[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the Town of Mount Airy 1-13-1963. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Building construction — See Ch. 47.
Numbering of buildings — See Ch. 49.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 60.
Garbage, trash and litter — See Ch. 64.
Nuisances — See Ch. 76.
Editor's Note: The provisions of this chapter are derived from Art. II, Secs. 2-1 through 2-2, Secs. 2-6 through 2-26 and 2-28, of the former codification, adopted 1-13-1963.
[Amended 10-7-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-13]
For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- BLIGHTED STRUCTURE
- Any dwelling, garage, or outbuilding, or any factory, shop,
store, office building, warehouse, or any other structure or part
of a structure, to include private driveways and parking lots thereto,
which:[Amended 3-7-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-3]
- A. Because of fire, wind, other natural disaster, vandalism or physical deterioration is no longer habitable as a dwelling, is no longer useful for the purpose for which it was originally intended, or, as respects private driveways and parking lots, has been allowed to deteriorate to the point where deep and numerous potholes, cracks and voids in paving have developed which pose a risk of injury or of property damage and to the point that commercial business operating in such structures or on surrounding properties has been or is likely to be adversely affected; or
- B. Is partially completed and which is not presently being constructed under an existing, valid building permit issued by or under the authority of the Town of Mount Airy; or
- C. Is not structurally sound, weathertight, waterproof or verminproof; or
- D. Is not covered by a water-resistant paint or other waterproof covering so as to protect said structure from the adverse effects of the elements or from physical deterioration; or
- E. Contains one or more exterior openings for a period of 60 days or more not covered by a functional door or unbroken glazed window or which is not in the case of a vacant building neatly boarded up and protected against the elements and from vandals and rodents and other animals.
- BUILDING MATERIAL
- Any lumber, bricks, concrete, cinder blocks, plumbing materials, electrical wiring or equipment, heating ducts or equipment, shingles, mortar, cement, nails, screws, or other material commonly used in the construction or repair of any buildings or structures.
- Any house or building or portion thereof which is occupied in whole or in part as a home, residence or sleeping place of one or more human beings, either permanently or transiently.
- DWELLING UNIT
- A room or group of rooms intended to be occupied by one family or household as their home and where they sleep.
- HABITABLE ROOM
- A room which is designed or may be used for living, sleeping, eating or cooking. Storerooms, bathrooms, toilets, closets, halls or spaces in attics or basements are not habitable rooms except as permitted in § 85-15, entitled "Basement dwelling units."
- Any abandoned, discarded, unusable, or unused objects or equipment, including, but not limited to, furniture, stoves, refrigerators, freezers, cans, implements, parts of motor vehicles, machinery, cloth, rubber, bottles, any metals, boxes, cartons, or crates.
- VACANT BUILDING
- Any building which is unoccupied and which is not securely locked, with the windows glazed or neatly boarded up and protected against the elements and from vandals and rodents and other animals.
[Amended 7-1-1991 by Ord. No. 1991-9]
There may annually be appointed by the Mayor a Health Officer who shall enforce the provisions of the health ordinances of the Town and who shall possess such powers and perform duties as shall be prescribed by ordinance. If no such appointment is made, the Mayor shall act as the Health Officer.
The purpose of this chapter is to require that dwellings be kept clean and free from dirt, filth, rubbish, garbage and similar matter, that they be kept free from vermin and rodent infestation and be kept in such repair as to be fit for human habitation, and to provide for the removal of snow on sidewalks by the owners or occupants of abutting property and to provide for the control of weeds on vacant lots or other properties within the Town and to authorize the Health Officer to issue orders compelling compliance with the provisions hereof and to correct such conditions at the expense of the property occupants or owners or owners of properties upon which violations occur.
[Amended 10-1-1990 by Ord. No. 1990-9; 7-1-1991 by Ord. No. 1991-9; 10-7-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-23; 10-7-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-13]
Every dwelling within the Town, including unoccupied dwellings in residential districts, every commercial or industrial structure, whether occupied or unoccupied, and every part thereof shall be kept so clean and free from any accumulation of dirt, filth, rubbish, garbage or similar matter as not to be a danger to the health of any occupant or other person and shall be kept free from vermin and rodent infestation. All yards, lawns and vacant lots shall be similarly kept clean and free from weeds, grass or plants (other than trees, bushes, flowers or other ornamental plants) exceeding 12 inches in height. It shall be the duty of each occupant or owner of a dwelling unit or commercial or industrial structure to keep in a clean condition that portion of the property which he occupies or over which he has exclusive control.
Except as may otherwise be permitted by the holding of a specific business license or by other Town ordinance, no person or entity shall:
Store, accumulate, or permit the storage or accumulation of junk on premises owned, leased, rented, or occupied by such person or entity;
Store, accumulate, or permit the storage or accumulation of any building materials on property owned, leased, rented, or occupied by such person or entity for any period longer than reasonably necessary for the immediate use of such materials, but in no event longer than 60 days;
Maintain or permit the maintenance or existence of any vacant building on property owned, leased, rented, or occupied by such person or entity; or
Maintain or permit the maintenance or existence of any blighted structure on property owned, leased, rented, or occupied by such person or entity.
