[R.O. 1996 § 505.010; Ord. No. 824 §1, 11-10-2016]
Pursuant to Section 67.400 et seq., of the Revised Statutes of Missouri, the City is authorized to enact orders or ordinances to provide for vacation and the mandatory demolition of structures or mandatory repair and maintenance of structures within the corporate limits of the City which are detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of the residents and declared to be a public nuisance. Chapter 505 has been adopted pursuant to that authority of Section 67.400, RSMo., as amended, and in full compliance with all requirements of Section 67.410, RSMo., as amended.
[R.O. 1996 § 505.020; Ord. No. 824 §1, 11-10-2016]
For the purposes of this Chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings as set forth below:
- Putting an end to, or terminating the nuisance, whether through repair, remediation or removal.
- Approved by Building Inspector or by another regulating authority, if applicable.
- Any covered structure permanently affixed to land and designed or used to shelter persons, chattels or property.
- BUILDING COMMISSIONER
- The City Clerk.
- BUILDING INSPECTOR
- The duly authorized representative of the City who is qualified to inspect buildings and structures to determine if buildings and structures meet the applicable regulations of the City.
- The City of Gerald.
- DANGEROUS BUILDING
- All buildings or structures deemed unsafe, unsanitary or dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of the people of this City because of any or all of the following characteristics:
- 1. Those whose interior walls or other vertical structural members list, lean or buckle to such an extent that a plumb-line passing through the center of gravity falls outside of the middle third of its base;
- 2. Those which, exclusive of the foundation, show thirty-three percent (33%) or more of damage or deterioration of the supporting member or members or fifty percent (50%) of damage or deterioration of the non-supporting enclosing or outside wall or covering;
- 3. Those which have improperly distributed loads upon the floors or roofs or in which the same are overloaded or which have insufficient strength to be reasonably safe for the purpose used;
- 4. Those which have been damaged by fire, wind or other causes so as to have become dangerous to life, safety, morals or the general health and welfare of the occupants or the people of the City;
- 5. Those which have become or are so dilapidated, decayed, unsafe, unsanitary or which so utterly fail to provide the amenities essential to decent living that they are unfit for human habitation, or are likely to cause sickness or disease, so as to work injury to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of those living therein;
- 6. Those having light, air and sanitation facilities which are inadequate to protect the health, morals, safety or general welfare of human beings;
- 7. Those having inadequate facilities for egress in case of fire or panic or those having insufficient stairways, elevators, fire escapes or other means of communications;
- 8. Those which have parts thereof which are so attached that they may fall and injure members of the public or property; and/or
- 9. Those which, because of their condition, are unsafe, unsanitary or dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of the people of this City.
- A calendar day, as differentiated from a "business day" which means any day other than a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.
- HEARING OFFICER
- The Mayor.
- IMMINENT DANGER
- A condition which could cause serious or life-threatening injury or death at any time.
- Acts of repair and other acts to prevent a decline in the condition of grounds and structures, such that the condition does not fall below the standards established by this Code and other applicable statutes, Codes and ordinances.
- Any person living and/or sleeping in a dwelling unit or having possession of a space within a building.
- Any person or persons in whom is vested an interest in the premises as shown by the land records located in the office of the Recorder of Deeds in and for Franklin County, Missouri. For purposes of this Chapter 505, the term "owner" shall also include any person(s) or operator known to the City and who is recognized in equity as the owner of the property, because the real and beneficial use and title belong to that person or operator, although the bare legal title as shown by the conveyancing records in the office of the Recorder of Deeds of Franklin County, Missouri, remains in another. For purposes of enforcing the provisions of this Chapter 505, the City may, at its option, proceed against the legal or equitable interest in said premises, or against both said interests.
- An individual, partnership, unincorporated association, corporation, fraternal or religious organization or any other group acting as a unit.
- A lot, plot or parcel of land, including the structures thereon.
- That which is built or constructed, including without limitation because of enumeration, buildings for any occupancy or use whatsoever, fences, signs, billboards, fire escapes, chute escapes, railings, water tanks, towers, open grade steps, sidewalks or stairways, tents or anything erected and framed of component parts which is fastened, anchored or rests on a permanent foundation or on the ground.
