City of Colonial Heights, VA
County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Amended 5-14-1996 by Ord. No. 96-18; 11-13-2001 by Ord. No. 01-19; 6-10-2003 by Ord. No. 03-20]
[1]
Editor's Note: For statutory provisions relating to the authority of the City to provide for the removal of trash, garbage, etc., weeds and other foreign growth from property by property owners, see Code of Virginia, § 15.2-901.

§ 244-5.1 Definitions.

For the purposes of this article, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings:
GARBAGE
All animal and vegetable waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking or consumption of food.
LITTER
Garbage, refuse, rubbish and other solid waste material. "Refuse" shall mean all solid waste products having the character of solids rather than liquids and which are composed wholly or partially of materials such as garbage, trash, litter, residues from cleanup of spills or contamination of other discarded materials.
RUBBISH
Nonputrescible solid wastes, such as paper, wrappings, cigarettes, cardboard, tin cans, glass, wood building debris (such as but not limited to, nails, metal scraps, loose concrete), yard clippings, leaves, bedding and similar materials.
TRASH
Any and all rubbish or other discarded materials of an inorganic nature.
WEEDS
Any plant such as jimson, burdock, ragweed, thistle, cocklebur, honeysuckle or other similar vegetation considered undesirable, unattractive, or troublesome.

§ 244-6 Property owners to remove unsafe substances.

[Amended 7-13-2010 by Ord. No. 10-24]
Whenever there exists upon any property in the City any trash, garbage not collected by the City, refuse, rubbish, litter and other substances which might endanger the health, comfort or general welfare of other residents of the City, the owner of the property shall forthwith remove, or cause to be removed, such materials or substances.

§ 244-7 Cutting or removal of vegetation.

[Amended 9-9-2003 by Ord. No. 03-25; 6-12-2007 by Ord. No. 07-7; 7-13-2010 by Ord. No. 10-24]
A. 
Whenever there exists upon any developed or undeveloped property in the City, whether vacant or occupied, any grass, weeds, or other foreign growth which exceeds 12 inches in height, the owner shall immediately cut such grass, weeds, or other foreign growth.
[Amended 8-13-2013 by Ord. No. 13-15]
B. 
This section shall not apply to wooded areas of land in their natural state.

§ 244-8 Notice to correct dangerous situations.

[Amended 9-9-2003 by Ord. No. 03-25; 6-12-2007 by Ord. No. 07-7; 7-13-2010 by Ord. No. 10-24; 8-13-2013 by Ord. No. 13-15]
Whenever it appears to the City Manager, or his designee that there exists upon any property in the City any trash, garbage, refuse, rubbish, litter and other substances which might endanger the health, comfort or general welfare of other residents of the City; or whenever there exists upon any developed or undeveloped property in the City, whether vacant or occupied, any grass, weeds, or other foreign growth which exceeds 12 inches in height, the City Manager or his designee shall notify the owner of such property by written notice which shall set forth the provisions of § 244-6 or 244-7, as applicable, the location of the property, and his order for such owner to comply with the provisions of § 244-6 or 244-7.

§ 244-9 Contents of notice; service.

[Amended 9-9-2003 by Ord. No. 03-25; 8-10-2004 by Ord. No. 04-19; 7-13-2010 by Ord. No. 10-24]
A. 
The notice referred to in § 244-8 shall specify the time, not less than 10 days, within which such owner shall comply with the order of the City Manager, or his designee, and the provisions of § 244-6 or § 244-7.
B. 
For owners of such property who reside in the City, the notice shall be served on them by delivering it to them in person; or if they are not found, by delivering the notice and giving information of its purpose to any family member, other than a temporary sojourner or guest, above the age of 16 years; or if neither the owners nor such a family member is found, by leaving the notice posted on the front door of the owners' usual place of abode.
[Amended 8-13-2013 by Ord. No. 13-15]
C. 
If an owner is not a City resident, service of such violation notice shall occur in one of the following ways:
[Amended 8-13-2013 by Ord. No. 13-15]
(1) 
By serving the owner personally;
(2) 
By serving the owner by certified mail, return receipt requested, at the owners last known address;
(3) 
By personally serving the agent of the owner. In addition, the owner shall be sent the notice by first-class mail at his last known address; or
(4) 
If service is not obtained pursuant to Subsection C(1), (2) or (3) above, serving by publishing the notice once in a newspaper having general circulation in the City. In addition, the notice shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner's test known address. Pursuant to §§ 244-10 and 244-11, the cost of the publication shall be chargeable to and paid by the owner.
D. 
As to any property with grass, weeds, or other foreign growth that exceeds 12 inches in height, the service of one written notice per growing season to the property owner of record constitutes reasonable notice; and no further notice need be provided to the owner during the growing season.
[Amended 8-13-2013 by Ord. No. 13-15]

§ 244-10 Failure to comply; removal by City.

