[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council (now Town Commission) of the Town of Zolfo Springs as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 5-12-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-04]
This chapter shall be known as the "First Amendment of the Nuisance Use of Property Ordinance."
The Town Council finds that existing ordinances do not adequately protect the health, safety, welfare and morals of the citizens of Zolfo Springs, requiring this chapter. The purpose of this chapter is to protect the health, safety, welfare and morals of the citizens of Zolfo Springs by elimination of unsightly conditions, illegal activities and other nuisances. The recitals above are incorporated herein as additional findings.
Editor's Note: The phrase "recitals above" refers to the recitals ("preamble") of Ord. No. 2003-04, which is on file in the Town offices, where it may be examined during regular office hours.
The following words, terms or phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meaning ascribed to them, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
- ABANDONED PERSONAL PROPERTY
- Wrecked or derelict property having no value other than nominal salvage value, if any, and which has been left abandoned and unprotected from the elements, and shall include wrecked, inoperative or partially dismantled motor vehicles, trailers, boats, machinery, white goods, furniture, and other similar property which has been left abandoned and unprotected from the elements. The term includes any item of personal property which is left upon public or private property without the consent of the owner, lessee, or occupant thereof for a period longer than two hours.
- CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE
- Defined as provided in F.S. § 823.10, and statutes cited therein, as amended from time to time.
- Any device, equipment, container, close-fitting tarpaulin, chain, rope, wire, or line used on motor vehicles to prevent any part of a vehicle load to sift, blow, leak, fall, or escape in any manner from the vehicle.
- Abandoned or inoperative material which is stored externally and shall include but not be limited to one or more of the following: discarded household appliances, including but not limited to freezers, refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, and washing and drying machines for clothing, or trash, refuse, garbage, junk, used scrap, lumber, steel, plumbing fixtures, insulation, materials, barrels, boxes, drums, piping, glass, iron materials, or plastic.
- EXCESSIVE GROWTH
- The growth of grass, weeds, or vegetation which is not cultivated or landscaped or regularly tended which exceeds a length of 12 inches.
- Outside a fully enclosed building or structure, except that materials stored in a carport shall not be deemed to be stored externally.
- All kitchen and table refuse, offal, all general combustible waste, such as paper and rags, pasteboard boxes, swill and every accumulation of animal and vegetable matter that attends the preparation, decay, dealing in or storage of meats, fish, fowl, game, or vegetable matter, also whole bottles, broken glass, and empty tin, fruit and vegetable cans.
- Not in working condition as designed, or incapable of being lawfully operated. A motor vehicle shall deemed to be inoperative if the current registration (license plate) required under state law as a condition of operation upon the public streets is not affixed thereto or is not the currently required registration for immediate lawful operation, or if one or more parts which are necessary for the lawful operation of the vehicle are missing or not attached to the vehicle as designed, or the motor vehicle would be deemed unsafe under state law.
- Any garbage; rubbish; trash; refuse; can; bottle; glass; crockery; plastic; rubber; yard waste; boxes or other disposal packages; container; paper; tobacco product; tire; appliance; mechanical equipment or part; building or construction material; tool; machinery; wood; motor vehicle or motor vehicle part; vessel; aircraft; and farm machinery or equipment.
- Conditions and conduct described below:
- A. Any continuing condition or use of premises or of building exteriors or of land which causes substantial diminution of the value of property in the vicinity of such condition or use.
- B. Any continuing condition or use of premises, building exteriors or land which unreasonably annoys, injures, or endangers the comfort, health, repose, privacy, or safety of the public through offensive odors, noises, substances, smoke, ashes, soot, dust, gas fumes, chemical diffusion, smog, flooding, disturbance and vibrations of the earth, air, or structures, emanations, light, sights, or entry on adjoining property by persons or vehicles.
- C. A condition that interferes with, obstructs, or tends to obstruct or renders dangerous for passage any public or private street, highway, sidewalk, stream, ditch, or drainageway.
- D. Any condition, act or omission that is deemed to be a nuisance under state law, including, without limitation, F.S. Ch. 823.
- E. Other unreasonable intrusions upon the free use and comfortable enjoyment of the property of the citizens of the Town.
- With respect to property, the person, corporation, partnership, or other legal entity, singular or plural, which is a record owner as recorded on the current tax rolls of Hardee County.
- The land and all structures and articles appurtenant or attached thereto which are owned, leased, occupied, or controlled by a person.
- Any individual parcel of real property or any portion thereof.
- YARD WASTE
- All accumulation of tree and bush clippings, tree limbs, leaves, vines, shrubbery, and similar material.
The existence of any of the following specific conditions or conduct is hereby declared to constitute a nuisance as that term is used in this chapter:
A condition or use of property that causes a substantial diminution of the enjoyment of the property.
Buildings which are unoccupied, deserted, boarded up, partially destroyed, or left for unreasonably long periods of time in a state of partial construction or disrepair, such as broken windows, partial walls and foundations, incomplete framing, and unpainted or peeled paint surfaces, etc., abused or neglected as to appearance, provided that any unfinished building or structure which has been in the course of construction for two years or more, and where the appearance of such unfinished building or structure substantially detracts from the appearance of the immediate neighborhood or is a nuisance, shall be deemed and presumed to have been left for an unreasonably long period of time in the sense of this subsection.
Any attractive nuisance dangerous to children in the form of abandoned or broken equipment, hazardous pools, excavations, or neglected machinery.
Overt blocking of drainage pipes, ditches, channels and streams, so as to cause flooding and adverse affect to surrounding properties.
