[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Board of Trustees of the Township of Lawrence 7-10-1997, as amended 6-13-2013 (Ord. No. 17 of the 2005 Code). Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
And ordinance to prevent, reduce or eliminate blight, blighting factors or causes of blight within Lawrence Township, Van Buren County, Michigan; to provide for the enforcement hereof; and to provide penalties for the violation hereof. Pursuant to the enacting authority therefor provided by Act 344 of the Public Acts of 1945, as amended.
This chapter shall be known and cited as the "Lawrence Township Blight Ordinance."
Consistent with the letter and spirit of Public Act 344 of 1945, as amended, it is the purpose of this chapter to prevent, reduce or eliminate blight or potential blight in Lawrence Township by the prevention or elimination of certain environmental causes of blight or blighting factors which exist or which may in the future exist in said Township.
It is hereby determined that the following uses, structures and activities are causes of blight or blighting factors which, if allowed to exist, will tend to result in blighted and undesirable areas in the Township. On and after the effective date of this chapter, no person, firm or corporation of any kind shall maintain or permit to be maintained any of these causes of blight or blighting factors upon any property in Lawrence Township owned, leased, rented, used or occupied by such person, firm or corporation, all of which are declared a public nuisance:
In any area within the Township, including upon any public or private right-of-way or street or other public property, the parking, storage, abandonment, discarding or permitting to remain on premises of any inoperable, wrecked or partially dismantled motor vehicle or a part of motor vehicle. The absence of a current license plate or the growing of vegetation up and/or around the vehicle or the vehicle otherwise appearing unmoved for a period exceeding 15 days shall be prima facie evidence that the vehicle is inoperable. This section shall not apply to a motor vehicle or part thereof which is entirely enclosed in a building, which is on the premises of a business enterprise operated in a lawful place and manner, when necessary to the operation of such business enterprise, or which is lawfully operated as a junkyard, licensed under Township ordinance.
In any area within the Township, the storage or accumulation of junk, trash, rubbish or refuse of any kind without a landfill permit, except domestic refuse stored in such a manner as not to create a nuisance for a period not to exceed 15 days. The term "junk" shall include parts of machinery, used stoves or other appliances stored in the open, remnants of woods, metal or any other material or other cast-off material of any kind whether or not the same could be put to any reasonable use. This provision shall not prohibit those who heat their homes or other structures on premises from neatly stacking wood for this purpose so long as the quantity is reasonable and no other law is violated in doing so.
In any area within the Township, the existence of any structure or part of any structure which, because of fire, wind or other natural disaster, or physical deterioration is no longer habitable, if a dwelling, nor useful for any other purpose for which it may have been intended.
In any area within the Township, the existence of any vacant dwelling, garage, or other outbuilding unless such buildings are kept securely locked, windows kept glazed or neatly boarded up and otherwise protected to prevent entrance thereto by vandals or other unauthorized persons.
In any area within the Township, the existence of any partially completed structured unless such structure is in the course of construction in accordance with a valid building permit issued by the Township and unless such construction is completed within time allowed by the permit or any express extension thereof.
The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by the Township official designated by resolution of the Township Board. The enforcement shall have the discretion to give a warning to an offender prior to issuing a formal municipal civil infraction citation. Chapter 25, Municipal Civil Infractions, of the Code of the Township of Lawrence shall control procedures used in enforcing this chapter, except as otherwise expressly provided herein.
Any person found to have violated this chapter by a court of competent jurisdiction is responsible for a municipal civil infraction under Chapter 25, Municipal Civil Infractions, of the Code of the Township of Lawrence.
The provisions of this chapter are hereby declared to be severable, and if any clause, sentence, word, section or provision is declared void or unenforceable for any reason by any court of competent jurisdiction, it shall not affect any portion of this chapter other than said part or portion thereof.
All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict with this chapter are hereby repealed, except that this chapter shall not be construed to repeal any provision in the municipal zoning ordinance, subdivision control ordinance, or building code adopted or hereafter adopted in Lawrence Township.
This chapter shall take effect 30 days following its publication after its adoption.