[HISTORY: Adopted 5-23-2011 by Ord. No. 11-05; amended 6-13-2011 by Ord. No. 11-06. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to recognize the right of individual property owners and occupants within the Town to regulate and maintain their respective property grounds while at the same time setting minimum standards for the maintenance of such grounds to ensure that the condition of the grounds:
Is not offensive to the comfort and enjoyment of owners and occupants of abutting properties in the neighborhood;
Is not injurious to the public health, safety and welfare;
Promotes the preservation of property values of abutting properties; and
Does not pose potential risks to the environment, including groundwater and subsurface water quality, and prevents nuisance conditions from being maintained on the grounds of such properties.
Except as specifically defined herein, the words and phrases used in this chapter carry their customary and usual dictionary meanings unless otherwise clearly indicated by the context.
- ABUTTING PROPERTY(IES)
- As used herein solely, any property with a portion of it falling within 150 feet of all the boundaries of a property in violation of this chapter.
- Any unforeseeable, unintended accident or event adversely affecting a property, such as fire, damage or various events commonly referred to as "acts of God" or "acts of nature."
- As defined in § 126.96.36.199, the animal, vegetable and any other waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking or consumption of food.
- The part of a property not covered by permanent structures.
- Persons, as defined in Title 1, § 1.2.2, to be an individual, corporation, governmental agency, municipality, trust, estate, partnership, association, two or more individuals having a joint or common interest, firm or, in the case of a corporation or association, any official thereof, or other legal entity.
- Includes dilapidated, discarded, junked or worn-out material(s) or objects, such as discarded, worn-out or junked plumbing heating supplies, electronic or industrial equipment, household appliances or furniture; discarded, scrapped and junked lumber; and old or scrap copper, brass, rope, rags, batteries, paper trash, rubber debris, waste and all scrap iron, steel and other scrap ferrous or nonferrous material.
- All waste materials, including, but not limited to, bottles, glass, crockery, cans, scrap metal, junk, paper, garbage, rubbish, offal, except waste parts or remains resulting from the normal field dressing of lawfully harvested wild game or the lawful use of waste parts or remains of wild game as bait, feathers, except feathers from live birds while being transported, abandoned ice-fishing shacks, old automobiles or parts of automobiles or similar refuse, or disposable packages or containers thrown or deposited as prohibited in this chapter, but not including the wastes of the primary processes of mining, logging, sawmilling, farming or manufacturing.
- As defined in Title 1, § 1.2.2, includes those public and common nuisances as defined by state statute 17 M.R.S. § 2802 et seq.
- As defined in Title 1, § 1.2.2, means the words "tenant" or "occupant"; applied to a building or land, means and include any person holding a written or oral lease or who occupies the whole or a part of such buildings or land, either alone or with others, and is further defined for this chapter to mean any person living, sleeping or having some actual possession of a dwelling unit, rooming unit or place of business located on a property.
- Is defined in other titles for particular application. For the purposes of this chapter, it means any person who has charge, care or control of a dwelling or property, or a part thereof, whether with or without the knowledge and consent of the owner.
- As defined in § 188.8.131.52; is further defined for this chapter to mean combustible and noncombustible waste materials, except garbage, including but not limited to paper, rags, cartons, boxes, wood (excepting firewood), rubber, tires, leather, tree branches, yard trimmings (e.g., from flowers, weeds, shrubs, hedges, but excluding compost piles), tin cans, metals, mineral matter, glass, crockery and other similar materials.
- Anything built or constructed and permanently affixed on a property that cannot be considered grounds or landscaping.
A person may not throw, drop, deposit, discard, dump or otherwise dispose of litter or waste oil anywhere in the Town in any manner or amount as prohibited in 17 M.R.S. § 2263-A, except in public receptacles, in private receptacles for collection, or at the solid waste facility at those times when it is open to receive litter.
Required. All property grounds or parts thereof must be maintained in a condition free of any nuisance, unsafe or unsanitary conditions or accumulation of garbage, household trash, rubbish, junk, litter, worn or discarded plumbing, heating supplies, oil or propane tanks, old or scrap copper, brass, rope, rags, batteries, paper trash, rubber, building debris, waste and all scrap iron, steel, other scrap ferrous or nonferrous material, debris, scrap lumber, tires, automobile parts, worn-out or unused or inoperable machinery or parts thereof, glass, unused and/or inoperable appliances, worn and unused furniture, and more than two vehicles not bearing a valid motor vehicle inspection sticker and a valid motor vehicle registration.
