Skip to code content (skip section selection)
(a) Law Enforcement Notice to Other Authorities. Upon receipt of a Verification, law enforcement officials shall promptly notify the appropriate municipal, child protection, and public health authorities of the site location, property owner if known, and conditions found.
(b) Declaration of Property as a Public Health Nuisance.
(1) If there is a Verification with respect to a property, then the property is hereby declared to be a public health nuisance. Upon identification of such a nuisance, the law enforcement authorities shall notify the Chief Building Official.
(2) When the Director of Public Safety and Chief Building Official determine that an immediate threat of human exposure or injury exists, and after a Verification the City may conduct emergency dismantling and disposal of drug processing apparatus and/or chemicals. To the extent permitted by law, the individual or entity responsible, and/or the owner of the property where the site is found, shall be liable to the City for its costs incurred in conducting the emergency dismantling and disposal, payable to the Stow Building Department. Such costs may be recovered pursuant to subsection (f)(4) of this Section, without regard to whether a nuisance is declared or an abatement order is issued.
(c) Notice of Public Health Nuisance to Concerned Parties. Upon receipt of the Verification, the Chief Building Official shall promptly issue a Declaration of Public Health Nuisance for the affected property and post a copy of the Declaration at a conspicuous entrance to the dwelling or property and notify all concerned Parties in accordance with Section 1313.03.
(d) Property Owner's Responsibility to Act. Immediately upon receipt or posting of the Declaration of Public Health Nuisance, whichever shall occur first, the owner of the property of the clandestine lab site shall:
(1) Cause the immediate vacation by all occupants of those portions of the property, including building or structure interiors which may place the occupants or visitors at risk.
(2) Conduct appropriate remediation and clean-up of all residually contaminated portions of the property pursuant to the following timelines, unless the Chief Building Official approves of such other period of time in writing:
A. Within 14 days of posting date of the Declaration of Public Health Nuisance order, the owner shall contract with appropriate environmental testing and cleaning firms to conduct an on-site assessment, complete clean-up and remediation testing and follow-up testing pursuant to the requirements of Chapter 1313.
B. If the owner chooses to a conduct preliminary assessment of the damage, prior to beginning remediation, such assessment must commence within 21 days of the posting date of the Declaration of Public Health Nuisance order. The owner may forgo a preliminary assessment and immediately begin remediation of the entire property in accordance with Section 1313.07.
C. The owner shall complete the remediation process in accordance with the requirements of Section 1313.07 within 90 days of the posting date of the Declaration of Public Health Nuisance order. If any building or construction restoration work on the home is required as part of the remediation process, Owner shall be responsible for obtaining the appropriate building permits, inspections and approvals from the City of Stow Building Department.
(3) Provide the Building Official with written documentation of the clean-up process, including a signed, written statement from the environmental testing and cleaning firm that the property is safe for human occupancy and that the clean-up was conducted in accordance with Chapter 1313 of the Stow Codified Ordinances.
(e) Property Owner's Responsibility for Costs. The property owner shall be responsible for all costs of clean-up of the site, including any contractor's fees, any applicable permit and inspection fees, and a damage assessment fee of two hundred dollars ($200.00) payable to the Stow Building Department. If the property owner reports the existence of a clandestine drug lab on his own property to the appropriate law enforcement agency, and such report leads to an arrest and conviction of the responsible parties, the owner may apply to the Stow Building Department for a refund of the two hundred dollars ($200.00) damage assessment fee.
(f) City Responsibilities and Recovery of Public Costs.
(1) If, after posting and sending the Declaration of Public Health Nuisance pursuant to Section 1313.03, the property owner fails to arrange appropriate assessment and clean-up pursuant to the timelines established in subsection (d) above, the Building Official is authorized to proceed in a prompt manner to initiate the on-site assessment and clean-up.
(2) If the City is unable to locate the property owner within 14 days of the Declaration of Public Health Nuisance, the City is authorized to proceed in a prompt manner to initiate the on-site assessment and clean- up.
(3) If the damage to the site is found to be so severe that clean-up alone is impractical or ineffective to reduce the health and safety risks, the City may abate the nuisance by demolishing the hazardous structure or building in accordance with the procedures set forth in Chapter 1311 of the Codified Ordinances.
(4) The City shall be entitled to recover all costs of abatement of the public nuisance. The City may recover costs by civil action against the person or persons who own the property or by assessing such costs as a special tax against the property in the manner as taxes and special assessments are certified and collected pursuant to the Ohio Revised Code.
(g) Authority of Chief Building Official to Modify or Remove Declaration of Public Health Nuisance.
(1) The Chief Building Official is authorized to modify the Declaration conditions or remove the Declaration of Public Health Nuisance.
(2) Such modifications or removal of the Declaration shall only occur after documentation from a qualified environmental or cleaning firm stating that the health and safety risks, including those to neighbors and potential dwelling occupants, are sufficiently abated or corrected to allow safe occupancy of the dwelling in accordance with the requirements set forth in Chapter 1313.
(3) Nothing herein shall prevent the Chief Building Official from pursuing any remedy available pursuant to Chapter 1311 of the Codified Ordinances, including the demolition of a building or structure.
(4) The Chief Building Official may designate and direct other officers employed within the Building Department to perform the duties listed in this Chapter. (Ord. 2013-76. Passed 6-27-13.)