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(a) There is hereby established a Demolition Board of Appeal (the "Board") which shall be comprised of the Municipal Engineer, the Chief of the Fire Department and the Zoning Administrator. The Municipal Engineer shall be the Chairman of the Board. In the event any such officer is unable to attend, a designee from his or her department may act on his or her behalf. Two members shall constitute a quorum of the Board and all actions taken by the Board must be by a majority of the members.
(b) The owners or parties in interest may make immediate application in writing or in person to the Building Inspector for a building permit to undertake the repair or replacement of the dangerous building or structure. The Building Inspector, upon being furnished by the owners or parties in interest with the complete plans and specifications covering the repairs or replacements, in conformity with the ordinances of the municipality, shall, upon approval of the plans and specifications, cause a building permit to be issued to the owners or parties in interest. The Building Inspector may grant more than 30 days to the owners or parties in interest in which to safely secure and make generally safe the building or structure so that plans for repairs and/or replacements may be created and submitted to the Building Inspector to secure a permit and proceed with work as approved to correct the building code violations.
(c) The owners or parties in interest may, within 14 days after the action notice is given pursuant to Subsection 1468.04(c), appeal such action notice by making a demand in writing to the Municipal Engineer for a hearing before the Board on the questions of whether in fact a dangerous building exists as defined by Section 1468.02, and/or whether more time than permitted in the action notice should be granted to the owners or parties in interest to abate the dangerous building.
(d) A hearing requested pursuant to division (c) of this section shall be held within 14 days from the receipt of the written demand, and at least five days' notice of the hearing shall be given to the owners or parties in interest. The obligation to take the actions required by the action notice shall be delayed until the Board renders its decision or until the appeal is dismissed. The hearing shall be conducted by the Board as set forth herein. If the decision of the Building Inspector is appealed, the Board must determine that a dangerous building exists, as defined by Section 1468.02, before enforcement of the abatement is executed. The Board may affirm, amend or modify the action notice or extend the time for compliance by the owners or parties in interest with parts of the abatement by such date or dates as the Board may determine.
(e) In a hearing shall permit the owners or parties in interest to appear and be heard in person, or an attorney, and present the position, arguments, and contentions of the owners or parties in interest; offer and examine witnesses and present evidence in support; cross-examine witnesses purporting to refute the position of the owners or parties in interest, arguments, and contentions; offer evidence to refute evidence and testimony offered in opposition to the position, arguments, and contentions of the owners or parties in interest; and proffer any such evidence into the record. All testimony during the hearing shall be given under oath or affirmation, which may be administered by any member of the Board.
(f) The Board may subpoena witnesses and require the production of records in accordance with Chapter 268 of the Codified Ordinances.
(g) The Board shall make written findings of fact from the testimony offered as to whether or not the building in question is a dangerous building within the terms of Section 1468.02. The owners or parties in interest shall be promptly notified of the decision of the Board in the manner provided for in Section 1468.06. The decision of the Board shall be final and conclusive, unless the owners or parties in interest shall timely file, after notice of the aforesaid decision is effectuated, an action in or appeal to a court of competent jurisdiction pursuant to Ohio R.C. Chapter 2506; otherwise the same shall become final and conclusive at the termination of such action or appeal proceeding as determined by such court.
(h) The Board shall issue an order based upon findings of fact made pursuant to division (e) of this section. If the Board finds that the building in question is a dangerous building within the provisions of Section 1468.02, then such order shall require the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee, agent and all other persons having an interest in such building as shown by the land records of the Recorder of Lorain County or the tax records of the Auditor of Lorain County, to repair, vacate or demolish such building.
(i) If an appeal to the Board was not made and the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessor or lessee or other interested party fails to comply with the action notice within 30 days (or such longer period of time as may have been granted therein) from the date the action notice was given, or the appeal dismissed, or if a hearing before the Board was held and the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessor or lessee fails to comply with the order of the Board within the time specified therein, then the Building Inspector shall cause such building or structure to be repaired, vacated or demolished as such circumstances may warrant, under the standards provided for in Section 1468.02, and shall, with the assistance of the Director of Law, cause the costs of such repair, vacation or demolition to be charged against the land on which the building existed as a municipal lien, or cause such costs to be added to the tax duplicate as an assessment or to be levied as a special tax against the land upon which the building stands or did stand, or to be recovered in a suit at law against the owner. In cases where such procedure is desirable and any delay thereby caused will not be dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of the people of the municipality, the Building Inspector may request the Director of Law to take legal action to force the owner to make all necessary repairs or demolish the building.
(Ord. 32-2013. Passed 3-25-13; Ord. 68-2015. Passed 6-8-15.)