City of Columbia, IL
Monroe County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Columbia as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted as Ch. 8.24 of the 1997 Code]
[Amended 1997 by Ord. No. 1604; 9-17-2001 by Ord. No. 1984; 3-5-2007 by Ord. No. 2534; 9-25-2009]
It is declared to be a nuisance and to be against the health, peace and comfort of the City for any person, firm or corporation within the limits of the City to permit the following; but the enumeration of the following nuisances shall not be deemed to be exclusive:
A. 
Filth. To cause or suffer the carcass of any animal or any offal, filth or noisome substance to be collected, deposited or to remain in any place, to the prejudice of others.
B. 
Deposit of offensive materials. To throw or deposit any offal or other offensive matter, or the carcass of any dead animal in any watercourse, lake, pond, spring, well or common sewer, street or public highway.
C. 
Corruption of water. To corrupt or render unwholesome or impure the water of any spring, river, stream, pond or lake to the injury or prejudice of others.
D. 
Highway encroachment. To obstruct or encroach upon public highways, private ways, streets, alleys, commons, landing places, and ways to burying places.
E. 
Manufacturing gunpowder. To carry on the business of manufacturing gunpowder, nitroglycerine, or other highly explosive substances, or mixing or grinding the materials therefor in any building within 500 feet of any valuable building erected at the time such business may be commenced.
F. 
Powder magazines. To establish powder magazines near incorporated towns at a point different from that appointed according to law by the corporate authorities of the town, or within 1,000 feet of any occupied dwelling house.
G. 
Noxious odors. To erect, continue or use any building or other place for the exercise of any trade, employment or manufacture, which, by occasioning noxious exhalations, offensive smells or otherwise, is offensive or dangerous to the health of individuals or of the public.
H. 
Unlawful advertising. To advertise wares or occupations by painting notices of the same on, or affixing them to fences or other private property, or on rocks or other natural objects without the consent of the owner, or if in the highway, or other public place, without permission of the proper authorities.
I. 
Wells unplugged. To permit any well drilled for oil, gas, salt water disposal or any other purpose in connection with the production of oil and gas to remain unplugged after such well is no longer used for the purpose for which it was drilled.
J. 
Burn-out pits. To construct or operate any salt water pit or oil field refuse pit, commonly called a "burn-out pit," so that salt water, brine or oil field refuse or other waste liquids may escape therefrom in any manner except by the evaporation of such salt water or brine or by the burning of such oil field waste or refuse.
K. 
Discarded materials. To permit concrete bases, discarded machinery and materials to remain around any oil or gas well, or to fail to fill any holes, cellars, slush pits and other excavations made in connection with any such well or to restore the surface of the lands surrounding any such well to its condition before the drilling of any such well, upon abandonment of any such oil or gas well.
L. 
Underground wells. To permit any salt water, oil, gas or other wastes from any well drilled for oil, gas or exploratory purposes to escape to the surface, or into a mine or coal seam, or into any underground fresh water supply or from one underground stratum to another.
M. 
Harassment. To harass, intimidate or threaten any person who is about to sell or lease or has sold or leased a residence or other real property, or is about to buy or lease or has bought or leased a residence or other real property, when the harassment, intimidation or threat relates to a person's attempt to sell, buy or lease a residence, or other real property, or refers to a person's sale, purchase or lease of a residence or other real property.
N. 
Business. To establish, maintain and carry on any offensive or unwholesome business within the City limits or within one mile of the limits.
O. 
Filthy premises conditions. To keep or suffer to be kept in a foul, offensive, nauseous or filthy condition any chicken coop, cow barn, stable, cellar, vault, drain, privy, sewer or sink upon any premises belonging to or occupied by him, or any railroad car, building, yard, grounds and premises belonging to or occupied by him.
P. 
Expectorate. To expectorate on any public sidewalk, street, or other public building or floor or walk of any public vehicle or hall.
Q. 
Animals prohibited. To own or possess any swine, goats, horses, or fowl or cattle within the City, unless permitted in a zoned district.
R. 
