[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Evanston as Ch. 12 of the 1977 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Prohibited Acts; Specific Nuisances Enumerated; Abatement Proceedings
Article II Landscape Standards
[Amended by Ord. No. 3-15]
For the purposes of this chapter, the term "nuisance" is defined as the doing of or failure to do something that injuriously affects the safety, health or morals of the public or works some substantial annoyance, inconvenience or injury to the public or such part of the public as necessarily comes in contact with it in the exercise of a public or common right. A "nuisance" is the maintenance by any person of any condition or use of real or personal property in such manner as to unreasonably interfere with the use and enjoyment of the property of another, or which is detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the City or is detrimental to the property of others, or which causes or tends to degrade or cause substantial diminution in the value of other property in the neighborhood in which such nuisance is maintained.
The unlawful doing of any act or the omission to perform a duty, which annoys, injures or endangers the public health, safety, welfare or quiet enjoyment of property of the citizens of the City or which unlawfully interferes with or tends to obstruct, or in any way render unsafe and insecure, other persons in life or in the use of their property, is hereby declared a "nuisance." The term "nuisance," as used herein, shall be deemed to include, but is not limited to, the following:
The keeping of inflammable or combustible material of every nature whatsoever in such a manner as to endanger by fire any property or structure within the City, unless guarded and protected, so far as practicable, to prevent fires from originating therein or from spreading when started near such materials.
The keeping of quantities of straw, hay, paper and paper products, dry grass cuttings, wood and wood products and the storing of oily rags and waste in such a manner as to endanger by fire any property or structure within the City, unless guarded and protected, so far as practicable, to prevent fires from originating therein or from spreading when started near such materials.
The accumulation upon any property or within any structure within the City of junk, rubbish, trash, waste, discarded material or salvage in such a manner as to harbor rats, rodents, mice, pack rats, wild rabbits, vermin, skunks, cats or animals which may transmit or cause to be transmitted diseases to human beings rabies, tularemia, plague, tick fever or other diseases, or in such a manner as to provide a breeding place for flies, mosquitoes, earwigs or other harmful insects; or in such manner as to constitute a fire hazard or other hazard to the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the City.
The keeping of abandoned, discarded or unused objects or equipment, such as furniture, stoves, refrigerators, freezers, cans or containers and the like.
The discharge of any foul or nauseous liquid or liquor or substance of like kind discharged into or upon any public or private property within the City.
The keeping or discharge of any stale or putrid fat, grease, garbage, meat, excrement or other foul or objectionable matter of any kind.
The storage or keeping of old, unused, stripped, junked and other machinery, implements, equipment, appliances and personal property of any kind which is no longer used or safely usable for the purpose for which it was manufactured, which hereinafter are collectively described as "personalty," for a period of thirty days or more, except in licensed junk yards or in an enclosed building.
The keeping of a partially dismantled, wrecked, junked, discarded or otherwise nonoperating motor vehicle longer than thirty days, except in an enclosed building. This subsection shall not apply with regard to any vehicle on the premises of a business enterprise operated in a lawful place, other than in a residential district, and operated in a lawful manner, when the keeping or maintenance of such vehicle is necessary to the operation of such business enterprise, or with regard to a vehicle in an appropriate storage place or depository maintained in a lawful place and manner by the City or any other public agency or entity.
The keeping or maintaining of premises in a manner causing substantial diminution in the value of property of others in the vicinity in which such premises are located.
[Amended by Ord. No. 3-15]
It shall be a misdemeanor for a person, whether as owner, lessee, tenant, occupant or otherwise, to cause, or be in any manner whatsoever instrumental in causing, keeping, permitting or maintaining, a nuisance as defined in Section 14-1 within the limits of the City or its police jurisdiction.
It shall be a misdemeanor for a person to obstruct in any way the abatement of a nuisance or to fail or refuse to abate a nuisance after being ordered to do so by the municipal court.
[Amended by Ord. No. 82-83]
Any person who shall post, place, paint or stick, or cause to be posted, placed, painted or stuck, any handbill or placard upon any public or private building, or upon any fence or other structure, or upon any motor vehicle, without permission from the owner or occupant of the same, shall be deemed the author of a nuisance, and any handbill or placard so posted, placed, painted or stuck is hereby declared to be a nuisance.
No abattoir or slaughterhouse shall be used or established within the corporate limits, or within two miles thereof, without the owner thereof first having obtained the consent and permission of the City council therefor.
[Amended by Ord. No. 81-4; Ord. No. 83-7]
The keeping or storage of bees, except in containers from which they cannot escape, within the corporate limits is hereby declared to be a nuisance and abatable as such according to law and this chapter and other ordinance of the City, provided, however, this section shall not be construed to prevent the keeping or storage of bees in all agricultural zones within the corporate limits as defined in chapter 24.
