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A. Abatement Required, Penalty: Any property owner or any occupant of property who allows a nuisance to exist shall be fined as in this Code provided; and any person who shall neglect to abate and remove such nuisance after notice thereof, shall for each twenty four (24) hours thereafter during which said nuisance continues, be subject to a like penalty as that originally incurred. (Ord. 3335, 2-11-1966; amd. Ord. 4255, 11-23-1977)
1. Any police officer or inspector of the City of Alton, upon observing any violation of this chapter upon any property in the City of Alton, may issue a notice directed to the owner of record of said property as disclosed in the Assessor's Office of the City of Alton, or to the occupant of said property as disclosed on the records of the City of Alton, or to both, which notice shall describe the violation and establish a reasonable time limit for the abatement thereof by such owner or occupant, which time limit shall not be less than two (2) days, nor more than ten (10) days after service of such notice.
2. A notice required above may be served by regular U.S. mail, postage prepaid, by service upon the person, or by posting the notice at a prominent location on the subject property. The City of Alton employee effectuating the service of notice shall note the date and time, if applicable, of said service. If the notice is mailed by regular U.S. mail, postage prepaid, the notice shall be presumed to be served three (3) days from and after the deposit of the notice in the U.S. postal service system. (Ord. 6928, 12-14-2005)
C. Citizen Complaint: Any citizen who observes a violation of this section may file his affidavit setting forth in detail the violation, its location and the name of the owner and occupant of the property of which such nuisance is alleged, and may file said affidavit with the Police Department of the City who shall assign an officer to investigate such charge; and if such nuisance exists, to issue a notice to the owner or occupant of the property as provided in subsection B of this section.
D. Failure To Abate: Immediately upon the termination of the time allowed in any such notice for the abatement of such nuisance, the police officer or building inspector who served such notice, or any other police officer who shall be assigned by the Police Department, shall investigate to determine whether or not such nuisance has been abated. In the event the owner or occupant of the property where such nuisance exists has failed within the prescribed time to abate such nuisance, then the police officer or building inspector who served such notice shall file a complaint charging violation of this section with the Circuit Court for the Third Judicial Circuit, or a Magistrate thereof, charging violation of this section and demanding that the owner of the property or the occupant thereof, or both, be punished as herein provided. (Ord. 3335, 2-11-1966; amd. Ord. 4380, 11-8-1978; Ord. 5503, 12-19-1990)
E. Lien For Removal Costs:
1. If the City incurs a removal cost under section 5-1-3 of this chapter, with respect to any underlying parcel, then that cost is a lien upon that underlying parcel. This lien is superior to all other liens and encumbrances, except tax liens and as otherwise provided in subsection E3 of this section.
2. To perfect a lien under this subsection, the City must, within one year after the removal cost is incurred, file notice of lien in the Office of the Recorder in Madison County, Illinois. The notice must consist of a sworn statement setting out:
a. A description of the underlying parcel that sufficiently identifies the parcel;
b. The amount of the removal cost; and
c. The date or dates when the removal cost was incurred by the City.
If, for any one parcel, the City engaged in any removal activity on more than one occasion during the course of one year, then the City may combine any or all of the costs of each of those activities into a single notice of lien.
3. A lien under this subsection is not valid as to: a) any purchaser whose rights in and to the underlying parcel arose after the removal activity but before the filing of the notice of lien; or b) any mortgagee, judgment creditor, or other lienor whose rights in and to the underlying parcel arose before the filing of the notice of lien.
4. The removal cost is not a lien on the underlying parcel unless a notice is personally served on, or sent by certified mail to, the person to whom was sent the tax bill for the general taxes on the property for the taxable year immediately preceding the removal activities. The notice must be delivered or sent after the removal activities have been performed, and must: a) state the substance of this subsection and the substance of any ordinance of the City implementing this subsection; b) identify the underlying parcel, by common description; and c) describe the removal activity.
5. A lien under this subsection may be enforced by proceedings to foreclose as in case of mortgages or mechanics' liens. An action to foreclose a lien under this subsection must be commenced within two (2) years after the date of filing notice of lien.
6. A failure to file a foreclosure action does not, in any way, affect the validity of the lien against the underlying parcel.
7. Upon payment of the lien cost by the owner of the underlying parcel after notice of lien has been filed, the City (or its agent) shall release the lien, and the release may be filed of record by the owner at his or her sole expense as in the case of filing notice of lien.
8. For the purpose of this section:
LIEN COST: The removal cost and the filing costs for any notice of lien under subsection E2 of this section.
REMOVAL ACTIVITY: Any activity for which a removal cost was incurred.
REMOVAL COST: The total cost of the removal activity and shall also include a fee of twenty five dollars ($25.00) due the City of Alton to recover a portion of the administrative costs associated with the requisite inspection and notice.
UNDERLYING PARCEL: A parcel of private property upon which a removal activity was performed.
YEAR: A three hundred sixty five (365) day period.
9. This subsection shall not apply to a lien filed prior to the effective date of this amendment. (Ord. 7363, 8-14-2013, eff. retroactive to 8-1-2013)
F. Penalty: Any person convicted of a violation of this section shall be fined as provided in section 1-4-1 of this Code, and, in addition, shall be required to pay the costs incurred by the City in so cutting, destroying, or removing any such nuisance. Every day that such violation is maintained or permitted to exist upon said premises shall constitute a separate offense. (Ord. 6076, 6-26-1996)
G. Inspection And Enforcement: It shall be the duty of the City to inspect for and enforce violations of this section as to all property, and to prosecute all complaints of violation of this chapter. (Ord. 3335, 2-11-1966; amd. Ord. 4380, 11-8-1978; Ord. 5503, 12-19-1990)