[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Glocester 1-17-2013, effective 1-24-2013. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Council of the Town of Glocester does hereby find that it is necessary to provide for the abatement of conditions with regard to foreclosed properties which are abandoned or vacant and which are offensive or annoying to the senses, detrimental to property values and community appearance, an obstruction to or interference with the comfortable enjoyment of adjacent property or premises, or hazardous or injurious to the health, safety or welfare of the general public in such ways to constitute a public nuisance; and to provide standards to safeguard life, health and public welfare in keeping with the character of the Town by allowing for the maintenance of abandoned or vacant property for each of the following purposes:
To safeguard the health, safety and welfare of the people by maintaining foreclosed abandoned or vacant properties or premises in good and appropriate condition;
To promote a sound and attractive community appearance; and
To enhance the economic value of the community, and each area in it, through the regulation of the maintenance of foreclosed abandoned or vacant properties.
Accordingly, the Town Council finds and declares that the purpose of this chapter is to:
Reduce the threat to health, safety, welfare, appearance and economic value due to the decline in property condition(s) by lawfully delineating the circumstances under which such condition(s) on foreclosed abandoned or vacant properties may be considered illegal and/or abated; and, further, finds that
Abatement of such condition(s) is in the best interest of the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the Town because maximum use and enjoyment of property or premises in proximity to one another depends upon maintenance of those properties or premises at or above the minimum standard.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
- ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The Zoning and Code Enforcement Officer, or his or her designee, and any police officer of the Town of Glocester.
- FORECLOSED ABANDONED OR VACANT PROPERTY
- Any property which has been foreclosed on and on which there exists a structure, be it residential or commercial, which is not occupied or used on a routine basis.
- PUBLIC NUISANCE
- Whatever is injurious to health, indecent, or unreasonably offensive to the senses, or an obstruction to free use of property so as essentially to interfere unreasonably with the comfortable enjoyment of life, any condition or use of premises or of building exteriors which is detrimental to the property of others or which causes or tends to cause substantial diminution in value of other property in the neighborhood in which such premises are located, or a building that is a menace to the public health, welfare, or safety by reason of inadequate maintenance, dilapidation, obsolescence or abandonment, as implied in § 232-1 hereof.
- RESPONSIBLE PERSON(S)
- The individual(s) or entity responsible for abating nuisances pursuant to this chapter. Any owner is responsible for the nuisance and is therefore a responsible person pursuant to this chapter.
No owner of foreclosed vacant or abandoned property shall allow the property to be or become dilapidated by reason of inadequate maintenance, as further defined herein, which may cause substantial diminution in value of other property in the neighborhood in which such premises are located.
Maintenance of buildings and structures. Maintenance of buildings, structures, or others as enumerated herein shall not be allowed to deteriorate, or be left in a state of disrepair as to be decaying or containing dry rot, have missing doors or windows, or any other disrepair as to render the structure unsightly and unsafe.
Trash, garbage, debris, etc., shall not be allowed to accumulate on site.
Pursuant to R.I.G.L. 23-19.2-7 and 45-24.2, as the case may be, designated enforcement authorities as described herein may provide for the citation and abatement of any public nuisance.
Upon a finding by a duly authorized enforcement officer that any foreclosed vacant or abandoned property within the Town is in such condition as to be in violation of the requirements of this chapter, he or she, or his or her agent or designee, shall give notice thereof to the owner or owners of such property to comply with the requirements of this chapter within 14 days after service and notice to correct.
Such notice shall contain a statement of the findings as to violations and a description of the property condition thereof found to be violating this chapter. Such notice may be given personally or by certified mail, police officer or duly authorized enforcement officer to the owner or owners, or responsible person(s), of the property described as their names and addresses are shown upon the records of the Tax Assessors of the Town or their last-known address, and service of such notice shall be deemed complete and sufficient when so addressed and deposited in the United States mail with postage prepaid, and/or by posting a certificated copy on the premises, or by advertising in one or more newspapers, or by issuing a citation.
Upon failure of the owner or owners, or responsible person, of such premises to remedy the conditions existing in violation of the requirements hereof within 10 days after service of notice to do so as provided herein, then the Zoning and Code Enforcement Officer, or his or her agent or designee, may proceed to have such conditions remedied either by the Town of Glocester or through a private contractor so retained by said Town. Abatement costs incurred shall become a lien against such property to the same extent and character as the lien for real estate taxes and with the same penalty and interest and with the same rights of collection, foreclosure sale and forfeiture as obtained for tax liens. The Zoning and Code Enforcement Officer may issue a notice of violation setting forth the details of the violation(s) cited, to be recorded in the land evidence records of the Town of Glocester in such form as the Zoning and Code Enforcement Officer may prescribe.
Upon completion of the required work by the Town as provided in the sections hereof, notice thereof and of the cost assessed therefor shall be given to the owner in the same manner as prescribed for notice of violations in § 235-5 of this chapter, and the sum assessed shall be due and payable within 30 days after notice.
Upon the making of a finding of violation, the Zoning and Code Enforcement Officer, or his or her agent or designee, shall deliver a certified copy thereof, and of the notice, to the Town Clerk; and the Town Clerk shall place the same on record as a lien against the property described therein. It shall also be the duty of the Zoning and Code Enforcement Officer to file such other and further certification as to work done and amounts due or paid as the circumstances may require.
Any violation of the requirements described herein shall be deemed a public nuisance and subject to the procedures and penalties prescribed herein.