[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Las Vegas 12-19-1984 by Ord. No. 73-20; amended 6-20-1991 by Ord. No. 79-22 (Ch. 18 of the 1972 City Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter is called and may be cited as the "Nuisances Code Ordinance on General Offenses" for the Municipality of Las Vegas, New Mexico.
In the construction of the Nuisances Code Ordinance, the following definitions and rules of construction shall be observed, unless it shall be otherwise expressly provided in any section of this chapter, or unless inconsistent with the manifest intent of this chapter:
- Any person charged with the violation of any ordinance of the municipality that imposes a penalty.
- ANOTHER or OTHER
- Any other human being or legal entity, whether incorporated or unincorporated, including the United States, the State of New Mexico or any subdivision thereof.
- ANYTHING OF VALUE
- Any conceivable thing of the slightest value, tangible or intangible, movable or immovable, corporeal or incorporeal, public or private. The term is not necessarily synonymous with the traditional legal term "property."
- Any person accused of a violation of any ordinance of the municipality that imposes a penalty.
- GOVERNING BODY
- The City Council or City Commission of a City; the Board of Trustees of a town or village.
- HE or HIM or SHE or HER
- Not to be construed as mandatory distinctions of gender if not expressly stipulated.
- LAWFUL CUSTODY OR CONFINEMENT
- The holding of any person pursuant to lawful authority, including, without limitation, actual or constructive custody of prisoners temporarily outside a penal institution, reformatory, jail, prison farm or ranch.
- The chief executive officer of municipalities having the mayor-council form of government.
- MUNICIPAL CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- A City employee who is charged with carrying out and enforcing provisions of the Municipal Code, including but not limited to the provisions of this chapter.
- Any incorporated city, town or village, whether incorporated under general act, special act or special charter.
- OFFICIAL PROCEEDING
- A proceeding heard before any legislative, judicial, administrative or other governmental agency or official authorized to hear evidence under oath, including any referee, hearing examiner, commissioner, notary or other person taking testimony or depositions in any proceeding.
- Includes any person that holds record title to the property
and any person entitled under any agreement to the control or direction
of the management or disposition of the building or premises where
the violation in question occurs.[Added 7-15-2015 by Ord. No. 15-07]
- Any human being or legal entity, whether incorporated or unincorporated.
- PUBLIC EMPLOYEE
- Any person receiving remuneration for regular services rendered to the state or any of its political subdivision.
- PUBLIC GROUND
- Any real property owned or leased by a municipality.
- PUBLIC OFFICER
- Any elected or appointed officer of the state or any of its political subdivisions, serving with or without remuneration for his services.
- "Shall" is mandatory, and "may" is permissive.
- SOLID WASTE
- That which is commonly discarded as waste; or which, if discarded on the ground, will create or contribute to an unsanitary, offensive or unsightly condition. Refuse includes, but is not limited to, the following items or classes of items: waste food; wastepaper and paper products; cans, bottles, or other containers; junked household furnishings and equipment; junked parts or bodies of automobiles and other metallic junk or scrap; portions or carcasses of dead animals; and collection of ashes, dirt, yard trimmings or other rubbish.
- Any thoroughfare that can accommodate pedestrian or vehicular traffic, is open to the public and is under the control of the municipality.
Any amendments to this chapter shall be adopted as ordinances as required by state law, and when passed in such form as to indicate the intention to make the same a part thereof, shall be incorporated into this chapter so that reference to it as "the Nuisance Code Ordinance on General Offenses" shall be understood as including such amendments.
Any person found guilty of violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be fined not more than $300 or imprisoned for a period of not more than 90 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment, and each day this chapter is violated shall constitute a separate offense; provided, however, that if a specific penalty is provided therefor in any particular and individual section of this chapter, then the specific penalty shall prevail.
It is unlawful to commit public nuisance. Public nuisance consists of knowingly creating, performing or maintaining anything affecting any number of citizens without lawful authority which is either injurious to public health, safety, morals or welfare, or interferes with the exercise and enjoyment of public rights, including the right to use public property.
[Amended 7-15-2015 by Ord. No. 15-07]
In the interest of the inhabitants of the municipality, it is necessary to prohibit the accumulation of junk, trash and solid waste on property within the corporate limits of the municipality by declaring such accumulation a nuisance. It shall also be unlawful to be in the possession of or maintain a dangerous/unsafe building and/or structure. The following are hereby declared to be a public nuisance:
Littering. It shall be unlawful for any reason for any person to sweep, place or throw solid waste or other waste materials in or upon any sidewalk, street, alley or unoccupied premises.
Unsanitary premises. It shall be unlawful for any person to permit or cause to remain in or about his premises any solid waste, weeds, motor vehicles not in operating condition, wastewater or any conglomeration of residue thereof, which emits odors or serves as a feeding or breeding place for flies, insects or rodents; or which is unsanitary, or injurious to public health.
