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(A) Meaning of certain words. The term “dwelling”, “dwelling unit”, “rooming unit” or “premises” shall be construed as though they were followed by the phrase “or any part thereof”.
(B) Definitions. For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
ACCEPTABLE or APPROVED. In compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
ACCESSORY STRUCTURE. A detached structure located on the same premises as the principal structure that is not used, nor intended to be used, for living or sleeping by human occupants.
ADJOINING GRADE. The elevation of the ground that extends three feet from the perimeter of the dwelling.
APPROVED. See ACCEPTABLE.
APPURTENANCE. That which is directly or indirectly connected or accessory to a building.
ATTIC. The part of a building immediately below the roof and wholly or partly within the roof framing and may or may not be habitable.
BASEMENT. A portion or story of a building, next below the first or main floor, which may or may not be considered habitable space.
BATH. A bathtub or shower stall connected with both hot and cold water lines.
BED AND BREAKFAST. See BOARDING HOUSE.
BOARDING HOUSE. Any structure or that part of a structure containing one or more rooming units or one or more dormitory rooms and further provides meals that are prepared and served at a central location.
BUILDING. Any structure built, used, designed or intended for the support, shelter, protection or enclosure of persons, animals, chattels or property of any kind.
CELLAR. A space below the first or main floor, used or intended to be used for storage, a location for heating and building maintenance equipment and shall not be considered habitable space.
CENTRAL HEATING SYSTEM. A single system supplying heat to one or more dwelling units or more than one rooming unit.
CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE. A document certifying that the unit for which it is issued was in compliance with the applicable sections of this chapter at the time of last inspection.
COMMUNAL. Used or shared by or intended to be used or shared by the occupants of two or more rooming units or two or more dwelling units.
CONDOMINIUM. A dwelling unit that is in compliance or conformance with the requirements of I.C.A. Ch. 499B.
COOPERATIVE. A dwelling unit that is in compliance or conformance with the requirements of I.C.A. Ch. 499A.
COURT. An unoccupied open space, other than a yard, on the same lot with a building and which is bordered on two or more sides by the building.
DINING ROOM. A habitable room used or intended to be used for the purpose of eating, but not for cooking or the preparation of meals.
DORMITORY. A room or group of rooms in a dwelling used or intended to be used for sleeping purposes by three or more persons per room.
DUPLEX. Any habitable structure containing two single-dwelling units. The classification shall be determined by the existence of two separate dwelling units, as defined in this chapter, and shall not be based upon the identity of the occupants.
DWELLING. Any building, structure or mobile home, except temporary housing, which is wholly or partly used or intended to be used for living or sleeping by human occupants and includes any appurtenances attached thereto.
DWELLING, MULTIPLE. See MULTIPLE DWELLING.
DWELLING, SINGLE-FAMILY. See SINGLE-FAMILY DWELLING.
DWELLING UNIT. Any room or group of adjoining rooms located within a structure and forming a single habitable unit with facilities that are used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking, eating and sanitation.
EGRESS. An exit and also means an alternate route that provides reasonable safety for emergency exiting.
EMERGENCY. A life or health threatening condition or failure within or around a residential premises which requires immediate attention; a condition arising from actual or imminent failure and resulting in a substantial health or safety hazard to occupants or in substantial hazard to a dwelling. Failure that can create an EMERGENCY includes, but is not limited to, the following: structural collapse or failure; flood; fire; inflows of ground waters, drainage or surface waters; failure of a supplied utility such as electricity, gas, water, sewage, heat, but not cooling.
EXIT. A continuous and unobstructed means of egress to a public way and includes intervening doors, doorways, corridors, exterior-exit balconies, ramps, stairways, smoke-proof enclosures, horizontal exits, exit passageways, exit courts, walkways, sidewalks and yards.
EXTERMINATION. The control and elimination of insects, rodents or other pests by eliminating their harborage places; by removing or making inaccessible materials that may serve as their food; by poisoning, spraying, fumigating, trapping; or by any other recognized and legal pest elimination methods approved by the local or state authority having such administrative authority.
