City of Higginsville, MO
Lafayette County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Section 505.010 Definition.

[R.O. 2009 §505.010; CC 1976 §7-41; Ord. No. 1090 §2, 7-20-1981]
A. 
The following definition shall apply to the provisions of this Chapter: All buildings or structures which have any or all of the following defects 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 dropped by the center of the upper portion of the member falls outside the middle third (1/3) of the member at any point.
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 walls 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, insanitary 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 who live or may live therein.
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 communication.
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, insanitary or dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of the residents of this City.
10. 
Those buildings existing in violation of any provision of this Chapter or other ordinances of this City.

Section 505.020 Dangerous Buildings Declared To Be Public Nuisances.

[R.O. 2009 §505.020; CC 1976 §7-42; Ord. No. 1090 §3, 7-20-1981]
All dangerous buildings are hereby declared to be public nuisances, and shall be repaired, maintained, vacated or demolished as provided in this Chapter.

Section 505.030 Board of Public Safety Established — Composition.

[R.O. 2009 §505.030; CC 1976 §7-43; Ord. No. 1090 §1, 7-20-1981; Ord. No. 1101 §1, 10-5-1981; Ord. No. 2101 §1, 12-6-2004]
A Board of Public Safety is hereby established to be composed of the Chief of the Fire Department, the Head EMT-P of the Ambulance Service, the Chief of Police and the Building Official. For the purpose of this Chapter, each of the above designated heads is hereby authorized to appoint a designated agent to serve on their behalf within their department.

Section 505.040 Reports of Dangerous Buildings By Fire Department.

[R.O. 2009 §505.040; CC 1976 §7-44; Ord. No. 1090 §7, 7-20-1981]
The employees of the Fire Department shall make a report in writing to the Board of Public Safety of all buildings or structures which are, may be or are suspected to be dangerous buildings. Such reports must be delivered to the Board of Public Safety within twenty-four (24) hours of the discovery of such buildings by any employee of the Fire Department.

Section 505.050 Reports of Dangerous Buildings By Police Department.

[R.O. 2009 §505.050; CC 1976 §7-45; Ord. No. 1090 §8, 7-20-1981]
All employees of the Police Department shall make a report, in writing, to the Board of Public Safety of any buildings or structures which are, may be or are suspected to be dangerous buildings. Such reports may be delivered to the Board of Public Safety within twenty-four (24) hours of the discovery of such buildings by any employee of the Police Department.

Section 505.055 Reports of Dangerous Buildings By Building Official.

[R.O. 2009 §505.055; Ord. No. 2101 §2, 12-6-2004]
The Building Official shall make a report, in writing, to the Board of Public Safety of any buildings or structures which are, may be or are suspected to be dangerous buildings. Such reports may be delivered to the Board of Public Safety within twenty-four (24) hours of the discovery of such buildings by the Building Official.

Section 505.060 Powers and Duties of The Board of Public Safety.

