[R.O. 2008 §6-85; Ord. No. 1546 §1, 10-12-1992]
It is the purpose of this Article to provide a just, equitable and practical method for the repairing, vacation or demolition of buildings or structures which are detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of the occupants of such buildings or to the general public. This Article shall apply to all dangerous buildings as herein defined which are now in existence or which may hereafter exist in the City. No enforcement of this Article shall be made on structures which have been or will be designated as significant historical structures by the Creve Coeur City Council unless and until the City Council reviews and approves all notices and repair orders required by this Article which affect such designated building.
[R.O. 2008 §6-86; Ord. No. 1546 §1, 10-12-1992]
Any building or structure which has one (1) or more of the following defects shall be deemed a dangerous and unsafe building and shall be declared a public nuisance:
Bearing wall, earth retaining wall, column or other vertical structural member which leans or buckles to such an extent that it is likely to partially or completely collapse and injure the occupants or members of the public.
Those which, exclusive of the foundation, show thirty-three percent (33%) or more of damage or the deterioration of the supporting member or members or fifty percent (50%) of damage or deterioration of the non-supporting enclosing or outside walls or coverings.
Those which have unevenly distributed loads upon the floor or roof or in which the same are overloaded or which have insufficient strength to be reasonably safe for the purpose used.
Those which have been damaged by fire, wind or other causes so as to become dangerous to life, safety or the general health and welfare of the occupants or the people of the City.
Those which are so dilapidated, decayed, unsafe, unsanitary or would ordinarily fail to provide the amenities essential to sanitary and healthful living that they are unfit for human habitation or likely to cause sickness or disease, so as to work injury to the health, safety or welfare of those occupying such buildings.
Those having light, air and sanitary facilities which are inadequate to protect the health, safety or general welfare of human beings who live or may live therein.
Those having inadequate facilities for egress in case of fire or panic or those having insufficient stairways, elevators, fire escapes or other means of access.
Those which have parts thereof which are so attached that they may fall or injure members of the public or property.
Those which, because of their condition, are unsafe, unsanitary or dangerous to the health, safety or general welfare of the people of this City.
Those which are vacant or unoccupied and are open at door and/or window.
Those which have never been lawfully occupied and for which a certificate of use and occupancy could not be granted by reason of incompletion, where construction has been substantially abandoned for more than one (1) year.
[R.O. 2008 §6-87; Ord. No. 1546 §1, 10-12-1992]
All dangerous buildings are hereby declared to be public nuisances and shall be repaired, vacated or demolished as provided in this Article.
[R.O. 2008 §6-88; Ord. No. 1546 §1, 10-12-1992]
In cases where it reasonably appears that there is immediate danger to the health, life or safety of any person, the Code Official or his/her designated representative may take emergency measures to vacate and repair or demolish such dangerous building or structure and the cost of such shall be collected in the same manner as provided in Section 510.080.
[R.O. 2008 §6-91; Ord. No. 1546 §1, 10-12-1992]
The Code Official or his/her designated representative shall have the duty under this Article to:
Inspection, generally. Inspect or cause to be inspected, as often as may be necessary, all residential, institutional, assembly, commercial, industrial, garages, special or miscellaneous occupancy buildings for the purpose of determining whether any defects exist which render such building a dangerous building when he/she has reasonable grounds to believe that any such building is dangerous.
Inspection upon complaints. Inspect any building, wall or structure about which complaints are filed by any person to the effect that a building, wall or structure is or may be existing in violation of this Article and shall determine if there are reasonable grounds to determine that such building, wall or structure is dangerous.
Inspection upon reports by a public agency. Inspect any building, wall or structure reported by the police, fire or other public agency as probably existing in violation of this Article.
Declaration of nuisance. Declare that any building or structure found to be dangerous is a nuisance.
Notification of declaration. Notify in writing, either by personal service or by certified mail, return receipt requested, or if service cannot be had by either of these modes of service, publication two (2) times for two (2) successive weeks in a newspaper qualified to publish legal notices, the owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee, agent and all other persons having an interest in such building as shown by the records of the St. Louis County Recorder of Deeds of any building found by him/her to be a dangerous building within the standards set forth in this Article.
