[Ord. No. 272 § 1, 2-6-2017]
Purpose And Findings. The City Council of the City of Warsaw, Missouri, finds that unkempt, unsafe, unsanitary and otherwise improperly maintained premises and structures, sidewalks and easements within the City of Warsaw, in addition to the obvious hazards which these conditions pose to the public health, safety and welfare, adversely effect the value, utility and habitability of property within the City as a whole and specifically cause substantial damage to adjoining and nearby property. A property which is merely unkempt may reduce the value of adjoining property by more than thirty percent (30%), and if there are sufficient properties which are unkempt, unsightly and dangerous, that the habitability and economic well-being of the City are materially and adversely affected. This Chapter conveys to the City Administration, in accordance with the procedures set out below, all necessary and proper powers to abate nuisances and other improperly maintained structures and properties as they are described or found to exist, and to charge the costs of their abatement to those responsible, the owners and occupants of the property upon which nuisances exist, and those properties themselves. This Chapter is an exercise of the City's police power, and it shall be liberally construed to affect this purpose.
Severability. If any Section, Subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion of this Chapter is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by the final decision of any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this Chapter. The City Council declares that it would have adopted this Chapter and each Section, Subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion thereof, despite the fact that any one (1) or more Section, Subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion would be declared invalid or unconstitutional.
Enactment Clause And Short Title.
Enactment Clause. The City Council of Warsaw, Missouri, pursuant to the authority vested by law, hereby adopts and enacts this City ordinance known as The Nuisance Ordinance of the City of Warsaw, Missouri.
Short Title. This City ordinance may be known and cited as the Nuisance Ordinance of Warsaw, Missouri.
[Ord. No. 272 § 1, 2-6-2017]
General Provisions. For the purposes of this Chapter certain terms used herein are defined as set forth in this and the following Sections. All words in the present tense include the future tense; the plural number includes the singular, and all words in the singular include the plural unless the natural construction of the sentence indicates otherwise. The word "shall" is mandatory, not directory.
- Any property, real or personal, which is unattended and either open or unsecured so that admittance may be gained without damaging any portion of the property, or which evidences indicia that no person is presently in possession, e.g., disconnected utilities, accumulated debris, uncleanliness, disrepair and, in the case of chattels, location.
- The removal, stoppage, prostration, or destruction of that which causes or constitutes a nuisance, whether by breaking or pulling it down or otherwise destroying, or effacing it.
- BOARDED-UP BUILDING
- Any building the exterior openings of which are closed by extrinsic devices or some other manner designed or calculated to be permanent, giving to the building, the appearance of non-occupancy or non-use for an indefinite period of time.
- Any dwelling, structure or mobile home, factory built house, or part thereof, built for the support, shelter or enclosure of persons, animals, chattels or property of any kind.
- BUILDING INSPECTOR
- The City Building Inspector.
- 1. A nuisance defined by Statute or ordinance;
- 2. A nuisance at common law either public or private;
- 3. An attractive nuisance, whether in or on a building, a building premises or an unoccupied lot and whether really, fixture or chattel, which might reasonably be expected to attract children and constitute a danger to them; including, but not limited to, abandoned wells, ice boxes or refrigerators with doors and latches, shafts, basements or other excavations, abandoned or inoperative vehicles or other equipment, structurally unsound fences or other fixtures, lumber, fencing, vegetation or other debris;
- 4. Uncleanliness;
- 5. Overcrowding; or
- 6. Abandonment or vacancy.
- Any person having any interest in the real estate in question as shown upon the records of the office of the County Assessor, or any person with legal, financial or equitable interest in the property who establishes his or her interest before the Building Inspector and/or City Council. For the purpose of giving notice, the term "owner" also includes any person in physical possession.
- Any real property, premises, structure or location on which a public nuisance is alleged to exist.
- SUMMARY ABATEMENT
- Abatement of the nuisance by the City, or a contractor employed by the City, by removal, repair, or other acts without notice to the owner, agent or occupant of the property except for the notice required by this Chapter.
[Ord. No. 272 § 1, 2-6-2017]
All rules and regulations pertaining to dangerous buildings are now found in Chapter 505, Dangerous Buildings.
[Ord. No. 272 § 1, 2-6-2017]
Public Nuisance Defined. Any fence, wall, shed, deck, house, garage, building or structure not falling within the provisions of Chapter 505, or any part of any of the aforesaid; or any tree, pole, smokestack; or any excavation, hole, pit, basement, cellar, sidewalk subspace, dock, wharf or landing dock; or any lot, land, yard, premises or location which in its entirety, or in any part thereof, by reason of its condition in which the same is found or permitted to be or remain, shall or may endanger the health, safety, life, limb or property, or cause any hurt, harm, inconvenience, discomfort, damage or injury to any one (1) or more individuals in the City, in any one (1) or more of the following particulars:
By reason of being a menace, threat and/or hazard to the general health and safety of the community.
