Cross References — As to animals and fowl, ch. 210; as to dangerous buildings and structures, ch. 505; as to garbage, trash, solid waste and composting, ch. 240; as to public safety offenses, §§215.230 et seq.; as to abatement of weeds, §220.020; as to abandoned property, ch. 223; as to board of health, §§130.020 — 130.050.
Article I Generally
Article II Weeds, High Grass or Other Vegetation
[R.O. 2012 §220.010; Ord. No. 2594 §§1 — 2(B), 7-10-2000]
The following are declared to be nuisances affecting health:
All decayed or unwholesome food offered for sale to the public, or offered to the public at no charge.
All diseased animals running at large.
All ponds or pools of stagnant water.
Carcasses of dead animals not buried or destroyed within twenty-four (24) hours after death.
Accumulations, wheresoever they may occur, of manure, rubbish, garbage, refuse and human and industrial, noxious or offensive waste, except the normal storage on a farm of manure for agricultural purposes.
Privy vaults or garbage cans which are not fly-tight, that is, privy vaults or garbage cans which do not prevent the entry of flies, insects and rodents.
The pollution of any well, cistern, spring, underground water stream, lake, canal, or body of water by sewage or industrial wastes, or other substances harmful to human beings.
Dense smoke, noxious fumes, gas and soot, or cinders in unreasonable quantities, or the presence of any gas, vapor, fume, smoke, dust or any other toxic substance on, in or emitted from the equipment of any premises in quantities sufficient to be toxic, harmful or injurious to the health of any employee or to any premises, occupant, or to any other person.
Common drinking cups, roller towels, combs, brushes or eating utensils in public or semi-public places where not properly sanitized after use.
Any vehicle used for septic tank cleaning which does not meet the requirements of this Chapter of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Union.
Any vehicle used for garbage or rubbish disposal which is not equipped with a water-tight metal body and provided with a tight metal cover or covers and so constructed as to prevent any of the contents from leaking, spilling, falling or blowing out of such vehicle at any time, except while being loaded or not completely secured and covered so as to prevent offensive odors from escaping therefrom or exposing any part of the contents at any time.
Any and all infestations of flies, fleas, roaches, lice, ticks, rats, mice, fly maggots, mosquito larvae and hookworm larvae.
The keeping of animals and fowls in any area within the City not zoned for agricultural uses except pet cats and dogs, animals in public or licensed zoos, and farm animals in laboratories.
Unlicensed dumps, and licensed dumps not operated or maintained in compliance with the ordinances of the City of Union and the Statutes of the State of Missouri.
No person shall discharge or cause to be discharged into a storm water system any waste materials, liquids, vapor, fat, gasoline, benzene, naphtha, oil or petroleum product, mud, straw, lawn clippings, tree limbs or branches, metal or plastic objects, rags, garbage or any other substance which is capable of causing an obstruction to the flow of the storm system or interfere with the proper operation of the system, or which will pollute the natural creeks or waterways.
All other acts, practices, conduct, business, occupation callings, trades, uses of property and all other things detrimental or certain to be detrimental to the health of the inhabitants of the City of Union.
Any condition which State law or common law has determined in fact to be a nuisance.
Any condition which the Board of Aldermen has determined in fact to be a nuisance after a hearing as herein provided.
Unlawful To Cause, Maintain Within City Or One-Half Mile Thereof. It is unlawful for any owner, lessee or occupant, or any agent, servant, representative or employee of any such owner, lessee or occupant, having control of any occupied lot or land or any part thereof in the City of Union, or within one-half (½) mile of the corporate limits of the City of Union, Missouri, to cause, permit or maintain a nuisance on any such lot or land. Additionally, it is unlawful for any person or his/her agent, servant, representative or employee to cause, or maintain a nuisance on the land or property of another, with or without permission. Each day that a nuisance shall be maintained is a separate offense.
Authority To Abate Emergency Cases. In cases where it reasonably appears that there is an immediate danger to the health, safety or welfare of the public, due to the existence of a nuisance the Mayor or his/her designate shall have the authority to order the Chief of Police or Health Officer or other City Official to immediately abate the nuisance in an appropriate manner.
Nuisance Not Caused By A Natural Disaster, Etc.
