§ 94.08  CRIMINAL ACTIVITY AS A PUBLIC NUISANCE.
   (A)   Definitions. For the purpose of this section, the definitions are as set forth herein, or if not established herein, then as defined in § 94.02 of this code.
      (1)   “CRIMINAL ACTIVITY NUISANCE.” Any building or premises where law enforcement officers have, on more than one occasion in the preceding 12-month period, cited or arrested persons for crimes involving prostitution, controlled substances, disorderly conduct, alcohol intoxication, menacing, assault, terroristic threatening, resisting arrest, or gambling, or have executed court-issued search warrants for crimes involving prostitution, controlled substances, disorderly conduct or gambling.
      (2)   “CRIMINAL NUISANCE VIOLATION.” A criminal citation, arrest, or court-issued search warrant for crimes involving prostitution, controlled substances, alcohol intoxication, menacing, assault, terroristic threatening, resisting arrest, or gambling.
   (B)   Unlawful use of property. No owner of residential, commercial, or vacant property located in the city shall allow his or her property to be used as the site for any criminal activity nuisance after having received notice pursuant to this code that the property has been used for the commission of a criminal activity nuisance. A legal or equitable owner of such property is deemed to have knowledge of such activity upon receipt of the notice as set forth in this code.
   (C)   Destroying orders or notices. No person or owner shall destroy, remove, or deface any order or notice posted by the Code Enforcement Department or officer.
   (D)   Disobeying orders. No person or owner shall disobey any order issued by the Code Enforcement Department, or use or occupy or permit any other person to use or occupy any premises ordered closed by the Code Enforcement Officer.
   (E)   Duty of Police Department. The city police shall, as soon as possible but not less than every thirty (30) days after criminally citing or arresting persons or executing court-issued search warrants for crimes involving prostitution, controlled substances, or outdoor gambling, notify the Code Enforcement Department or officer in writing of the specific violation investigated, the address of the property on or in which the violation occurred, and the circumstances of the violation. After the police notify the Code Enforcement Department or officer of a criminal nuisance violation at a property for the first time, the Code Enforcement Department or officer shall notify the owner of the property of such violation by regular U.S. mail.
   (F)   Duty of Police Department. The city police shall, as soon as possible but not less than every thirty (30) days after criminally citing or arresting persons or executing court-issued search warrants for crimes involving prostitution, controlled substances, or outdoor gambling, notify the Code Enforcement Department or officer in writing of the specific violation investigated, the address of the property on or in which the violation occurred, and the circumstances of the violation. After the police notify the Code Enforcement Department or officer of a criminal nuisance violation at a property for the first time, the Code Enforcement Department or officer shall notify the owner of the property of such violation by regular U.S. mail.
   (G)   Abatement.
      (1)   Should the criminal activity nuisance not be abated at the time stated in the notice, or by any extension granted by the city or its agencies, the Code Enforcement Department or officer shall be authorized at any time thereafter to issue an order closing and vacating the premises, or portions thereof, to the extent necessary to abate the criminal activity nuisance. Such closing and vacating shall be for such period as the code enforcement officer reasonably may direct, but in no event shall the closing and vacating be for a period of more than one year from the date of the closing. A close and vacate order issued by the code enforcement officer pursuant to this section is not an act of possession, ownership, or control by the city. A close and vacate order will be rescinded within fourteen (14) days after the criminal activity nuisance is abated unless such premises is the site of repeated close and vacate orders.
      (2)   If the premises consist of multi-unit dwellings or mixed uses and the criminal activity nuisance has occurred solely within a unit or units, the authority to close and vacate is restricted to the unit or units in which the criminal activity nuisance has occurred, and does not extend to any other unit in the premises.
      (3)   Upon the issuance of any order provided for in this section, a copy of the order shall be served on the owner of the property in the same manner as the notice provided for in this code, and a copy shall be conspicuously posted on the property.
      (4)   If any person or owner fails to comply with an order to close and vacate issued pursuant to this section, the code enforcement officer may:
         (a)   Prohibit the furnishing of utility service, including but not limited to gas, electric, water, and heating oil, to the premises by any public utility holding a franchise to use the streets and public ways of the city;
         (b)   Revoke the certificate or occupancy of the premises or the occupational license of a business; or
         (c)   Use any other legal remedy available under the laws of the state.
      (5)   Pursuant to the provisions or KRS 381.770(6) - (8), the city shall possess a lien against the property for all fines, penalties, charges, and fees imposed and for the reasonable value of labor and materials used to abate the public nuisance. This lien shall accrue interest and be superior to and have priority over all other liens on the property except taxes and may be enforced by judicial proceeding.
   (H)   Eviction as a defense.
      (1)   It shall be a defense to a violation of this section if the owner has instituted an eviction proceeding within thirty (30) days against the offending tenant or occupants of the offending premises, and the owner completes the eviction within seventy-five (75) days of commencement or as soon thereafter as the court procedures allow. In the event that judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings prohibit an owner from proceeding with an eviction, abatement of the public nuisance by eviction will be stayed until the judicial or quasi-judicial proceeding is resolved.
      (2)   In the case of multi-unit dwellings, the only parties necessary to name in an eviction proceeding are the occupants of the actual unit involved with the activity suspected, or the occupants suspected of the activity described in the notice.
   (I)   Relief from order. The code enforcement officer may vacate or suspend the provision of an order to close and vacate upon a showing by clear and convincing evidence that the criminal activity nuisance has been abated and will not be maintained or permitted in any unit of the premises.
   (J)   Abatement actions not in violation of law. Actions taken by an owner to abate a criminal activity nuisance shall not be deemed to be violations of Fair Housing or Landlord-Tenant laws.
   (K)   Other remedies available. Enforcement of this section does not impair or restrict the ability of the city to bring a separate action to revoke the occupational license of a landlord or business who allows a criminal activity nuisance to exist on the landlord's property or to bring an action before the Code Enforcement Board for the imposition of civil fines, as set forth in § 94.99. No civil fines will be assessed by the Code Enforcement Board until after notice is sent pursuant to division (F) of this section or if an eviction proceeding has been instituted pursuant to division (H) of this section.
(Ord. 1742-2017, passed 9-12-17)  Penalty, see § 94.99