By reason of being a fire hazard.
By reason of being unsafe for occupancy, or use on, in, upon, about or around the aforesaid property.
By reason of lack of sufficient or adequate maintenance of the property, and/or being vacant, any of which depreciates the enjoyment and use of the property in the immediate vicinity to such an extent that it is harmful to the community in which such property is situated or such condition exists.
The following acts, in addition to any others in violation of Subsection (A) of this Section, are determined by the City Council as noisome, offensive, unwholesome, or dangerous to the public's health, welfare and/or safety and shall constitute a public nuisance:
Allowing stagnant pools of water to accumulate;
Accumulations or disposal of trash, lumber which is not piled or stacked more than twelve (12) inches off the ground, earth, ashes, mortar, papers, stone, brick, rock, tin, steel, dirt, manure, filth, excrement, chips or rubbish of any description, cesspools, drains, garbage or any other animal or vegetable substances, unless the accumulations or disposal of such items in such place is specifically authorized by law;
The keeping of any horse, cattle, sheep, swine, goats, mules, other livestock, fowl, exotic or zoo animals, such as monkeys, lions, tigers, etc., within the corporate limits;
The keeping or possession of more than four (4) domestic dogs and/or domestic cats at any one (1) residence;
The pollution of any river or stream;
Burning of refuse or other material in such a manner as to cause or permit the smoke, ashes, soot, or gases to be sensed by any person or neighborhood;
The distribution of samples of medicine or drugs to minors;
The keeping of doves or pigeons which deposit excreta on buildings and sidewalks;
Maintaining a privy or outdoor closet where connections to a sanitary sewer are available;
Garbage trucks that are not covered and leak-proof;
Dead animals not disposed of within twenty-four (24) hours;
Any building, house, room, or other structure or vehicle, maintained or used for the purposes of lewdness, assignation, or prostitution;
Any pit, basin, hole, or other excavation which is unguarded and dangerous to life, or has been abandoned, or is no longer used for the purpose for which it was constructed, or is maintained contrary to law;
All obstructions to streets, rights-of-way, or other public ways in the City, and all excavations in or under the same, which are by ordinance prohibited, or which may be made without lawful permission, or which, having been made by lawful permission, are kept and maintained after the purpose thereof has been accomplished, or for an unreasonable length of time;
Erecting, maintaining, using, placing, depositing, leaving, or permitting to be or remain in or upon any street, alley, sidewalk, park, parkway, or other public or private place in the City, any one (1) or more of, but not limited to, the following conditions or things:
All premises and vehicles whereon or wherein intoxicating liquor is manufactured, sold, bartered, exchanged, given away, furnished, disposed of, consumed, or permitted to be consumed, in violation of the laws of the State and the ordinances of the City;
Any refrigerator, icebox or deep freeze locker having a capacity of one and one-half (1 1/2) cubic feet or more or any other container manufactured, custom-made or homemade designed for storage which is stored, discarded, abandoned or left in any place accessible to children and which has not had the door or latching mechanism removed to prevent the latching or locking of the door;
Leaving, or permitting to be or remain in or upon any sidewalk, steps, or other public or private walkway in the City, any one (1) or more of, but not limited to, the following conditions or things:
Holes or protruding edges on public sidewalks and steps.
Accumulation of snow and ice not removed within twenty-four (24) hours.
Mud, debris, garbage, or other items or substances upon the surface which might cause a pedestrian to lose footing.
Overhanging trees, shrubs, or other obstructions to pedestrian travel;
Electric fence or fence constructed wholly or partly of barbed wire except in areas within the City zoned agricultural;
Grass, weeds or plant growth in excess of seven (7) inches in height. "Weeds" shall be defined as all grasses, annual plants and vegetation, other than trees or decorative shrubs, cultivated flowers, ornamentals and garden plants. Vegetation harmful or irritating to the human touch shall be removed, including poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac.
