[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Johnston as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 12-10-1979 by Ord. No. 440 as Secs. 12-13 to 12-15 of the 1979 Code]
[Amended 6-10-1996 by Ord. No. 975; 7-13-1998 by Ord. No. 1034]
The owner or occupant of any land upon which there is any poisonous ivy, Jamestown or Jimson weed or other poisonous or dangerous weeds shall cause such weeds to be removed within three days after receiving notice so to do from the Building Inspector or his designee.
The owner or occupant of any land upon which there exists overgrown vegetation that is more than six inches in height as measured from ground level shall cause such overgrown vegetation to be removed within three days after receiving notice so to do from the Building Inspector. “Overgrown vegetation” shall mean grass, weeds, and other ground cover which have been allowed to grow in an uncontrolled manner and are not regularly cared for and maintained.
The owner or occupant of any land upon which there exists natural debris shall cause such natural debris to be removed within three days after receiving notice so to do from the Building Inspector. “Natural debris” shall mean yard clippings, leaves, branches, or wood. The owner or occupant of any land upon which there exist fallen trees shall cause said fallen trees to be removed within three days after receiving notice to do so from the Building Inspector.
Whenever the owner or occupant fails to comply with an order to remove weeds, overgrown vegetation, natural debris or fallen trees, and the Town Building Inspector determines that removal of such weeds, overgrown vegetation, natural debris or fallen trees effects the health, safety and welfare of the surrounding neighborhood by eliminating a harbor for rodents, by decreasing dumping and littering, by eliminating fire hazards and by eliminating unsightly and unsanitary debris and by providing for the safe passage of pedestrians along sidewalk areas, the Inspector may order removal of the weeds, overgrown vegetation, natural debris or fallen trees and assess the whole cost incurred for such removal by imposing a lien on the property as provided or authorized by the law for the enforcement of common liens on property. Such lien will be recorded to ensure payment of said costs. The lien will not be removed until the Building Inspector has been fully reimbursed for the execution of the removal of the weeds, overgrown vegetation, natural debris and fallen trees. The owner or occupant will also be subject to a civil penalty of $150 for not complying with the order of removal.
It shall be the duty of the Health Officer to enforce the provisions of this article and, in the prosecutions for such violation hereof by the Health Officer, he shall not be required to enter into, recognize or give surety for costs to prosecute the same.
[Adopted 11-13-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-20]
The requirements of this article are adopted pursuant to the authority granted by R.I.G.L. § 45-24.2-1 et seq. and are deemed necessary for the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Johnston.
The purpose of this article is to promote the public health, safety and morals and for the purpose of making any structure safe, sanitary and fit for human habitation, and to prevent blighted and substandard conditions.
All exposed surfaces of dwelling units which have been adversely affected by exposure or other causes shall be repaired and coated, treated or sealed so as to protect them from serious deterioration.
No owner or occupant of any lot shall allow grass or weeds to become overgrown beyond the height of eight inches and no noxious weeds shall be allowed to grow on any portion of the property so as to trespass to any adjacent property. Also, no owner or occupant of any lot shall allow the accumulation of garbage, trash, junk or other debris, or yard waste so that any citizen of the Town shall not be safe from fire, the breeding of rodents, vermin or noxious insects.
Upon a finding by the Building Official that property within the Town is in such condition as to be in violation of the requirements of this article, he shall give certified notice thereof to the owner or occupant of such property to comply with the requirements of this article within 14 days alter service of such notice. Such notice shall identify the property by address and state the condition thereon found to be in violation of this article.
Upon failure of the owner or occupant of such premises to remedy the conditions existing in violation of the requirements hereof within the 14 days after service of notice, the Building Official may employ reasonable methods to remedy the condition, including employment of agents to cut the grass, trim overgrown trees and/or shrubs, and remove trash, debris, and yard waste. Cleanup costs incurred by the Town shall become a lien against such property to the same extent and character as a real estate tax liens with penalty and interest and with the same right of collection and tax sale as apply to other tax liens.
When used herein, the following terms shall be defined as follows:
- COMMERCIAL LOT
- A lot of land that is zoned for commercial use with or without a structure.
- DWELLING UNIT
- Any building or structure or part thereof that is used, occupied, or intended to be used or occupied for human habitation whether for residential or business use.
- RESIDENTIAL LOT
- A lot of land that is zoned for residential use with or without a structure.
Nothing within this article shall prohibit the use of property for bona fide permitted agricultural purposes, home use composting, or similar uses within zones where such uses are allowed.
Areas subject to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management's Freshwater Wetlands Act, drainage and conservation easement areas.