City of Poplar Bluff, MO
Butler County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Public Documents

Section 505.010 Determination.

[R.O. 2007 §16-161; Ord. No. 5414 §1, 11-19-1990; Ord. No. 7599 §1, 2-25-2015]
A. 
The following conditions have been determined to be detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the City and therefore constitute a nuisance:
1. 
Those whose exterior walls, interior walls or other vertical structural members list, lean, or buckle to such an extent that it is more than two (2) inches in eight (8) feet out of plumb.
2. 
Those whose supporting member or members show damage or deterioration.
3. 
Those which have holes in walls, roofs, soffits, or ceilings larger than one hundred (100) square inches.
4. 
Those which have foundations that are cracked and misaligned or have cracks wider than one-half (1/2) inch.
5. 
Those which have improperly distributed loads upon the floors, roofs or other horizontal structural members or the same are overloaded or which have insufficient strength or deflections to be reasonably safe for the purpose used or intended to be used.
6. 
Those which have been damaged by fire, wind, vandalism or other causes so as to have become dangerous to life, safety or the general health and welfare of the occupants or the people of the City.
7. 
Those which are uninhabited and are open at doors, windows, walls or roofs.
8. 
Those under construction upon which no substantial work shall have been performed for ninety (90) days immediately prior to the time that a notice shall be issued under Section 505.040 of this Article for the completion or demolition thereof.
9. 
Those in the process of demolition upon which no substantial work shall have been performed for a period of fourteen (14) days immediately following the time a notice shall be issued to complete the demolition thereof under Section 505.040 of this Article.
10. 
Those containing therein substantial accumulations of trash, garbage or other materials susceptible to fire or constituting or providing a harboring place for vermin or other obnoxious animals or insects or in any way threatening the health of the occupants thereof or the health of persons in the vicinity thereof.
11. 
Those having inadequate facilities for egress in case of fire or panic.
12. 
Those which have parts thereof which are so attached or deteriorated that they may fall upon public ways or upon the property of others or may injure members of the public or the occupants thereof.
13. 
Those buildings built in violation of any safety provision of the Building Code, Electrical Code, Plumbing Code, Mechanical Code, Minimum Housing Standards Code or the Fire Prevention Code of the City or used in violation thereof.

Section 505.020 Declaration of Nuisance.

[R.O. 2007 §16-162; Ord. No. 5414 §1, 11-19-1990; Ord. No. 7599 §1, 2-25-2015]
A. 
The following standards shall be followed in substance by the Building Inspector and the Director of Planning and Code Enforcement Officer in ordering repair, vacation or demolition:
1. 
If the dangerous building can reasonably be repaired or maintained so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this Article, it shall be ordered so repaired or maintained.
2. 
If the dangerous building is in such condition as to make it dangerous to the health, safety or welfare of its occupants, it shall be ordered to be vacated pending abatement of the nuisance.
3. 
In any case where the dangerous building cannot be reasonably repaired or maintained so that the building or structure will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this Article, the building or structure shall be ordered demolished.
4. 
In any case where the conditions constituting the public nuisance are such that the costs to repair or maintain the building or structure so that it will no longer constitute a public nuisance equal or exceed fifty percent (50%) of the value of the building or structure, it shall be ordered repaired or demolished and in the event it is not repaired or demolished by the owner, then the City shall abate the nuisance.
5. 
Any building or structure constituting a public nuisance because of the conditions described in Subsection (A)(8) of Section 505.010 of this Article shall be ordered to be completed in accordance with lawful plans and specifications and if it shall not be so completed or demolished by the owner, then the City shall abate the nuisance.
6. 
Any building or structure found to be a public nuisance because of the conditions described in Subsection (A)(9) of Section 505.010 of this Article shall be ordered demolished by the City.

Section 505.030 Inspections by Building Inspector.