Litter on City streets. To deposit or allow trash, paper, cardboard, wire, dirt, rock, stone, glass, brick, lumber, wood or litter of material objects of any size or description to fall upon City streets from any moving vehicle, or to be thrown from a moving vehicle, or to throw from a moving vehicle and to remain thereon.
S. 
Slaughtering, slaughterhouses, etc. To slaughter or kill any animals within the City, or to locate or maintain at any place within the City, or within a radius of one mile without the City, any slaughterhouse, packing house, rendering establishment or bone factory, or to suffer or permit any premises at any place within the limits aforesaid used for any of the purposes aforesaid to become foul or offensive.
T. 
Accumulations of junk, trash. To deposit or pile up any rags, old rope, paper, iron, brass, copper, tin, aluminum, ashes, garbage, refuse, plastic, brush, litter, weeds, slush, lead, glass bottles or broken glass upon any lot, piece or parcel of land or upon any public or private alley, street or public way within the City.
U. 
Rodents. To cause or permit any condition or situation to exist that shall attract, harbor or encourage the infestation of rodents.
V. 
Bringing nuisances into the City. To bring into the City, or keep therein for sale or otherwise, either for food or for any other purpose, any dead or live animal or any matter, substance, or thing which shall be a nuisance or which shall occasion a nuisance in the City, or which may or shall be dangerous or detrimental to health.
W. 
Offensive liquids. To keep any nauseous, foul or putrid liquid or substance or any liquid or substance likely to become nauseous, foul, offensive or putrid, nor permit any such liquid to be discharged, placed, thrown or to flow from or out of any premises into or upon any adjacent premises or any public street or alley, nor permit the same to be done by any person connected with the premises.
X. 
General. To commit any offense which is a nuisance according to the common law of the land or made such by statute of the state.
Y. 
On-premises parking.
(1) 
Except on and adjoining the City streets and public ways exempt from the application of this article, which are described in the following Subsection Y(2), it shall be a parking violation to park any vehicle, boat or trailer on the unpaved portion or part of any front yard of any developed or improved lot or parcel of real estate located within the corporate limits of the City or upon undeveloped and unimproved subdivision lots or real estate parcels located within the City limits of the City or upon any public sidewalk or portion thereof or upon any portion of the area between any public sidewalk and the curb of any street, commonly known as a "parkway."
(2) 
This Subsection Y pertaining to on-premises parking shall not apply to the parking of vehicles on the portion of front yards located nearest to the front lot line and adjoining streets in the City which do not have curbing, on which lots it shall not be an offense to park vehicles on front yards at the location aforesaid.
Z. 
Dogs or cats running at large. It is unlawful for any person owning or having control of any dog or cat to knowingly or negligently permit or allow a dog or cat to go upon any premises other than the premises of the owner or the person in control of such animal. Such conduct on the part of the owner or person in control of any dog or cat is declared a nuisance. A "dog" means all members of the classification Canis familiaris. "Cat" means all members of the classification Felis catus. Feral or wild dogs or cats roaming at large in the City are declared a nuisance. Any person feeding or housing feral dogs or cats shall be deemed guilty of a nuisance violation in the City. Any dog or cat shall be deemed to be at large when it is off of the property of its owner, possessor or keeper and not under the control of a competent person under a leash, cord, chain or otherwise. A dog or cat is deemed under restraint within the property limits of its owner, possessor or keeper. Every dog or cat running at large within the City shall be subject to impoundment by the County Animal Control Officer of the county where the animal is found running at large.
AA. 
Exterior real estate lighting. Exterior lighting on real estate in the City will be constructed and installed in such a manner that the beam of light from each light source shall be directed away from neighboring properties and confined to the area of the subject property on which the exterior light source is located. It is declared to be a nuisance to install one or more exterior light sources on real estate in the City in such a manner that the beam of light from the light source is directed onto neighboring properties.
No building, vehicle, structure, receptacle, yard, lot, premises, or part thereof, shall be made, used, kept, maintained or operated in the City, if such use, keeping, maintaining of same shall be dangerous or detrimental to health.
No substance, matter or thing of any kind whatever which shall be dangerous or detrimental to health shall be allowed to exist in connection with any business or be used therein, or be used in any work or labor performed in the City, and no nuisance shall be permitted to exist in connection with any business or in connection with any such work or labor.