Any person keeping or storing bees, and any person who is the owner of or is in possession of premises upon which bees are kept or stored within the corporate limits, unless such bees are kept or stored in containers from which they cannot escape, who shall fail to remove them within three days after notice to do so given in writing by any police officer shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined any sum not more than seven hundred fifty dollars.
Each day of failure to remove the bees so kept or stored after such notice shall constitute a separate offense and be punishable as above set out.
[Amended by Ord. No. 3-15; 12-15-2009 by Ord. No. 09-07]
Except for enforcement of the landscape standards set forth in Article II of the chapter, all proceedings for the enforcement of this chapter shall be governed by rules of practice and procedure in the municipal court, and in the absence of such specific provisions, proceedings hereunder shall be governed by state law governing practice and procedure before justices of the peace, except as otherwise herein provided.
All actions for violations of this chapter may be commenced by the issuance of a citation by any member of the police department or by filing with the municipal court a sworn complaint and affidavit by any responsible citizen of the City or, detailing with particularity the facts showing the existence of a nuisance as herein defined and praying that such nuisance be abated.
If the action is commenced by a citation, the police officer shall specify on the citation the date and time when the person cited must appear in municipal court for their arraignment. A citation issued pursuant to this section is a "must appear offense" as defined by the Wyoming Rules of Criminal procedure.
If the action is commenced by the filling of a complaint and affidavit, the municipal judge shall:
Enter the case on his docket in the usual manner as required by law;
Issue summons, which shall be dated the date it is issued, signed by the municipal judge issuing the same, directed to the sheriff or any police officer of the City and containing the name of the defendant, if known (if unknown, a fictitious name may be used), and command the officer serving the same to summon the defendant to appear before such municipal judge at his office in the City hall at a time specified therein, but in any event not more than ten days from the date of service, then and there to show cause why the nuisance complained of should not be abated, and stating that if the defendant fails to appear, judgment as prayed for in the affidavit of complaint will be entered against him. The summons must be returnable not more than ten days from its date and must be served at least three days before the time of appearance by delivering a copy of the summons, certified by the officer serving the same to be a true copy, to the defendant or leaving the same at his usual place of residence or business with some person over fourteen years of age residing or staying thereat, to whom the contents shall be explained; and acknowledgment on the back of the summons or the voluntary appearance of the defendant is equivalent to service. If personal service cannot be made upon the defendant the municipal judge shall give notice to the defendant by posting a copy of the summons at some conspicuous place on the property where the nuisance is maintained and by publishing such summons for two consecutive weeks in the official newspaper of the City at least twenty days before the date set for the hearing.
At the arraignment or upon completion of the trial, the municipal court shall determine whether the defendant has caused, permitted or maintained a nuisance If so, the municipal judge shall ascertain and determine the legal description of the property upon which the nuisance is situated and shall order the defendant to abate and remove the nuisance by a date certain as determined by the judge and shall make a minute entry of such order on the docket in the proceedings before him. In addition, the municipal judge may impose a penalty on the defendant as provided by section 14-11.
If the municipal judge shall find and recommend that the condition complained of constitutes a nuisance as defined in this chapter and should be removed and abated, a notice forthwith shall be given by him to the owner or occupant, containing a description of the condition found to be a nuisance, and upon what lot and block it is situate or erected, requiring the abatement and removal of the same within ten days of the service of such notice, in person, to remove, destroy and abate such condition so declared to be a nuisance.
Upon failure, neglect or refusal of the owner or occupant of such premises and the property constituting such nuisance to remove and abate the same under the terms of the notice, and within the prescribed time set by the municipal judge, the municipal judge shall, without further proceedings, order and direct the police officers or other employees of the City to abate or cause to be abated and remove the property constituting such nuisance to a suitable storage area designated by the chief of police or any police officer of the City, all at the expense of the owner or occupant or person in charge thereof. Such order shall be final and conclusive as against all persons. The police officer or other employee of the City shall thereupon proceed to tear down, destroy, remove and abate such nuisance and condition, and use all reasonable means and force to do so, and shall keep a just and accurate account of the expense thereof and return it to the City clerk to be presented to the City council for further action thereon.
The City council at a regular meeting shall consider the expense of the abatement by the City of a nuisance and by resolution finally determine the actual cost of removal and abatement and all costs and assess the same against the lot and block from which such nuisance and construction was removed, and fine the amount charged against the same, which shall be a "yea" and "nay" vote and spread at length upon the minutes, and shall thereupon declare any amount so found due a special assessment, which shall be levied and assessed as such and be collected in like manner as any other City taxes. The City clerk shall, in the manner prescribed by law, initiate further proceedings as required by law for the collection thereof as a City tax.
Whenever any nuisance shall be found in any premises or elsewhere within the City, contrary to any provision of this Code or any other ordinance, the mayor, in his discretion, is hereby authorized to cause the same to be summarily abated in such manner as he may direct.
