Wright City, MO
Warren County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Section 520.005 Authority and Purpose.

[Ord. No. 814 §II, 12-12-2013[1]]
Pursuant to §67.400 et seq. of the Revised Missouri Statutes, the City is authorized to enact orders or ordinances to provide for vacation and the mandatory demolition of buildings and structures or mandatory repair and maintenance of buildings or structures within the corporate limits of the City which are detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of the residents and declared to be a public nuisance. This Chapter 520 has been adopted pursuant to that authority and in full compliance with all requirements of §67.410, RSMo., as amended.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided for the repeal of former Ch. 520, Dangerous Buildings, adopted as CC §§670.010 — 670.080, as amended.

Section 520.010 Definitions.

[Ord. No. 814 §II, 12-12-2013]
For the purposes of this Chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them herein:
BUILDING INSPECTOR
The Code Official, Building Official, Building Commissioner or City Engineer of the City of Wright City, Missouri.
DANGEROUS BUILDING
All buildings or structures which have any or all of the following characteristics shall be deemed "dangerous buildings":
1. 
Those whose interior walls or other vertical structural members list, lean or buckle to such an extent that a plumb line passing through the center of gravity falls outside of the middle third of its base.
2. 
Those which, exclusive of the foundation, show thirty-three percent (33%) or more of damage or deterioration of the supporting member or members or fifty percent (50%) of damage or deterioration of the non-supporting enclosing or outside wall or covering.
3. 
Those which have improperly distributed loads upon the floors or roofs or in which the same are overloaded or which have insufficient strength to be reasonably safe for the purpose used.
4. 
Those which have been damaged by fire, wind or other causes so as to have become dangerous to life, safety, morals or the general health and welfare of the occupants or the people of the City.
5. 
Those which have become or are so dilapidated, decayed, unsafe, unsanitary or which so utterly fail to provide the amenities essential to decent living that they are unfit for human habitation, or are likely to cause sickness or disease, so as to work injury to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of those living therein.
6. 
Those having light, air and sanitation facilities which are inadequate to protect the health, morals, safety or general welfare of human beings.
7. 
Those having inadequate facilities for egress in case of fire or panic or those having insufficient stairways, elevators, fire escapes or other means of communications.
8. 
Those which have parts thereof which are so attached that they may fall and injure members of the public or property.
9. 
Those which, because of their condition, are unsafe, unsanitary or dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of the people of this City.
OWNER
Any person, persons, partnership, unincorporated association, corporation, or fraternal or religious organization in whom is vested an interest in the premises as shown by the land records located in the office of the Recorder of Deeds in and for Warren County, Missouri. For purposes of this Chapter, the term "owner" shall also include any person, persons, partnership, unincorporated association, corporation, or fraternal or religious organization known to the City and who is recognized in equity as the owner of the property, because the real and beneficial use and title belong to him, although the bare legal title as shown by the conveyancing records in the office of the Recorder of Deeds of Warren County, Missouri, remains in another. For purposes of enforcing the provisions of this Chapter, the City may, at its option, proceed against the legal or equitable interest in said premises, or against both said interests.
SUPERINTENDENT
The City Superintendent of the City of Wright City, Missouri.

Section 520.020 Standards for Repair, Removal or Demolition.

[Ord. No. 814 §II, 12-12-2013]
A. 
The following standards shall be followed by the owners of vacant, dangerous buildings in repair, removal or demolition:
1. 
If the vacant, dangerous building can reasonably be repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this Chapter, it shall be ordered repaired.
2. 
If the vacant, dangerous building is in such condition as to make it dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of future occupants, it shall not be occupied until repaired.
3. 
In any case where a vacant, dangerous building is fifty percent (50%) damaged or decayed, or deteriorated from its original value or structure, it shall be demolished; and in all cases where a building cannot be repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this Chapter, it shall be demolished.

Section 520.030 Vacant, Dangerous Buildings as a Nuisance.