Hazardous premises. It shall be unlawful for any person to permit in or about his premises weeds, briars, brush or any other rubble, wreckage, or debris, to become in any way hazardous or injurious to public health or to obstruct pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
Accumulation of solid waste. It shall be unlawful for any person to allow solid waste to accumulate upon premises owned, leased, rented or occupied by him during intervals between collection thereof, except in the manner herein provided. It shall be unlawful to deposit any solid waste in or upon the streets, alleys, sidewalks, gutters, curbing, storm sewers, parkways or vacant lots within the municipality (except in the manner and in the receptacles or container as provided in Subsection E of this section).
Solid waste receptacles. All solid waste receptacles shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition by the owner or person using the receptacle, and such receptacles shall be located only in such places as shall be readily accessible for removing and emptying the same, but shall not be placed in such place or position as may constitute a nuisance or obstruction to vehicular or pedestrian traffic.
Polluting water. Polluting water consists of knowingly and unlawfully introducing any object or substance into any body of public water causing it to be offensive or dangerous for human or animal consumption or use. Polluting water constitutes a public nuisance. For the purpose of this section, "body of water" means any public river or tributary thereof, stream, lake, pond, reservoir, acequia, canal, ditch, spring, well or declared or known groundwaters.
Outdoor vehicle storage; prohibited acts.
It is unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to store on, place on, or permit to be stored or placed on, or allowed to remain on any occupied or unoccupied land within the municipal limits a dismantled, partially dismantled or inoperative motor vehicle, or any parts of a motor vehicle, except in areas where such activity is within the contemplated purpose of duly licensed businesses and are kept in a wholly enclosed garage or structure.
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
- DISMANTLED OR PARTIALLY DISMANTLED VEHICLE
- Any motor vehicle from which some part or parts which are ordinarily a component thereof have been removed or are missing.
- INOPERATIVE OR INOPERABLE MOTOR VEHICLE
- Any motor vehicle which by reason of dismantling disrepair or other cause is incapable of being propelled under its own power.
- MOTOR VEHICLE
- Any wheeled vehicle which is self-propelled or intended to be self-propelled.
This subsection shall be construed as being supplementary to any sections of this chapter relating to rubbish, litter, refuse, and shall not be construed to permit the parking or placing of dismantled, partially dismantled or inoperable motor vehicles on any public street.
Dangerous/unsafe buildings or structures.
It is unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to allow a building or structure, in their ownership to become dangerous/unsafe within the City limits which results in a nuisance affecting the public comfort, health, peace, welfare, or safety.
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
- DANGEROUS BUILDING/STRUCTURE
- Any building or structure from which the foundation, windows, roofs, walls, vents, floors, and/or doors are susceptible to insects, rodents, and vermin entering the building, causing an infestation that can affect the public comfort, health, peace, welfare, or safety.
- UNSAFE BUILDING/STRUCTURE
- Any building or structure, or any part of a building or structure, that is in an impaired condition that makes it unsafe to a person or property.
Any Municipal Code enforcement officer upon observing any violation of this chapter shall issue a notice directed to the owner of record of the property on which the nuisance occurs, or to the owner or occupant of the property, or both. The notice shall describe the violation and shall establish a reasonable time limit for abatement thereof by the owner or occupant or tenants, which limit shall be not less than two days nor more than 15 days after service of the notice. The notice may be served either personally or by certified mail at the owner's or occupant's last known address.
The first notice will be in the form of a violation notice (red tag) which will be served personally or by certified mail, return receipt requested. The red tag will describe the violation and issue a compliance date.
If compliance is not met by the stated date, a second and final notice will be served in the same manner as in Subsection A above. This second notice will be a pending prosecution notice and/or notice of abatement by the City. An inspection will be conducted at the end of time limit. If compliance is still not met, the City will either proceed with the abatement of the nuisance or with the filing of a complaint in a court of law.
The owner will have the right to request an extension of time within which to comply from the Community Development Department by written agreement.
Any and all cost incurred by the City in the abatement of a nuisance under the provision of this chapter shall constitute a lien against the property upon which the nuisance existed, which lien shall be filed as provided by law.
Except as herein provided, an action for the abatement of a public nuisance shall be governed by the general rules of civil procedure.
A civil action to abate a public nuisance may be brought, by verified complaint in the name of the City without cost, by any public officer or private citizen, in the Municipal Court against any person who shall create, perform or maintain a public nuisance.
When judgment is declared against the defendant in an action to abate a public nuisance, he shall be adjudged to pay all court costs and reasonable fees for the complainant's attorney, when the suit is not prosecuted exclusively by the City Attorney.
The City may alternatively file a criminal complaint for public nuisance in the appropriate court pursuant to NMSA 1978, § 30-8-1, as amended.