[HISTORY: Adopted by ordinance 6-14-1993; amended 5-14-2012 by Ord. No. 623; 7-11-2016 by Ord. No. 745; 1-14-2019 by Ord. No. 847. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
It is the purpose of this ordinance to provide a just, equitable and practicable method for the repairing, vacation or demolition of buildings or structures that may endanger the life, limb, health, property, safety or welfare of the occupants of such buildings or general public, and this ordinance shall apply to all dangerous buildings, as herein defined, that now are in existence or that may hereafter exist in the City of Moscow Mills, Missouri.
All buildings that are detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of the residents of the City and that have any or all of the following defects shall be deemed "dangerous buildings":
Those with interior walls or other vertical structural members that list, lean or buckle to such an extent that a plumb line passing through the center of gravity falls outside the middle third of its base.
Those that, exclusive of the foundation, show 33% or more damage or deterioration of the supporting member or members or 50% damage or deterioration of the non-supporting enclosing or outside walls or covering.
Those that have improperly distributed loads upon the floors or roofs, or in which the same are overloaded or that have insufficient strength to be reasonably safe for the purpose used.
Those that have been damaged by fire, wind or other causes so as to become dangerous to life, safety or the general health and welfare of the occupants or the people of the City.
Those that are so dilapidated, decayed, unsafe, unsanitary or that 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, safety or welfare of those occupying such building.
Those having light, air and sanitation facilities that are inadequate to protect the health, safety or general welfare of human beings who live or may live therein.
Those having inadequate facilities for egress in case of fire or panic or those having insufficient stairways, elevators, fire escapes or other adequate means of evacuation.
Those that have parts thereof that are so attached that they may fall and injure members of the public or property.
Those that because of their condition are unsafe, unsanitary or dangerous to the health, safety or general welfare of the people of the City.
All dangerous buildings, as defined by § 41.020, are hereby declared to be public nuisances, and shall be repaired, vacated or demolished as provided.
The following standards shall be followed in substance by the City in ordering repair, vacation or demolition of any dangerous building.
If the dangerous building reasonably can be repaired so that it no longer will exist in violation of the terms of this ordinance, it shall be ordered repaired.
If the dangerous building is in such condition as to make it dangerous to the health, safety or general welfare of its occupants, it shall be ordered to be vacated and repaired.
In all cases where a building cannot be repaired so that it no longer will exist in violation of the terms of this ordinance, 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 ordinance or any ordinance of the City or statute of the State of Missouri, it shall be repaired or demolished.
All City police officers and all other City employees so designated by the Mayor shall be building inspectors within the meaning of this ordinance.
The building inspector shall have the duty under this ordinance to:
Inspect, or cause to be inspected, as often as may be necessary, all residential, institutional, assembly, commercial, industrial, garage, special or miscellaneous occupancy buildings for the purpose of determining whether an conditions exist that render such places a dangerous building when he/she has reasonable grounds to believe that any such building is dangerous.
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 ordinance, and the building inspector determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that such building is dangerous.
Inspect any building, wall or structure reported by the fire or police departments of this City as probably existing in violation of this ordinance.
Notify in writing, either by personal service or by certified mail, return receipt requested, or if service cannot be had by either of these modes of service, then service may be had by publication in two public places, on the City website, and in the Lincoln County Journal, or legal newspaper, for two successive weeks, to the owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee, agent and all other persons having an interest in said building as shown by the Recorder of Deeds of Lincoln County of any building found by him to be a dangerous building within the standards set forth in § 41.020.
The notice required shall state that:
The owner must vacate, vacate and repair, or vacate and demolish said building in accordance with the terms of the notice and this ordinance;
The occupant or lessee must vacate said building or have it repaired in accordance with the notice to remain in possession;
The mortgagee, agent or other persons having an interest in said building as shown by the land records of the Recorder of Deeds of Lincoln County may, at his/her own risk, repair, vacate or demolish or have such work done, provided that any person notified under this subsection to repair, vacate or demolish any building, shall be given such reasonable time not exceeding 30 days to commence the required work.
The notice provided for in this section shall state a description of the building or structure deemed dangerous, a statement of the particulars that make the building or structure a dangerous building and an order requiring the designated work to be commenced within the time provided for above;
Report in writing to the City building commissioner the noncompliance with any notice to vacate, repair or demolish or upon the failure to proceed continuously with the work without unnecessary delay;
Appear at all hearings conducted by the building commissioner and testify as to the condition of dangerous buildings.
