City of Pevely, MO
Jefferson County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. No. 1499, 10-7-2019[1]]
The City of Pevely declares that properties in the process of foreclosure (foreclosing properties) and/or vacant properties are unsightly, unsafe, and have a negative effect on the community. The purpose of this Chapter is to establish a program for identifying, registering, and monitoring such foreclosing and/or vacant properties, to set forth responsibility of all persons with any interest in such properties, including mortgagees, lenders, trustees, and service companies, and to speed the rehabilitation and reoccupation of such properties.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance repealed former Ch. 510, Registration of Vacant Residential Structures, adopted by Ord. No. 1138 §§ 2 — 6, 5-14-2007.
[Ord. No. 1499, 10-7-2019]
As used in this Chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings listed herein.
EVIDENCE OF VACANCY
Any condition that on its own or combined with other conditions present would lead a reasonable person to believe that the property is vacant. Such conditions may include, but are not limited to, overgrown and/or dead vegetation, electricity/water/other utilities turned off, statements by neighbors/passersby/delivery agents or government agents, lack of response to notices, returned or forwarded mail, unsecured door, absence of, or condition of, personal belongings on the property, habitation by vagrants, transients, trespassers, etc.
HOUSING CODE
A local building, fire, health, property maintenance, nuisance or other ordinance which contains standards regulating the condition or maintenance of residential buildings.
RESIDENTIAL STRUCTURE
A structure devoted primarily to residential use, whether classified as residential or commercial, and regardless of the number of dwelling units contained within such structure.
1. 
A building or structure that is not legally occupied.
2. 
Any freestanding residential property that has not been legally occupied for one hundred twenty (120) days.
3. 
Any freestanding commercial or industrial property that has less than fifty percent (50%) of the total area of the building (excluding stairwells, elevator shafts, and mechanical rooms) being legally occupied or is not being used for occupancy that was authorized for one hundred twenty (120) days.
4. 
A multifamily residential building or structure containing five (5) or more dwelling units when eighty percent (80%) of the dwelling units are unoccupied.
[Ord. No. 1499, 10-7-2019]
A. 
Vacant properties shall be maintained in compliance with the codes as adopted by the City as further defined herein as vacant structure maintenance standards. Compliance includes, but is not limited to, the following: properties shall be kept free of grass, weeds, and other vegetation more than eight (8) inches in height; trash, junk, debris, building materials, accumulation of newspapers, circulars, flyers, notices, except those required by law, discarded items, including but not limited to furniture, clothing, large and small appliances, printed material, signage, containers, equipment, construction materials, derelict vehicles, or any other items that give the appearance that the property is abandoned.
B. 
All yards shall be landscaped and properly maintained. Landscaping includes, but is not limited to, grass, ground covers, bushes, shrubs, hedges or similar plantings, decorative rock or mulch designed and maintained in an appropriate manner. Landscaping does not include gravel, broken concrete, asphalt, decomposed materials, plastic sheeting, indoor-outdoor carpeting or any similar material. Maintenance includes, but is not limited to, regular watering, irrigation, cutting, pruning and mowing of required landscaping and removal of all trimmings.
C. 
Pools, spas, and other water features shall be kept in working order so that water remains clear and free of pollutants and debris, or drained and kept dry and free of debris. In either case, properties with pools or spas must comply with the minimum-security fencing and barrier requirements of the Code.
D. 
Properties subject to this Chapter shall be maintained in a weathertight and secure manner so as not to be accessible to unauthorized persons. Secure manner includes, but is not limited to, the closure and locking of windows, doors, gates and any other opening of such size that may allow people, animals, or wildlife to access the interior of the property. Broken windows must be repaired or replaced within seven (7) days. Boarding up of broken windows is prohibited except as a temporary measure.
1. 
It is the policy of the City that boarding up of a vacant property is a temporary solution to prevent unauthorized entry into a vacant building and that boarded buildings are a public nuisance. A vacant structure may not remain boarded up for longer than three (3) months unless an extension of that time is approved by the Building Official in writing.
[Ord. No. 1499, 10-7-2019]
Every vacant parcel or property, as defined herein, shall be required to be registered as a vacant residential structure according to the requirements of this Chapter.
[Ord. No. 1499, 10-7-2019]
A. 
Registration. The Building Official, or his or her designee, shall be authorized to investigate any property that may be subject to registration and, based on the findings of the investigation, may register the property as a vacant residential structure.