The existence of excessive growth of grass, weeds or vegetation or the existence of any accumulation of litter, garbage, organic or inorganic wastes, chemical wastes, yard waste, junk, untended growth of vegetation or undergrowth or dead or living vegetation upon any property to the extent and manner that such property contains or is likely to contain rodents, reptiles, or other vermin or furnishes a breeding place for flies, mosquitoes, or wood-destroying insects, threatens surface water or groundwater or potable water supplies, or otherwise threatens the public health, safety or welfare. Agricultural uses and public institution uses as described in the Town's Unified Land Development Code are excepted from the excessive growth of grass, weeds or vegetation limitation in this subsection.
Editor's Note: The Unified Land Development Code is on file in the Town offices, where it may be examined during regular business hours.
The outdoor storage of chemical wastes or pesticides, all or part of any dismantled, partially dismantled, inoperative or discarded motor vehicle, machinery, farm equipment, aircraft, construction equipment, boat, personal watercraft, trailer, truck, motorcycle, or bicycle which is not located on the premises of a lawfully established storage building or storage yard or which is not on the premises of a lawfully established vehicle service establishment and is in the process of repair or maintenance by that establishment.
Any storage of garbage, litter, or garbage receptacles, other than on the day of the scheduled pickup of the garbage and litter, anywhere other than behind the back wall of a home or business structure or along a side wall of the structure, with adequate opaque fencing or shrubbery to block the view of the garbage receptacles from the road. In no event shall garbage or litter receptacles or a garbage or litter receptacle holding structure be visible from either the street or the side of the structure. On the assigned day of pickup of such wastes, the receptacles and yard waste may be placed near the curb of the road where pickup occurs. The empty receptacles and any remaining loose garbage or yard waste shall then be removed within the same day as pickup occurs.
All garbage or debris which might contain any moisture or create odors which could permeate the property line shall be enclosed into a plastic bag prior to being placed in the garbage receptacle.
All yard waste shall be placed into garbage receptacle for pickup or, if too large for such disposal, shall be wrapped or tied in a manner sufficient to allow pickup without leaving substantial residual wastes at the curb.
Any violations of F.S. Ch. 823.
Any other condition or use that constitutes a nuisance to the public, generally, as that term is defined herein, which is continually or repeatedly maintained, the abatement of which would be in the best interest of the health, safety, welfare or morals of the citizens of the Town.
This chapter may be enforced by any manner allowed under the law, including, without limitation, code enforcement under the Town's Code Enforcement Ordinance(s) and by injunction. If the Town prevails in such actions, it shall be entitled to penalties up to $500 per day or other amount authorized by state law and all costs for enforcement, including, without limitation, attorney fees and court costs, including appeals.
For the purposes of enforcement by citation under the Town's Code Enforcement Ordinance, penalties for violations of this chapter shall generally be classified as follows, except where the conditions or multiple or repeated offenses warrant a higher penalty classification:
In additional to administrative and civil penalties provided by law and Town Code Enforcement Ordinances, willful violation of this chapter shall be a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for up to 60 days.
The Town may enter the property and perform the necessary cleanup to bring the property within compliance with this chapter. Any costs associated with such work shall be filed as a lien against the property. If the Town elects to proceed to remove and dispose of a motor vehicle, farm equipment, machinery, boats, motorcycles or any similar machinery, it may do so by providing the following notice either posted on the vehicle or hung on the door of the structure on the property where the vehicle is stored, whichever is reasonably calculated to provide notice. However, this method and this notice shall not be construed to be the only lawful means of enforcement or notice of removal and destruction of nuisance machinery.
Notice for abatement of nuisance vehicles.
[Adopted 7-10-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-04; amended in its entirety 7-27-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-08]
"Unsightly, dangerous, detrimental conditions" shall mean, but not be limited to, the following conditions: maintenance upon any property in the Town of Zolfo Springs of dismantled, partly dismantled, abandoned motor vehicles, farm equipment, machinery of any kind, waste materials, refuse, rubbish, trash or debris, whether it be organic or inorganic material, and conditions tending to promote a fire hazard, such as unrestricted growth of weeds and other noxious plants.
It shall be unlawful for any person to create or permit any of the above conditions within the Town limits of the Town of Zolfo Springs, Florida.
No person, whether he be the owner, tenant, lessee, or whether he be in charge or control of any property within the corporate limits of the Town of Zolfo Springs, Florida, shall allow any of the aforesaid conditions to remain or continue to exist on such property longer than 14 calendar days after the owner, tenant, lessee or custodian of the property has been notified by the Chief of Police, Town Manager, any member of the Town Commission of Zolfo Springs, or any of their agents of his violation of this ordinance as above provided.
No unlicensed vehicle will be parked or stored on any property or right-of-way in the Town of Zolfo Springs.
No recreational vehicle shall be used to be lived in except in RV parks in the Town limits of the Town of Zolfo Springs. RV's may be stored on the premises. Parking of RVs will be allowed on the side of a property or in a back yard.
All residential and commercial establishments must affix their address in a conspicuous place on the principal building so that the number is clearly legible from the street or road on which it is addressed. Addresses must be in Arabic numbers, of contrasting color with the structure or background it is posted on, and be six inches in height for commercial structures and four inches in height for residential structures.
It shall be the duty of the Town Manager, Chief of Police or any member of the Town Commission to give written notice by certified mail with return receipt to the owner, tenant, lessee or custodian, advising such person or persons of the nature of the condition which violated this article and to demand that such condition be removed from the property within a period of 14 calendar days from the date of the notice.
Any person who shall violate any provision of this article shall be subject to a hearing with the County-appointed Special Master, the possibility of a fine of a minimum of $250 per day and a maximum of $500 per day for repeat violations, and the possibility of a lien against the property. If the person, firm, or corporation receiving the notice hereinabove set forth executes a written agreement authorizing the removal of the objectionable condition, the Town of Zolfo Springs will remove or cause it to be removed, and the cost thereof shall be charged to the owner, tenant, lessee, or custodian.