Immediately report to the building commissioner concerning any building found by him to be inherently dangerous and that he determined to be a nuisance per se. The building commissioner may direct that such building be marked or posted with a written notice reading substantially as follows:
"This building has been found to be a dangerous building by the building inspector. This notice is to remain on this building until it is repaired, vacated or demolished in accordance with the notice that has been given the owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee or agent of his building, and all other persons having an interest in said building as shown by the Recorder of Deeds of Lincoln County. It is unlawful to remove this notice until such notice is complied with."
Provided, however, that the order by the building commissioner and the posting of said notice, shall not be construed to deprive any persons entitled thereto by this ordinance to the notice and hearing prescribed herein.
The Mayor shall act as Building Commissioner under this ordinance.
The building commissioner shall have the power pursuant to this ordinance to:
Supervise all inspections required by this ordinance, and cause the building inspector to make inspections and perform all the duties required of him by this ordinance.
Upon receiving a complaint or report from any source, that a dangerous building exists in the City, the building commissioner shall cause an inspection to be made forthwith. If the building commissioner deems it necessary to the performance of his duties and responsibilities imposed herein, the building commissioner may request an inspection and report be made by any other City department or retain services of an expert whenever the building commissioner deems such service necessary. Upon receipt of a report from the building inspector indicating failure by the owner, lessee, occupant, mortgagee, agent or other person(s) having interest in said building to commence work of reconditioning or demolition within the time specified by this ordinance or upon failure to proceed continuously with work without unnecessary delay, the building commissioner shall hold a hearing giving the affected parties full and adequate hearing on the matter.
Written notice, either by personal service or by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by publication for two successive weeks in two public places, on the City website, and in the Lincoln County Journal, or legal newspaper, at least 21 days in advance of a hearing date, to the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee, agent and all other persons having an interest in said building as shown by the Recorder of Deeds of Lincoln County wherein the land is located, to appear before the building commissioner 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 or demolished in accordance with the statement of particulars set forth in the building inspector's notice as provided herein.
Any party may be represented by counsel and all parties shall have an opportunity to be heard.
Make written findings of fact from the evidence offered at said hearing as to whether or not the building in question is a dangerous building within the terms of § 41.020. If the evidence supports a finding based upon competent and substantial evidence that the building or structure is a dangerous building, the building commissioner shall issue an order based upon its findings of fact commanding the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee, agent or other person(s) having an interest in said building as shown by the Recorder of Deeds of Lincoln County to repair, vacate or demolish any building found to be a dangerous building, provided that any person so notified, shall have the privilege of either repairing or vacating and repairing said building, if such repair will comply with the ordinances of this City or the owner or any person having an interest in said building as shown by the Recorder of Deeds of Lincoln County may vacate and demolish said dangerous building at his own risk to prevent the acquiring by the City of the lien against the land where the dangerous building stands. If the evidence does not support a finding that a building or structure is a dangerous building, no order shall be issued. If the owner, occupant, mortgagee or lessee fails to comply with the order within 30 days, the building commissioner shall cause such building or structure to be repaired, vacated or demolished as the facts may warrant; and the building commissioner shall certify the cost of the work borne by the City for such repair, vacation or demolition to the City Clerk as a special assessment represented by a special tax bill against the real property affected; said tax bill shall be a lien upon said property and shall be deemed a personal debt against the property owner(s).
Any owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee, agent or any other person(s) having an interest in a dangerous building as shown by the Recorder of Deeds of Lincoln County may, within 30 days from the receipt of the order of the building commissioner, appeal such decision to the Circuit Court Lincoln County, pursuant to the procedure established in Chapter 536 of the Revised Statues of Missouri.
In cases where it reasonably appears that there is immediate danger to the health, life or safety of any person unless a dangerous building, as defined herein, is immediately repaired, vacated or demolished, the building inspector shall report such facts to the building commissioner and the building commissioner may cause the immediate repair, vacation or demolition of such dangerous building. The costs of such emergency repair, vacation or demolition of such dangerous building shall be collected in the same manner as provided in § 41.080.
The owner, occupant or lessee in possession of any dangerous building who shall fail to comply with the order to repair, vacate or demolish said building given by the building commissioner shall be guilty of an ordinance violation and upon conviction shall be punished as set forth in § 41.120. Any person removing any notices provided for in this ordinance shall be guilty of an ordinance violation and upon conviction shall be punished in accordance with § 41.120.
Any person violating the provisions of this ordinance is guilty of an ordinance violation, and upon conviction thereof, shall be fined up to $200 total fine and costs for the first violation in a year, $275 for the second violation in a year, $350 for the third violation in a year, and $450 for the fourth and any subsequent violation in a year. Each day that a person fails to comply with an order of the building commissioner may be deemed a separate offense.