[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Fenwick Island 5-25-1963 as Ord. No. 19. Amendments noted where applicable.]
All buildings or structures which have any or all of the following defects shall be deemed obstructions, nuisances, unsanitary or unsightly conditions:
Those which have been damaged or destroyed by fire, wind, water or any combination thereof, 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 Town of Fenwick Island.
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.
Those which have parts thereof which are so attached that they may fall and injure members of the public or property.
Debris of any building or structure which because of its condition is unsafe, unsanitary or dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of the people of the Town of Fenwick Island.
All buildings or structures or parts thereof as defined and set forth in § 69-1 of this chapter are hereby declared to be public nuisances and shall be removed or abated as hereinbefore or hereinafter provided.
[Amended 9-24-1977; 8-26-1978]
The Town Council of Fenwick Island, if they, either upon their own inspection or upon information obtained from the Board of Health, Police Force or Building Official, shall deem that such nuisances or unsanitary conditions ought to be removed or abated, shall, upon the adoption of a resolution to this effect, direct the Secretary to forward by registered mail addressed to his or her last known post office address or deliver personally to the person or persons continuing or causing such nuisance or unsanitary condition, to the person or persons who are responsible for its existence or continuance, a notice to remove or abate the same within fifteen (15) days. If such person or persons refuse or neglect, within fifteen (15) days from the date of mailing of such notice or the service of the same personally upon such persons, to remove or abate the same, the Council shall issue a warrant in the name of the Town of Fenwick Island, Delaware, under the hand of its President, who shall affix thereto the Corporate Seal attested by the Secretary and directed to the Chief of Police commanding him forthwith to remove or abate such nuisance or unsanitary condition. The Chief of Police shall forthwith proceed at his direction to have such nuisance or unsanitary condition removed or abated, and, to that end, he shall have full power and authority to enter into and upon any lands and premises in the town with such assistants, implements and vehicles necessary and proper to perform all matters in connection with the removal or abatement of such nuisance or unsanitary condition.
The Chief of Police shall, as soon as convenient after the nuisance or unsanitary condition has been removed or abated, make a return to the Town Council of his proceedings under the warrant and the costs and expenses incurred by him in the removal or abatement of such nuisance or unsanitary condition. Thereafter, the Council shall specify the costs and expenses of all necessary work, labor and proceedings incurred in the abatement or removal of the same. The Council shall then issue a warrant, containing an itemized account thereof, together with the name and last known address of the person from whom the Town Council shall have determined the amount due and shall deliver such warrant to the Treasurer of the Town. The warrant shall command the Treasurer forthwith to collect the amount stated to be due thereon from the person or persons designated therein. The Treasurer shall forward to such person or persons in a sealed wrapper a true and correct copy of the warrant by depositing the same in the United States mail and addressed to such person's or persons' last known post office address or serve personally upon said person, if he is within the limits of the town. If such person or persons shall refuse or neglect to pay the same within thirty (30) days from the date of the mailing of such notice an exact copy of the warrant, or the service of the same personally upon such persons, the Treasurer shall then be authorized and required to collect the same in the same manner as herein provided for the collection of delinquent town taxes.
A violation of the provisions of this chapter, or the failure to comply with any of its requirements, shall be punishable by a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars ($25.), nor more than fifty dollars ($50.), or imprisonment for not more than ten (10) days, or both, for the first offense, plus court costs. For each subsequent like offense, he shall be fined not less than fifty dollars ($50.) nor more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250.) or imprisoned not more than twenty (20) days, or both. Whenever a person shall have been notified, in writing, by certified mail, return receipt requested, by the Building Official or other town official or by service of a summons of a violation of this chapter, each day of continued violation shall be considered as a separate offense. The owner or tenant of any building, structure, premises or any part thereof, and any architect, builder, contractor, employee or agent for one (1) of the aforenamed persons, or any other person who commits, furthers, participates in, assists in or maintains any such violation may be separately convicted and be subject to the same penalties provided herein. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent or otherwise prohibit the prosecution of the same violation occurring on a date subsequent to the conviction. The commission, allowance or participation in any activity defined as a violation of this chapter shall be deemed and is hereby declared to be a common and public nuisance. The Town Council may institute appropriate proceedings to restrain or enjoin further construction in violation of the ordinance and/or proceedings to abate any violation, and to require the removal of the violation. In this event, the Town Council shall be entitled to collect from the offending party or parties the town's reasonable attorneys fees, legal costs and expenses and court costs, as a part of any judgment or award in a civil action brought to restrain or enjoin a violation. Civil remedies are in addition to and not in lieu of the penalties provided herein.