[Ord. No. 814 §II, 12-12-2013]
All vacant, dangerous buildings, as defined in Section 520.010, are hereby declared to be public nuisances and shall be repaired, removed or demolished as hereinbefore and hereafter provided.

Section 520.040 Duties of Building Inspector.

[Ord. No. 814 §II, 12-12-2013]
A. 
The Building Inspector shall:
1. 
Inspect any building, wall or structure about which complaints are filed by any person to the effect that a building, wall or structure is or may be existing in violation of this Chapter.
2. 
Inspect any building, wall or structure reported by the Fire or Police Department as probably existing in violation of the terms of this Chapter.
3. 
Report receipt of such complaints and the results of his investigation and inspection to the Superintendent.
4. 
Provide notice pursuant to Section 520.050 to the owner, lessee, mortgagee, agent and all other persons having an interest in said building of any building found by the Building Inspector to be a dangerous building, within the standards set out in Section 520.010, that:
a. 
The owner must remove or repair or demolish said building in accordance with the terms of the notice and this Chapter;
b. 
The said building may not be occupied until it shall be repaired in accordance with this Chapter;
c. 
The persons having an interest in said building may, at such persons' own risk, repair, remove or demolish said building or have such work or act done; provided that any person notified under this Subsection to repair, remove or demolish any building shall be given such reasonable time, not exceeding thirty (30) days, as may be necessary to do or have done the work or act required by the notice provided for herein.
5. 
Set out, in the notice provided for in Subsection (A)(4) hereof, a description of the building or structure deemed unsafe, a statement of the particulars which make the building or structure a dangerous building, and an order requiring the same to be put in such condition as to comply with the terms of this Chapter within such length of time, not exceeding thirty (30) days, as is reasonable.
6. 
Report to the Superintendent any noncompliance with the notice provided for in Subsection (A)(4) and (5) hereof.
7. 
Appear at all hearings conducted by the Superintendent and/or Board of Adjustment and testify as to the condition of dangerous buildings.
8. 
Place a notice on all dangerous buildings as set forth in Section 520.050.

Section 520.050 Notice.