[Added 4-16-2007 by Ord. No. 2543; amended 4-20-2015 by Ord. No. 3180; at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
It shall be unlawful for any person to transmit a false alarm to the City Fire Protection District, the City Police Department or the City Emergency Medical Service in violation of this section.
A. 
As used in this section, the following definitions shall apply:
ALARM
Any mechanical or electric device or assembly of equipment, designed or arranged to signal the occurrence of an illegal entry, a fire, an emergency medical assistance need or other activity requiring urgent attention and to which the Police Department, the Fire Protection District and/or an Emergency Medical Service is expected to respond.
ALARM COMPANY
Any firm, person, partnership, corporation or other legal entity required to be licensed by the state which, with respect to any alarm installed upon any premises within the City, has servicing, maintenance or monitoring duties or responsibilities under the terms of any agreement or arrangement with an alarm user.
ALARM USER
Any person, firm, partnership, corporation, or other legal entity of any kind in control of any building, premises, structure or facility upon which an alarm is maintained.
FALSE ALARM
An alarm signal to which a Police Department, a Fire Protection District and/or Emergency Medical Service responds with emergency service personnel and/or equipment when a situation requiring such response does not in fact exist, and which signal is caused by the inadvertence, negligence or an intentional act or omission of an alarm company or alarm user, or a malfunction of the alarm. The following shall not be considered false alarms:
(1) 
Alarms caused by the installation, repair, maintenance, or testing of an alarm if the public safety agency is notified in advance of the activity in connection with the alarm system.
(2) 
Alarms caused by an act of God, including earthquakes, floods, wind storms, thunder or lightning (but excluding dust, dirt, insects or rodents or similar causes that are the result of faulty inspection and maintenance).
(3) 
Alarms caused by an attempted illegal entry of which there is visible evidence.
(4) 
Alarms caused by the installation, repair, maintenance or testing of electrical utility equipment or lines if the public safety agency was notified in advance of the activity in connection with the alarm system.
(5) 
False alarms if the public safety agency is notified that the alarm is unfounded before a public safety agency responds to the alarm.
RESPONSE
The activation of the personnel and equipment of the emergency service agency to initiate movement in the direction of the alarm for purposes of servicing the alarm.
B. 
False alarm penalty.
(1) 
Any alarm user who has more than two false alarms within a twelve-month period at a single protected location will be assessed fines according to the following schedule:
(a) 
Three to five: $100 fine per false alarm;
(b) 
Six to nine: $150 fine per false alarm; and
(c) 
More than nine false alarms: $200 fine per false alarm.
(2) 
All fines must be paid to the City Clerk's office within 30 days from the date notice demanding payment of the fine(s) is mailed or personally delivered by the City Clerk or the City Police Department shall file a non-traffic complaint against the alarm user for ordinance violation(s) in the Circuit Court.
(3) 
The chief or director of the emergency service agency, or their designee, shall notify the alarm user, in writing, of each instance wherein his department has recorded a false alarm. The alarm user shall have the opportunity within 14 days from the date of mailing or personal delivery of the notice to submit a response or meet with the chief or director, or their designee, for the purposes of showing cause as to whether circumstances exist to warrant voiding the false alarm recordation. The chief, director or their designee shall review the alarm user's response and/or meet with the alarm user and issue a written finding to the alarm user as to whether or not the false alarm record will stand or be voided. The finding of the chief or director or their designee shall be final.
(4) 
In any prosecution for charging a violation of this section, proof that a false alarm occurred at the particular building, premises, structure or facility described in the complaint and that the party charged is the alarm user shall constitute prima facia proof of a violation.
[Amended 4-16-2007 by Ord. No. 2544; at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person or other entity to permit or maintain the existence of any nuisance on any property located in the City that is under that person's or entity's control.
B. 
The City, by and through its Police Department and/or its Building Official, is hereby authorized to abate any such nuisance existing in the City, with or without prior notice to the person or entity causing or maintaining the nuisance.
C. 