Calling of hearing. Upon failure to commence the required work or demolition within the time specified or upon failure to proceed continuously with the required work without unnecessary delay, the Code Official or his/her designated representative shall call and have a full and adequate hearing upon the matter, giving the affected parties at least twenty-one (21) days' written notice of the hearing. Such hearing shall be conducted by the Director of Public Works. Any party may be represented by counsel and all parties shall have an opportunity to be heard. After the hearing, if 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, the Director of Public Works shall issue a post-hearing order making specific findings of fact based upon competent and substantial evidence which shows the building or structure to be a nuisance and detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of the residents of the City. If the findings of fact do not support a finding that the building or structure is a nuisance or detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of the residents of the City, no order shall be issued to demolish, repair or remove such building. If the findings of fact show that such building is a nuisance and subject to the provisions of this Article, the Director of Public Works shall order the structure to be demolished, removed or repaired, whichever is necessary according to the findings of fact. The post-hearing order shall be served in the same manner as the notice of declaration of nuisance and pre-hearing order. The post-hearing order shall contain a date certain for completion of the required action.
Posting of declaration. If the building or structure is declared to be a nuisance, such building shall be marked or posted with a written notice of such finding.
[R.O. 2008 §6-92; Ord. No. 1546 §1, 10-12-1992]
The required notice to repair, vacate or demolish shall state that:
The owner must repair or vacate and repair or vacate and demolish such building in accordance with the terms of the notice in this Article;
The occupant must vacate such building or the building must be repaired in accordance with the notice and the occupant may "remain in possession";
The mortgagee, agent or other persons having an interest in such building as shown by the records of the St. Louis County Recorder of Deeds may, at their own risk, repair, vacate or demolish or have such work done; provided that, any person notified under this Section to repair, vacate or demolish any building shall be given such reasonable time not exceeding thirty (30) days to commence the required work unless, in the judgment of the Code Official, it is determined to be necessary to extend such time to commence the required work;
The required work shall not commence until a proper permit has been issued by the Department of Public Works and the inspections required by such permits shall be made in proper sequence.
The notice provided for in this Section shall include a description of the building or structure deemed hazardous, a statement of the particulars which make the building or structure a dangerous building and an order requiring that the designated work to be commenced within a specified period of time or an extension thereof as provided for in Subsection (A) of this Section. The notice shall be substantially in the following form:
[R.O. 2008 §6-93; Ord. No. 1546 §1, 10-12-1992]
The following standards shall be followed by the Code Official in ordering repair, vacation or demolition of any dangerous buildings:
If the dangerous building can reasonably be repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this Article, it shall be ordered repaired.
If the dangerous building is in such condition as to make it dangerous to the health, safety or general welfare of its occupants, it shall be ordered to be vacated and repaired.
In all cases where a building cannot be repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this Article, 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 Article or any other ordinance of this City or Statute of the State, it shall be repaired or demolished.
[R.O. 2008 §6-94; Ord. No. 1546 §1, 10-12-1992]
If any post-hearing order of the Director of Public Works is not obeyed within thirty (30) days after its issuance and if appeal of any post-hearing order is not made to the Circuit Court as provided for in this Article within thirty (30) days after issuance of any such order, the Director of Public Works shall cause such structure to be vacated and repaired or demolished as provided in his/her post-hearing order. The Director of Public Works shall certify the cost for such action, including all administrative costs, to the Director of Finance who shall cause a special tax bill against the property to be prepared, filed and collected. Said tax bill shall be a lien upon said property, said lien shall bear interest at the rate set by the Missouri Division of Finance on the date the lien is filed. At the request of the taxpayer, the tax bill may be paid in installments over a period of not more than ten (10) years, plus interest as allowed by law.
[R.O. 2008 §6-95; Ord. No. 1546 §1, 10-12-1992]
Within thirty (30) days from the receipt of a post-hearing order, any affected party may appeal to the Circuit Court from any post-hearing order of the Code Official in the manner provided by law for judicial review of decisions of administrative agencies. In any appeal as provided by this Section, any person who owns or occupies property located 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, Town, Village or County having a Charter form of government of the condition of the building or structure, whether or not such person presented such evidence at the hearing provided by Section 510.050 of this Article. The appellant before the court shall have the opportunity to cross-examine any such person presenting evidence to the court.