[R.O. 2007 §16-163; Ord. No. 5414 §1, 11-19-1990; Ord. No. 7599 §1, 2-25-2015]
A. 
The Building Inspector shall:
1. 
Inspect, or cause to be inspected, annually, all public buildings, schools, halls, churches, theaters, hotels, tenements, commercial, manufacturing or loft buildings for the purpose of determining whether any conditions exist as set forth in Section 505.010 of this Article.
2. 
Inspect any building or structure about which complaints are filed by any person alleging that the building or structure contains any of the conditions described in Section 505.010 of this Article.
3. 
Inspect any building or structure reported by the Fire or Police Departments of this City when such Departments have reason to believe that the building or structure has any of the conditions set forth in Section 505.010.
4. 
Inspect any building or structure of the City at any time whenever there is reason to believe the building or structure has a condition described in Section 505.010.
5. 
Determine in any case where inspection shows that a building or structure has any of the conditions referred to in Section 505.010 whether or not it reasonably appears there is immediate danger to the health, safety or welfare of any person because of such condition and if it does so reasonably appear, to immediately notify the Director of Planning. Should the Director of Planning concur in the finding of the Building Inspector that there is immediate danger as aforesaid, the Building Inspector shall immediately post upon the building or structure a notice reading as follows:
This building has been found to be a public nuisance.
Nothing contained in this Subsection shall be construed to deprive any person entitle thereto by this Article of the notice and hearings prescribed herein.
6. 
Report to the Director of Planning any non-compliance with the notice provided for in this Article.

Section 505.040 Notice to Abate.

[R.O. 2007 §16-164; Ord. No. 5414 §1, 11-19-1990; Ord. No. 7599 §1, 2-25-2015]
Whenever the Building Inspector has determined that any building or structure is a public nuisance under the provisions of this Article, he/she shall, as soon as possible thereafter, notify the owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee, agent and all other persons having an interest in the building or structure, as shown by the land records of the Recorder of Deeds for the appropriate County, that such building or structure has been found to be a public nuisance under the provisions of this Article. The notice shall set forth a description of the conditions found in the building or structure so as to constitute the building or structure as a public nuisance under Section 505.010. The notice shall also provide for abatement of the nuisance by ordering the building or structure to be vacated if such be the case, reconditioned or removed, allowing ten (10) days for the commencement of the work and requiring the work to proceed continuously without unnecessary delay.

Section 505.041 Placarding.

[Ord. No. 7599 § 1, 2-25-2015]
Upon failure of the owner or person responsible to comply, the Building Inspector may post on the premises a placard bearing the word "Nuisance" and a statement of the penalties provided for occupying the premises or removing the placard. Whether to post a placard shall depend on whether the premises constitutes an attractive nuisance or is threatened with vandalism.

Section 505.050 Service of Notices.

[R.O. 2007 §16-165; Ord. No. 5414 §1, 11-19-1990; Ord. No. 7599 §1, 2-25-2015]
Whenever under this Article a notice is required to be served upon the persons interested in any building or structure, the notice shall be served upon the owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee, agent and all other persons having an interest in the building or structure as shown by the land records of the Recorder of Deeds for the appropriate County and shall be signed by the person who has responsibility to issue the notice. The notice shall be served, if the party or parties to be served reside in the City, by handing the notice to the person to be served by anyone competent to be a witness or by leaving the notice at the usual place of abode of the one (1) to be served with a member of the household over the age of fifteen (15) years. If the person to be served shall not reside in the City or shall have absented himself/herself from the City or concealed himself/herself so that personal service may not be made as herein provided for and if his/her address shall be known, then service shall be made by posting a copy of such notice in a conspicuous place on the building or structure to which it relates.

Section 505.060 Copy of Notice to Clerk.

[R.O. 2007 §16-166; Ord. No. 5414 §1, 11-19-1990; Ord. No. 7599 §1, 2-25-2015]
The Building Inspector shall file a copy of each notice to abate a nuisance served by him/her under this Article with the City Clerk or Planning Secretary for use and inspection by the members of the Building Standards Board.