If deemed appropriate by the City's Police Chief or his designee, or the City's Building Official, the City may, but shall not be required to, serve a written notice upon the owner, occupant, agent or person in possession or control of any lot, building or premises upon which any nuisance may be found in the City, or who may be the owner or cause of any such nuisance, requiring them to abate the same within a specified period of time in such a manner as the designated authority shall prescribe. It shall not be necessary in any case for the designated authority to specify in the notice the manner in which any nuisance shall be abated, unless he shall deem it advisable to do so.
[Amended 4-16-2007 by Ord. No. 2544]
Any person or other entity who or which creates, maintains or allows the creation and/or maintenance of a nuisance in the City shall be guilty of a misdemeanor offense.
[Amended 4-16-2007 by Ord. No. 2544]
A. 
It shall be the duty of the City Police Department and or the City's Building Official to cause a nuisance in the City to be abated, with or without prior notice to the person or entity causing or maintaining the nuisance. The expense of such abatement shall be paid by the person or entity who or which shall have created or suffered such nuisance to exist or to be maintained, in addition to any penalty or fine.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
B. 
With regard to vehicles, boats or trailers parked in violation of § 249-1.1Y, the City police may have the same removed from the premises where the parking violation is occurring and may store same at the City's impoundment facility or the City public safety complex, charge a reasonable fee for the storage, and all costs of the removal and storage shall be paid by the owner of the vehicle, boat or trailer involved or such other person as shall have created or suffered such violation to exist if the same be other than the owner.
[Amended 4-16-2007 by Ord. No. 2544]
A. 
If any person or entity creates or maintains a nuisance in the City and is found guilty of violating any section of this article, that person or entity shall be punished by assessment of a fine of not less than $75 and not more than $750 for each offense; and a separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues.
B. 
With regard to a violation of on-premises parking under § 249-1.1Y, a separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a parking violation occurs or continues for each vehicle, watercraft or trailer that is illegally parked.
[Adopted 11-20-2006 by Ord. No. 2518 (Ch. 8.26 of the 1997 Code)]
A. 
Any certain property within the City which becomes a chronic nuisance property is in violation of this article and subject to its remedies.
B. 
Any person in charge who permits property under his or her ownership or control to become and be a public nuisance property shall be in violation of this article and shall be subject to its remedies.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CHIEF OF POLICE
The Chief of Police of the City of Columbia, Illinois or any officer designated by the Columbia Police Chief.
CHRONIC NUISANCE PROPERTY
Property on which two or more of the activities or behaviors listed below have occurred during any 365-day period, as a result of the concurrence of any two, separate factual events constituting violations that have been independently investigated and determined to have occurred by any law enforcement agency:
A. 
The commission of any of the following Illinois Criminal Code violations as specified in 720 ILCS 5/37-1, to wit: murder as defined in 720 ILCS 5/9-1; kidnapping or aggravated kidnapping as defined in 720 ILCS 5/10-1 and 720 ILCS 5/10-2, respectively; prostitution or solicitation of prostitution as defined in 720 ILCS 5/11-14, or Subdivision (a)(1), (a)(2)(A), or (a)(2)(B) of 720 ILCS 5/11-14.3 and 720 ILCS 5/11-15, respectively; pandering as defined in 720 ILCS 5/11-16; keeping a place of prostitution as defined in 720 ILCS 5/11-17; obscenity and child pornography as defined in 720 ILCS 5/11-20 and 720 ILCS 5/11-20.1, respectively; distribution of harmful material to a child or distribution of obscene publications as defined in 720 ILCS 5/11-21 and 720 ILCS 5/11-22, respectively; criminal housing management as defined in 720 ILCS 5/12-5.1; theft as defined in 720 ILCS 5/16-1; possession of explosives or explosive or incendiary device as defined in 720 ILCS 5/20-2; selling, manufacturing, purchasing or carrying a machine gun as defined in 720 ILCS 5/24-1, A-7; unlawful sale of firearms as defined in 720 ILCS 5/24-3; gambling or keeping a gambling place as defined in 720 ILCS 5/28-1 and 720 ILCS 5/28-3, respectively; concealing or aiding a fugitive as defined in 720 ILCS 5/31-5; child pornography as defined in 720 ILCS 5/11-20.1, or prohibited by the Illinois Controlled Substances Act (720 ILCS 570/100 et seq.), the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act (720 ILCS 646/10 et seq.), or the Cannabis Control Act (720 ILCS 550/1 et seq.), or used in the commission of an inchoate offense relative to any of the aforesaid principal offenses, or any real property erected, established, maintained, owned, leased, or used by a street gang for the purpose of conducting street gang related activity as defined in Section 10 of the Illinois Street Gang Terrorism Omnibus Prevention Act (740 ILCS 147/1 et seq.).