[R.O. 2008 §6-96; Ord. No. 1546 §1, 10-12-1992]
Any owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee, agent or any other person having an interest in an alleged dangerous building shall allow the Building Inspector to inspect such building. Upon failure to allow inspection, the Code Official may apply to the Municipal Judge for a search warrant if reasonable grounds exist to believe that such a building is a dangerous building.
[R.O. 2008 §6-97; Ord. No. 1546 §1, 10-12-1992]
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 Code Official or his/her designee as provided in Section 510.080 of this Article and a special tax bill or assessment is issued against the property, it shall be deemed a personal debt against the property owner. 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, this Section establishes a procedure for the payment of up to twenty-five percent (25%) of the insurance proceeds as set forth in Subsections (1) through (7) of this Section. This Section shall apply only to a covered claim payment which is in excess of fifty percent (50%) of the face value of the policy covering a building or other structure:
The insurer shall withhold from the covered claim payment up to 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 this Section.
The City shall release the proceeds and any interest which has accrued on such proceeds received under Subsection (1) of this Section 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 under the provisions of Section 510.080 of this Article. If the City has proceeded under the provisions of Section 510.080 of this Article, all monies in excess of that necessary to comply with the provisions of Section 510.080 of this Article for the removal of the building or structure, less salvage value, shall be paid to the insured.
If there are no proceeds of any insurance policy as set forth in Subsection (2) of this Section, at the request of the taxpayer, the tax bill may be paid in installments over a period of not more than ten (10) years, plus interest as allowed by law. The tax bill from date of its issuance shall be a lien on the property until paid.
This Section shall apply to fire, explosion or other casualty loss claims arising on all buildings and structures.
This Section does not make the City or County a party of any insurance contract and the insurer is not liable to any party for any amount in excess of the proceeds otherwise payable under its insurance policy.
The Finance Director shall notify the Director of Insurance within fourteen (14) days after the adoption of this Section in accordance with Section 67.410, RSMo. The Director of Insurance shall, in turn, notify insurance companies which issue policies insuring buildings and other structures against fire, explosion or other casualty loss within fourteen (14) days after such notification. Insurance companies shall have sixty (60) days after the Director of Insurance notifies them of the adoption of this Section to establish procedures within this City to carry out the provisions of Section 67.410, RSMo.
The City may certify that in lieu of payment of all or part of the covered claim payment under Section 67.410, RSMo., it has obtained satisfactory proof that the insured has or will remove debris and repair, rebuild or otherwise make the premises safe and secure. In this event, the City shall issue a certificate within thirty (30) days after receipt of proof to permit covered claim payment to the insured without deduction pursuant to Section 67.410, RSMo. It shall be the obligation of the insured or other person making claim to provide the insurance company with the written certificate provided for in this Subsection.
[R.O. 2008 §6-98; Ord. No. 1546 §1, 10-12-1992]
The City shall not be liable to any affected party for any damage or injury to any structure caused by the enforcement of this Section when such enforcement is carried out in accordance with the procedures herein provided.
[R.O. 2008 §6-99; Ord. No. 1546 §1, 10-12-1992]
Neither the Code Official nor any inspector, officer, employee or agent of the City shall be liable for any damage that may accrue to the persons or property as a result of any act required or permitted pursuant to this Section. Any suit brought against the Code Official, any inspector, officer, employee or agent of the City as a result of any act required or permitted pursuant to this Section shall be defended by the City Attorney.
[R.O. 2008 §6-100; Ord. No. 1546 §1, 10-12-1992]
It shall be unlawful for any person to deface or remove any notice without the prior authorization of the Code Official or of a court having jurisdiction. It shall be unlawful for any person to enter or occupy a structure or portion thereof in violation of posted notice or in violation of a notice service on such person.
It shall be unlawful to fail to comply with the notice of declaration of nuisance within a reasonable time or upon failure to proceed continuously without unreasonable delay as specified in the Building Commissioner's order. Such unlawful acts shall be punishable by fine and imprisonment as specified for offenses in the Municipal Court of the City.