Section 505.070 Notice of Failure to Board.

[R.O. 2007 §16-167; Ord. No. 5414 §1, 11-19-1990; Ord. No. 7599 §1, 2-25-2015]
A. 
In the absence of an emergency, the Building Inspector shall employ the following procedure:
1. 
Notice of order to abate and of hearing. The Building Inspector shall serve notice of the violation to be abated on the owners of the property and on any other person responsible for it. That notice may be served personally, or by mail, or by posting on the property. That notice shall order a hearing with the Building Inspector and Director of Planning within ten (10) calendar days and the abatement of the violation by the time of the hearing. At this hearing, the owner will have to decide on a plan of action. If the violation has been abated, the violation goes away. If the violation still exists, the owner shall:
a. 
Provide a written plan with the time frame to abate the violation. The plan must be submitted within ten (10) days.
b. 
Demolish the structure and clean site thirty (30) days' maximum time. A demolition permit must be obtained from the City of Poplar Bluff.
c. 
Have the structure demolished and site cleaned by the City of Poplar Bluff. The owner shall pay for this as follows:
(1) 
Pay lump sum for all costs.
(2) 
Set up a payment schedule approved by the City.
(3) 
Forfeit property to the City (general warranty deed required), if the City will accept.
If the owner does not agree to any of the above, a hearing by the Building Standards Board will be ordered at the next scheduled meeting ten (10) days minimum forty-five (45) days maximum).
2. 
Failure to abate, hearing, declaration of nuisance and further order to abate. If the violation is not abated by the time of the hearing, the Building Standards Board may find and declare the violation a nuisance at that hearing. A penalty will be assessed against the owner for failure to comply in the amount of two hundred dollars ($200.00), and the Building Standards Board will order the violation abated within ten (10) calendar days.
3. 
Failure to abate and abatement by City of Poplar Bluff. If the violation is not abated within ten (10) days, another penalty will be assessed against the owner for failure to comply in the amount of five hundred dollars ($500.00), and the Building Standards Board shall have that violation abated at public expense and certify the costs thereof, and of all necessary inspections, and administrative proceedings, and record keeping, to the Financial Officer of the City of Poplar Bluff, MO.
B. 
In an emergency, the Building Inspector shall employ the following procedure:
1. 
Notice of emergency abatement and hearing. The Building Inspector shall serve a notice of the violation to be abated by the City of Poplar Bluff, MO, including a declaration that the violation is an emergency, the grounds for that declaration, and a statement of the costs of abating that violation, upon the owners of the property and on any other person responsible for it. That notice may be served personally, or by first-class Mail, or by posting on the property. That notice shall order a hearing with the Inspection Department within ten (10) calendar days.
2. 
Hearing and final order. At the hearing the Inspection Department may confirm, modify, or withdraw any element of the foregoing notice, shall enter a final order reflecting those determinations, and shall certify any confirmed costs of abatement and, if there are any such costs, the costs of any and all necessary inspections and administrative proceedings and record keeping to the Financial Officer of the City of Poplar Bluff, MO.
C. 
Imposition of lien after abatement by City of Poplar Bluff, responsibilities of the Financial Officer. The Poplar Bluff Financial Officer shall prepare and issue to the owners of the property in violation a special tax bill against the property for those costs, payable within thirty (30) days of issuance. Each such special tax bill shall include a notice of lien stating that if the bill is not paid when due, it shall become, from the date of its issuance, a first lien on the property until paid, to be collected by the City Collector or other official collecting taxes in the same way property taxes are collected. Each such special tax bill shall be prima facie evidence of the recitals therein and of its validity, and no mere clerical error or informality in the tax bill or the proceedings leading up to its issuance shall be a defense thereto. The Financial Officer of the City of Poplar Bluff, MO, shall deliver such special tax bill that remains unpaid after payment is due to the Collector of the City of Poplar Bluff on or before December 31 of each year, to be collected with property taxes as provided above.

Section 505.080 Hearing Called Upon Non-Compliance.