Abatement procedure. In any situation wherein the existing conditions are not a nuisance as defined in Subsection (A) of this Section, the Board of Aldermen shall direct the Chief of Police, City Administrator or Board of Health to investigate the circumstances and conditions thereof and report the findings thereof to the Board of Aldermen within such length of time as the Board of Aldermen may direct. If, based upon the results of such investigation, the Board of Aldermen finds that such conditions do in fact constitute a nuisance detrimental to the public health and welfare, the Board of Aldermen shall thereafter, by resolution, declare such conditions to be a nuisance. Notice of such resolution shall be provided to the owner of the property in question in the manner set forth in this Section, advising the owner of the declaration and advising the owner that the conditions must be abated within thirty (30) days of the notice thereof. If the conditions are not abated within the thirty (30) day period, the Board of Aldermen shall thereafter, by ordinance, declare the conditions to be a nuisance. The ordinance shall set forth the manner in which the City shall suppress the nuisance and the time such action shall be commenced, and, if the property is within the City limits, direct the City Clerk to issue a special tax bill against the property, to be collected in the same manner as a special assessment, for the expenses thereof. At the City's option, the City shall also have the right to recover the cost thereof from the property owner within pursuing a tax lien. In any situation wherein the existing conditions are a nuisance as defined in Subsection (A) of this Section, it shall not be necessary for the Board of Aldermen to direct an agency to investigate such conditions. All other requirements shall be the same.
Service of notice. Notice of the resolution provided for in this Section shall be provided to the owner of the property by mailing a copy thereof by certified mail to the owner of the property as reflected in the City tax records, by posting a copy thereof on the property in question, and by causing a copy thereof to be published in a local newspaper of general circulation for two (2) consecutive weeks.
Maintenance of nuisance deemed ordinance violation. In addition to the powers to abate and suppress nuisances as set forth in this Section, once an ordinance has been passed declaring any condition to be a nuisance, the property owner shall be deemed to have committed an ordinance violation.
Penalty. In addition to the other remedies set forth in this Section, any person found to have violated this Section shall be fined not less than ten dollars ($10.00) and not more than five hundred dollars ($500.00). After the Board of Aldermen has declared by ordinance that the conditions constitute a nuisance, each day that the owner fails to abate the nuisance shall constitute a separate offense.
Nuisance Caused By A Natural Disaster.
For the purposes of this Article, a nuisance caused by a natural disaster shall mean any condition which exists on public or private property within the corporate limits of the City of Union which presents a substantial risk to the public health and welfare arising out of an event beyond the control of the property owner or the City, and as a result of such event, the Mayor has executed his/her authority under Chapter 235 of the City of Union Code with regard to the declaration of an emergency or disaster.
In the event of such declaration, all necessary actions shall be taken to immediately secure the health and safety of the inhabitants of the City of Union to include, if deemed necessary by the Mayor after consultation with other elected officials and appropriate department heads, evacuation of the affected areas. In accordance with the provisions of Chapter 235 of the City of Union Code, the Mayor is hereby authorized to take all necessary action to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all those within the City limits.
The abatement and notice procedures set forth in Subsections (D)(1) and (D)(2) hereof shall apply to the abatement of nuisances caused by natural disasters except that the provisions contained therein with regard to assessing the cost of abatement against the property owner and the issuance of a special tax bill shall not apply unless the property owner is paid for the cost of abatement through insurance coverage. In the event insurance coverage for the abatement thereof is owned by the property owner, the provisions of Subparagraph (4) hereof shall control. If the subject event is recognized and declared by the State and/or Federal governments to be a disaster, then in such event, all State and Federal regulations shall be followed.
After the Board of Aldermen has declared that the conditions which exist constitute a nuisance, the Board of Aldermen, or their designated representative, shall have the right to inquire of the owner of each affected property as to whether or not insurance coverage is available to pay for or assist with the cost of clean up. In the event it is determined that no insurance coverage is available, the City shall investigate, apply for and use all sources of funds from all governmental agencies to assist with or pay for such actions necessary to abate the nuisance and clean up the affected property. In the event insurance coverage is available to pay for or assist with the cost of clean up, the City shall require that the property owner exhaust such funds prior to using any public monies to clean up the subject property. If the property owner fails to use such insurance proceeds for their intended purpose when such are available, the City reserves the right to treat such property as if the nuisance were not caused by a natural disaster and to assess the cost of clean up against the property and the owner and to issue a special tax bill if necessary in the same manner as set forth in Subsection (D)(1) hereof.