If the occupant or owner shall fail to keep his portion of the property in accordance with this section, in addition to other remedies available under this chapter, the Town Code and other applicable law, the Health Officer may send a written notice to such occupant or owner requesting him to remedy said condition within the time specified in said notice, said time not to be less than 10 days. Failure of such occupant or owner to comply with such notice within such time shall be deemed a violation of this chapter. Notice to any owner shall be sufficient if mailed to the owner at the address appearing on the tax records. If not complied with within 10 days of the date of the mailing, or such greater time specified in any written notice as prescribed above, the Town may enter upon the property and may remove any dirt, filth, rubbish, garbage or similar matter, or rodent or vermin infestation, trim, cut or remove any weeds, grass or plants in excess of 12 inches in height, remedy and abate any condition specified in Subsection B above, or take any other action in order to bring the property into compliance with the Town Code and/or remove any danger to health. The owner shall then be responsible to reimburse the Town the reasonable cost of such actions, with a minimum charge of $250 for each separate lot. Such charges shall constitute a lien on the property to be collected in the same manner as Town taxes are collected.
[Added 6-7-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-3]
Owners and occupants of premises fronting upon any street with paved sidewalks shall remove snow and ice from the traveled portions of the sidewalk to a width of at least 30 inches within 24 hours after any precipitation event producing such snow or ice shall end. For purposes of this section, the term "sidewalk" shall refer to that paved portion of a street between the curbline, or the lateral lines of a roadway where there is no curb, and the adjacent property line, intended for the use of pedestrians. Violations of this section shall be deemed a municipal infraction punishable by a fine of $25 for the first offense and $50 for each subsequent offense. Each day on which the sidewalk shall not be cleared as required shall constitute a separate municipal infraction.
[Amended 3-4-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-1]
It shall be unlawful for any person to place, cast, blow, track, deposit or throw any ashes, filth or rubbish of any description, including any grass clippings or other yard waste, on any of the sidewalks, streets, lanes or alleys of Mount Airy, provided that ashes or rubbish may be deposited in such streets, lanes or alleys to be hauled away within four hours.
Every dwelling and every part thereof shall be maintained in such good repair by the owner or agent as to be fit for human habitation.
Whenever any dwelling or any building, structure, excavation, matter, condition or thing in or about a dwelling or the lot on which it is situated, or the plumbing, sewerage, drainage, light or ventilation thereof, is found by the Health Officer to be dangerous or detrimental to life or health, the Mayor and Council may order that matter, condition or thing be removed, abated, suspended, altered or otherwise improved, as the order shall specify. If any such order of the Mayor and Council issued under the authority of the provisions of this section is not complied with within 15 days after the service thereof, then such order may be executed by Town of Mount Airy through its officers, agents, employees or contractors, and the expense incurred incident to the execution of said order shall be paid by the owner of said property, and such expense may be recovered by the Town by appropriate legal action or the Health Officer may order such premises vacated until such premises shall be made to comply with the conditions of this chapter. Before proceeding to execute such order, a copy of such notice shall be sent to the owner of the property, or his agent, if names and addresses on diligent search can be ascertained, and such notice shall be posted on said premises at least three days before the Town proceeds to incur such expenses, unless the condition is of such character as to require immediate action, in which case the time of the notice shall be such as, in the judgment of the Health Officer, is reasonable and proper.
[Amended 12-2-1985 by Ord. No. 144]
Whenever it shall be found by the Health Officer that a dwelling is unfit for human habitation, or dangerous to life or health by reason of want of repair, of defects in the drainage, plumbing, lighting, ventilation or the construction of the same, or by reason of the existence on the premises of any condition likely to cause sickness of injury among the occupants of said dwelling, or for any other causes affecting the public health, the Mayor and Council may issue an order requiring such dwelling to be vacated after the expiration of 15 days from the date that said order was served on the owner or occupant and he has been given an opportunity to be heard. A copy of such order shall be sent to the owner of the property, or his agent, if names and addresses, on diligent search, can be ascertained. The dwelling so ordered to be vacated shall not again be occupied until a written statement shall have been secured from the Health Officer showing that the dwelling has been made to comply with this chapter or any other existing law and has been made fit for occupancy.