FAMILY. One or more persons each related to the other by blood, marriage, adoption, legal guardianship or as foster parent-children who are occupying a dwelling unit as one housekeeping organization and also includes not more than five persons not so related, or not more than eight emotionally or developmentally disabled or brain damaged persons along with persons providing for their care and occupying a dwelling unit as one housekeeping organization. The term FAMILY may include domestic servants residing with the FAMILY.
GARBAGE. Animal or vegetable waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking or consumption of food, including, but not limited to, food waste, plastic containers, tin cans, glass bottles and paper products.
GARBAGE CONTAINER. Any container that is in compliance or conformance with the requirements of Ch. 50 of this code of ordinances.
HABITABLE ROOM. A room or enclosed floor space within a dwelling unit or rooming unit, used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking or eating purposes, excluding bathrooms, kitchenettes, toilet rooms, pantries, laundries, foyers, communicating corridors, closets, storage spaces, stairways and recreation rooms.
HOUSING INSPECTOR. The official designated by the City Administrator with approval of the City Council to be responsible for the enforcement of this chapter and such other city employees, regardless of department, as have been trained in conducting inspections or parts of inspections.
INFESTATION. The presence, within or around a dwelling, of any insects, rodents or other pests, in such quantities as would be considered unsanitary.
KITCHEN. A room used or intended to be used for the storage and preparation of food and may contain facilities for the eating of meals.
KITCHEN SINK. A basin for washing utensils used for cooking, eating and drinking, located in a kitchen or kitchenette and connected to both hot and cold water lines.
KITCHENETTE. An area used solely for the storage and preparation of food.
LAVATORY. A hand-washing basin connected to both hot and cold water lines, which is separate and distinct from a kitchen sink.
LIVING ROOM. A habitable room within a dwelling unit that is used or intended to be used primarily for general living purposes.
MOBILE HOME. Any vehicle without motive power used or so manufactured or constructed as to permit its being used as a conveyance upon the public streets and highways and so designed, constructed or reconstructed as will permit the vehicle to be used as a place for human habitation by one or more persons.
MULTIPLE DWELLING. Any dwelling containing three or more dwelling units or three or more rooming units or three or more of any combination thereof.
OCCUPANT. Any person living in, sleeping in and/or cooking in or having actual possession of a dwelling unit or a rooming unit.
OPERATOR. Any person who is the agent of an owner who rents to another or has custody or control of a building or parts thereof in which dwelling units or rooming units are let or who has custody or control of the premises as a guardian, executor, receiver, administrator or other similar assignee.
OWNER. Any person who has custody and/or control of the dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit by virtue of legal or equitable title to such dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit.
PERSON. Any individual, firm, corporation, association, partnership, trust or estate.
PLACARD. A display document showing that the unit for which it is issued has been determined to be unfit for human habitation.
PLUMBING/MECHANICAL. Any or all of the following supplied or required facilities and equipment: gas pipes; gas-burning equipment; water pipes; garbage disposal units; waste pipes; toilets; sinks; lavatories; bathtubs; shower baths; water heating devices; catch basins; drains; vents and any other similar supplied or required fixtures, together with all connections to water, sewer or gas services.
PREMISES. A lot, plot or parcel of land including any buildings and/or accessory structures thereon.
PRIVACY. The existence of conditions that will permit a person to carry out an activity without interruption or interference by unwanted persons.
PROPERLY CONNECTED. Connected in accordance with the applicable city codes and ordinances; provided, however, that, the application of this definition shall not require the alteration or replacement of any connection in good and safe working condition.
PUBLIC WAY. Any sidewalk, street, alley, highway or other thoroughfare established for travel by vehicles or persons and open or available for use by the general public or private ownership.
RECREATION ROOM. A room used primarily for general recreation purposes. This room shall be in addition to the minimum space and facility requirements for a dwelling unit or rooming unit.
