required to actively market a property under this Chapter. Although exempt from the payment of any registration fee, in all other respects, the property owner of any vacant property that is being actively marketed for sale in a bona fide manner shall be required to maintain the property while it is being actively marketed in a bona fide manner in accordance with this Chapter and all other ordinances of the Town of Newton.
The owner shall have obtained all necessary permits and approvals from the Town to repair or renovate the property and shall demonstrate proof to the Town of diligent continuous efforts by the owner to promptly complete the repair or renovation of any such property.