Exception: Any lot or tract of land in excess of sixty thousand (60,000) square feet which is not being used for an industrial, commercial or residential purpose shall have a border within which weeds shall be cut. Said border shall be measured along its perimeter twenty-five (25) feet deep from the public right-of-way and/or from any adjoining lot or tract of land used for an industrial, commercial or residential purpose. It shall further be the responsibility of the landowner to mow and maintain the grass and weeds in the public right-of-way adjoining his/her land;
A swimming pool or any other pool of water that is more than twenty-four (24) inches deep that is not enclosed by a fence at least forty-two (42) inches in height with a lockable gate. Said gate which is left unlocked when pool is not in use will constitute a public nuisance;
Non-licensed vehicles, including, but not limited to, recreational vehicles, boats, trailers, construction equipment and any vehicle that has been sitting unlicensed for more than thirty (30) days, which are not stored in an accessory building, carport or garage so that they may not be seen;
Any outdoor storage of items, including, but not limited to, tools, equipment, machinery, non-working automobiles, parts of derelict cars or trucks, household appliances and broken furniture.
Summary Abatement Of Nuisances.
Procedure. Whenever a complaint is made to the Building Inspector of the existence of a public nuisance, as defined in Subsections (A) and (B) of this Section, the Building Inspector shall promptly cause to be inspected the property on which it is alleged that such public nuisance exists. Upon the discovery of a public nuisance, the inspecting officer may order the owner or other person creating, keeping, maintaining or permitting the same to abate it. Should the inspecting officer find that a public nuisance exists, and that the public health, welfare or safety may be in immediate danger, then summary abatement procedures shall be implemented and the inspecting official or department may cause the nuisance to be removed or abated. Summary abatement costs shall be certified by the City Clerk and assigned to the annual real estate tax bill for the property.
Notice. When summary abatement is authorized, notice to the owner, agent or occupant of the property is not required. Following summary abatement, the Building Inspector shall cause to be posted on the property liable for the abatement a notice describing the action taken to abate the nuisance.
Abatement Of Nuisances In Other Cases.
Procedure. Upon the discovery of a public nuisance, as defined in Subsections (A) and (B) of this Section, the Building Inspector shall prepare a written report on the property on which the nuisance exists. The report may contain photographs and other relevant information and shall specifically state which public nuisances are determined and shall specifically cite which parts of Subsections (A) and (B) of the Section are being violated. Upon the determination by the Building Inspector of the existence of the nuisance, but the nature thereof is not to require summary abatement of the nuisance as defined in Subsections (C)(1) and (2), he/she may order abatement of the nuisance after the landowner has been given notice and an opportunity to be heard.
Notice To Owners.
Notice. The Building Inspector shall determine all individuals, firms or corporations who, from the records in the Recorder of Deeds' office, appear to be the titled owners of the aforesaid property and immediately cause a written notice to be served by certified mail or by posting a notice at the property location.
Notice Contents. The aforesaid notice to the owners, if any, of the property shall state clearly and concisely:
The street address or legal description of the property.
The date and location of the hearing, which shall be seven (7) days from the date of the notice.
That the hearing may be held without the presence of any owner, lien holder, occupant or representative.
Hearing. The hearing shall be before the Building Inspector and shall occur seven (7) days from the date of the notice as set forth herein.
Abatement By Owner. Within seven (7) days after the posting and/or mailing of a notice to abate a nuisance, the owner, or individual in possession of the affected property shall remove and abate such nuisance or show that actions for abating the nuisance have commenced. Such showing shall be made by filing a written statement or other proof of such actions with the Building Inspector.
Adequacy Of Proof. The Building Inspector shall have discretion over what actions are sufficient to constitute the commencement of nuisance abatement. However, the Building Inspector shall be guided by such factors as:
Responsible Parties. Any person who is the record owner of the premises, location or structure at the time an order pursuant to this Chapter is issued and served upon him/her, shall be responsible for complying with that order, and liable for any costs incurred by the City therewith, notwithstanding the fact that he/she conveys his/her interests in the property to another after such order was issued and served.
Issuance Of Municipal Summons. In addition to the provisions set forth in Subsection (D) herein, the City may issue a summons for the property owner to appear in Municipal Court to answer to any violation of this Section.
Abatement By City. If, after a hearing in compliance with this Chapter finds that the nuisance exists, the Building Inspector shall have the authority to enter upon the property and abate the public nuisance found thereon. In abating such nuisance, the Building Inspector may go to whatever extent may be necessary to complete the abatement of the public nuisance. If it is practicable to salvage any material derived in the aforesaid abatement, the Building Inspector may sell the salvaged material at private or public sale and shall keep an accounting of the proceeds thereof.
Proceeds From Sale Of Private Property. The proceeds, if any, obtained from the sale of any material salvaged as a result of an abatement of public nuisance by the Building Inspector shall be deposited to the General Fund of the City and any deficit between the amount so received and the cost of the abatement shall be filed with the City Clerk. The City Clerk shall certify said costs and assess costs to the annual real estate tax bill for the property. Should the proceeds of the sale of the salvaged material exceed the cost of the abatement, the surplus, if any, shall be paid to the owner of the property from which the public nuisance was abated when a proper claim to the excess is established.