REFUSE. Waste material, except human or animal waste, such as garbage, rubbish, rags, lawn trimmings, cold ashes and dead animals.
REFUSE CONTAINER. A container intended for the temporary storage of refuse, which is constructed of a durable material, with at least one opening which is supplied with a tight-fitting cover, and is reasonably weather-proof and rodent-proof.
RENTAL PROPERTY. Any dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit which is being held out or being offered for rent or is currently being let for rent and/or occupied by any person who is not related to the owner of the premises, except, during the period that such rental property is being held out or offered for rent, all sections of this chapter shall be applicable relating to inspections, but the owner or operator of such property shall not be in violation of the other requirements of this chapter if the requirements are corrected prior to the rental and occupancy of the rental unit unless the violations are affecting the health, safety and welfare of the occupants of other rental units.
ROOMER. An occupant of a rental rooming unit or an occupant of a rental dwelling unit who is not a member of the family occupying the dwelling unit.
ROOMING UNIT. Any room or group of adjoining rooms located within a dwelling and forming a single habitable unit with facilities which are used or intended to be used primarily for living and sleeping. A ROOMING UNIT shall have bath and toilet facilities available for use by the occupants or for communal use in accordance with § 152.023 of this chapter and, in addition, may have kitchen and dining facilities provided within the building available for use by the occupants therein.
ROOMING HOUSE. Any structure or that part of any structure containing one or more rental rooming units or one or more dormitory rooms.
RUBBISH. Inorganic waste material consisting of combustible and/or non-combustible materials.
RULES AND REGULATIONS. Those administrative policies and procedures adopted by the Housing Code Administrator for the efficient and effective management of housing inspection functions.
SAFE. The condition of being reasonably free from danger and hazards that may cause accidents or disease.
SINGLE-FAMILY DWELLING. A structure containing one dwelling unit.
STORY. The portion of a building included between the upper surface of any floor and the upper surface of the floor next above; except that, the topmost STORY shall be that portion of a building included between the upper surface of the topmost floor and the ceiling or roof above. If the finished floor level directly above a basement or unused under-floor space is more than six feet above grade, as defined in this chapter, for more than 50% of the total perimeter or is more than 12 feet above grade as defined in this chapter at any point, such basement or unused under-floor space shall be considered as a STORY.
SUBSTANDARD HOUSING. Any rental unit or portion thereof, including any dwelling unit, guestroom or suite of rooms or the premises on which such is located, in which there exists any of the following listed conditions to an extent that endangers the life, limb, health, property, safety or welfare of the public or the occupants thereof:
(a) Substandard conditions shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
1. Lack of or improper water closet, lavatory, bathtub or shower;
2. Lack of or improper kitchen sink;
3. Lack of hot and cold running water to plumbing fixtures;
4. Lack of adequate heating facilities;
5. Lack of or improper operation of required ventilating equipment;
6. Lack of minimum amounts of natural light and ventilation required by this chapter;
7. Room and space dimensions less than required by this chapter;
8. Lack of required electrical lighting;
9. Dampness of habitable rooms;
10. Infestation of insects, vermin or rodents as determined by the Health Officer;
11. General dilapidation or improper maintenance;
12. Lack of connection to the required sewage disposal system; and/or
13. Lack of adequate garbage and rubbish storage and removal facilities as determined by the Health Officer.
(b) Structural hazards shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
1. Deteriorated or inadequate foundations;
2. Defective or deteriorated flooring or floor supports;
3. Flooring or floor supports of insufficient size to carry imposed loads with safety;
4. Members of walls, partitions or other vertical supports that split, lean, list or buckle due to defective material or deterioration;
5. Members of walls, partitions or other vertical supports that are of insufficient size to carry imposed loads with safety;
6. Members of ceilings, roofs, ceiling and roof supports or other horizontal members that sag, split or buckle due to defective material or deterioration;
7. Members of ceilings, roofs, ceiling and roof supports or other horizontal members that are of insufficient size to carry imposed loads with safety;
8. Fireplaces or chimneys which list, bulge or settle due to defective material or deterioration; and/or
9. Fireplaces or chimneys that are of insufficient size or strength to carry imposed loads with safety.
(c) HAZARDOUS WIRING shall mean all wiring, except that which conformed to all applicable laws in effect at the time of installation and which has been maintained in good condition and is being used in a safe manner.