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
B. 
Unlawful use of a weapon as defined in 720 ILCS 5/24-1 et seq.
C. 
Mob action as defined in 720 ILCS 5/25-1.
D. 
arm as defined in 720 ILCS 5/24-1.2 and -1.5.
E. 
Selling, serving, storing, delivering, manufacturing, cultivating, giving away, or using controlled substances as controlled substances are defined in 720 ILCS 550/1 et seq.
F. 
Sexual abuse or related offenses as defined in 720 ILCS 5/12-15 et seq.
G. 
Public indecency as defined in 720 ILCS 5/11-9.
H. 
Selling, serving, storing, delivering, manufacturing, cultivating, giving away or using cannabis as prohibited by 740 ILCS 40/2 and as cannabis is defined in 720 ILCS 570/201 et seq.
I. 
Illegal consumption or possession of alcohol as defined in 235 ILCS 5/1 et seq.
J. 
Battery as defined in 720 ILCS 5/12-3.
K. 
Domestic battery as defined in 720 ILCS 5/12-3.2.
CONTROL
The ability to regulate, restrain, dominate, counteract or govern conduct that occurs on the subject property.
OWNER
Any person, firm, corporation, trust, other legal entity, or agent thereof, having a legal or equitable interest in the property. Owner includes, but is not limited to:
A. 
Mortgagee in possession of property;
B. 
Occupant who can control what occurs on the property; and
C. 
A property manager.
PERMIT
To suffer, allow, consent to, acquiesce by failure to prevent, or expressly assent or agree to the commission of an act that is a nuisance violation under this article.
PERSON
Any natural person, association, partnership, corporation, trust or other legal entity capable of owning or using property in the City.
PERSON IN CHARGE
Any person in actual or constructive possession of a property, including, but not limited to, an owner, agent of owner, property manager, or occupant of property in possession and control of the property.
PROPERTY
Any real estate, including land and land improvements and appurtenances, including, but not limited to, any premises, rooming house, building or structure, or part or portion thereof.
A. 
In the event a court of competent jurisdiction determines property to be a chronic nuisance property as defined in this article, the court may order that the property be closed and secured against all use and occupancy for a period of not less than 30 days nor more than 365 days, or the court may employ any other remedy deemed by the court to be appropriate to abate the nuisance.
B. 
In addition to the remedy provided in Subsection A of this section, the court may impose upon the owner of the property a civil penalty in the amount of up to $150 per day, payable to the City for each day the owner had actual knowledge that the property was a chronic nuisance property and permitted the property to remain a chronic nuisance property.
C. 
In determining what remedy or remedies the court shall employ, the court may consider evidence of other conduct which has occurred on the property, including, but not limited to:
(1) 
The disturbance of neighbors.
(2) 
The reoccurrence of loud and obnoxious noises disturbing the peace of the neighborhood.
(3) 
Repeated consumption of alcohol in public.
The corporate legal counsel of the City may commence an action to abate a public nuisance as defined in this article. Upon being satisfied by affidavits or other sworn evidence that an alleged public nuisance exists, the court may, without notice or bond, enter a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction to enjoin any defendant from maintaining such nuisance and may enter an order restraining any defendant from removing or interfering with real or personal property used in connection with the public nuisance.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
A. 