Authorized Action. In abating a public nuisance, the Building Inspector may call upon any of the City departments or divisions for whatever assistance shall be deemed necessary or may by private contract cause the abatement of the public nuisance.
Statement Of Costs. The Building Inspector shall, after completing the removal and abatement, file a statement of costs with the City Clerk. The City Clerk shall certify costs and assign costs to the annual real estate tax bill for the property. In the event the County Collector fails or refuses to place the abatement costs on the annual real estate tax bill for the property, then the City Clerk is authorized to file a separate lien against the property for the costs of removal and abatement of the nuisance.
[Ord. No. 272 § 1, 2-6-2017]
Procedure. The owners, lienholder and occupants of the property who have been served with a notice pursuant to Section 215.040 of this Chapter, and who do not submit sufficient proof of the commencement of such abatement actions to the Building Inspector not later than three (3) working days before the date scheduled for the hearing, may appear in person or by representative at a hearing with the Building Inspector scheduled on a date not sooner than thirty (30) days after the date of the notice letter.
Hearing. The Building Inspector shall conduct a full and adequate hearing upon the question of whether a public nuisance in fact exists. The Building Inspector may amend or modify the notice, or extend the time for compliance with the notice by the owner by such date as the Building Inspector may determine.
Evidence. The owners, lienholder and occupants of the property, or their representative or agents, of the subject property shall be given the opportunity to present evidence to the Building Inspector in the course of the hearing.
Order. Should the evidence support a finding that the structure or condition constitutes a public nuisance, the Building Inspector shall issue an order making specific findings of fact, based upon competent and substantial evidence, which shows the structure or condition to be a public nuisance and ordering the structure or condition be removed, repaired or otherwise abated by the City.
Additional Time. The Building Inspector, upon written application by the owner at any time within the period after the notice has been served, may grant additional time for the owner to effect the abatement of the public nuisance, provided that such extension is limited to a specific time period.
Costs To Be Certified. The costs of performance of the abatement order shall be certified to the City Clerk who shall cause a special tax bill or assessment therefore against the property to be prepared and collected by the City Collector. If the building or structure is demolished, secured or repaired by a contractor pursuant to the order issued by the Building Inspector, such contractor may file a mechanic's lien against the property where the dangerous building is located. The contractor may enforce this lien as provided by Missouri State Law. Except as otherwise provided in 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 owners and shall also be a lien on the property until paid.
Appeal Procedures. The City Council shall be vested with appeal authority. Orders of abatement by the Building Inspector may be appealed to the City Council. Appeals must be filed with the City Clerk not later than ten (10) days after the issuance of the order described in Section 215.050(D) of this Chapter.
City Council May Waive Costs. In those instances where the nuisance has been abated by the City, the City Council shall have discretion to waive the cost of abating a nuisance, in whole or in part, if, in the course of the hearing reviewing the decision, the City Council finds that any of the following did not conform to the provisions of this Chapter.
Finality Of Judgment. If the judgment of the City Council is not appealed to the Circuit Court within thirty (30) days from the date of delivery or mailing of notice, the judgment will be declared final per Missouri Revised Statutes Chapter 536.
[Ord. No. 272 § 1, 2-6-2017]
Procedure. Upon receipt of the statement of costs from the Building Inspector, the City Clerk shall mail to the owners of the property upon which the public nuisance has been abated notice of the amounts set forth in the statement plus an additional amount sufficient to defray the costs of the notice and stating that the City proposes to assess against the property the amount set forth in the notice and that objections to the proposed assessment must be made in writing and received by the City Clerk within twenty (20) days from the date of mailing such notice. Upon the expiration of the twenty-day period, if no objections have been received by the City Clerk, the City Clerk shall enter that amount in the City liens docket which shall therefore constitute a lien against the property.
Objections. If objections of either the property owner or their representative are received by the City Clerk prior to the expiration of the twenty-day period, the City Clerk shall refer the matter to the City Building Inspector for administrative review.
Administrative Review. Upon conclusion of administrative review, the Building Inspector shall make a written determination that the amount of the charges shall be canceled, reduced, or remain the same. A copy of this determination shall be furnished to the person making the objections together with a notice of such person's right to appeal to the City Council within thirty (30) days.
Absence Of Appeal. If no appeal of a determination by the Building Inspector is filed within the time period allowed, a copy of the determination will be furnished to the City Clerk who shall then enter a lien in the amount determined by the Building Inspector in the City liens docket as provided in Subsection (A).
