City of Richmond Heights, MO
St. Louis County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Section 510.010 Intent.

[CC 1984 §7-60; Ord. No. 4328 §1, 4-2-1990]
It is the intent of this Chapter to define and provide the means for eliminating buildings or structures which are dangerous to their occupants and to the general public of the City of Richmond Heights. These provisions regarding dangerous buildings shall supersede any inconsistent provisions in any Building Code or other Code adopted by the City of Richmond Heights.

Section 510.020 Dangerous Buildings Defined.

[CC 1984 §7-61; Rev. M.C. 1963 Ch.13; Ord. No. 2938 §1, 12-15-1969; Ord. No. 3140 §7-30; Ord. No. 4328 §1, 4-2-1990]
A. 
A building or structure which has any or all of the following defects is detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of its occupants or to the general public of the City and shall be termed a dangerous building:
1. 
One which shows thirty-three percent (33%) or more of damage to or deterioration of the structural member or members of the building. In determining the percentage of damage or deterioration, either costs of replacement or damage to the linear or square footage of the structural members may be used.
2. 
One whose walls or other vertical structural members list, lean or buckle to such an extent that a plumb line passing through the center of gravity falls outside of the middle third of its base.
3. 
One which has improperly distributed loads upon the floors or roof, or in which the same are overloaded, or which have insufficient strength to be reasonably safe for the purpose used.
4. 
One which has been damaged by fire, wind, storm or other causes so as to become dangerous to life, safety or the general health and welfare of its occupants or the general public.
5. 
One which is so dilapidated, decayed, unsafe, unsanitary or which so utterly fails to provide the common amenities essential to decent living that it is unfit for human habitation, or is likely to cause sickness or disease or to work injury to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of those occupying such building.
6. 
One having light, air and sanitation facilities which are inadequate to protect the health, morals, safety or general welfare of human beings who live or may live therein.
7. 
One having inadequate facilities for egress in case of fire or panic, or having insufficient stairways, elevators, fire escapes or other means of communication.
8. 
One which has appurtenances thereon which are insecure and liable to fall and injure occupants or the general public.
9. 
One having unsafe equipment which includes any boiler, heating equipment, elevator, moving stairway, electrical wiring or device, flammable liquid containers or other equipment that is in such disrepair or condition that it is dangerous to life, safety or the general health and welfare of its occupants or the general public.
B. 
Any building existing in violation of any provisions of the building, housing, non-residential, Fire Prevention Code or other Codes or ordinances of the City, and is thereby detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of its occupants or to the general public of the City, may also be declared to be a dangerous building.

Section 510.030 Dangerous Buildings — Nuisance.

[CC 1984 §7-62; Rev. M.C. 1963 Ch.13; Ord. No. 2938 §1, 12-15-1969; Ord. No. 3140 §7-31; Ord. No. 4328 §1, 4-2-1990]
A dangerous building within the terms of Section 510.020 of this Chapter is hereby declared to be a public nuisance. It shall be repaired, vacated and/or demolished as provided in this Chapter.

Section 510.040 Procedure in Cases of Immediate or Imminent Danger.

[CC 1984 §7-63; Ord. No. 4328 §1, 4-2-1990]
A. 
Where immediate danger exists to occupants or the general public from a dangerous building, the Building Commissioner may declare the building a hazard to life, health or safety and may, in emergency cases:
1. 
Make reasonable efforts to notify immediately any and all occupants on the premises to remove themselves from the premises;
2. 
Notify the Chief of Police, in writing, of such declaration to assure that the premises is not reoccupied;
3. 
Make reasonable efforts to notify any owner of the premises known to the Building Commissioner of the Building Commissioner's intent to take immediate action to have the building or structure secured, repaired or demolished;
4. 
Immediately proceed to contract for securing, repair or demolition of the building or structure. Costs of such emergency action shall be collected as provided in Section 510.080.
B. 
In cases where it reasonably appears there is imminent danger to the health, safety or welfare of any person from the existence of a dangerous building, the Building Commissioner shall order the owner of such building to repair, vacate and/or demolish such dangerous building. In no event shall this hamper or impair the ability of the Police and Fire Chiefs to take action in cases where immediate evacuation of a building is required under other City Codes or in the event of a civil emergency.