When the Chief of Police or Deputy Police Chief of the City receives one or more police reports documenting the occurrence of nuisance activity, as nuisance activity is defined in § 249-2.2 above, on or within a property in the City, the Police Chief or Deputy Police Chief shall independently review each report to determine whether the report describes acts prohibited by this article. Upon a finding by the Police Chief or Deputy Police Chief that one or more police reports do describe such acts, they may:
(1) 
Notify the person in charge of the property in writing that the property is in danger of becoming a chronic public nuisance. The notice shall contain the following information:
(a) 
The street address or legal description sufficient for identification of the property.
(b) 
A statement that the Police Chief or Deputy Police Chief has information that the property may be or is in danger of becoming a chronic nuisance property, with a concise description of the nuisance activities that may exist, or that have occurred. The Police Chief or Deputy Police Chief shall offer the person in charge an opportunity to propose or agree upon a course of action that the Police Chief or Deputy Police Chief agrees will abate the nuisance activities giving rise to the violations.
(c) 
Demand that the person in charge respond to the Police Chief or Deputy Police Chief within 10 days to discuss the nuisance activity.
B. 
After complying with the notification procedures described in Subsection A of this section, when the Chief of Police or Deputy Chief of Police receives a police report documenting the occurrence of a second nuisance activity violation at or within a property and determines that the property has become a chronic nuisance property, the Police Chief or Deputy Police Chief shall:
(1) 
Notify the person in charge of the property in writing that the property has been determined to be a chronic nuisance property. The notice shall contain the following information:
(a) 
The street address or legal description sufficient to identify the property.
(b) 
A statement that the Police Chief or Deputy Police Chief has determined the property to be a chronic nuisance property, with a concise description of the nuisance activity violation leading to his or her findings.
(c) 
Demand that the person in charge respond within 10 days to said Police Chief or Deputy Police Chief to propose or agree upon a course of action that said Police Chief or Deputy Police Chief agrees will abate the nuisance activity giving rise to the violation.
(d) 
Service of the notice shall be made either personally or by first class mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested, addressed to the person in charge of the property at the address of the property believed to be a chronic nuisance property, or such other place as is likely to give the person in charge notice of the determination of said Police Chief or Deputy Police Chief.
(e) 
A copy of the notice shall be served on the property owner at such address as is shown to be the owner's address on the tax rolls of the county in which the property is located, and/or the occupant, at the address of the property, if these persons are different than the person in charge, and shall be made either personally or by first class mail, postage prepaid.
(f) 
A copy of the notice shall also be posted at the property after 10 days have elapsed from the service or mailing of the notice to the person in charge if the person in charge has not contacted said Police Chief or Deputy Police Chief.
(g) 
The failure of any person to receive notice that the property may be a chronic nuisance property shall not invalidate or otherwise affect the proceedings under this article.
(2) 
After the notification, but prior to the commencement of legal proceedings by the City pursuant to this article, if a person in charge and/or the property owner stipulates with the Police Chief or Deputy Police Chief that he, she or they will pursue a course of action the parties agree will abate the nuisance activities giving rise to the violation [which may include eviction of a tenant who is causing or contribution to the causing of a chronic nuisance as defined in this article, under and pursuant to the Illinois Forcible Entry and Detainer Act, 765 ILCS 705/5(a)], said Police Chief or Deputy Police Chief may agree to postpone legal action for a period of not less than 10 days nor more than 60 days. If the agreed course of action does not result in the abatement of the nuisance activity (or if the nuisance activity cannot reasonably be expected to be abated within the period of time aforesaid (as in cases involving the eviction of a tenant under the Illinois Forcible Entry and Detainer Act as aforesaid), then the initiation of the activity required to abate the nuisance is initiated within that time period; or if no agreement concerning abatement of the nuisance is reached within 30 days, said Police Chief or Deputy Police Chief, as the case may be, shall request authorization from the City Council for the corporate legal counsel of the City to commence legal action to abate the nuisance.
(3) 
Concurrent with the notification procedure set forth herein, the Police Chief or Deputy Police Chief shall send copies of the notice, as well as other documentation which supports legal proceedings, to the City's corporate legal counsel.
C. 