[R.O. 2009 §505.060; CC 1976 §7-46; Ord. No. 1090 §5, 7-20-1981; Ord. No. 2101 §3, 12-6-2004]
A. 
The Board of Public Safety may:
1. 
Inspect or cause to be inspected all public buildings, schools, halls, churches, theaters, hotels, tenements, commercial, manufacturing or loft buildings for the purpose of determining whether any conditions exist which render such place a dangerous building.
2. 
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.
3. 
Inspect any building, wall or structure reported by the Fire or Police Department of this City or the Building Official as probably existing in violation of the terms of this Chapter.
4. 
Serve notice of the declaration of nuisance 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 the County of any building found by him to be a dangerous building that:
a. 
The owner must vacate, vacate and repair or vacate and demolish such building in accordance with the terms of the notice or may have it repaired in accordance with the notice and this Chapter;
b. 
The occupant or lessee must vacate such building or may have it repaired in accordance with the notice and remain in possession;
c. 
The mortgagee, agent or other persons having an interest in such building as shown by the land records of the Recorder of Deeds of the County where the land is located may, at his own risk, repair, vacate or demolish or have such work or act done. Such notice shall be served either by personal service or by certified mail, return receipt requested. Any person notified under this Subsection to repair, vacate and repair or vacate and demolish any building shall be given reasonable time, not exceeding ten (10) days, to commence the action required by the notice. The Board of Public Safety, if it is determined to be necessary to extend such time to do or have done the work or act required by the notice provided herein, such official shall specify same, in writing, and serve an additional notice of the date to which the extension is made.
d. 
If service cannot be had by the methods set forth above, a notice shall be inserted in a newspaper then doing the City printing, notifying the owner of the dangerous building. Such notice shall state that the owner is responsible for the repair or demolition of the dangerous building within ten (10) days after the publication of such notice.
5. 
Report to the Board of Aldermen any non-compliance with the notice provided for in Subsection (4) hereof, including either failure to vacate or to commence or failure to finish the work required by the notice.
6. 
Appear at all hearings conducted by the Board of Aldermen and testify as to the condition of dangerous buildings.
7. 
Place a notice on all dangerous buildings reading as follows:
"This structure has been found to be a dangerous building by the Board of Public Safety. This notice is to remain on this building until it is repaired, vacated or demolished in accordance with the notice which has been given the owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee or agent of this structure or building and all other persons having an interest in said building as shown by the land records of the Recorder of Deeds of Lafayette County. It is unlawful to remove this notice until such notice is complied with."

Section 505.070 Actions in Emergency Cases.

[R.O. 2009 §505.070; CC 1976 §7-47; Ord. No. 1090 §9, 7-20-1981]
Where it reasonably appears there is an immediate danger to the health, safety or welfare of any person, the Board of Public Safety may take emergency measures to vacate and repair or demolish a dangerous building or structure.

Section 505.080 Standards For Ordering Repair, Vacation, Demolition.

[R.O. 2009 §505.080; CC 1976 §7-48; Ord. No. 1090 §4, 7-20-1981; Ord. No. 2101 §4, 12-6-2004]
A. 
The following standards shall be followed in substance by the Board of Public Safety in ordering repair, vacation or demolition:
1. 
If the dangerous building can be reasonably repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this Chapter, it shall be ordered repaired.
2. 
If the dangerous building is in such condition as to make it dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of its occupants, it shall be ordered to be vacated.
3. 
In any case where a dangerous building is partially destroyed by deterioration, decay or damage so that it cannot be restored or repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this Chapter, or if the owner or other persons having an interest in it are unwilling to restore or repair it, it shall be demolished. In all cases where a dangerous building is a fire hazard existing or erected in violation of the terms of this Chapter or any ordinance of the City or Statute of the State, it shall be demolished. The determination of whether a building or structure cannot be restored or repaired shall rest with the Board of Public Safety.

Section 505.090 Hearing — Issuance of Order — Failure To Comply With Order.

[R.O. 2009 §505.090; CC 1976 §7-49; Ord. No. 1090 §6, 7-20-1981; Ord. No. 2101 §5, 12-6-2004]
A. 
Upon failure to vacate or to commence work of reconditioning or demolition within the time specified or upon failure to proceed continuously with the work without unnecessary delay, the Mayor or his or her designee shall call and have a full and adequate hearing upon the matter, giving at least twenty-one (21) days' written notice to the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee, agent and all other persons having an interest in the building as shown by the land records of the Recorder of Deeds of the County where the land is located to appear before it on the date specified in the notice to show cause why the building or structure reported to be a dangerous building should not be repaired, vacated and repaired, or vacated and demolished in accordance with the statement of particulars set forth in notice of the Board of Public Safety as provided for in Section 505.060(4). Any party may be represented by counsel and all parties shall have an opportunity to be heard.
B. 
After the hearing if the evidence supports a finding that the building or structure is a nuisance or detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of the residents of the City, the Mayor or his or her designee shall issue an order making specific findings of fact, based upon competent and substantial evidence, which shows the building or structure to be a nuisance and detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of the residents of the City and ordering the building or structures to be demolished and removed or repaired. If the evidence does not support a finding that the building or structure is a nuisance or detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of the residents of the City, no order shall be issued.
C. 
If the owner, occupant, mortgagee or lessee fails to comply with the order or extension thereof provided for in Subsection (B) within the time specified, the Board of Public Safety shall cause such building or structure to be repaired, vacated and repaired or vacated and demolished as the facts may warrant; and the Board of Public Safety shall certify the charge for such repair, vacation or demolition to the City Clerk who shall cause a special tax bill therefor against the property to be prepared and collected by the City Collector. Except as provided in Section 505.130 of this Chapter, 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 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 505.100 Right of Appeal.