[R.O. 1996 § 505.030; Ord. No. 824 §1, 11-10-2016]
All dangerous buildings, as defined in Section 505.020, are hereby declared to be public nuisances and the owner of such structures shall be responsible for their repair, removal or demolition.
[R.O. 1996 § 505.040; Ord. No. 824 §1, 11-10-2016]
The following standards shall determine whether a building or structure shall be ordered to be repaired, vacated or demolished under this Chapter:
If the dangerous building can reasonably be repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this Chapter, it shall be ordered repaired.
If the dangerous building is in such condition as to make it dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of future occupants, it shall not be occupied until repaired.
In any case where a dangerous building is vacant and more than fifty percent (50%) damaged or decayed, or deteriorated from its original value, it shall be demolished; and in all cases where a dangerous building cannot be repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this Chapter 505, it shall be demolished.
[R.O. 1996 § 505.050; Ord. No. 824 §1, 11-10-2016]
The Building Inspector shall be appointed by the Mayor, subject to the approval of the Board of Aldermen. No member of the Municipal Government shall serve as the Building Inspector.
[R.O. 1996 § 505.060; Ord. No. 824 §1, 11-10-2016]
The Building Inspector shall:
Inspect any structure about which complaints are filed by any person to the effect that a structure is or may be existing in violation of this Chapter.
Inspect any structure reported by the Fire or Police Department as probably existing in violation of the terms of this Chapter.
Report receipt of such complaints and the results of the investigation and inspection to the Building Commissioner.
Set out, in the notice provided for in Subsection (A)(4) hereof, a description of the structure deemed unsafe, a statement of the particulars which make the structure a dangerous building, and an order requiring the same to be put in such condition as to comply with the terms of this Chapter within such length of time, not exceeding thirty (30) days, as is reasonable.
Appear at all hearings conducted by the Hearing Officer and Board of Administrative Review, if necessary, and testify as to the condition of dangerous buildings.
[R.O. 1996 § 505.070; Ord. No. 824 §1, 11-10-2016]
It shall be the duty and responsibility of the Building Inspector to enforce the provisions of this Chapter as herein provided.
For the safety, health and welfare of the public, the Building Inspector in compliance with all applicable laws may enter upon any premises at any reasonable time for the purpose of making inspections and performing duties under this Code.
Non-Conforming Conditions. If additional non-conforming conditions are encountered during the course of any approved alteration or repair which were not considered or known initially, the Building Inspector shall have the authority to require compliance with this Code of such additional conditions. The determination of what is necessary to bring such conditions into compliance shall take into consideration the use of alternatives and equivalent approaches as provided for in this Code. The Building Inspector shall have the authority to approve construction changes in the field when conditions are encountered which make the originally approved work impractical, provided such changes in approved work can be readily determined to be in compliance with this Code and are requested by the owner or the owner's agent prior to such construction changes. Such changes shall be specifically documented by the owner or the owner's agent describing the change in work and the reasons and justification for the change and shall be filed with the permit for the project.
Right Of Entry. If any owner, occupant, operator or other person in charge of a structure subject to the provisions of this Code refuses entry and free access to any exterior part of the premises where inspection authorized by this Code is sought, the Building Inspector for good cause shall be permitted to seek from the Circuit Court or other court of competent jurisdiction, an administrative search warrant to allow entry onto the premises for inspection of any exterior feature or area not freely observable from the public right-of-way or other adjacent property.
[Ord. No. 885, 4-11-2019]
Credentials. The Building Inspector shall display proper official credentials for the purpose of inspecting the exterior of any and all structures and premises in the performance of duties under this Chapter.
Relief From Personal Liability. Any Building Inspector, officer or employee of the City who acts in good faith, without malice and within the scope of duties or enforcement of this Code is relieved of all personal liability for any damage accruing to persons or property as a result of such acts or alleged failure to act. Further, the Building Inspector shall not be held liable for any costs in any action, suit or proceeding that is instituted by the City in the enforcement of this Code. In any of these actions, the official or employee shall be defended or represented by the City's attorney at law until the final termination of the proceedings. Nothing herein is intended as, nor shall be deemed, a waiver of the City's sovereign immunity which sovereign immunity is expressly reserved.