[R.O. 2012 §220.120; Ord. No. 3606 §1, 11-9-2010; Ord. No. 3648 §1, 6-13-2011]
Failure To Keep Weeds, High Grass And Other Vegetation Cut And Removed, A Nuisance. All persons owning or occupying any lot or tract of land in the City of Union shall keep the weeds and grass in excess of seven (7) inches high, dead trees or limbs, brush or other vegetation growing on such property cut and removed. Any condition on any lot or tract of land that has the presence of the foregoing mentioned items is hereby declared to be a public nuisance, subject to abatement and/or prosecution as set forth herein.
Unlawful To Maintain Such Nuisance. An owner or occupant who fails to remove a nuisance under this Section within seven (7) days of being notified to do so by the notice/abatement order described in Subsection (D) below shall be guilty of an offense and may (at the option of the City) be charged in Municipal Court with failure to abate a nuisance.
Liability. Whenever weeds and grass in excess of seven (7) inches high, dead trees or limbs, brush or other vegetation in violation of Subsection (A) of this Section are allowed to grow or remain on any part of any lot or tract within the City, the owner or occupant of the ground, or in case of joint tenancy, tenancy by entireties or tenancy in common, each owner thereof shall be liable.
Enforcement of this Article shall be the responsibility of the City Administrator or his/her designee. Enforcement shall commence by providing notice to the owner or occupant of the property of the nuisance conditions existing on his/her/its property. The notice may be delivered by personal service, by certified mail, by ordinary mail or by posting such notice on the subject property. (If sent by ordinary mail, there will be a rebuttable presumption that the letter was delivered in three (3) days after the date it was sent.)
The notice shall generally describe the nature of the nuisance, the location of the property (using the mailing or popular address rather than a legal description when reasonably possible to do so) and ordering the property owner or occupant to, within a period of seven (7) days from the receipt of the notice, abate the nuisance.
If a nuisance as described in Subsection (A) of this Section is allowed to exist on the same property in violation of this Section more than once during the same growing season, the City Administrator or his/her designee may, without further notification, have said nuisance abated and the cost of the abatement shall be billed in the manner described in Subsection (F) below.
Disposition. In the event that weeds and grass in excess of seven (7) inches high, dead trees or limbs, brush or other vegetation growing on such property are not cut down and removed within the seven (7) days, the City Administrator or his/her designee shall have the same cut down and/or removed and shall certify the costs of same to the City Clerk.
Tax Bill. The City Clerk shall cause a special tax bill therefor against the property to be prepared and to be collected by the Collector with other taxes assessed against the property; and the tax bill from the date of its issuance shall be a first (1st) lien on the property until paid and shall be prima facie evidence of the recitals therein and of its validity, and no mere clerical error or informality in the same, or in the proceedings leading up to the issuance, shall be a defense thereto. Each special tax bill shall be issued by the City Clerk and delivered to the Collector on or before the first (1st) day of June of each year. Such tax bills if not paid when due shall bear interest at the rate of eight percent (8%) per annum.
Penalty. Penalties for violation of this Article shall be as follows:
First (1st) violation on lot or tract, seventy-five dollars ($75.00) each day any violation continues after notification period above stated.
Second (2nd) violation on same lot or tract within two (2) years from date of first (1st) violation, one hundred fifty dollars ($150.00) each day any violation continues after notification period above stated.
Third (3rd) violation on same lot or tract within two (2) years from date of first (1st) violation, three hundred dollars ($300.00) each day any violation continues after notification period above stated.
Conviction of a violation under this Section shall in no way be construed to be a prerequisite to the enhanced punishment provisions or to the recovery by the City of costs expended under Subsection (F) and any fine imposed shall be in addition to payment by such person of the costs of such cutting and removal. Such cutting and removal by the City is not required and shall not be construed as a prerequisite to a conviction under this Section.