[R.O. 2009 §505.100; CC 1976 §7-50; Ord. No. 1090 §11, 7-20-1981; Ord. No. 2101 §6, 12-6-2004]
Interested parties may appeal from the determination of the Mayor to the Circuit Court having jurisdiction as provided for and established in Chapter 536, RSMo.

Section 505.110 Liability of City Officers, Employees, Etc..

[R.O. 2009 §505.110; CC 1976 §7-51; Ord. No. 1090 §10, 7-20-1981]
No officer, agent or employee of the City shall render himself personally liable for any damage that may accrue to persons or property as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his duties under this Chapter. Any suit brought against any officer, agent or employee of the City as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his duties under this Chapter, shall be defended by the City Attorney or Special Counsel under the final determination of the proceedings therein.

Section 505.120 Penalty For Violation.

[R.O. 2009 §505.120; CC 1976 §7-52; Ord. No. 1090 §12, 7-20-1981; Ord. No. 2101 §7, 12-6-2004]
Any person failing to comply with the notice of declaration of the nuisance within a reasonable time or failure to proceed continuously without unnecessary delay shall be deemed guilty of an ordinance violation and upon conviction thereof shall be fined not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) for each offense or by incarceration up to ninety (90) days, or by both fine and jail sentence. In cases where the owner of the property in question is not the resident of the property, punishment may be a fine of up to two thousand dollars ($2,000.00) or up to ninety (90) days incarceration, or a combination of both.

Section 505.130 Insurance Proceeds From Damage or Loss To Buildings or Structures.

[R.O. 2009 §505.130; CC 1976 §7-53; Ord. No. 1231 §1, 7-15-1985; Ord. No. 2144 §1, 10-17-2005]
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, and if the covered claim payment is in excess of fifty percent (50%) of the face value of the policy covering a building or other structure, then the following procedure shall apply:
1. 
The insurer shall withhold from the covered claim payment twenty-five percent (25%) of the covered claim payment and shall pay that amount to the City to deposit into an interest-bearing account. Any named mortgagee on the insurance policy shall maintain priority over any obligation under this Section. If a special tax bill or assessment is issued by the City for the expenses of demolition of such building as a dangerous building, the monies held by the City shall be applied toward payment of special tax bill or assessment. If there is any excess, it shall be paid by the City to the insured or as the terms of the policy, including any endorsements thereto, provide.
2. 
The City shall release the proceeds and any interest which has accrued on such proceeds received under Subsection (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 monies, unless the City has instituted legal proceedings under the provisions of Sections 505.060, 505.070 or 505.090. If the City has proceeded under the provisions of Sections 505.060, 505.070 or 505.090, all monies in excess of that necessary to comply with the provisions of Section 505.060, 505.070, or 505.090, for the removal of the building or structure, less salvage value, shall be paid as stated in Subsection (1) hereof.
3. 
The City may certify that, in lieu of payment of all or part of the covered claim payment under this Section, it has obtained satisfactory proof that the insured has or will remove debris and repair, rebuild, or otherwise make the premises safe and secure. In this event, the City shall issue a certificate within thirty (30) days after receipt of proof to permit covered claim payment to the insured without deduction. It shall be the obligation of the insured or other person making claim to provide the insurance company with the written certificate provided for in this Subsection.
4. 
No provisions of this Section shall be construed to make the City a party to any insurance contract.