Notices And Orders. The Building Inspector shall issue all necessary notices and orders to abate illegal or unsafe conditions to ensure compliance with this Chapter's requirements for the safety, health and general welfare of the public.
[R.O. 1996 § 505.080; Ord. No. 824 §1, 11-10-2016]
The City of Gerald, Missouri, hereby establishes the following procedures for notices of dangerous buildings:
Notice Of Dangerous Building. If a structure is found to be a dangerous building, the Building Inspector shall prepare and issue a notice, which at a minimum, shall specify that:
The structure is to be removed, repaired or demolished, and vacated if such be the case, in accordance with the terms of the notice and this Chapter.
The structure may not be occupied until it shall be repaired in accordance with this Chapter.
The persons having an interest in said structure shall be given such reasonable time, not exceeding thirty (30) days, as may be necessary to commence or have commenced the work or act required by the notice provided for herein.
The notice shall be addressed to the owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee, agent, and all other persons having an interest in the structure as shown by the land records of the Recorder of Deeds of Franklin County, Missouri.
Notice may be served either by personal service or by certified mail, return receipt requested; but if service cannot be had by either of these modes of service, then service may be had by publication.
Identification Of Defects. The notice shall list defects in the structure that constitute a dangerous structure and declare that structure a public nuisance.
The notice shall also order the structure vacated by the 15th day following service of the notice. However, if the Building Inspector determines that a condition of imminent danger exists, the notice shall also order that the structure be vacated forthwith pursuant to Section 505.010 and that the structure be boarded up or otherwise secured within twelve (12) hours of service of the notice.
In addition, the notice shall order that substantial work on repairs must begin or (if repairs would be unreasonable) that demolition must be completed by no later than the 30th day (or other such time frame) following service of the notice.
Posting Of Notice. In addition to service of the notice as set forth above, a copy of the notice shall be posted in a prominent place on the premises. The posted notice shall state that it is, and it is hereby declared to be, unlawful to remove the notice until such time as the City shall cause the notice to be removed.
Review Of Building Inspector's Classification Of Dangerous Structure. Appeal by aggrieved person. Any person aggrieved by a finding by the Building Inspector that a structure is a dangerous structure within the meaning of Subsection (A) shall have ten (10) days in which to appeal, in writing, to the Building Commissioner, who shall schedule a hearing, upon written notice or waiver thereof, which said notice and hearing shall be conducted in accordance with this Chapter.
Failure To Repair, Demolish Or Complete; Hearing.
Hearing On Failure To Repair/demolish As Ordered. If the owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee, agent and all other persons having an interest in said structure fail to undertake repairs or demolition within the time specified by the Building Inspector, or upon failure to proceed continuously with the work without unnecessary delay, as provided to be done in the required notice, the Building Inspector shall notify the Building Commissioner, and the Hearing Officer shall call and have a full and adequate hearing upon the matter, giving the owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee, agent and all other persons having an interest in said structure at least ten (10) days' written notice of the hearing served either by personal service or by certified mail, return receipt requested; but if service cannot be had by either of these modes of service, then service may be had by publication. The notice shall also provide that any party may be represented by counsel, and all parties shall have an opportunity to be heard.
Determination And Order. If the evidence at the hearing supports a finding that the structure is a nuisance or detrimental to the health, safety, or welfare of the residents of the City, the Hearing Officer shall render a final decision in the form of an order making specific findings of fact, based upon competent and substantial evidence, which shows the structure to be a dangerous structure thereby constituting a nuisance and detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of the residents of the City, and ordering the structure to be vacated, demolished and removed, or repaired within a specified time. If the evidence does not support a finding that the structure is a dangerous structure or otherwise a nuisance or detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of the residents of the City, no order shall be issued.
Costs Of Abatement; Special Tax Bill Or Assessment. If the Hearing Officer issues an order whereby the structure is demolished, secured, or repaired, or the property is cleaned up, the cost of performance shall be certified to the City Clerk or officer in charge of finance, who shall cause a special tax bill or assessment therefor against the property to be prepared and collected by the collector or other official collecting taxes, unless the structure is demolished, secured or repaired by a contractor pursuant to an order issued by the City and such contractor files a mechanic's lien against the property where the dangerous structure is located. The contractor may enforce this lien as provided in Sections 429.010 to 429.360, RSMo., as amended. At the written request of the taxpayer within thirty (30) days of the date of issuance of the tax bill or assessment, the tax bill, including the costs of tax collection, accrued interest and attorneys' fees, if any, may be paid in installments over a period of not more than ten (10) years. The tax bill from the date of its issuance shall be deemed a personal debt against the property owner and shall also be a lien on the property until paid.
