[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Madison 6-11-2012. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter is enacted pursuant to 30-A M.R.S.A. § 3001.
This chapter shall be known and cited as the "Property Maintenance Ordinance" of the Town of Madison.
The purpose of this chapter is to set a minimum standard for the maintenance of the grounds of property in order to protect public health, public safety, property values, and to prevent nuisance conditions.
All grounds or parts thereof shall be maintained to prevent unsafe, unsanitary and/or nuisance conditions (according to the nuisance definition found in 17 M.R.S.A. § 2802 and as shown in the Appendix) and to avoid any adverse effect on the value of adjoining properties. Grounds include accessory and appurtenant structures such as garages, sheds and fences.
Editor’s Note: The Appendix is included as an attachment to this chapter.
The grounds of any property shall be kept in good repair and free of unsafe or unsanitary conditions. Such conditions may include containing: refuse, household trash, junk, discarded plumbing, heating supplies, old or scrap copper, brass, rope, rags, batteries, paper trash, rubber, waste and all scrap iron, steel, other scrap ferrous or nonferrous material, debris, scrap lumber, inoperable machinery or part thereof, glass, unused and inoperable appliances, worn and unused furniture, and one or more junked and/or unserviceable vehicle(s), other than those licensed for storage according to the Town of Madison Automobile Graveyard and Junkyard Ordinance. Materials intended for the private use of the property owner may be stored on the property as long as such material is screened from the public way and from abutting properties and is not in violation with state laws. Private use does not include resale.
Within a period of 60 days after casualty (See Appendix.) damage to property grounds or structures, the owner shall cause or contract (See Appendix.) for the repair or restoration of damaged areas and the demolition of any areas not to be repaired and the removal of all debris connected therewith. The CEO may grant an extension under certain hardship conditions. (See § 290-8).
Editor's Note: The Appendix is included at the end of this chapter.
Owners, operators, and occupants of properties in violation of this chapter shall be jointly and severally liable for violations and for corrective actions required.
The CEO, or his or her designee, shall notify the violator, serving a written notice by certified mail or by hand delivery. Said notice shall explain the nature of the violation and require corrective action within 30 calendar days from the date of the receipt of the notice to correct the violation, seven days (maximum) for a health and/or safety violation as determined by the CEO. The violator may appeal the CEO's decision to the Board of Selectpersons. Appeals must be made within three working days of notification by the CEO of a violation. The number of days given for compliance shall start after the Board of Selectpersons has heard the appeal.
If a violation is not corrected within the time allowed, the Town shall pursue all remedies, including pursuit of a judge's order to abate the property and remove the material in violation at the property owner's expense provided in 30-A M.R.S.A. § 3758-A(4)(C). In addition the Town shall pursue relief available by law and/or in equity for land use ordinances, including, without limitation, the remedies and relief provided in 30-A M.R.S.A. § 4452, currently including, without limitation, a penalty of $100 to $2,500 per day for a specific violation, injunctive relief and reasonable attorney fees, expert witness fees and costs. The Town shall retain all penalties set forth in this chapter. The CEO may represent the Town in District Court, pursuant to Rule 80-K. However, should the services of the Town Attorney be required, in litigation in a higher court of law, for example, the CEO shall first review the case with the Town Manager and Board of Selectpersons.
The CEO may offer one special extension per person/per incident of up to 180 days to violators of this chapter under certain hardship or extenuating circumstances. If a violation is discovered during winter months (November 1 to April 1) and if winter weather prevents the correction of a violation, an extension may be given. Cases of disability or financial hardship shall also be grounds for the consideration of an extension. Violators requesting an extension for financial hardship shall be required to prove hardship through financial documentation. These extensions for seasonal, disability, or financial hardship shall be at the discretion of the CEO.
If any section, subsection, clause, paragraph, phrase or portion of this chapter is for any reason held invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such portions shall be deemed to be a separate, distinct, and independent provision and such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions thereof.
Whenever a provision of this chapter conflicts with or is inconsistent with another provision of this chapter or any other ordinance, regulation or statute, the provision imposing the greater restriction shall control. The newest version of this chapter shall be the one that is enforced.
This chapter shall be effective when approved by the voters of the Town of Madison.