When a person in charge of property makes a response to the Police Chief or Deputy Police Chief as required above, any conduct or statement made by them in connection with the furnishing of that response shall not constitute an admission that any nuisance activities have occurred or are occurring. This subsection does not require the exclusion of any evidence which would be otherwise admissible or offered for any other purpose (including knowledge and notice on the part of said person in charge that nuisance activity has occurred or is occurring as determined by the City's Police Department).
A. 
In an action seeking closure of chronic nuisance property, the City shall have the initial burden of showing by a preponderance of the evidence that the property is a chronic nuisance property as defined in this article.
B. 
It shall be a defense to an action seeking the closure of chronic nuisance property that the owner of the property at the time in question could not, in the exercise of reasonable care or diligence, determine that the property had become a chronic nuisance property, or could not, in spite of the exercise of reasonable care and diligence, control the conduct leading to the findings that the property is a chronic nuisance property.
C. 
In determining the amount of any civil penalty requested, the court may consider any of the following factors and may recite the applicable court findings in the court's order assessing the civil penalty:
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
(1) 
The actions or lack of action taken by the person in charge to mitigate or correct the problem at the nuisance property.
(2) 
Whether the problem at the property was repeated or continuous.
(3) 
The magnitude or gravity of the problem.
(4) 
The cooperation of the person in charge with the City.
(5) 
The cost of the City investigating and correcting or attempting to correct the condition.
A. 
In the event the Mayor and/or the City Administrator and/or the City Council determines that the property is an immediate threat to the public safety and welfare, the City may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for interim relief, as is deemed by said Mayor, City Administrator or City Council to be appropriate. In such an event, the notification provision set forth in § 249-2.5 of this article need not be complied with; however, the City shall make a diligent effort to notify the person in charge prior to a court hearing.
B. 
In the event that the court finds that the subject property constitutes "chronic nuisance property" as defined in this article, the court may order the abatement of the nuisance and/or the assessment of a fine as provided in § 249-2.3 of this article. In the event that the court finds the person in charge had knowledge of the activities or conditions of property constituting a violation of this article and permitted the activities to occur, the court shall assess a civil fine as provided in § 249-2.3 of this article.
C. 
The court may authorize the City to physically secure the property against use or occupancy in the event the owner or person in charge fails to do so within the time specified by the court. In the event that the City is authorized to secure the property, all costs reasonably incurred by the City to effect a closure shall be made and assessed against the property owner and shall be a lien against the property. As used herein, "costs" means those costs actually incurred by the City for the physical securing of the property.
D. 
The City's Department of Public Works effecting the closure shall prepare a statement of costs and the City shall thereafter submit said statement to the court and the owner for their review. If no objection to the statement is made within the period required by the court, a judgment for said sum shall be entered against the owner and a lien in that sum may be recorded against said property. Said lien shall be enforced as in the cases of enforcements of Illinois mechanics liens and/or Illinois mortgage foreclosures.
E. 
Any person who is assessed the cost of closure and/or civil penalties by the court shall be personally liable for the payment thereof to the City.
If any provision of this article as applied to any person or circumstance is held to be invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction for any reason, the remainder of this article in the application of its provisions will remain and be in full force and effect, as changed and amended by said determination of invalidity.
All ordinances or resolutions or parts of ordinances or resolutions in conflict herewith, including Article I, Nuisances in General, §§ 249-1.4, 249-1.5, 249-1.6 and 249-1.7 of this chapter, thereof shall remain and be in full force and effect but shall not apply to and shall be preempted by this article with regard to defining and prohibiting chronic nuisance property in the City.
[Added 10-19-2015 by Ord. No. 3209]
A. 
Notwithstanding any other provisions within this article, and consistent with the terms and conditions of 65 ILCS 5/1-2-1.5, no property shall be considered a chronic nuisance if the law enforcement investigations and determinations arise from calls for assistance from any victim of domestic abuse, any victim of domestic violence or when contact was made by, on behalf of, or otherwise concerning a person with a disability and the purpose of the contact was related to that person's disability.
B. 
However, nothing herein shall prevent the enforcement of this code against a landlord or tenant of the property who may be a victim of domestic abuse, domestic violence, or be disabled when said person's victimhood or disability is unrelated to the law enforcement activity causing the property to be a chronic nuisance.