Insurance. If there are proceeds of any insurance policy based upon a covered claim payment made for damage or loss to a structure caused by or arising out of any fire, explosion, or other casualty loss, the ordinance may establish a procedure for the payment of up to twenty-five percent (25%) of the insurance proceeds, as set forth in this Section. The order or ordinance shall apply only to a covered claim payment which is in excess of fifty percent (50%) of the face value of the policy covering the 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 moneys to the City to deposit into an interest-bearing account. Any named mortgagee on the insurance policy shall maintain priority over any obligation under the order or ordinance.
The City shall release the proceeds and any interest which has accrued on such proceeds received under Subsection (E)(1) to the insured or as the terms of the policy and endorsements thereto provide within thirty (30) days after receipt of such insurance moneys, unless the City has instituted legal proceedings under the provisions of this Chapter. If the City has proceeded under the provisions of Subsection (D) of this Section 505.080, all moneys in excess of that necessary to comply with the provisions of Subsection (D) of this Section 505.080 for the removal, securing, repair and cleanup of the structure, and the lot on which it is located, less salvage value, shall be paid to the insured.
If there are no proceeds of any insurance policy as set forth in 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. The tax bill from the 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 structures.
This Section does not make the City a party to 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.
When, in the opinion of the Building Inspector, it reasonably appears that a dangerous structure, as defined herein, poses an immediate or potential danger to the health, safety or welfare of any person, the Building Inspector may take emergency measures to vacate the structure and to abate, secure, repair or demolish the dangerous condition. The Building Inspector shall order the necessary work to be done, including the boarding-up of openings, to render such structure temporarily safe and shall cause such other action to be taken as may be necessary to meet such emergency.
In the event of such an emergency, the Building Inspector shall notify interested persons, as promptly as possible, as required in Subsection (A) hereof; provided, however, to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public, the Building Inspector shall have the authority to act in accordance with Subsection (F)(1) of this Section 505.080 regardless of whether such notice has issued or whether review proceedings as established in Subsection (B) have been instituted.
The Building Inspector shall cause to be posted at each entrance to any vacated, dangerous structure a notice to read substantially as follows: "This Structure is Unsafe and its Occupancy Has Been Prohibited. Do Not Enter." It shall be unlawful for any person to enter such structure except for the purpose of securing the structure, making the required repairs, abating the dangerous condition or demolishing the structure.
For the purposes of this Section, the Building Inspector shall employ the necessary labor and materials to perform all required work as expeditiously as possible. The costs incurred in the performance of such emergency work shall be collected as provided in Subsection (D) hereof.
In all cases where a structure does not meet the standards for dangerous structures as set forth herein but nonetheless constitutes a nuisance to the general public because it is vacant and open to unauthorized entry, the Building Inspector may notify the owner to secure the structure within forty-eight (48) hours. In the event the owner fails to secure the structure in that time, the Building Inspector may take whatever measures are necessary to secure the structure. The cost of such measures shall be recovered in the same manner as that provided in Subsection (D) hereof.
Closing Streets. When necessary for public safety, the Building Inspector shall temporarily close structures and close, or order the authority having jurisdiction to close, sidewalks, streets, public ways and places adjacent to unsafe structures, and prohibit the same from being utilized.
Unlawful To Enter Structure Ordered Vacated Or To Remove Notice. It shall be unlawful for any person to enter any structure which has been placarded with a notice setting forth the order of the Building Inspector requiring the structure to be vacated. The Police Department may remove any unauthorized person from any such structure and may take all steps necessary to prevent any unauthorized person from entering such structure.
Violations And Penalties. Pursuant to Section 67.410.4, RSMo., as amended, any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this Chapter, or fail to obey or abide by an order of the Hearing Officer made pursuant thereto, shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to the general penalty provisions of the Code provided in Section 100.250(E).