[Ord. No. 814 §II, 12-12-2013]
A. 
The City of Wright City, Missouri, hereby establishes the following procedures for notices of dangerous buildings and other unsafe structures or equipment.
1. 
Notice of dangerous building. If a structure is found to be a dangerous building, the Building Inspector shall prepare and issue a notice, which notice, at a minimum, shall (1) specify that the property is to be vacated, if such be the case, reconditioned or removed; and (2) list a reasonable time for commencement. The notice shall be addressed to the owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee, agent, and all other persons having an interest in the building or structure as shown by the land records of the Recorder of Deeds of Warren County and may be served either by personal service or by certified mail, return receipt requested; but if service cannot be had by either of these modes of service, then service may be had by publication.
2. 
Identification of defects. The notice shall list defects in the structure or building that constitute a dangerous building, as defined in Section 520.010, and declare that structure or building a public nuisance.
a. 
The notice shall also order the structure or building vacated by the 15th day following service of the notice. However, if the Building Inspector determines that an imminently dangerous condition exists, the notice shall also order that the structure or building be vacated forthwith pursuant to Section 520.100 and/or Section 109.1 of the Property Maintenance Code and that the building or structure be boarded up or otherwise secured within twelve (12) hours of service of the notice.
b. 
In addition, the notice shall order that substantial work on repairs must begin or (if repairs would be unreasonable) that demolition must be completed by no later than the 30th day (or other such time frame) following service of the notice.
3. 
Form of notice. The notice shall be in substantially the following form:
CITY OF WRIGHT CITY, MISSOURI
NOTICE OF UNSAFE STRUCTURE AND DECLARATION OF PUBLIC NUISANCE AND ORDER
Unsafe Structure: [insert address or other adequate description of building or structure]
Serve: [insert names of owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee, agent and all other persons having an interest in the structure or building according to the land records of the Warren County Recorder of Deeds]
Notice of Unsafe Structure, Declaration of Public Nuisance, and Order: [complete Paragraphs 1, 2 and either 3a or 3b]
[1] THE STRUCTURE OR BUILDING IDENTIFIED ABOVE IS UNSAFE AND IS HEREBY DECLARED A PUBLIC NUISANCE BECAUSE OF THE FOLLOWING DEFECTS:
[List specific defects]
[2] NO PERSON MAY OCCUPY THIS STRUCTURE OR BUILDING, OR ANY PART THEREOF, AFTER THE 15TH DAY [or other reasonable period] FOLLOWING SERVICE OF THIS NOTICE.
After such date, no person shall occupy, enter, refuse to leave, or remain in this structure or building or any part thereof, except persons directly employed in securing, repairing or removing such building.
[If it is determined that repairs but not demolition of the dangerous building is in order, then the notice shall state:]
[3a] THIS STRUCTURE OR BUILDING MUST BE REPAIRED TO CURE THE DEFECTS LISTED IN PARAGRAPH 1 ABOVE. WORK MUST BEGIN WITHIN [insert number of days, not exceeding thirty (30)] DAYS FOLLOWING SERVICE OF THIS NOTICE AND PROCEED CONTINUOUSLY WITHOUT UNNECESSARY DELAY TO COMPLETION.
Nothing herein shall prohibit an owner from complying with a repair order by demolition and removal of this structure.
[If it is determined that demolition of the dangerous building is in order, then the notice shall also state:]
[3b] THIS STRUCTURE MUST BE DEMOLISHED AND REMOVED FROM THE PREMISES BY WITHIN [insert number of days, not exceeding sixty (60)] DAYS FOLLOWING SERVICE OF THIS NOTICE.
This demolition order is mandatory. However, it may be converted into a repair order, provided that plans and bids satisfactory to the Building Inspector are presented to the Building Inspector within [insert number of days, not exceeding twenty (20) days] of the service of this notice.
4. 
Posting of notice. In addition to the notice set forth in Subsection (A)(1), a copy of the notice shall be posted in a prominent place on the premises. The posted notice shall state that it is, and it is hereby declared to be, unlawful to remove the notice until such time as the City shall cause the notice to be removed.

Section 520.060 Review of Classification of Dangerous Building; Hearing.

