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(A) For the purposes of this section, PUBLIC NUISANCE shall mean any of the following criminal activity:
(1) Any contraband production contaminated premises.
(2) Any premises, other than hotels/motels, where law enforcement officers, on more than one occasion in the preceding 12-month period, where each such offense listed below begins a new 12 month period, have issued (i) an official incident report, or (ii) criminally or administratively cited, or (iii) arrested a person for any of the following violations:
(a) Prostitution and/or human trafficking offenses under KRS Chapter 529;
(b) Sexual offenses under KRS Chapter 510 with the exception of KRS 510.150;
(c) Gambling offenses under KRS Chapter 528;
(d) The sale or use of alcoholic beverages on or from either licensed or unlicensed premises;
(e) Misdemeanor or felony possession, trafficking, or manufacturing drug offenses under KRS Chapter 218A;
(f) Murder under KRS 507.020 and manslaughter under KRS 507.030 and KRS 507.040;
(g) Assault or related offenses under KRS Chapter 508;
(h) Theft offenses under KRS Chapter 514;
(i) Drug paraphernalia offenses as defined by KRS 218A.500 and KRS 218A.510; or
(j) Unlicensed massage therapy under KRS 309.353.
(3) Any hotel or motel where law enforcement officers, on at least five occasions per 100 rooms or units or less, and proportionally on a one offense to 20 room ratio for over 100 rooms or units thereafter in any 60 day period, where each such offense begins a new 60 day period, have issued either (i) an official incident report, or (ii) criminally or administratively cited, or (iii) arrested a person for any of the violations set forth in § 156.057(A)(2).
(B) Unlawful use of premises. No owner of residential, commercial or vacant property located in Louisville Metro shall allow his or her premises to be used as the site for any public nuisance, as defined in subsection (A) of this section. A legal or equitable owner of such premises is deemed to have knowledge of such activity upon receipt of the notice as set forth in this chapter.
(1) No person or owner shall destroy, remove or deface any order or notice posted by the Code Official.
(2) No person or owner shall disobey any order issued by the Code Official, or use or occupy or permit any other person to use or occupy any premises ordered closed by the Code Official.
(C) Duties of Government Agencies.
(1) Duties of law enforcement officers.
(a) Law enforcement agencies shall notify the Code Official in writing of any official incident reports, criminal citations, or arrests made in connection with criminal activities identified in subsection (A). Notification must be made within 30 days with details concerning the specific violation investigated, the address of the property on or in which the violations occurred, and the circumstances of the violation.
(b) Should law enforcement officer(s) have reason to believe that a property where no citations or arrests have occurred has been used for contraband production as defined in this chapter, the officer(s) shall immediately notify the Code Official and the local health department.
(2) Duties of local health department.
(a) Immediately upon receipt of a report that a contraband production contamination notice has been posted on a property and upon a finding by scientific testing that the property is contaminated with chemical residues as a result of contraband production, the Louisville Metro Public Heath and Wellness Department shall immediately notify the Code Official responsible for enforcement of this chapter by fax, mail, or email.
(b) Notification. In the instance of contraband production contamination of a property, the Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness Department shall notify the Code Official responsible for the enforcement of this chapter at the time of:
1. The demolition of the property; or
2. The receipt of certification of compliance with methamphetamine decontamination regulations from the appropriate certifying state agency. Any such notice to property owners shall be by certified mail return receipt requested.
(3) Duties of Code Enforcement and procedures for violations (in addition to the authority under § 156.801 et seq.).
(a) Notice. After an initial report from law enforcement of an offense contained in this chapter, the Code Official shall notify the owner of the property that further violations will constitute a public nuisance. Following a second report from law enforcement to the Code Official that a public nuisance exists in or upon residential, commercial or vacant property and a fifth report of a public nuisance in or upon a hotel or motel, the Code Official shall notify the owner that the property is a public nuisance and that the public nuisance must be abated. Such notice shall be provided per § 156.804.
(b) Citation and Order. Should the public nuisance not be fully abated at the time stated in the notice, the Code Official shall be authorized at any time thereafter to issue a citation and an order closing and vacating the premises to the extent necessary to abate the public nuisance. The Code Official may order a property to close and vacate for a reasonable period of time, but in no event shall the order 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 Official, pursuant to this subchapter is not an act of possession, ownership or control by the Metro Government. A citation and a close and vacate order will be rescinded within 14 days of full abatement unless such premises is the site of another close and vacate order within 60 days.
1. If the premises consist of multi-unit dwellings, apartment buildings or mixed uses and the public 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 public nuisance has occurred, and does not extend to any other unit in the premises. This provision is not applicable to hotels, motels, licensed boarding and lodging houses.
2. 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 chapter, and a copy shall be conspicuously posted on the property.
3. Any person or owner directly affected by an order of the Code Official may appeal to the Code Enforcement Board in accordance with § 32.283(F).
(c) Punitive actions. If any person or owner fails to comply with a citation and an order to close and vacate issued pursuant to this subsection, the Code Official may:
1. Discontinue the furnishing of utility service by Metro Government to the premises at which the nuisance exists;
2. Revoke the certificate of occupancy of the premises; or
3. Use any other legal remedy available under the laws of the state.
(d) Relief from order. The Code Official may vacate or suspend the provisions of an Order to close and vacate upon a showing by clear and convincing evidence that the public nuisance has been abated and will not be maintained or permitted in any unit of the premises.
(e) Pursuant to the provisions of KRS 65.8801 et seq. and in accordance with § 32.288, the Louisville Metro Government shall possess a lien against the property for all fines, penalties, charges, abatement costs, and fees imposed to abate the public nuisance.
(f) Owner’s rights.
1. Eviction as a defense. It shall be a defense to a violation of this section if the owner has instituted an eviction proceeding within 30 days against the offending tenants or occupants of the subject premises, and completes the eviction within 75 days of commencement or as soon thereafter as 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. In the case of multi-unit dwellings, apartment buildings or mixed uses, 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.
2. Other defenses. The Code Enforcement Board may consider evidence presented by any person or owner directly affected by a citation, notice of violation, or order regarding whether the owner knew or should have known of the violations and whether reasonable steps were taken to abate the violations by removing the offender, notifying police of the violation(s), and/or securing vacant property.
3. Abatement actions not in violation of law. Actions taken by an owner to abate a public nuisance as defined in this section shall not be deemed to be violations of Fair Housing or Landlord-Tenant laws.
(Jeff. Ord. 37-2002, adopted and effective 11-12-2002; Lou. Metro Am. Ord. No. 125-2007, approved 7-2-2007; Lou. Metro Am. Ord. No. 106-2008, approved 6-30-2008; Lou. Metro Am. Ord. No. 124-2009, approved 8-31-2009; Lou. Metro Am. Ord. No. 122-2011, approved 6-8-2011, effective 7-1-2011; Lou. Metro. Am. Ord. No. 181-2015, approved 10-26-2015; Lou. Metro Am. Ord. No. 200-2016, approved 11-29-2016, effective 12-31-2016; Lou. Metro Am. Ord. No. 113-2017, approved 6-22-2017; Lou. Metro Am. Ord. No. 199-2018, approved 11-12-2018)