Members of the Charleston task force, which Davis chairs, agreed Wednesday to adopt Wheeling's fee schedule in their ordinance, which was drafted by the city attorney's office.
City Planning Director Dan Vriendt will make some other changes in the draft ordinance before the task force meets next month.
Task force member Russ Young wondered if the measure is too broad. "We can all probably think of [vacant] buildings that are perfectly fine."
Deneault said there's one on the West Side.
"The Lowman's Pharmacy building. It's in good condition." Prospective tenants have been turned away, he said. "They just want too much money."
Davis urged the task force to move forward.
"My feeling is, we have to do something," she said. "Rules can be changed. I've been on [the] council 13 years. We've been talking about it that long."
The registration fee is deliberately set high to send a message to owners, Davis said.
"You can't leave any building vacant with no one taking care of it," she said. "You can't have that. We have neighbors living next door to houses that have been vacant for years.
"There are places in Charleston where people say, 'We are going to clean this up in a year,' and they don't do it.
"It's a significant fee," Davis said. "We have to get the attention of the owners of vacant properties."
Reach Jim Balow at ba...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5102.