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(a) Whenever any gasoline service station becomes abandoned, such station shall be presumed to be a nuisance affecting or endangering surrounding property values and to be detrimental to the public health, safety, convenience, comfort, property or general welfare of the community and shall be abated. “Abandoned”, as defined herein, means a failure to operate any gasoline service station for at least three consecutive months.
(b) Whenever the Superintendent of Building and Zoning Inspection finds any gasoline service station to be abandoned within the meaning of this section, he or she shall give notice in the same manner as the service of summons is given in a civil case, or by certified mail addressed to the owner of record of the premises at his or her last known address or to the address where tax bills are sent, or by any combination of the foregoing methods, to abate such abandoned condition within sixty days, either by:
(1) Placing such service station in operation in accordance with this Building and Housing Code;
(2) Adapting and using the building for another building use permitted under the Zoning Code, provided the service station pumps, tanks and signs are removed; or
(3) Razing the service station structure and removing the pumps, tanks and signs.
(c) All abandoned underground gasoline or oil storage tanks shall be removed. The removal of underground tanks shall be performed in accordance with accepted practice as prescribed in Appendices C-4 and C-5 to the National Fire Protection Association Pamphlet No. 30 and under the supervision of the Division of Fire. Under no circumstances shall any structure be erected above any abandoned underground tank. When tanks are removed, the Superintendent shall supervise the necessary filling and grading of the area.
(d) Upon the failure, neglect or refusal of any owner to comply with the notice to abate such abandonment, the Superintendent shall take action as may be necessary to abate such nuisance.
(e) Inoperative gasoline service stations, which do not come within the definition of “abandoned”, as given herein, shall be maintained in accordance with the provisions of this Building and Housing Code, and the owner shall cut all grass and remove all rubbish and weeds from the premises. The parking of motor vehicles upon the premises shall be prohibited and the owner shall place a sign of at least ten square feet in area in the window of such service station notifying the public of this fact. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Building and Housing Code, if the Superintendent finds that such notice is not complied with by the public, he or she may order the owner of the premises on which any station is inoperative for more than three months to install fencing or barricades approved by the Superintendent which will be sufficient to block motor vehicles access to such property.
(Ord. 42-1981. Passed 2-23-81.)