Skip to code content (skip section selection)
(a) Dangerous Dwellings. All dwellings or parts thereof which have any of the following defects shall be deemed dangerous dwellings and shall be condemned as unfit for human habitation:
(1) Dwellings whose interior or exterior bearing walls or other vertical structural members list, lean or buckle to such an extent as to weaken the structural support they provide;
(2) Dwellings which, exclusive of the foundation, show thirty-three percent or more damage or deterioration of the supporting member or members, or fifty percent or more damage or deterioration of the nonsupporting enclosing or outside walls or coverings;
(3) Dwellings which have improperly distributed loads upon the floors or roofs, or in which the same are overloaded, or which have insufficient strength to be reasonably safe for the purpose used;
(4) Dwellings which have been damaged by fire, wind or other causes so as to no longer provide shelter from the elements, and which have become dangerous to life, safety, morals or the general health and welfare of the occupants of such dwellings or of the residents of the Village;
(5) Dwellings which have become dilapidated, decayed, unsafe, unsanitary or vermin-infested, or which utterly fail to provide the facilities essential to decent living, and which are likely to cause sickness, disease or injury to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of persons living therein or of the people at large;
(6) Dwellings lacking light, air and sanitation facilities as required by these Codified Ordinances to protect the health, morals, safety or general welfare of persons who live or may live therein;
(7) Dwellings lacking facilities required by these Codified Ordinances for egress in case of fire or panic, or dwellings having insufficient stairways, elevators, fire escapes or other means of communication required by these Codified Ordinances; or
(8) Dwellings which have parts thereof which are so attached that they may fall or injure occupants, the public or property.
All dangerous dwellings or parts thereof, as set forth in this subsection, are hereby declared to be public nuisances and shall be vacated, repaired or demolished as hereinafter provided.
(b) Review Board; Notice of Hearing. The Village Review Board, hereinafter referred to as the Board, shall consist of the Village Building Inspector, the Mayor, one member from Council appointed by Council, and the Fire Chief. If the Fire Chief is unable to perform with respect to this section, then the Assistant Fire Chief shall be a member of the Board. The Board shall examine or cause to be examined every building or structure or portion thereof reported as, or believed to be, a dangerous dwelling as defined in subsection (a) hereof. The Board shall give written notice to the owner or owners of record, including any purchasers under a land contract, all holders of legal or equitable liens of record and the persons occupying such building, if they are not the owners thereof. Such written notice shall specifically state the defects that cause the building to be dangerous. The notice shall state that a hearing will be held before the Board at a place therein fixed, not less than ten days nor more than thirty days after the serving of the notice, that the owner and parties in interest may file an answer to the complaint and appear in person, or otherwise, and give testimony at the place and time fixed in the notice, and that the rules of evidence prevailing in courts of law or equity shall not be controlling in hearings before the public officer.
(c) Order to Repair or Demolish. If, after the notice and hearing, the Board determines that the structure under consideration is unfit for human habitation, occupancy or use, or is an unsafe building, the Board shall state in writing its findings of fact in support of such determination and shall issue and cause to be served upon the owner and all holders of legal or equitable liens of record thereof, an order requiring the owner:
(1) Within the time specified in the order, to repair, alter or improve the structure to render it fit for human habitation, occupancy or use, or, at the option of the owner, to vacate and close the structure if the repair, alteration or improvement of the structure can be made at a cost that is not more than fifty percent of the value of the structure; or
(2) Within the time specified in the order, to remove or demolish the structure if the repair, alteration or improvement of the structure cannot be made at a cost that is not more than fifty percent of the value of the structure.
(d) Service of Order. Proper service of the order shall be by personal service, residence service or registered mail, provided, however, that such order shall be deemed to be properly served if a copy thereof is sent by registered mail to the last known address of the owner of record. If any of the parties cannot be located, nor his or her address be ascertained, the order shall be deemed to be properly served if a copy thereof is placed in a conspicuous place in or about the building or structure affected by the order. If such order is by registered mail, the period within which the owner is required to comply with the order of the Board shall begin as of the date he or she received it.
(e) Posting of Signs. The Board shall cause to be posted at each entrance to such building a sign to read: "DO NOT ENTER. UNSAFE TO OCCUPY. VILLAGE OF HICKSVILLE, OHIO." Such sign shall remain posted until the required repairs are made or demolition is completed. No person shall remove such sign without the permission of the Board nor shall any person enter the building except for the purpose of making the required repairs or of demolishing the same.
(f) Permits. In all cases of construction or repair, pursuant to orders of the Board, permits covering such work shall be obtained as required by these Codified Ordinances.
(g) Right to Demolish. In case the owner of record, or the purchaser under a land contract, if that is the case, shall fail, neglect or refuse to comply with the order to repair, rehabilitate or demolish and remove such building or structure, or portion thereof, such party, either the owner of record or the purchaser under a land contract, shall be subject to the penalty provided in subsection (j) hereof. Further, the Board shall proceed to have the building or structure, or portion thereof, demolished and removed from the premises, leaving the premises in a clean, safe and sanitary condition. The cost of such work shall be paid by the Village. If the Village is not immediately reimbursed for such cost, the amount thereof shall be certified to the County Treasurer, levied as a special assessment against the property on which the building or structure is located, and collected in the manner provided in Ohio R.C. 715.261. The remedies provided in this subsection shall be in addition to the penalty provided in subsection (j) hereof.
(h) Unsafe Conditions; Reports. Any owner, manager, lessee or occupant of a building who discovers, or who has reason to believe, that there exists, on the premises, a condition which may endanger other property or the life or limb of any person, and that such condition cannot be immediately remedied so as to remove any danger therefrom, shall, within twenty-four hours after such discovery, report the existence of such dangerous condition to the Board, which shall forthwith take such steps as may be necessary to protect the public safety and welfare. If the Board cannot be located, such report shall be made to the Mayor. No person who is an owner, manager, lessee, or occupant of a building in or on which such a dangerous condition exists, and who knows or should know of such dangerous condition, shall fail to make such report to either the Board or the Mayor within twenty-four hours after such knowledge is obtained or should have been obtained.
(i) Appeals. Any person who feels aggrieved by any order or finding under this section may appeal the same to Council by filing with the Clerk of Council a written notice of appeal setting forth the grounds therefor. Such appeal shall be filed within twenty days of receipt of the order described in subsection (c) hereof. The appeal shall then be heard by Council within fifteen days of such filing. Council, after the hearing, may alter, revoke or amend any order or finding previously issued.
(j) Penalty. Whoever violates any of the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.
(Ord. 94-11. Passed 9-6-94.)