Town of Appomattox, VA
Appomattox County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Appomattox 4-11-1994 as Ch. 18, Art. III, of the 1994 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 62.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 106.
Health and sanitation — See Ch. 117.
STATE LAW REFERENCES
Authority of Town to require buildings and other structures to be removed, repaired or secured, Code of Virginia, § 15.2-906.
A. 
The term "dangerous building" as used in this chapter is hereby defined to mean and include:
(1) 
Any building, shed, fence or other man-made structure which is dangerous to the public health because of its condition, and which shall cause or aid in the spread of disease or injury to the health of the occupants of it or neighboring structures;
(2) 
Any building, shed, fence or other man-made structure which because of faulty construction, age, lack of proper repair or any other cause is especially liable to fire and constitutes or creates a fire hazard;
(3) 
Any building, shed, fence or other man-made structure which by reason of faulty construction or any other cause is liable to cause injury or damage by collapsing or by a collapse or fall of any part of such structure; and
(4) 
Any building, shed, fence, or other man-made structure, which because of its condition or because of lack of doors or windows is available to and frequented by malefactors or disorderly persons who are not lawful occupants of such structure.
B. 
Any dangerous building in the Town is hereby declared to be a nuisance.
It shall be unlawful to maintain or permit the existence of any dangerous building in the Town, and it shall be unlawful for the owner, occupant or person in custody of any dangerous building to permit such building to remain in a dangerous condition, or to occupy such building or permit it to be occupied while it is or remains in a dangerous condition.[1]
[1]
Editor's note: Section 2 of an ordinance adopted 9-13-1999 repealed former § 18-63 of the Code which immediately followed this section and pertained to abatement; service of notice to abate; and appeals.
[Amended 9-13-1999]
A. 
Building maintenance policy. The owners of property in the Town shall remove, repair or secure any building, wall or any other structure which might endanger the public health or safety of other residents of the Town.
B. 
Procedure for requiring building maintenance. Any person who has reason to believe that the condition of any building, wall or any other structure might endanger the public health or safety of other residents of the Town may petition the Town council to remedy the perceived problem. Upon receiving a complaint, the Town council may empanel a property maintenance investigation board and request that it inspect the premises and give a report on the condition of the building.
C. 
Property maintenance investigation board. When empaneled, the property maintenance investigation board shall contain three members, each of whom shall be appointed for one-year terms. It shall be a temporary body established on a complaint-by-complaint basis. Preference for membership shall be given to contractors, engineers, architects, residents of the neighborhood in which the building in question is located and members of the Town of Appomattox Planning Commission and Town Council. The body shall meet as soon as possible, perform site inspections as appropriate, and prepare a written recommendation regarding the complaint to the Town Council as soon as is practical after being established. The Town Manager shall act as the clerk for the board and shall organize the first meeting of the body. Funds may be made available to support the board as allocated by the Town Council.
D. 
Notice requirement. Upon receipt of a report from the property maintenance investigation board, the Town Council of the Town may order the removal, repair or securing of any building, wall or any other structure which might endanger the public health or safety of other residents of the Town, if the owner and lien holder of such property after a reasonable notice and a reasonable time to do so has failed to remove, repair or secure the building, wall or other structure. For purposes of this section, reasonable notice includes a written notice (1) mailed by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, sent to the last known address of the property owner; and (2) published once a week for two successive weeks in a newspaper that has a general circulation in the Town. No action shall be taken by the Town Council of the Town to remove, repair, or secure any building, wall or structure for at least 30 days following the later of the return of the receipt or newspaper publication.
E. 
Reimbursement for Town expenses. In the event the Town Council of the Town removes, repairs, or secures any building, wall or other structure after complying with the notice provisions of this section, the cost or expenses thereof shall be chargeable to and paid by the owners of such property and may be collected by the Town as taxes are collected. Every charge authorized by this section with which the owner of any such property has been assessed and which remains unpaid shall constitute a lien against such property ranking on a parity with liens for unpaid Town taxes and enforceable in the same manner as provided in Code of Virginia Title 58.1, Ch. 39, Arts. 3, 4 (reference Code of Virginia, § 15.2-906).
Where it reasonably appears that there is present a clear and imminent danger to the life, safety or health of any person or property unless an unsafe building is immediately repaired and secured or demolished, the Town Council may authorize the immediate repair or demolition of such unsafe building. The expenses of such repair or demolition shall be a charge against the land on which it is located and shall be assessed, levied and collected as provided in § 71-3 hereof.
[1]
Editor's Note: Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. III).