[Added 10-5-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-8]
Whenever any property, dwelling or building within the limits of the Town is determined by the Mayor, his designated Health Officer or other staff of the Town to be vacant and in a state of disrepair due to break-in, unauthorized entry, damage, fire or vandalism so as to render the property, dwelling or building susceptible to future break-in, unauthorized entry and/or to vandalism, the Mayor, his designated Health Officer or other staff of the Town are hereby empowered to issue an order that the property owner secure the property to prevent future break-in, unauthorized entry and/or vandalism, to include repair or replacement of broken windows, broken doors and broken locks, and/or the securing, boarding up or closing off of openings or potential points of entry to the property, dwelling or building. The order shall be served upon the property owner either by hand delivery or by certified mail, return receipt requested, and shall specify the actions that the Town directs the property owner to take in order to secure the property, dwelling or building.
If a property owner does not comply with an order issued pursuant to Subsection A above within 15 days of service of the order, the Mayor, his designated Health Officer, other staff of the Town, or any contractor hired by the Town for the purpose of carrying out this subsection may enter upon or into the property, dwelling or building to carry out the actions that the property owner was directed to take in the order issued pursuant to Subsection A above. The property owner shall pay to the Town the reasonable cost of securing the property, dwelling or building pursuant to this Subsection B, with a minimum charge of $250. Such charges shall constitute a lien on the property to be collected in the same manner as Town taxes are collected.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to waive or otherwise impair the rights or remedies that the Town may have under other provisions of the Town Code or under other applicable law.
Whenever any person or persons shall be in actual possession of or have charge, care or control of any property within the Town as executor, administrator, trustee, guardian or agent, such person shall be deemed and taken to be the owner or owners of such property within the intent and meaning of this chapter, and shall be bound to comply with the provisions of this chapter to the same extent as the owner, and notice to any such person of any order or decision of the Mayor and Council shall be deemed and taken to be a good and sufficient notice as if such person or persons were actually the owner or owners of such property.
The Mayor and Council are hereby authorized and empowered to make and adopt such rules and regulations as they may deem proper and necessary for the enforcement of this chapter for the better production of the health of the Town under authority granted by this chapter.
The basement or cellar of any dwelling shall be dry and ventilated and shall be kept free from rubbish accumulation and rodent infestation.
Every dwelling and every dwelling unit shall be weatherproof and capable of being adequately heated, and the heating equipment in every building or dwelling unit shall be maintained in good order and repair.
The floor and walls of every dwelling and every dwelling unit shall be kept free from dampness.
Every habitable room in a dwelling or dwelling unit shall contain a window or windows, opening directly to the outside air, and the total area of such window and windows shall not be less than 10% of the floor area of such room. All window sashes shall be glazed and provided with suitable hardware and shall be made to open to the extent of not less than 5% of the floor area of such room.
No room in any basement or cellar shall be occupied as a habitable room unless:
The clear inner height is at least seven feet six inches; and
The uppermost three feet of the required clear inner height is above the average outside ground level; and
The floor and walls are water- and damp-proof in accordance with an approved method if in contact with earth. Such waterproofing shall be between the floor or wall finish and the ground.
No room shall be used for sleeping purposes unless there are at least 400 cubic feet of air space and 50 square feet of floor space for each adult and at least 200 cubic feet of air space and 30 square feet of floor space for each child under the age of 12 years occupying such room. No room used for sleeping purposes shall have a floor area of less than 60 square feet.
The occupancy of any dwelling unit having more than one habitable room shall not exceed an average of 1 1/2 persons per habitable room. For the purpose of this regulation any child under one year of age shall be deemed to be 1/2 person.
In every dwelling unit containing two or more rooms there shall be running water and at least one sink connected to an approved sewage disposal system.
Where more than two persons occupy any dwelling unit, food shall not be prepared or cooked in any room used for sleeping purposes.
There shall be at least one water closet for each 10 persons or fraction thereof occupying a dwelling, which water closet shall be within and accessible from within the building. The use of antifreeze toilets that have cross connections between water supply and sewer is expressly prohibited.
All plumbing, water closets and other plumbing fixtures in every dwelling or dwelling unit shall be maintained in good order and repair.
Every toilet and every bathroom in a dwelling shall be provided with adequate light and ventilation; four square feet of free air space or its equal in forced ventilation.
[Amended 12-2-1985 by Ord. No. 144]
Every dwelling and every dwelling unit shall be provided with such receptacles to contain all garbage, rubbish and ashes as may be necessary, and all such receptacles shall be at all times maintained in good order and repair.
There shall be for each dwelling unit a separate access either to a hallway, landing, stairway or street.
All courts, yards or other areas on the premises of every dwelling shall be properly graded and drained.
[Amended 12-2-1985 by Ord. No. 144]
The aforegoing contain minimum requirements for the protection of health and are in addition and supplementary to any other ordinances, laws, rules and regulations, and nothing therein shall be construed to affect in any manner any of the powers and duties of the State Board of Health, or County Board of Health, or any Public General or Public Local Law relating to the subject of health.
[Added 12-2-1985 by Ord. No. 144]
Violation of any of the provisions of this chapter is hereby declared to be a municipal infraction.