For purposes of this article, the following definitions shall apply:
(a) “Dangerous Structure” --A structure which is unfit for human use or habitation due to conditions that exist which are dangerous or injurious, or which are potentially dangerous or injurious, to the health, safety or morals of the occupants of such buildings or other residents of the city, or which have a blighting influence on properties in the area, which such conditions may include (but shall not be limited to) the following: Defects therein increasing the hazards of fire; accident or other calamities, lack of adequate ventilation or heating; air pollution; lack of adequate sanitary facilities; dilapidation, disrepair, structural defects or uncleanliness; overcrowding; inadequate ingress or egress; vermin infestation; abandoned structures which are open and readily accessible to children, transients or otherwise without right or privilege to be therein; inadequate drainage; or any violation of health, fire, building or zoning regulations or any other laws or regulations relating to the use of land and the use and occupancy of buildings and improvements.
(b) In addition to the foregoing, the term “dangerous structure” also means a building or structure which may be deemed to be a dangerous building due to the existence of defects as set forth in section 6-135 of the Code of the City of Newton, Kansas, and also means a building or structure as to which any of the conditions exist as set forth in section 6-1105 of the Code of the City of Newton, Kansas.
(c) “Nuisance” or “Nuisance Condition” includes the following:
(1) Any condition defined as a nuisance under section 11-201 of the Code of the City of Newton, Kansas;
(2) Any items, material or accumulations which are located upon or about any property within the city in violation of the provisions of section 18-105 of the Code of the City of Newton, Kansas;
(3) Any inoperable vehicle as defined in Ordinance No. 4071-93 of the city and located upon any property within the city in violation of such ordinance;
(4) Any unsightly appearances that constitute a blight to adjoining property, the neighborhood or the city, such as: dead and dying trees, limbs and other unsightly natural growth; substantial deterioration of exterior walls, sidings or painted surfaces of buildings; stored or parked materials, equipment, supplies, or parts that are readily visible from neighboring properties (except for those which are temporarily stored or parked in relation to continuous, on-going construction, repair or maintenance in a lawful matter of improvements upon or about such property); and
(5) Any excavation, former basement or open pit which has not been filled in or otherwise made safe so as not to pose a hazard to persons or other property.
(Ord. 4072, Sec. 1)
(Ord. 4072, Sec. 2; Repealed by Ord. 4416-02, Sec. 1)
(Ord. 4072, Sec. 3; Repealed by Ord. 4416-02, Sec. 1)
(a) In addition to any other procedure than may now or hereafter be established by ordinance or by the city code there is hereby established the following procedure for the abatement of dangerous structure and nuisance conditions within the city, and for the assessment and collection of the costs thereof.
(b) Upon it appearing to the governing body that there exists in the city a dangerous structure or nuisance condition upon a property within the city, the governing body may adopt a resolution establishing a date, time and place within the city for the conduct by the governing body of a hearing thereof. Such resolution shall provide that the owner of the property, the owner’s agent, any landholders of record, and any occupant or tenant of the property may appear at such hearing to show cause why the structure should not be condemned and ordered repaired or demolished, or why the nuisance condition should not be abated.
(c) If the subject of the hearing includes a structure which is believed to be a dangerous structure, the resolution shall be published once a week for two consecutive weeks in the official newspaper of the city, and at least 30 days must elapse between the date of the last publication and the hearing date. A copy of the resolution shall be mailed to each owner and lienholder of record, and to any other known owner, agent, lienholder, occupant and tenant at the last known address for each, marked “deliver to addressee only,” which mailing shall be made not later than the 3rd day after the date of the first publication thereof.
(d) If the subject of the hearing relates only to a nuisance condition or conditions, not less than 10 days prior to the hearing date a copy of the resolution shall either be mailed to each owner and lienholder of record, and to any other known owner, agent, lienholder, occupant and tenant at the last known address for each, marked “deliver to addressee only,” or shall be personally served upon any one or more of such persons or parties.
(e) The hearing shall be conducted by the governing body at a duly called and constituted meeting thereof conducted at the date, time and place as designated in the resolution. Such hearing may be continued from time to time as necessary to conclude such proceedings, without further notice other than the announcement at such proceedings, without further notice other than the announcement at such hearing of the date, time and place of the continuation of such hearing. At any hearing thereon any owner, agent, lienholder, occupant and tenant of the property, and any other party in interest, in person or by a duly designated representative, shall be entitled to appear before the governing body and offer testimony and evidence on the issue of the existence of a dangerous structure or nuisance condition. Formal rules of evidence prevailing in courts of law or equity shall not be controlling in such hearings. The governing body shall be entitled to establish reasonable rules and regulations for the conduct of such hearings, including the imposition of reasonable time limitations upon presentations of parties appearing before the governing body thereon.
(f) If, after the conclusion of such hearing, the governing body by a majority vote thereof determines that any structure under consideration is dangerous, or that any condition under consideration constitutes a nuisance, the governing body may adopt a resolution which shall include the following:
(1) The findings of fact in support of such determination;
(2) As to any structures found by the governing body to constitute a dangerous structure:
(A) The fixing of a reasonable time within which designated repairs are to be commenced, or within which the property is to be demolished; provided, however, that if the governing body finds that repairs can be made at a cost not exceeding 50 percent of the value of the structure (excluding the cost of the land), then the owner or other party in interest must be given the option of making repairs to the property; and provided, further, that if the governing body finds that repairs cannot be made at a cost not exceeding 50 percent of the value of the structure (excluding the cost of the land), then the owner of other party in interest may be required to demolish the structure and not be given the option of making repairs to the property; and
(B) The state that, if such repairs or demolition are not commenced within the time required, or if after commencement such repairs or demolition is not diligently pursued to completion, the governing body may cause the structure to be repaired or demolished and approved, with the costs thereof being charged to such person or party and, if not paid, assessed against such property.