[R.O. 2007 §16-168; Ord. No. 5414 §1, 11-19-1990; Ord. No. 7599 §1, 2-25-2015]
A. 
Whenever there shall be a failure to obey a notice to abate a public nuisance issued as provided in Section 505.040 by not commencing work in the time specified in the notice or there shall be a failure to proceed continuously with the work required therein without unnecessary delay, the Board of Building Standards shall call and have a full and adequate hearing upon the matter giving all affected parties at least ten (10) days' written notice of the hearing. Any party may be represented by counsel and all parties shall have an opportunity to be heard and present such evidence as shall be relevant to a determination of:
1. 
Whether or not the building or structure involved is a public nuisance under the terms of this Article;
2. 
Whether the procedure required by this Article shall have been substantially followed; and
3. 
Whether or not the abatement order of the Building Inspector was reasonable and within the standards of this Article.
B. 
All testimony shall be under oath, which may be administered by the Director of Planning and a written record of the hearing shall be made by a reporter to be employed by the City, the cost of which shall be paid by the City should the proceeding be eventually held against the City and by the owner if it should not. In the latter case, the cost of such reporting shall be a lien upon the lot, tract or parcel of land upon which the building or structure stands and shall be added to the cost of performance for demolition or repair in the event the City shall be required to do so and payable as provided for such costs.

Section 505.090 Inspector at Hearings.

[R.O. 2007 §16-169; Ord. No. 5414 §1, 11-19-1990; Ord. No. 7599 §1, 2-25-2015]
The Building Inspector shall appear at all hearings conducted by the Building Standards Board held pursuant to the provisions of this Article and testify and present evidence as to the condition of any dangerous building or public nuisance or other evidence required by the Board.

Section 505.100 Action of Board After Hearing.

[R.O. 2007 §16-170; Ord. No. 5414 §1, 11-19-1990; Ord. No. 7599 §1, 2-25-2015]
Within seven (7) days from the date of the hearing required by Section 505.080, the Building Standards Board shall, upon the basis of competent and substantial evidence offered at the hearing, make a conclusion of law as to whether or not the building or structure in question is a public nuisance under the terms of this Article and detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the City, specifically finding as a matter of fact the condition or conditions of such building or structure which constitute the nuisance. If it is found that the building or structure is a public nuisance, further findings shall be made as to whether or not the procedures required by this Article have been substantially met and complied with and whether or not the abatement order of the Building Inspector to abate the nuisance was reasonable in its terms and conditions and within the standards of this Article. In the event it is found that the abatement order was not reasonable or within the standards of this Article, it shall be the duty of the Building Standards Board to make its own findings of fact as to what is reasonably required to abate the public nuisance within the standards of this Article. If the Building Standards Board finds that a public nuisance does not exist or that the procedures of this Article have not been substantially met and complied with, the proceedings against the building or structure shall be dismissed.

Section 505.110 Abatement by City.

[R.O. 2007 §16-171; Ord. No. 5414 §1, 11-19-1990; Ord. No. 7599 §1, 2-25-2015]
A. 
If a proceeding is not dismissed following the findings required by Section 505.100, the Building Standards Board shall issue an order directing the building or structure to be completed, repaired or demolished and vacated, as the case may be, within the standards of this Article. This order, together with the findings of fact and conclusions of law required by Section 505.100, shall be in writing and shall be immediately delivered or mailed to each party to the hearing or to his/her attorney of record. In addition, copies of the order and findings of fact and conclusions of law shall be posted in a conspicuous place in the office of the Director of Planning for a period of ten (10) days from the date of issuance thereof. The order shall state a reasonable time, which shall not be less than ten (10) days from the date of issuance, within which to comply with the order and shall further provide that if the order is not complied with within such time, the Director of Planning shall cause the work to be done by the City and its own crews or by contractors employed by the City for that purpose.
B. 
If there shall be no contractor employed by the City for that purpose, the Director of Planning is hereby authorized to enter into contracts not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) with persons engaged in the business of repairing or demolishing buildings for the purpose of enforcing the order provided for in this Section, if there are sufficient funds provided for that purpose in the budget or a supplemental appropriation. Additional contracts or contracts for amounts in excess of five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) must be approved by the Council. The contracts can be signed only after compliance with the City's prescribed bidding procedures.