Storage allowed. Materials as listed in Subsection A above, intended for private use of the property owner, occupant or operator, may be stored on the grounds of the property as long as such material is screened from public ways and from abutting properties as provided in Subsection C herein and the material is not otherwise in violation with any municipal ordinance or state statute. Private use does not include resale of the material.
Screening. Where screening is required for the storage of material on property grounds, as provided in this section, the following standards apply:
Screening may be accomplished by natural or man-made objects, plantings or fences, any of which must completely screen the stored material from view from any portion of any public way or abutting property throughout the entire calendar year. All screening must be located outside of the public way right-of-way limits.
Natural or man-made objects are interpreted to be:
Plantings. Trees, shrubs or other vegetation of sufficient height, density and depth of planting or growth to completely screen the stored material may be used.
Fences. Fences will be so located and of sufficient height to completely screen the stored material. All fences must be an opaque wall or barrier, constructed and erected in a workmanlike manner and well maintained. Only sound, undamaged material, uniform in appearance, is acceptable.
Use allowed. This section may not be construed to prevent uses of property grounds allowed by the Land Use and Development Code (Title 16), Garage Sales (Chapter 5.4), or Sidewalk Sales (Chapter 5.7) sections of the Town Code or any other state and/or municipal ordinance or statute, provided that all necessary permits or approvals, when required, are obtained and followed.
[Amended 7-11-2011 by Ord. No. 11-08]
Within the period of 90 days following the occurrence of a casualty as defined in § 8.2.2 that results in the violation of § 8.2.4, the owner shall cause the removal of all debris or other violations connected therewith so as to be compliant with § 8.2.4. The CEO may grant an extension as provided in § 8.2.10.
Owners, operators, tenants and occupants of a property are jointly and severally liable for maintaining the property grounds free of any violation and are liable to take all corrective actions required to cure and prevent such violations.
This chapter is enforced by the Code Enforcement Officer (CEO), designee or the Police Department.
When a violation of this chapter exists, the CEO must notify violators by serving a notice of violation and order of correction ("the notice") upon the violator(s). The notice must be in writing, describe the nature of the violation, and direct the violator(s) to take the action necessary to correct the violation, specifying the time period for correction as provided in § 8.2.10. The notice must also set forth the fine and/or penalty that could be imposed in the event that the violation exists as set out in the notice and is not abated and corrected within the time period set out in the notice.
[Amended 7-11-2011 by Ord. No. 11-08]
The notice of violation and order of correction ("the notice") pursuant to § 8.2.8 must either:
Be served in hand to the violator(s) by the CEO or a person duly authorized by the CEO;
Be left at the violator(s)'s dwelling house or usual place of abode with a person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein or with an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process;
Be mailed by certified United States mail, return receipt requested, to the violator(s)'s last known address. If the return receipt is not returned, the notice will be conclusively presumed to have been served and received three days after it is mailed if it is also sent by regular United States mail, postage prepaid, which is not returned as undeliverable by the postal service. Such notice sent by regular United States mail is conclusively deemed to be received by the addressee on the third day following the date of mailing; or
Be served by any procedure for service of process authorized by Rule 4 of the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure.
The time period within which a violation must be corrected as set forth in the notice of violation and order of correction is 30 days following receipt of the notice of violation and order, unless:
The CEO determines that a longer reasonable time limit is necessary, considering the nature and extent of the work required to correct the violation and including any weather conditions during the winter months that may prevent or impede the correction of the violation within a thirty-day period.
The CEO determines that a shorter reasonable time limit is appropriate due to the threat posed by said violation to the health, safety and welfare of the public.
The CEO finds that the violator(s) has been previously served a notice of violation and order of correction for a similar violation within the last two years; in which case the time limit for corrective action must be no more than 10 days.
When a violation of any provision of this chapter is found to exist and is not corrected within the time period set out in the notice of violation and order of correction, the Town Attorney and the CEO, upon direction from the Town Manager, are authorized to institute a land use citation and complaint pursuant to Maine Rules of Civil Procedure 80K, or any other legal or equitable process that may be appropriate and necessary for the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter, the same to be brought in the name of the Town.
Any person (including tenants in retail businesses) being the owner or tenant of or having control or use of any building or premises who is found to be in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter is guilty of a civil violation. The violator is subject to the fines and other sanctions and remedies provided by 30-A M.R.S. § 4452, currently including, without limitation, a penalty of $100 to $2,500 for a specific violation, injunctive relief, and attorneys' fees and costs.