(d) HAZARDOUS PLUMBING shall mean all plumbing, except that which conformed with all applicable laws in effect at the time of installation and which has been maintained in good condition and which is free of cross connections and siphonage between fixtures.
(e) HAZARDOUS MECHANICAL EQUIPMENT shall mean all mechanical equipment, including vents, except that which conformed to all applicable laws in effect at the time of installation and which has been maintained in good and safe condition.
(f) Faulty weather protection shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
1. Deteriorated, crumbling or loose plaster;
2. Deteriorated or ineffective water-proofing of exterior walls, roofs, foundations or floors, including broken windows or doors;
3. Defective or lack of weather protection for exterior wall coverings including lack of paint, or weathering due to lack of paint or other approved protective covering; and/or
4. Broken, rotted, split or buckled exterior wall coverings.
(g) FIRE HAZARD shall mean any building or portion thereof, device, apparatus, equipment, combustible waste or vegetation which, in the opinion of the Chief of the Fire Department, is in such condition as to cause a fire or explosion or provide a ready fuel to augment the spread and intensity of fire or explosion arising from any cause.
(h) FAULTY MATERIALS OF CONSTRUCTION shall mean all materials of construction except those which are specifically allowed or approved by this chapter and the Building Code and which have been adequately maintained in good and safe condition.
(i) HAZARDOUS OR UNSANITARY PREMISES shall mean those premises on which an accumulation of weeds, vegetation, junk, dead organic matter, debris, garbage, offal, rat harborages, stagnant water, flammable or combustible materials and similar materials or conditions which constitute fire, health or safety hazards.
(j) INADEQUATE MAINTENANCE shall mean any building or portion thereof that is determined to be an unsafe building in accordance with the city’s Building Code.
(k) INADEQUATE EXITS shall mean all buildings or portions thereof not provided with adequate exit facilities as required by this chapter, except those buildings or portions thereof whose exit facilities conformed with all applicable laws at the time of their construction and which have been adequately maintained and increased in relation to any increase in occupant load, alteration or addition or any change in occupancy. When an unsafe condition exists through lack of or improper location of exits, additional exits may be required to be installed.
(l) INADEQUATE FIRE PROTECTION OR FIREFIGHTING EQUIPMENT shall mean all buildings or portions thereof which are not provided with the fire resistive construction or fire extinguishing systems or equipment required by this chapter, except those buildings or portions thereof which conformed with all applicable laws at the time of their construction and whose fire resistive integrity and fire extinguishing systems or equipment have been adequately maintained and improved in relation to any increase in occupant load, alteration or addition or any change in occupancy.
(m) IMPROPER OCCUPANCY shall mean all buildings or portions thereof occupied for living, sleeping, cooking or dining purposes that were not designed or intended to be used for such occupancies.
SUPPLIED. Paid for, furnished by, provided by or under the control of the owner or operator.
TEMPORARY HOUSING. Any tent, trailer, motor home or other structure used for human shelter which is designed to be transportable and which is not attached to the ground, to another structure or to any utilities system on the same premises for more than 30 days.
TOILET. A water closet, with a bowl and a trap made in one piece, which is of such shape and form and which holds a sufficient quantity of water so that no fecal matter will collect on the surface of the bowl and which is equipped with a flushing rim.
VARIANCE. A difference between that which is required or specified and that which is permitted.
(2013 Code, § 15.5-4) (Ord. 14437, passed 8-23-1993)