Section 505.120 Collection of Costs.

[R.O. 2007 §16-172; Ord. No. 5414 §1, 11-19-1990; Ord. No. 7599 §1, 2-25-2015]
A. 
Whenever the City shall have caused the work to be done as provided by this Article, the Director of Planning shall certify the costs of the work to the City Collector who shall cause a special tax bill therefore and for the cost of the reporter at the hearing, which shall be likewise certified by the Director of Planning, to be issued against the lot, tract or parcel of land upon which the building or structure is located. The special tax bill from the date of its issuance shall be deemed a personal debt against the property owner and in addition shall be a lien on the lot, tract or parcel of land until paid and shall be registered in the office of the Director of Finance of the City in a book to be kept by him/her for such purposes. The tax bill shall be collected by the City Collector or other official collecting taxes.
B. 
At the written request of the taxpayer delivered to the City Collector of the City, a tax bill for repair or demolition of a building or structure may be paid in ten (10) equal annual installments, which installments, with interest thereon to date on the unpaid balance, shall be due annually on the anniversary of the date of issuance of the bill. Interest shall be paid at the maximum rate per annum allowable by law on the unpaid balance of the special assessment, computed from the date of issuance. If any annual payment of principal or interest shall not be paid within thirty (30) days of its due date, the entire remaining balance of the tax bill shall immediately become due and payable.
C. 
If request for ten (10) annual payments is not made prior to the time the Director of Planning shall certify the cost of the work to the City Collector, the tax bill shall be payable in thirty (30) days from its date of issuance with interest thereon at the maximum rate per annum allowable by law.

Section 505.121 Forfeited Property.

[Ord. No. 7599 §1, 2-25-2015]
A. 
If the owner forfeits the property to the City and the City accepts, the City may, at it's option, do the following:
1. 
Repair or have the building repaired to a compliant State, the sell the property to recover costs.
2. 
Demolish the structure and sell the lot to recover some cost. The lot to be sold will have an agreement that a compliant building will be built within a certain time frame.
3. 
Demolish the building and divide the lot between adjacent land owners if they will accept. Revenue will be received from additional real estate taxes on the additional land.
4. 
Demolish the building and retain the lot for City use. No cost recovery or revenue.

Section 505.130 Enforcement of Tax Bill — Insurance Proceeds.

[R.O. 2007 §16-173; Ord. No. 5414 §1, 11-19-1990; Ord. No. 5897 §1, 7-22-1996; Ord. No. 7599 §1, 2-25-2015]
A. 
Tax bills issued under Section 505.120 shall be prima facie evidence of the validity of the bill, the doing of the work and the liability of the property owner for the damages stated in the bill and shall be collected if default should occur by suit brought in a court of competent jurisdiction by the City Counselor on behalf of the City. Judgment in any such suit shall be special and against the property only and shall be satisfied by sale of the property or so much thereof as is necessary to satisfy the judgment and the costs of the sale.
B. 
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 and if the covered claim payment is in excess of fifty percent (50%) of the face value of the policy covering a building or other structure, then the following procedure shall apply:
1. 
The insurer shall withhold from the covered claim payment twenty-five percent (25%) of the covered claim payment and shall pay that amount 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. If a special tax bill or assessment is issued by the City for the expenses of demolition of such building as a dangerous building, the monies held by the City shall be applied toward payment of the special tax bill or assessment. If there is any excess, it shall be paid by the City to the insured or as the terms of the policy, including any endorsements thereto, provide.
2. 
The City shall release the proceeds and any interest which has accrued on such proceeds received under Subsection (B)(1) of this Section to the insured or as the terms of the policy and endorsements thereto provide within one hundred eighty (180) days after receipt of such insurance monies, unless the City has instituted legal proceedings under the provisions of Sections 505.110 and 505.120. If the City has proceeded under the provisions of Sections 505.110 and 505.120, all monies in excess of that necessary to comply with the provisions of Sections 505.110 and 505.120 for the removal of the building or structure, less salvage value, shall be paid to the insured.
3. 
The City may certify that, in lieu of payment of all or part of the covered claim payment under this Section, 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 one hundred eighty (180) days after receipt of proof to permit covered claim payment to the insured without deduction. It shall be the obligation of the insured or other person making the claim to provide the insurance company with the written certificate provided for in this Subsection.
No provision of this Section shall be construed to make the City a party to any insurance contract.