[Ord. No. 814 §II, 12-12-2013]
A. 
Review Of Initial Building Inspector Determination:
1. 
Appeal by aggrieved person. Any person aggrieved by a finding by the Building Inspector that a structure is a dangerous building within the meaning of Section 520.010 shall have ten (10) days in which to appeal, in writing, to the Superintendent, who shall schedule a hearing, upon written notice or waiver thereof, which said notice and hearing shall be conducted in accordance with this Chapter.
2. 
Hearing on failure to repair/demolish as ordered. If the owner fails to undertake repair or demolition within the time specified by the Building Inspector, or upon failure to proceed continuously with the work without unnecessary delay, as provided to be done in the required notice, the Building Inspector shall notify the Superintendent, and the Superintendent shall call and have a full and adequate hearing upon the matter, giving the affected parties at least ten (10) days' written notice of the hearing.
3. 
Determination and order. If the evidence at the hearing supports a finding that the structure is a nuisance or detrimental to the health, safety, or welfare of the residents of the City, the Superintendent shall render a final decision in the form of an order making specific findings of fact, based upon competent and substantial evidence, which shows the building or structure to be a dangerous building thereby constituting a nuisance and detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of the residents of the City, and ordering the structure to be vacated, demolished and removed, or repaired within a specified time. If the evidence does not support a finding that the structure is a dangerous building or otherwise a nuisance or detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of the residents of the City, no order shall issue.
B. 
Review Of Order Of Superintendent:
1. 
Review of a final action by the Superintendent shall be as follows:
a. 
Final decision. The person petitioning for review shall obtain a final decision of the Superintendent before requesting review by the Board of Adjustment.
b. 
Petition for review. Within ten (10) days from the date of the final decision, the person requesting the review shall file, in the office of the City Clerk, a written petition for review of that decision in full compliance with Section 520.070. A copy shall also be filed with the City Attorney.
c. 
Initial review of decision. The City Clerk, in consultation with the City Attorney where appropriate, shall review each petition and determine whether it seeks review authorized by this code. In the event that the petition does not allege a review authorized by this code, the petition shall be dismissed upon direction of the City Clerk.
d. 
Stay of final action. Upon request of the petitioner, the Board of Adjustment may stay, pending its review, the final action of any decision, other than a decision of the Board of Aldermen, upon a showing that:
(1) 
The petitioner has a substantial likelihood of demonstrating that the final action to be reviewed is unlawful or an unconstitutional taking;
(2) 
Irreparable harm if such stay is not issued; and
(3) 
The public interest would not be harmed by issuance of such stay.
e. 
Hearing date. The Board of Adjustment shall set a time to review the decision that gave rise to the petition as soon as reasonably practical and shall provide public notice of such meeting. The Board of Adjustment shall hear and consider the evidence related to and submitted by the petitioner, the City or other interested parties in the discretion of the Board of Adjustment. The hearing shall include written submittals.
f. 
Hearing requirements. Unless a hearing or the requirements herein are waived by petitioner, each hearing shall provide a record of the proceedings (by audio, video, stenographic, or other reliable means of recording capable of transcription), and shall permit the parties to introduce evidence under oath, and shall provide for cross-examination, when requested. The formal hearing requirements herein shall be deemed waived if not affirmatively requested by the petitioner in its petition.
g. 
Board of Adjustment Review; guidelines. The Board of Adjustment shall review the facts and information presented by the petitioner and determine if the final action is supported by the evidence or, if claimed by the petitioner, unlawful or constitutes an unconstitutional taking without just compensation. In doing so, the City Attorney shall serve as legal counsel for the Superintendent and the City before the Board of Adjustment. The Board of Adjustment shall review the facts in light of the applicable City, State and Federal law. An affirmative vote of four (4) of the five (5) members of the Board of Adjustment shall be required to support any decision.
h. 
Time for final decision. If the Board of Adjustment fails to hear and decide the petition within thirty (30) days after the filing of the petition, the final action of the Superintendent shall be deemed to be submitted to the Board of Aldermen without recommendation; provided, however, the Board of Adjustment may extend the time to reach a decision, not exceeding an additional forty-five (45) days following the receipt of the information required pursuant to this Chapter, if, prior to the expiration of the original thirty-day period, the Board notifies the petitioner, in writing, of such extension.
i. 
Results of review; recommendation to Board of Aldermen. After completing the review, the Board of Adjustment shall make a determination regarding the petition and, if determined to be necessary and appropriate, make a recommendation to Board of Aldermen or the appropriate officer, employee, board or commission. The evidence before the Board shall be submitted to the Board of Aldermen for its determination.
j. 
Board of Aldermen review. The Board of Aldermen shall have fifteen (15) days to take action on the petition or recommendation of the Board of Adjustment, unless extended by the Board of Aldermen for cause. No petition shall become final for purposes of judicial review of the action subject to review until the effective date of Board of Aldermen action on the petition, or upon expiration of the review period after the petition is submitted to the Board of Aldermen.
k. 
Review advisory. The decision of the Board of Adjustment rendered pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter is advisory and shall not be construed to expand or limit the scope of the City's liability for any claimed unlawful action or unconstitutional taking of a vested property interest. The decision of the Board of Adjustment rendered pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter is not admissible in court for any purpose other than to demonstrate that the petitioner has exhausted the requisite administrative remedies. The decision of the Board of Aldermen pursuant to the preceding Section shall be deemed the final decision for purposes of judicial review.
l. 
The Board of Aldermen or the Mayor may remove any matter directly to the Board of Aldermen for review by filing notice with the Board to such effect.
m. 
Nothing herein regarding hearing requirements shall prevent summary decision on any petition where there is no genuine dispute as to the relevant facts.
C. 
Representation At Hearing. At any hearing held pursuant to this Chapter, any party may be represented by counsel, and all parties shall have an opportunity to be heard.
D. 
Appeal. Aggrieved parties may appeal any final decision of the Board of Aldermen to the Circuit Court of Warren County, provided that such appeal is filed within thirty (30) days after the date of mailing or delivery of the notice of the final decision. Failure to file within this time period shall deprive the Circuit Court of jurisdiction. Any appeal of a final decision of the Board of Aldermen shall be governed by Chapter 536, Revised Statutes of Missouri.