Section 510.050 Standards For Repair, Vacation and/or Demolition.

[CC 1984 §7-70; Rev. M.C. 1963 Ch.13; Ord. No. 2938 §1, 12-15-1969; Ord. No. 2947 §1, 2-16-1970; Ord. No. 3115 §1, 9-3-1973; Ord. No. 3140 §7-33; Ord. No. 4328 §1, 4-2-1990]
A. 
The following standards shall be followed in substance by the Building Commissioner in ordering repair, vacation and/or demolition:
1. 
If the dangerous building can reasonably be repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this Chapter, it shall be ordered to be repaired.
2. 
If the dangerous building is in such condition as to make it a hazard to the health, safety or general welfare of its occupants, it shall be ordered to be vacated.
3. 
In any case where a dangerous building is more than fifty percent (50%) damaged, decayed or deteriorated, it shall be demolished. In all cases where a building cannot be repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this Chapter, 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 Chapter or any ordinance of this City or Statute of the State of Missouri, it shall be demolished.

Section 510.060 Duty To Report Dangerous Buildings.

[CC 1984 §7-71; Rev. M.C. 1963 Ch.13; Ord. No. 2938 §1, 12-15-1969; Ord. No. 2947 §1, 2-16-1970; Ord. No. 3115 §1, 9-4-1973; Ord. No. 3140 §7-34; Ord. No. 4328 §1, 4-2-1990]
It shall be the duty of all City employees to report, in writing, to the Building Commissioner any building or structure which they believe is, may be, or is suspected of being a dangerous building within the terms of this Chapter. Such reports are to be made within a reasonable time after the discovery of such building or structure.

Section 510.070 Duties of The Building Commissioner.

[CC 1984 §7-72; Rev. M.C. 1963 Ch.13; Ord. No. 2938 §1, 12-15-1969; Ord. No. 2947 §1, 2-16-1970; Ord. No. 3115 §1, 9-4-1973; Ord. No. 3140 §7-35; Ord. No. 4328 §1, 4-2-1990; Ord. No. 4757 §1, 2-22-2000]
A. 
The Building Commissioner shall:
1. 
Inspect or cause to be inspected as often as may be necessary all buildings regardless of their use for the purpose of determining whether any conditions exist which render such places dangerous buildings within the terms of Section 510.020 of this Chapter.
2. 
Inspect or cause to be inspected forthwith any building, wall or structure about which a complaint is filed by any person to the effect that a building, wall or structure is or may be existing in violation of this Chapter.
3. 
Inspect or cause to be inspected forthwith any building, wall or structure reported (as hereinafter provided for) by the Fire, Health or Police Departments of this City as probably existing in violation of the terms of this Chapter.
4. 
Give written notice of said hearing, either by personal service or by certified mail, return receipt requested, or if service cannot be had by either of those modes of service then, by publication in a newspaper qualified to publish legal notices, at least ten (10) days in advance of the hearing date, to the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee, agent and all other persons having an interest in said building as shown by the land records of the Recorder of Deeds of St. Louis County, who may 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.
5. 
Place a notice, reading as follows, upon any such building found to be dangerous:
"This building has been found to be a dangerous building by the Building Commissioner. This notice is to remain on this building until it is repaired, vacated and/or demolished as required by the notice which has been given the owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee or agent of this building and all other persons having an interest in said building as shown by the land records of the Recorder of Deeds of St. Louis County, Missouri. It is unlawful to remove this notice until such notice is complied with."
6. 
Upon failure to comply with the posted notice, he/she shall give at least ten (10) days' written notice to the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee, agent and all other persons having an interest in said building or structure as shown by the land records of the Recorder of Deeds of St. Louis County, Missouri, to appear before him/her 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 and/or demolished in accordance with the posted notice.
7. 
Make written, specific findings of fact based upon competent and substantial evidence as to whether or not the building in question is a dangerous building, and if the evidence supports a finding that the building or structure is a nuisance or detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of the residents of the City of Richmond Heights, he/she shall issue a written order that the building or structure be repaired, vacated and/or demolished.
8. 
If the owner, occupant, mortgagee or lessee fails to comply with the order within thirty (30) days, the Building Commissioner shall cause such building or structure to be repaired, vacated or demolished and the property cleaned up as the facts may warrant. If the Building Commissioner or other designated officer or officers issues an order whereby the building or structure is demolished, secured, or repaired, or the property is cleaned up, the cost of performance shall be certified to the City Clerk or officer in charge of finance, who shall cause a special tax bill or assessment therefor against the property to be prepared and collected by the City Collector or other official collecting taxes, unless the building or structure is demolished, secured or repaired by a contractor pursuant to an order issued by the City and such contractor files a mechanic's lien against the property where the dangerous building is located. The contractor may enforce this lien as provided in Sections 429.010 to 429.360, RSMo. Except as provided in Section 510.080, at the request of the taxpayer the tax bill may be paid in installments over a period of not more than ten (10) years. The tax bill from the date of its issuance shall be deemed a personal debt against the property owner and shall also be a lien on the property until paid. Said tax bill or assessment shall bear interest at a rate of eight percent (8%) per annum until paid.

