If any service station becomes abandoned, such service 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" means a failure to operate such service station for at least six consecutive months in any eighteen month period.
   Whenever the Building Inspector finds any service station to be abandoned within the meaning of this chapter, he shall give notice, in the same manner as service of summons in civil cases, or by certified mail addressed to the owner of record of the premises at his last known address or to the address to which tax bills are sent or by a combination of the foregoing methods, to abate such abandoned condition within sixty days either by placing the station in operation in accordance with this chapter, adapting and using the building for another permitted business use, or by razing the service station structure, removing the pumps and signs, abandoning underground storage tanks in accordance with accepted safe practice as prescribed by the National Fire Protection Association in Appendix C to N.F.P.A. No. 30, under the supervision of the Fire Chief and filling depressions to the grade level of the lot; provided, however, that if the station is in operation at the time notice is given and remains in operation for ninety consecutive days thereafter, then this chapter shall not become operative; and provided, further, that if there should be declared a national emergency which would curtail the operation of motor vehicles or if Council should determine that there exists a state of general economic depression, the provisions of this chapter shall not apply.
   Upon the failure, neglect or refusal of any owner to comply with the notice to abate such abandonment, the Building Inspector shall take such action as may be necessary to abate such nuisance.
   Inoperative service stations which do not come within the definition of abandoned service station shall be maintained in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and the owner shall cut all grass and remove all rubbish and weeds from the premises. The parking of motor vehicles upon such premises is prohibited and the owner shall place in the window of such service station a sign of at least ten square feet in area notifying the public of this fact. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, if the Building Inspector finds that such notice is not complied with by the public, he may order the owner of the premises on which any station is inoperative for more than six months to install fencing or barricade approved by the Building Inspector which will be sufficient to block motor vehicle access to such property. (Ord. 6257. Passed 1-21-70.)