Section 520.070 Contents of Petition for Review — Submittal.

[Ord. No. 814 §II, 12-12-2013]
A. 
To be considered complete, a petition for review of the Superintendent's order shall include:
1. 
The full legal name of the petitioner requesting review;
2. 
The precise final action to be reviewed, including the date, the decision maker, and copies of all documentation of the decision;
3. 
If injury to an interest relating to real property is claimed, the legal description of the property and the name and business address of the current owner of the property; the form of ownership, i.e., whether sole proprietorship, for-profit or not-for-profit corporation, partnership, joint venture or other; and if owned by other than a real person, the name and address of all partners or shareholders owning ten percent (10%) or more of the outstanding shares;
4. 
A detailed description of the factual and legal grounds for the claim that the final action is incorrect, unsupported by facts or, if claimed, unlawful or constitutes an unconstitutional taking, without just compensation;
5. 
A description of the protectable right or property interest claimed to be affected, including a statement of any claimed or threatened damages and the basis for such computation; and
6. 
A sworn statement by the petitioner that the information contained in the petition is true and accurate to the best of his/her knowledge and belief.

Section 520.080 Costs of Abatement; Special Tax Bill or Assessment.

[Ord. No. 814 §II, 12-12-2013]
If the Superintendent, or other designated officer or Board, issues an order whereby the building or structure is demolished, secured, or repaired, or the property is cleaned up, the cost of performance shall be certified to the City Clerk or officer in charge of finance, who shall cause a special tax bill or assessment therefor against the property to be prepared and collected by the City Collector or other official collecting taxes, unless the building or structure is demolished, secured or repaired by a contractor pursuant to an order issued by the City and such contractor files a mechanic's lien against the property where the dangerous building is located. The contractor may enforce this lien as provided in §§429.010 to 429.360, RSMo., as amended. At the written request of the taxpayer within thirty (30) days of the date of issuance of the tax bill or assessment, the tax bill, including the costs of tax collection, accrued interest and attorneys' fees, if any, may be paid in installments over a period of not more than ten (10) years. The tax bill from the date of its issuance shall be deemed a personal debt against the property owner and shall also be a lien on the property until paid.

Section 520.090 Insurance.

