1730.05  CORRECTION OF UNSAFE CONDITIONS.
   (a)   Upon a determination by the Code Enforcement Agency that a structure is unsafe, unsanitary, dangerous or detrimental to the public safety or welfare, the Town may take corrective action by causing it to be vacated, closed, removed or demolished either directly or by the use of third party agents, without either the agreement of the owner or a Court Order, pursuant to the following conditions:   
      (1)   The Code Enforcement Agency undertakes reasonable efforts to seek agreement from the owner;
      (2)   The corrective action may only be taken as to a dwelling, structure or building that is either:
         A.   Defined in Section 1730.02(d)(3), (5) or (8);
         B.   Defined in Section 1730.02(d)(6), (9) or (11), and
            i.   Is vacant, abandoned, or has been lawfully declared unfit for human habitation; and
            ii.   The reasonable estimated cost of repair, rehabilitation or corrective action exceeds the fair market value of the dwelling, building or structure.
      (3)   Prior to undertaking the correction, the Town will meet the following procedural requirements:
         A.   The Code Enforcement Agency shall produce a written notice containing a description of the real estate sufficient for identification, the date of the last inspection, the name of the inspector, a reasonable description of the unsafe, unsanitary, dangerous or detrimental condition(s), the corrective measures required, the allotted time to correct the substandard condition(s), a statement of the right to file a lien, a statement of the right to appeal to Board of Appeals under the State Building Code, and the allotted time the owner has to apply to the Circuit Court for a temporary injunction or other similar relief restraining action by the Enforcement Agency.
         B.   The notice shall be served upon the owner or landowner, by conspicuously posting and attaching a copy of the notice to the subject property, and by serving the notice on the owner or landowner in the same manner as service of a complaint as set forth in Section 1730.09(b).
         C.   If the Code Enforcement Agency cannot effect personal service on the owner, a Code Enforcement Agency Official shall subscribe a written affidavit, to be maintained for a minimum of two years, that demonstrates the structure, dwelling or building falls within one of the categories set forth in Section 1730.05(a)(2)A. or B. and sets forth the basis in reasonable detail including documentation of same, and memorializes the Code Enforcement Agency Official’s efforts to contact or get permission for entry and corrective action from the owner; and the Code Enforcement Agency shall publish notice of its intent to enter the property for the purpose of demolition or correction, along with the address of the property, the name of the owner(s), and the date of the proposed action, as a Class II legal advertisement consistent with the requirements of West Virginia Code Section 59-3-2, the first of which shall run at least thirty days before the date of the proposed action by the Code Enforcement Agency, and the last being no later than twenty days before the date of the proposed action by the Enforcement Agency.
         D.   If there is no response to the notice by the owner or landowner in the time specified in the notice, then the Town shall have the authority to proceed in correction or demolition of the subject dwelling, building or structure.
   (b)   It shall be an absolute defense to any civil action by an owner, landowner or tenant for damages resulting from the closure, demolition or other corrective action taken by the Town under this section that the Town followed the procedures set forth herein; provided, that the Town acted in good faith, can demonstrate that the structure, dwelling or building falls within one of the categories set forth in Section 1730.05(a)(2)A. or B., followed the procedures set forth in this section, and had adopted the State Building Code at the time the closure, demolition or other corrective action taken.  (Ord. 2018-1.  Passed 2-1-18.)