(3) As to any conditions found by the governing body to constitute nuisance conditions:
(A) The fixing of a reasonable time within which such nuisance conditions shall be removed or abated; and
(B) The statement that, if such removal or abatements not completed within the time required, the governing body may cause such removal or abatement to be performed, with the costs thereof being charged to such person or party and, if not paid, assessed against such property.
(4) The date, time and place of any review hearing to be conducted by the governing body for the purpose of determining noncompliance with the orders and directions of the governing body as contained in such resolution;
(5) The statement that it is unlawful for any such dangerous structures or portions thereof or materials therefrom, and for any such nuisance conditions, to be relocated to or upon any other property within the city, such that a dangerous structure or nuisance condition is thereby created on such other property; and, that if a dangerous structure or nuisance condition is thereby created on such other property, the city may proceed to demolish or remove such dangerous structure, or remove or abate such nuisance condition, without further notice; and
(6) The statement that if, after the repair of such dangerous structure, or after the removal or abatement of such nuisance condition, such person or party causes or permits the same or a substantially similar condition to reoccur upon such property within three years thereafter, the governing body may proceed to demolish or remove such dangerous structure, or remove or abate such nuisance condition, without further notice.
(g) Any person or party demolishing a structure pursuant to the orders and directions of the governing body shall comply with all pertinent provisions of the building codes and regulations of the city, and shall pay or cause to be paid any required wrecking or demolition permit fee. Upon removing such structure, such person or party shall cause any sanitary sewer connections to be properly sealed, shall fill any basement or other excavation located upon the premises, and shall take such other action a necessary to leave the premises in a clean and safe condition.
(h) If the orders and directions of the governing body are not complied with for the repair or demolition of any dangerous structures or for the removal or abatement of any such nuisance conditions, the governing body may adopt a resolution directing that any such structure be repaired or demolished or that any such nuisance condition be removed or bated by the city, its agents or contractors. After such efforts are concluded, the city clerk shall give written notice to each owner, agent, lienholder, occupant and tenant of the costs thereof, such notice being sent by restricted mail, and shall include the following statements:
(1) That such costs are due and payable within 30 days after the giving of such notice;
(2) That if such costs or any portion thereof remain unpaid after 30 days the city clerk will certify such costs to the county clerk to be assessed against the property; and
(3) That if such assessments remain unpaid after one year from the date of the original assessment, the amount may be collected as a personal debt of the property owner by the commencement of an action in district court.
(i) If such costs remain unpaid after 30 days following the giving of notice as provided in paragraph (h) above, the city clerk shall cause such costs to be assessed against the particular lot or piece of land by certifying such assessment to the county clerk at the time special assessments are certified for spreading on the tax rolls.
(j) If any person or party to whom a resolution has been directed pursuant to paragraph (f) shall cause or permit the same or a substantially similar dangerous structure or nuisance condition to reoccur upon such property within three years thereafter, or if a dangerous structure or materials therefrom or a nuisance condition is relocated by such person or party to another property within the city, the governing body may proceed to demolish or remove such dangerous structure or remove abate such nuisance condition without further notice, with the costs thereof being subject to assessment and collection in the manner as provided in paragraphs (h) and (i).
(k) Any person or person aggrieved by any determination or order of the governing body pursuant to this article may petition the district court of the county within 30 days of the making of such determination or order for an injunction restraining the city and its public officers, agents and contractors from carrying out the provisions of such determination or order.
(Ord. 4072, Sec. 4)
(a) Any public officer of the city designated with responsibility for the investigation or enforcement of dangerous structure and nuisance condition violations of the city code or ordinances, and the public officer’s authorized assistants, employees, contracting agents or other representatives, are hereby expressly authorized to enter upon private property at any and all reasonable hours for the purpose of conducting inspections of such property to determine the existence of dangerous structure and nuisance conditions, for the purpose of determining whether the orders and directions of the governing body in that regard have been or are being complied with, and for the purpose of causing the repair or demolition of dangerous structures or causing the removal or abatement of nuisance conditions pursuant to the direction of the governing body.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to interfere with or to attempt to prevent the public officer or the public officer’s authorized assistants, employees, contracting agents and other representatives from entering or remaining upon any such lot or piece of ground, or from proceeding with any repair, demolition, removal or abatement as authorized by the governing body. Any such actions herein declared to be unlawful shall be punishable as an obstruction of an official duty under Section 7.2 of the 1993 Edition of the Uniform Public Offense Code as adopted by the city, or under any successor provisions of future editions of such code as may hereafter be adopted by the city.
(Ord. 4072, Sec. 5)
Nothing in this article shall be construed to abrogate or impair the powers of this city to enforce any other provisions of its charter, ordinances or regulations, nor to prevent or punish violations thereof; and the powers conferred by this article shall be in addition and supplemental to the other powers conferred upon the city.
(Ord. 4072, Sec. 6)