674.01  CRIMINAL ACTIVITY NUISANCES.
   (a)   Activities Defined as a Public Nuisance.  The following activities occurring on residential property, and engaged in by an owner, occupant or invitee of the owner or occupant of residential property, are hereby declared to be public nuisances:
      (1)   Any animal violations under Sections 618.01 (dogs and other animals running at large), 618.015 (dangerous dogs), 618.03 (killing or injuring animals), 618.04 (poisoning animals), 618.05 (cruelty to animals, cruelty to companion animals) of the Codified Ordinances or similar State of Ohio statutes;
      (2)   Any disorderly conduct, disturbance of the peace or other violation of Chapter 648 of the Codified Ordinances or similar State of Ohio statutes;
      (3)   Any drug abuse violation under Chapter 624 of the Codified Ordinances or similar State of Ohio statutes;
      (4)   Any gambling violation under Chapter 630 of the Codified Ordinances or similar State of Ohio statutes;
      (5)   Any health, safety, or sanitation violation under Chapter 660 of the Codified Ordinances or similar State of Ohio statutes;
      (6)   Any obstruction of official business violation under Section 608.06 of the Codified Ordinances or similar State of Ohio statutes;
      (7)   Any alcohol violations under Chapter 612 of the Codified Ordinances or similar State of Ohio statutes;
      (8)   Any sex offenses under Sections 666.06 (public indecency), 666.07 (procuring), 666.08 (soliciting), or 666.09 (prostitution) of the Codified Ordinances or similar State of Ohio statutes;
      (9)   Any offense against another person under Sections 636.02 (assault), 636.01 (negligent assault), 636.04 (aggravated menacing), 636.06 (menacing), 636.12 (endangering children), 608.21 (misuse of 9-1-1 system), 636.14 (unruliness and delinquency) of the Codified Ordinances or similar State of Ohio statutes;
      (10)   Any offense against property under Sections 642.06 (arson), 642.08 (criminal damaging or endangering; vehicular vandalism), 642.09 (criminal mischief), of the Codified Ordinances or similar State of Ohio statutes;
      (11)   Any theft violation under Sections 672.01 (theft), 672.02 (receiving stolen property), 642.03 (unauthorized use of property), 678.12 (criminal tools) of the Codified Ordinances or similar State of Ohio statutes;
      (12)   Any weapons, explosives, firearm or handgun violations under Chapter 678 of the Codified Ordinances or similar State of Ohio statutes;
      (13)   Any noise violation under Chapter 648 of the Codified Ordinances or similar State of Ohio statutes;
      (14)   Any fireworks violation under Chapter 678 of the Codified Ordinances or similar State of Ohio statutes;
      (15)   Any open burning and or recreational fires in violation of Chapter 660 of the Codified Ordinances or similar State of Ohio statutes (Restrictions; Notice and Permission);
      (16)   Any curfew violations under Section 648.10 of the Codified Ordinances or similar State of Ohio statutes;
      (17)   Any activity engaged in by a person under the age of eighteen years which would constitute a violation of an offense listed in this section if committed by an adult.
   (b)   Notification.  The Chief of Police or his or her designee, upon finding that three or more nuisance activities declared in division (a) of this section have occurred at a single dwelling unit within any six month period shall cause a written notice and order to be served on the owner of the property declaring that such property is a nuisance property. The notice and order shall set forth the nature of the nuisance, the estimated costs to abate any future nuisance, and state that the owner may avoid being charged the costs of abatement by taking steps to prevent any further nuisance activity as set forth in this chapter. The notice shall further state that if a fourth or subsequent nuisance activity as declared in this section occurs within six months of the dates of the earlier of first three activities, the City may abate the nuisance by responding to the activities using administrative and law enforcement actions, and the costs of such abatements shall be assessed on the nuisance property.
   (c)   Abatement Process.  If within six months after the first of the three nuisances referred to in division (b) of this section has occurred, a fourth or successive nuisance activity as declared in this chapter occurs, the City may abate the nuisance by responding to the activity using administrative and law enforcement actions, and the costs of such abatement shall be assessed on the nuisance property, and the costs shall be calculated as set forth in division (c) of this section.  The City shall provide notice to the owner of the nuisance property of the City's intent to assess the costs of abatement against  the owner's property at least thirty days before such costs are certified to the county for assessment against the property, and such notice shall contain a description of the nuisance activity that is the basis for the intent to assess the property, and the cost to abate.
   (d)   Appeal Process.  The owner of a nuisance property who receives a notice from the Chief of Police or his or her designee pursuant to this chapter may appeal such notice by submitting a written request for reconsideration to the Chief of Police within thirty days of the date of the notice.  If the Chief of Police finds that the facts presented do not support the declaration of a nuisance, the Chief of Police shall rescind the notice.  Otherwise the Chief of Police shall deny the request and refer the appeal for hearing by the Board of Zoning Appeals. Any such appeal shall not stay any actions by the City to abate the first or any subsequent nuisance activity.  In any such appeal, the City must show by a preponderance of the evidence that each violation stated in the notice being appealed has occurred, and that the declaration of the property as a nuisance property or of the intent of the City to assess the property for abatement costs, whichever is applicable, is justified.  The City shall be deemed to have failed to have met this standard if the owner demonstrates by the preponderance of the evidence that:
      (1)   He or she was not the owner at the time of any of the nuisance activity that is the basis of the notice; or
      (2)   He or she had knowledge of the nuisance activity, but has promptly and vigorously taken all actions necessary to abate each nuisance including, without limitation, compliance with the requirements of Ohio R.C. 5321.17(c) and 5321.04(a)(9), or
      (3)   He or she had no knowledge of the nuisance activity and could not, without reasonable care and diligence, have known of the nuisance activity; and upon receipt of the notice of the declaration of the property as a nuisance property he or she promptly took all actions necessary to abate the nuisance including, without limitation, compliance with the requirements of Ohio R.C. 5321.17(c) and 5321.04(a)(9).
   (e)   Costs of Abatement.
      (1)   Costs of abatement shall be assessed per each nuisance in a six month period and up to and including five nuisances by an assessment of a service fee of one hundred dollars ($100.00) by the Chief of Police or his or her designee. Each nuisance in a six month period in excess of five nuisances shall be assessed a service fee of two hundred dollars ($200.00) by the Chief of Police or his or her designee.
      (2)   If the owner of the property has been duly notified of said nuisances but has failed to take corrective actions and/or has failed to notify the Chief of Police of said corrective actions regarding the nuisances, and/or has failed to make restitution for said nuisances, the matter will be turned over to the Office of the Law Director for consideration and/or authorization of charges.
   (f)   Fiscal Reporting.  All costs of abatement shall be reported to the Director of Finance, who shall mail a statement of the amount thereof to the owner of the property.  If after thirty days such amount remains unpaid, the Director of Finance shall certify the total amount of the expenses, the name of the owner of the property and a sufficient description of the premises to the County Fiscal Officer, to be entered on the tax duplicate, to be a lien on the land from the date of entry and to be collected as other taxes and assessments and returned to the City pursuant to Ohio R.C. 731.54.
   (g)   City's Right or Authority for Criminal Prosecution.  The declaration of a nuisance property, an order to abate a nuisance, or the assessment of costs by the City on a property, do not affect or limit the City's right or authority to bring criminal prosecution or other legal action against any person for violation of the City of Norton's ordinances.
(Ord. 52-2010.  Passed 6-28-10.)