[Ord. No. 814 §II, 12-12-2013]
A. 
If there are proceeds of any insurance policy based upon a covered claim payment made for damage or loss to a building or other structure caused by or arising out of any fire, explosion, or other casualty loss, the ordinance may establish a procedure for the payment of up to twenty-five percent (25%) of the insurance proceeds, as set forth in this Subsection. The order or ordinance shall apply only to a covered claim payment which is in excess of fifty percent (50%) of the face value of the policy covering a building or other structure.
1. 
The insurer shall withhold from the covered claim payment up to twenty-five percent (25%) of the covered claim payment and shall pay such moneys to the City to deposit into an interest-bearing account. Any named mortgagee on the insurance policy shall maintain priority over any obligation under the order or ordinance.
2. 
The City shall release the proceeds and any interest which has accrued on such proceeds received under Subsection (A)(1) of this Section to the insured or as the terms of the policy and endorsements thereto provide within thirty (30) days after receipt of such insurance moneys, unless the City has instituted legal proceedings under the provisions of this Chapter. If the City has proceeded under the provisions of Section 520.080 of this Chapter, all moneys in excess of that necessary to comply with the provisions of Section 520.080 of this Chapter for the removal, securing, repair and cleanup of the building or structure, and the lot on which it is located, less salvage value, shall be paid to the insured.
3. 
If there are no proceeds of any insurance policy as set forth in this Subsection, at the request of the taxpayer, the tax bill may be paid in installments over a period of not more than ten (10) years. The tax bill from the date of its issuance shall be a lien on the property until paid.
4. 
This Section shall apply to fire, explosion, or other casualty loss claims arising on all buildings and structures.
5. 
This Subsection does not make the City a party to any insurance contract, and the insurer is not liable to any party for any amount in excess of the proceeds otherwise payable under its insurance policy.

Section 520.100 Emergencies.

[Ord. No. 814 §II, 12-12-2013]
A. 
When, in the opinion of the Building Inspector, it reasonably appears that a dangerous building, as defined herein, poses an immediate or potential danger to the health, safety or welfare of any person, the Building Inspector may take emergency measures to vacate the building and to abate, secure, repair or demolish the dangerous condition. The Building Inspector shall order the necessary work to be done, including the boarding-up of openings, to render such structure temporarily safe and shall cause such other action to be taken as may be necessary to meet such emergency.
B. 
In the event of such an emergency, the Building Inspector shall notify interested persons, as promptly as possible, as required in Section 520.050 hereof; provided, however, to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public, the Building Inspector shall have the authority to act in accordance with Subsection (A) of this Section regardless of whether such notice has issued or whether review proceedings as established in Section 525.060 have been instituted.
C. 
The Building Inspector shall cause to be posted at each entrance to any vacated, dangerous building a notice to read substantially as follows: "This Structure is Unsafe and its Occupancy Has Been Prohibited. Do Not Enter." It shall be unlawful for any person to enter such structure except for the purpose of securing the structure, making the required repairs, abating the dangerous condition or demolishing the structure.
D. 
For the purposes of this Section, the Building Inspector shall employ the necessary labor and materials to perform all required work as expeditiously as possible. The costs incurred in the performance of such emergency work shall be collected as provided in Section 520.080 hereof.
E. 
In all cases where a building or structure does not meet the standards for dangerous buildings as set forth herein but nonetheless constitutes a nuisance to the general public because it is vacant and open to unauthorized entry, the Building Inspector may notify the owner to secure the building or structure within forty-eight (48) hours. In the event the owner fails to secure the building or structure in that time, the Building Inspector may take whatever measures are necessary to secure the building. The cost of such measures shall be recovered in the same manner as that provided in Section 520.080 hereof.

Section 520.110 Unlawful to Enter Building or Structure Ordered Vacated or to Remove Notice.

[Ord. No. 814 §II, 12-12-2013]
It shall be unlawful for any person to enter any building or structure which has been placarded with a notice setting forth the order of the Building Inspector requiring the building or structure to be vacated. The Police Department may remove any unauthorized person from any such building or structure and may take all steps necessary to prevent any unauthorized person from entering such building or structure.

Section 520.120 Violations and Penalties.

[Ord. No. 814 §II, 12-12-2013]
Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this Chapter, or fail to obey or abide by an order of the Building Inspector made pursuant thereto, shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not less than ten dollars ($10.00) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), unless the owner of the property is not also a resident of the property, then such fine may not exceed two thousand dollars ($2,000.00), or shall be imprisoned in jail not to exceed ninety (90) days, or shall suffer both such fine and imprisonment. Each day any such violation shall occur or continue shall be deemed a separate offense.