[Amended by Ord. No. 81-41; Ord. No. 3-15]
A person who causes, keeps, permits or maintains a nuisance as defined by this chapter, or who obstructs in any manner the abatement of a nuisance or who fails or refuses to abate a nuisance after being ordered to do so by the municipal court, has committed a misdemeanor and may be fined and sentenced to jail as provided by section 1-5 of the City Code.
[Added 12-15-2009 by Ord. No. 09-07]
The abatement of weed and grass nuisances may be abated in accordance with the procedures set forth in this article. The Nuisance Officers appointed by the Mayor shall have the authority to abate weed and grass nuisances as set forth herein.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- NATURAL LANDSCAPING
- Includes native and non-native weeds, grasses, and other plant materials that are purposefully managed by the property owner or occupant of the property as part of a coordinated landscape plan for the entire property, which includes an existing residential use. Natural landscaping may be managed for aesthetic considerations or to promote wildlife habitat considerations.
- ORNAMENTAL GRASS
- Grass that is customarily used for ornamental purposes and which has been incorporated into the landscaping of the property.
- OWNER or OCCUPANT
- The owner of record as shown in any record of the City or county or any agent or representative of such owner and any person entitled to possession or use of the premises by virtue of a lease, easement or other right.
- A lot or parcel of land devoted to a residential use or zoned for residential use and which is located on an improved, dedicated City street. The property shall consist of the lot or parcel plus the area to the center of any alley abutting the lot or parcel and the sidewalk, parking strip, curb, gutter and parking area of the improved street abutting the lot or parcel of land.
- The plants designated as noxious by the Wyoming Weed and Pest Control Act and Wyoming Seed Law, W.S. § 11-5-102 and 11-12-104 and/or by the Uinta County Weed and Pest District.
The purpose of an article regulating the maintenance of weeds and grasses on property in residential zoning districts is to promote the integrity of residential neighborhoods; to promote firesafety by creating defensible open space between developed property and vacant property; and to promote the general health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants in the City.
Weeds and grasses that are not purposefully maintained can provide an environment for mice, rodents and other vermin which can potentially transmit diseases to humans; can collect litter and other wind blown trash which can potentially pose a fire hazard; can become unsightly which can potentially have a negative impact to neighborhood aesthetics and property values; can spread to adjacent properties, which can pose potential maintenance hardships; and can become an attractive nuisance, which can cause public safety considerations.
No owner or occupant of property shall permit weeds and grasses to grow upon such property to a height of more than 12 inches.
This section shall not apply to ornamental grass so long as it is used to supplement the property's overall landscaped area and does not constitute in square footage more than 20% of the property's overall landscaped area.
This section shall also not apply to natural landscaping located on residential lots or parcels which exceed one acre in size and which is set back from the property line of the lot or parcel at least 10 feet.
This section shall not apply to undeveloped property located at the end of a stub or dead-end street.
Each year the Mayor may designate a police officer or other City employee who shall act as the Nuisance Officer to abate weeds and grasses as provided in this article.
A notice to abate a weed or grass nuisance shall be sent by regular mail to each owner and/or occupant. If such information cannot become known to the City through the exercise of reasonable efforts, then notice shall be posted on any land which a nuisance is discovered to exist. The notice shall include the following information:
Citation of applicable provisions of the City Code;
Nature of violation;
Legal description or street address for property in violation;
Proper methods of abatement;
Requirement to comply within 10 days of issue of notice or posting;
A statement that if the nuisance is not abated within the time limit stated in the notice to abate, the City may abate the nuisance or issue an "authorization to abate nuisance" to an abatement contractor, who shall proceed to abate the nuisance.
The name, signature, telephone number and title of posting or issuing official.
Extensions for nuisance abatement will be considered by the Nuisance Officer upon receipt of written request for extension. The written request must be submitted prior to the abatement deadline.
If the owner and/or the occupant of property within the City should fail to abate the weed and grass nuisance within the time limit stated in the notice to abate, the City may abate the nuisance or issue an "authorization to abate nuisance" to an abatement contractor, who shall proceed to abate the nuisance.
After a nuisance abatement by the City or authorized contractor, the officer shall complete a statement of costs. For purposes of the section, "abatement" shall include any action undertaken by the Nuisance Officer or authorized contractor to achieve a nuisance abatement. Such statement shall include the cost of the abatement, costs involved in the notice and/or posting of the property, plus an administrative fee in the amount not to exceed 50% of the abatement costs. The Nuisance Officer shall notify the owner and/or the occupant of the property involved by certified mail, return receipt requested, of the costs being assessed. The Nuisance Officer shall further give notice that, unless payment of the costs is made within 30 days after notification, the City will take appropriate action to collect the same, including but not limited to referral to a collection agency and reducing the costs to judgment.
In addition to the authority to abate a weed and grass nuisance as provided by this article, the City shall have the option to abate the nuisance through municipal court as set forth in § 14-7.
It shall be a misdemeanor for any person to fail, refuse or neglect to abate a weed and grass nuisance within the time specified in the notice to abate issued pursuant to this article.