[Amended 9-9-2003 by Ord. No. 03-25; 6-12-2007 by Ord. No. 07-7; 7-13-2010 by Ord. No. 10-24]
A. 
Upon the failure, neglect or refusal of those so notified as provided in this article to comply within the specified time with the provisions of §§ 244-6, 244-7 and 244-8, the City Manager or his designees may, at his sole discretion, cause such trash, garbage, refuse, rubbish, litter and other like substances which might endanger the health, comfort or general welfare of other residents of the City to be removed by the agents or employees of the City; or he may, at his sole discretion, cause to have removed, or cut and removed, by the agents or employees of the City all grass, weeds, or other foreign growth on developed or undeveloped property, whether vacant or occupied, that exceeds 12 inches in height, in which event the cost and expenses thereof shall be chargeable to and paid by the owners of such property. Upon completion of such removal, or cutting and removal, the City Manager or his designee shall transmit to the Director of Finance a statement of all costs or expenses incurred thereby, which shall be added to the taxes assessed against such property on which such removal, or cutting and removal, was made for the ensuing tax year and shall be collected with such taxes by any manner prescribed by law for the collection of City taxes.
[Amended 6-14-2016 by Ord. No. 16-20]
B. 
Instead of engaging in the enforcement action specified in this section, the City Manager or his designee may pursue the criminal penalties provided for in § 244-12 of this Code; or he may simultaneously pursue both the enforcement action specified in this section and the criminal penalties specified in § 244-12.

§ 244-11 Unpaid charges to constitute lien.

[Amended 6-12-2007 by Ord. No. 07-7; 7-13-2010 by Ord. No. 10-24]
Every charge made pursuant to the provisions of this article and which remains unpaid shall constitute a lien against such property, as provided by the applicable provisions of § 15.2-901 of the Code of Virginia.

§ 244-11.1 Exterior storage of objects and equipment.

[Amended 7-13-2010 by Ord. No. 10-24]
A. 
Except as provided herein, no person who owns or is in possession of, in charge of or in control of any property shall store, deposit, scatter or keep on the premises in any residential area any of the following: lumber, scrap metal, construction materials, machinery components, equipment, appliances, furniture not designed and intended for exterior use, or any similar object which is not clearly intended for outdoor use on the premises.
B. 
This section shall not apply to lumber, construction materials, or equipment which is intended for use within 30 days in construction or renovation on the premises. This section shall not apply to any lumber, construction materials, or equipment which is intended for use in construction or renovation on the premises for which there exists an active building permit.
C. 
This section shall not apply to any object in an enclosed building or so located upon the premises as not to be readily visible from any public place or street or adjacent property. This section shall not apply to any objects located in the rear yard of any premises in an area of no more than eight feet by eight feet by six feet in height and shielded from view by a covering.
D. 
The City Manager or his designee, upon observation or upon complaint that conditions exist on any real property in the City that violate this section, shall investigate the conditions existing upon such property. If as a result of such investigation the City Manager or his designee determines that the owner, occupant or person in charge of such property is in violation of this section, the City Manager, or his designee shall give written notice to the person found to be in violation specifying the nature of the violation and directing the person to take such action within the time specified in the notice, not less than 10 days, as shall be necessary to rectify the violation identified in the notice. Such notice may be given by certified mail to such person's last known address or it may be given as provided in § 244-9 herein.

§ 244-12 Criminal penalties for offenses.

[Amended 7-13-2010 by Ord. No. 10-24; 8-13-2013 by Ord. No. 13-15]
Every person who shall fail, refuse, or neglect to comply with the order of the City Manager or his designee, or who otherwise violates the provisions of this article, shall upon conviction thereof, be punished by the following fine:
A. 
First offense: $100;
B. 
Second offense: $200;
C. 
Third and subsequent offense: a minimum of $300 and a maximum of $500, at the Court's discretion.