Section 505.140 Appeal From Decision of Board.

[R.O. 2007 §16-174; Ord. No. 5414 §1, 11-19-1990]
Any owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee, agent or other person having an interest in the building or structure may appeal from the order and determination of the Building Standards Board made under the provisions of Section 505.110 of this Article. The appeal shall be to the Circuit Court of Butler County as established in Chapter 536, RSMo.

Section 505.150 Emergency Action.

[R.O. 2007 §16-175; Ord. No. 5414 §1, 11-19-1990]
In all cases where it reasonably appears that an immediate danger to the health, safety or welfare of any person exists, the Building Inspector may take emergency measures to vacate, repair or demolish a building or structure which is a public nuisance under the provisions of this Article.

Section 505.160 Limits of Liability.

[R.O. 2007 §16-176; Ord. No. 5414 §1, 11-19-1990]
No officer, agent or employee of the City shall be personally liable for any damage that may occur to any persons or property as a result of any act required of him/her or permitted to be taken by him/her under the terms of this Article. Any suit brought against any such officer, agent or employee of the City as a result of any such acts required or permitted shall be defended by the City until the final determination of the proceedings and if judgment shall be obtained, it shall be paid by the City. It is hereby further declared that no officer, agent or employee of the City owes any duty under the provisions of this Article to any citizen or other individual but that the duties prescribed herein and imposed upon officers, agents or employees of the City are duties to be performed for the government of the City.

Section 505.170 Created.

[R.O. 2007 §16-181; Ord. No. 3781 §1, 6-1-1970]
There is hereby created in and for the City a board to be known as the "Building Standards Board".

Section 505.180 Composition.

[R.O. 2007 §16-182; Ord. No. 3781 §2, 6-1-1970; Ord. No. 4090 §1, 7-1-1974; Ord. No. 5877 §1, 4-15-1996]
The Building Standards Board shall be composed of seven (7) members who shall be residents of the City.

Section 505.190 Appointment — Terms of Members.

[R.O. 2007 §16-183; Ord. No. 3781 §2, 6-1-1970; Ord. No. 5287 §3, 7-3-1989]
The members of the Building Standards Board shall be appointed as described in Section 125.010 of this Code, and shall hold office for terms of three (3) years each or until their successors are appointed and qualified.

Section 505.200 Rules of Procedure.

[R.O. 2007 §16-184; Ord. No. 3781 §5, 6-1-1970]
The Building Standards Board shall make and determine its own rules of procedure including the time and place of all meetings.

Section 505.210 Demolition Hearings.

[R.O. 2007 §16-185; Ord. No. 3781 §3, 6-1-1970]
The Building Standards Board shall hold and conduct all hearings relative to the mandatory demolition or repair and maintenance of buildings and structures required by the Housing Code of the City.

Section 505.220 Action by Board.

[R.O. 2007 §16-186; Ord. No. 3781 §4, 6-1-1970]
Upon proper notice being given by the Building Inspector, the Building Standards Board shall hear all evidence and, by a majority vote of said Board, determine by a written finding of fact whether or not the structure in question is a dangerous building and a public nuisance within the meaning of the terms of the City's Housing Code.