Section 510.080 Special Tax Bills — Installment Payments — Interest — Payment Privileges.

[CC 1984 §7-73; Ord. No. 4328 §1, 4-2-1990; Ord. No. 4757 §1, 2-22-2000]
A. 
Special tax bills issued to recover the cost of performance, at the request of the taxpayer:
1. 
May be paid in installments over a period of not more than ten (10) years to the extent that there are no insurance proceeds as set out in Section 510.090;
2. 
Shall bear interest at the rate of eight percent (8%) per annum until paid; and
3. 
Shall be a lien upon the property from the date of its issuance until paid.
B. 
If any annual installment, or the interest thereon, is not paid when due, then all of the remaining installments shall, at the option of the holder of the tax bill, be declared immediately due and payable.
C. 
The owner of property charged with the payment of the tax bill, or the owner of any interest therein, shall have the privilege of paying the whole of any tax bill in full at any time, or on any annual installment payment date of paying in full one (1) or more of the remaining installments not of maturity date.
D. 
As to damage or loss to a building or other structure caused by or arising out of any fire, explosion, or other casualty loss, if an order is issued by the Building Commissioner and a special tax bill or assessment is issued against the property, it shall be deemed a personal debt against the property owner.

Section 510.090 Insurance Proceeds.

[CC 1984 §7-74; Ord. No. 4328 §1, 4-2-1990; Ord. No. 4757 §1, 2-22-2000]
A. 
If there are proceeds of any insurance policy based upon a covered claim payment made for damage or loss to a building or other structure caused by or arising out of any fire, explosion or other casualty loss in excess of fifty percent (50%) of the face value of the policy covering a building or other structure, then:
1. 
The insurer shall withhold from the covered claim payment twenty-five percent (25%) of the covered claim payment and shall pay such monies to the City to deposit into an interest-bearing account. Any named mortgagee on the insurance policy shall maintain priority over any obligation under the ordinance.
2. 
The City shall release the proceeds and any interest which has accrued on such proceeds received under subdivision (1) of this Subsection to the insured or as the terms of the policy and endorsements thereto provide within thirty (30) days after receipt of such insurance monies, unless the City has instituted legal proceedings for a special tax bill and, if so, all monies in excess of that necessary to comply with the provisions for the removal of the building or structure, less salvage value, shall be paid to the insured.

Section 510.100 Appeal.

[CC 1984 §7-80; Rev. M.C. 1963 Ch.13; Ord. No. 2938 §1, 12-15-1969; Ord. No. 2947 §1, 2-16-1970; Ord. No. 3115 §1, 9-4-1973; Ord. No. 3140 §7-38; Ord. No. 4328 §1, 4-2-1990; Ord. No. 4757 §1, 2-22-2000]
A. 
Any owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee, agent and any other person having an interest in a building or structure as shown by the land records of the Recorder of Deeds of St. Louis County, Missouri, may appeal from a determination that a building or structure is a nuisance or detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of the residents of the City of Richmond Heights to the Circuit Court as established by Chapter 536 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri. Such appeal must be instituted within thirty (30) days after the mailing or delivery of the notice of the determination or order. However, in cases where the Building Commissioner has determined that a building or structure shall be repaired, vacated or demolished, the appeal shall not stay the action unless the Building Commissioner determines in writing that adequate security is posted with the City of Richmond Heights against all damages that may occur.
B. 
In any appeal, any person who owns or occupies property within one thousand two hundred (1,200) feet of the perimeter of the building or structure which is the subject of the suit shall be allowed to present evidence to the Court on behalf of the City.