B. 
Notice Of Registration. Within five (5) business days of such registration, the Building Official, or his or her designee, shall notify the owners of the registered property by mail at their last known address according to the records of the City of Pevely and Jefferson County. Such notice shall include the registration form and shall include the following information:
1. 
A description of the property registered.
2. 
A description of the housing code violations, evidence of vacancy, and other related items and situations discovered by the Building Official's investigation.
3. 
The fact that an annual registration fee has been assessed to the property.
4. 
The amount of the annual registration fee.
C. 
Time To Cure — Reconsideration. Within thirty (30) days of the date of notification, the property owner may complete any improvements to the property that may be necessary to remove the property from registration. The property owner may also request a reinspection of the property and reconsideration of the assessment of the annual registration fee. The Building Official may, upon receipt of a written request, waive the assessment of the registration fee following the completion of the property repairs.
D. 
Appeal Of Registration And/Or Reconsideration To Municipal Court. Within thirty (30) days of the date of such notification or within thirty (30) days of the date of reconsideration by the Building Official, the property owner may appeal the decision to the Pevely Municipal Court.
[Ord. No. 1499, 10-7-2019]
A. 
Amount Of Fee. There is hereby established and assessed an annual registration fee in the amount of two hundred dollars ($200.00) imposed on all properties registered under this Chapter.
B. 
Owner Responsible. It shall be the joint and several responsibility of each owner of property registered pursuant to this Chapter to ensure the annual registration fee is paid.
C. 
Accrual Of Fee. The registration fee shall begin to accrue on the beginning of the second calendar quarter after registration by the Building Official or reconsideration by the Building Official; however, in the event that an appeal is filed with the Pevely Municipal Court, the registration fee shall begin to accrue on the beginning of the second calendar quarter after the final decision of the Municipal Judge or court of competent jurisdiction.
D. 
Billing Procedures — Late Penalties. The City Clerk shall cause to be mailed to the owner of property registered under this Chapter, at his or her last known address, a bill for the annual registration fee. The fee shall be due and payable within thirty (30) days of mailing. In addition to any other penalties provided by law, if an owner fails to pay the fee assessed for such property within thirty (30) days of the date of mailing, a late payment fee of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) per month shall be assessed for each month during which the fee remains unpaid.
E. 
Failure To Pay Fee Unlawful. It shall be unlawful for any owner of property registered pursuant to this Chapter to fail to pay the registration fee imposed for such property. Any person found guilty of failing to pay any required fee shall be punished as provided in Section 100.220 of the Pevely Municipal Code.
F. 
Collection Of Delinquent Fees — Lien On Property And Other Effects Of Delinquent Fees — Foreclosure Proceedings.
1. 
Action To Recover. In addition to any other penalties provided by law, the City may initiate and pursue an action in a court of competent jurisdiction to recover any unpaid fees, interest, and penalties from any person liable therefor and, in addition, may recover the cost of such action, including reasonable attorney fees.
2. 
Lien On Property. Any unpaid or delinquent fees, interest and/or penalties, whether or not reduced to judgment, shall constitute a lien or tax against the property for which the fee was originally assessed until the same shall be fully satisfied. The City Clerk is authorized to take all steps necessary to file and perfect such liens as may be required or directed by the Building Official from time to time.
3. 
Obtaining Permits Prohibited. In addition to any other penalties provided by law, if an owner fails to pay the registration fee assessed for such property, including any late payment fee subsequently imposed, within sixty (60) days of the date of mailing of the initial bill, said owner shall not be permitted to apply for, obtain, or renew any City license or permit of any kind until such delinquency has been satisfied.
4. 
Foreclosure. Any registration fees which are delinquent for a period of one (1) year shall be subject to foreclosure proceedings in the same manner as delinquent real property taxes. The owner of the property against which the assessment was originally made shall be able to redeem the property only by presenting evidence that any violations of any housing or other applicable code cited by the Building Official have been cured and by presenting payment of all registration fees and penalties.
5. 
Notwithstanding the provisions of this Chapter, the City shall retain the right afforded under relevant State Statute or local law to declare a non-compliant vacant structure unsafe and/or a public nuisance. The City may pursue whatever legal recourse afforded to it by law, including, but not limited to, action to abate a public nuisance or demolition of a dangerous and unsafe building.