[Ord. No. 3830 §1, 2-16-2009]
It is the purpose of Chapter to provide for effective monitoring and routine inspection of vacant buildings and structures that, due to housing code violations, may endanger the life, limb, health, property, safety or welfare of the general public and this Chapter shall apply to all residential structures that have been vacant for more than six (6) months and that are subject to housing code violations.
[Ord. No. 3830 §2, 2-16-2009]
The following words and phrases, when used in this Chapter shall mean:
- HOUSING CODE
- A local building, fire, health, property maintenance, nuisance or other ordinance which contains standards regulating the condition or maintenance of residential buildings.
- RESIDENTIAL STRUCTURE
- A structure devoted primarily to residential use, whether classified as residential or commercial, and regardless of the number of dwelling units contained within such structure.
[Ord. No. 3830 §3, 2-16-2009]
Every parcel of residential property improved by a residential structure or commercial property improved by a structure containing multiple dwelling units, that is vacant and has been vacant for at least six (6) months and is characterized by violations of the housing code shall be registered as a vacant residential structure and shall be subject to the registration fee of two hundred dollars ($200.00).
[Ord. No. 3830 §4, 2-16-2009]
Posting. The Director of Public Works or his or her designee shall direct that such vacant residential buildings be marked or posted with a written notice reading substantially as follows:
REGISTRATION OF VACANT RESIDENTIAL STRUCTURES REQUIRED
This property has been vacant for 6 months or more and code violation exists on this vacant residential structure, a semi-annual registration fee of $200.00 is required and will be charged to the owner of the property. Any persons willfully destroying, mutilating or removing this placard will be punished to the full extent of the law.
Posted under authority granted in Ordinance 3830 Section 535.040 of the City of Berkeley, Missouri, Director of Public Works.
Date Posted ______________________
[Ord. No. 3830 §5, 2-16-2009]
Registration. The Director of Public Works of the City of Berkeley, Missouri, or his or her designee shall investigate any property that may be subject to registration. Based upon his or her findings, the Director of Public Works may register property as vacant residential structure subject to this Chapter.
Notice Of Registration. Within five (5) business days of such registration, the Finance Director shall notify the owners of the registered property by mail at their last known address according to the records of the City of Berkeley and St. Louis County. Such notice shall state:
Time To Cure — Reconsideration. Within thirty (30) days of the date of notification of registration, the property owner may complete any improvements to the property that may be necessary to remove the property from registration under this Chapter and may request a reinspection of the property and reconsideration of the levy of the registration fee. Upon a written request for reconsideration of the levy of the registration fee, which sets out the reasons claimed by the property owner as to why the fee should be waived, the Director of Public Works may waive levy of the registration fee following an established time period for compliance.
Appeal Of Registration And/Or Reconsideration To Municipal Court. Within thirty (30) days of the date of the notice of registration or within thirty (30) days of the date of reconsideration by the Director of Public Works, the property owner may appeal the decision to the City Manager of the City of Berkeley.
[Ord. No. 3830 §6, 2-16-2009]
Amount Of Fee. There is hereby established and assessed a semi-annual fee in the amount of two hundred dollars ($200.00) imposed on all owners of property registered under this Chapter.
Owner Responsible. It shall be the joint and several responsibility of each owner of property registered pursuant to this Chapter to pay the semi-annual registration fee.
Billing Procedures — Late Penalties. The Finance Director shall cause to be mailed to the owner of property registered under this Chapter, at his or her last known address, a bill for the semi-annual registration fee. The fee shall be due and payable within thirty (30) days of mailing. In addition to any other penalties provided by law, if an owner fails to pay the fee assessed for such property within thirty (30) days of the date of mailing, a late payment fee of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) per month shall be assessed for each month during which the registration fee remains unpaid.
Failure To Pay Fee Unlawful. Any person violating any of the provisions of this Chapter shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be fined in an amount not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) or be imprisoned in the City or County Jail for a period of not exceeding ninety (90) days or both such fine and imprisonment. Each day such violation is committed or permitted to continue shall constitute a separate offense and shall be punishable as such hereunder.
Collection Of Delinquent Fees — Lien On Property And Other Effects Of Delinquent Fees — Foreclosure Proceedings.
Action to recover. In addition to any other penalties provided by law, the City may initiate and pursue an action in a court of competent jurisdiction to recover any unpaid registration fees, interest and penalties from any person liable therefore and, in addition, may recover the cost of such action, including reasonable attorneys' fees.
Lien on property. Any unpaid or delinquent registration fees, interest and/or penalties, whether or not reduced to judgment, shall constitute a lien against the property for which the registration fee was originally assessed until the same shall be fully satisfied. The Finance Director is authorized to take all steps necessary to file and perfect such liens as may be required or directed by the Director of Public Works from time to time.
Obtaining permits and inspections prohibited. In addition to any other penalties provided by law, if an owner fails to pay the registration fee assessed for such property, including any late payment fee subsequently imposed, within sixty (60) days of the date of the mailing of the initial bill, said owner shall not be permitted to apply for, obtain or renew any City license, obtain permits of any kind and/or apply for any inspections until such delinquency has been satisfied.
Sale of property. Upon a bona fide sale of the registered property to an unrelated party, the lien on such property for the registration fees shall remain in effect and shall be collect at the time of the closing of the residential sale.