Section 510.110 Notice.

[CC 1984 §7-81; Rev. M.C. 1963 Ch.13; Ord. No. 2938 §1, 12-15-1969; Ord. No. 3140 §7-38.1; Ord. No. 4328 §1, 4-2-1990; Ord. 4527 §1, 2-7-94; Ord. No. 4757 §1, 2-22-2000]
A. 
Whenever it is provided in this Chapter that notice be given to any person, such notice shall be in writing and shall be served as provided in Section 100.170, Service of violation notices, except in emergency situations as described in Section 510.040(A).
B. 
In addition to the written notice described in Subsection (A) above cannot be served, the notice shall also be published once a week for two (2) consecutive weeks, and on the same day in each week, in some newspaper of general circulation in St. Louis County, Missouri, which is qualified under the Statutes of Missouri to publish legal notices. Whenever it is necessary under the provisions of this Chapter to allow for passage of a certain period of time after the giving of notice, such time shall be computed from the date of first (1st) publication when service by publication is had.

Section 510.120 Authority of Building Commissioner To Contract For Demolition.

[CC 1984 §7-82; Rev. M.C. 1963 Ch. 13; Ord. No. 2938 §1, 12-15-1969; Ord. No. 2947 §1, 2-16-1970; Ord. No. 3115 §1, 9-6-1973; Ord. No. 3140 §7-39; Ord. No. 4328 §1, 4-2-1990]
The Building Commissioner is authorized to contract for the repair, demolition or removal of any building or structure ordered to be repaired, demolished or removed.

Section 510.130 Demolition Requirements.

[CC 1984 §7-83; Ord. No. 3140 §7-39.1; Ord. No. 3688 §1, 11-3-1980; Ord. No. 4328 §1, 4-2-1990]
A. 
A demolition permit shall have been issued and the permit fee paid prior to commencement of any demolition work.
B. 
Adequate precautions shall be taken to protect all adjacent public or private property.
C. 
All utilities shall be disconnected prior to the issuance of a demolition permit.
D. 
Any subgrade area covered by concrete or other impervious material shall be shattered prior to filling to accommodate natural seepage.
E. 
All subgrade areas shall be filled with non-decomposable fill only.
F. 
The site shall be leveled and either planted in its entirety with quick-germinating grass seed or sodded with blue or perennial rye grass. No material which will retard or destroy natural growth shall be permitted. All wrecked materials shall be removed from the premises.
G. 
All impervious surface paving and covering, such as walks, steps, drives and garage floors, shall be broken up and either removed from the premises or used as fill.

Section 510.140 Violations — Penalties.

[CC 1984 §7-84; Rev. M.C. 1963 Ch.13; Ord. No. 2938 §1, 12-15-1969; Ord. No. 3140 §7-40; Ord. No. 4328 §1, 4-2-1990; Ord. No. 4757 §1, 2-22-2000]
A. 
The owner of any dangerous building who fails to comply within the time specified in this Chapter with any notice or order to repair, vacate or demolish said building, given by any person authorized by this Chapter to give such notice or order, or who fails to proceed continuously without unnecessary delay with such vacation, or repair or demolition, shall be guilty of an ordinance violation and, upon conviction, shall be punishable as provided in Section 100.150 of this Code.
B. 
The occupant or lessee in possession who fails to comply with any notice to vacate, and anyone having an interest in the building as shown by the land records of the Recorder of Deeds of St. Louis County and under a legal duty to repair, who fails to repair the building in accordance with any notice given as provided for in this Chapter, or who fails to proceed continuously without unnecessary delay with such vacation or repair, shall be guilty of an ordinance violation and, upon conviction, shall be punishable as provided in Section 100.150.
C. 
Any person removing the notice provided in Section 510.070(7) shall be guilty of an ordinance violation and, upon conviction, shall be punishable as provided in Section 100.150.