50.06   ABATEMENT OF NUISANCE BY WRITTEN NOTICE.
Any nuisance, public or private, may be abated in the manner provided for in this section:
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12[3h])
1.   Contents of Notice to Property Owner.  The notice to abate shall contain: 3  
   A.   Description of Nuisance.  A description of what constitutes the nuisance.
   B.   Location of Nuisance.  The location of the nuisance.
   C.   Acts Necessary to Abate.  A statement of the act or acts necessary to abate the nuisance.
   D.   Reasonable Time.  A reasonable time within which to complete the abatement.
   E.   Assessment of City Costs.  A statement that if the nuisance or condition is not abated as directed and no request for hearing is made within the time prescribed, the City will abate it and assess the costs against the property owner.
2.   Method of Service.  The notice may be in the form of an ordinance or sent by certified mail to the property owner.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12[3h])
3.   Request for Hearing.  Any person ordered to abate a nuisance may have a hearing with the Council as to whether a nuisance exists.  A request for a hearing must be made in writing and delivered to the Clerk within the time stated in the notice, or it will be conclusively presumed that a nuisance exists and it must be abated as ordered.  The hearing will be before the Council at a time and place fixed by the Council.  The findings of the Council shall be conclusive and, if a nuisance is found to exist, it shall be ordered abated within a reasonable time under the circumstances.
4.   Abatement in Emergency.  If it is determined that an emergency exists by reason of the continuing maintenance of the nuisance or condition, the City may perform any action that may be required under this chapter without prior notice.  The City shall assess the costs as provided in subsection 6 of this section after notice to the property owner under the applicable provisions of subsection 1 and 2, and the hearing as provided in subsection 3.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12[3h])
5.   Abatement by City.  If the person notified to abate a nuisance or condition neglects or fails to abate as directed, the City may perform the required action to abate, keeping an accurate account of the expense incurred.  The itemized expense account shall be filed with the Clerk, who shall pay such expenses on behalf of the City.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12[3h])
6.   Collection of Costs.  The Clerk shall send a statement of the total expense incurred by certified mail to the property owner who has failed to abide by the notice to abate, and if the amount shown by the statement has not been paid within one month, the Clerk shall certify the costs to the County Treasurer and such costs shall then be collected with, and in the same manner as, general property taxes.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12[3h])
7.   Installment Payment of Cost of Abatement.  If the amount expended to abate the nuisance or condition exceeds $500.00, the City may permit the assessment to be paid in up to 10 annual installments, to be paid in the same manner and with the same interest rates provided for assessments against benefited property under State law.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.13)
8.   Failure to Abate.  Any person causing or maintaining a nuisance who shall fail or refuse to abate or remove the same within the reasonable time required and specified in the notice to abate is in violation of this Code of Ordinances.

 

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EDITOR’S NOTE:  A suggested form of notice for the abatement of nuisances is included in the Appendix of this Code of Ordinances.  Caution is urged in the use of this administrative abatement procedure, particularly where cost of abatement is more than minimal or where there is doubt as to whether or not a nuisance does in fact exist.  If compliance is not secured following notice and hearings, we recommend you review the situation with your attorney before proceeding with abatement and assessment of costs.  Your attorney may recommend proceedings in court under Chapter 657 of the Code of Iowa rather than this procedure.