Filing Of Appeal. If a timely appeal is received by the City Council, a hearing shall be scheduled and held on the matter. If, after the hearing, the City Council determines that the proposed assessment does not comply with Subsection (G) herein, the City Council shall so certify to the City Clerk and the proposed assessment shall be canceled. If, after the hearing, it is determined that the proposed assessment or any part of it is proper and authorized, the City Council shall so certify to the City Clerk who shall enter a lien in such amount as determined appropriate by the City Council in the lien docket as provided in Subsection (G).
Finality Of City Council. If the judgment of the City Council is not appealed to the Circuit Court within thirty (30) days from the date of the City Council's determination of the assessment, the judgment will be declared final per Missouri Revised Statues Chapter 536.
Assessments. The Building Inspector, in administrative review, or the City Council, on appeal, may reduce or cancel a proposed assessment if it is determined that:
The Building Inspector, in administrative review, or the City Council, on appeal, may reduce a proposed assessment by eliminating the civil penalty portion of the invoice if it is determined that:
The current owner was not in possession of the property at the time the notice required by Section 215.050 was posted; or
The owner did not receive the notice to remove the nuisance, did not have knowledge of the nuisance and could not, with the exercise of reasonable diligence, have had such knowledge.
Claim Of Lack Of Notice. If, after a lien has been entered in the docket of City liens, there is a written request of the owner who alleges that the owner did not receive notice of the proposed assessment, the City Clerk shall refer the matter for review pursuant to this Section. The lien may be canceled or reduced by the Building Inspector, in administrative review, or the City Council, on appeal, if it is determined that the owner did not receive notice of the proposed assessment, did not previously have knowledge of the lien or of the nuisance abatement work constituting the basis of the lien, could not, in the exercise of reasonable care or diligence, have had such knowledge, and in addition, that the circumstances are such that a reduction or cancellation of the charges would have been appropriate had the matter been reviewed pursuant to this Section prior to assessment. Upon receipt of a certification from the Building Inspector and/or City Council, the City Clerk shall cancel or reduce the lien if required by the determination of the Building Inspector and/or City Council. The individuals, firms or corporations who are the owners of the property at the time at which the notice under this Chapter is posted shall be personally liable for the amount of the assessment including all interest, civil penalties, and other charges.
Cost Of Abatement — Low Income, Elderly Persons.
Notwithstanding the other provisions of this Chapter, the cost of abating a nuisance shall be waived for low income and elderly persons, if upon application it appears to the Building Inspector that the conditions set forth in Subsection (I)(2) are met.
To be eligible for waiver of nuisance abatement costs a person must be classified as "low income," as defined by the City Council; or
Be more than sixty-five (65) years of age and:
A person living alone, whose total income for the preceding calendar year did not exceed one and one-half (1 1/2) times the maximum amount a Social Security recipient at age sixty-five (65) may have earned in that year without having any benefits withheld; or
The head of a household which household received a total income for the preceding calendar year that did not exceed two and one-quarter (2 1/4) times the maximum amount a Social Security recipient at age sixty-five (65) may have earned in that year without having any benefits withheld.
Additionally, all persons wishing to qualify for waiver of nuisance abatement costs must:
The removal of the nuisance in question must have been required by the City Building Inspector and the person requesting the waiver of costs must have been officially notified by the Building Inspector to remove the nuisance.
Applications for waiver of nuisance abatement costs shall be filed with the Building Inspector, on forms supplied by the City, within ten (10) days after receipt of a notice to remove a nuisance or a work order notice unless the Building Inspector extends the time for good cause shown. All information required to be given on such form shall be supplied and verified by the applicant.
The maximum amount that may be waived under this Section for any one (1) parcel of real property or any one (1) person shall be five hundred dollars ($500.00) per calendar year.
No overhead charge or civil penalty shall be imposed for any real property for which a waiver, pursuant to this Section, shall have been approved.
Overhead Charge, Civil Penalties.
Whenever a nuisance is abated by the City, the City Clerk shall keep an accurate account of all expenses incurred, including an overhead charge of twenty-five percent (25%) for administration and a civil penalty of two hundred dollars ($200.00) for each nuisance abated.
When the City has abated a nuisance maintained by any owner of real property, for each subsequent nuisance that is abated by the City within two (2) consecutive calendar years concerning real property, owned by the same person, an additional civil penalty of fifty percent (50%), minimum of fifty dollars ($50.00), of the cost of abatement shall be added to the costs, charges and civil penalties provided for in Subsection (J)(1). The civil penalty shall be imposed without regard to whether the nuisances abated by the City involve the same real property or are of the same character.