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(a) General provisions.
Public nuisance structures shall be defined as those buildings or structures possessing any of the following defects, as determined by the Enforcement Officer who shall be appointed for a one-year term of office by the Mayor with the advice and consent of Council under compensation terms that Council may from time to time provide:
(1) Structures whose interior or exterior bearing walls or other vertical structural members list, lean or buckle to such an extent as to weaken the structural support it provides.
(2) Structures which, exclusive of the foundation, show approximately one-third or more damage to or deterioration of the supporting member or members, or approximately one-half or more of damage or deterioration of the non-supporting enclosing or outside walls or covering.
(3) Structures which have improperly distributed loads upon the floors or roofs or in which the same are overloaded to a dangerous degree, or which have insufficient strength to be reasonably safe for the purpose used.
(4) Structures which have been so damaged by fire, wind or other causes as to no longer provide adequate shelter from the elements or have become dangerous to life, health, safety, morals or the general welfare of the occupants or the public.
(5) Structures lacking facilities required by the Village Building Code or Fire Code for egress in case of fire or panic, or those having insufficient stairways, elevators, fire escapes or other means of access.
(6) Structures and premises lacking the minimum light, air and sanitation facilities required by this ordinance or other ordinances or codes for the protection of present and future occupants.
(7) Structures which have parts or appurtenances which are so attached that they may fall and injure occupants or the general public, or damage property.
(8) Structures and premises which have become or are dilapidated, decayed, unsafe, unsanitary or vermin-infested or which are likely to cause sickness, disease or injury to occupants or the general public.
(9) Structures and premises which constitute a serious hazard to the health or safety of the occupants or the general public because of the location, general conditions, and state of the premises.
(10) Structures which are otherwise insecure, unsafe, or structurally defective.
(b) Inspection of public nuisance structure. When any building or structure in the village is reported to the Enforcement Officer to be dangerous to the public or to the persons occupying or using such building, or unfit for human habitation or occupancy, the Enforcement Officer shall inspect such building or structure to determine if it is a public nuisance structure.
(c) General compliance order (issuance). If any building or structure or portion thereof is upon inspection, found to be a public nuisance structure and imminently dangerous to the public or unfit for occupancy, the Enforcement Officer shall immediately notify the owner of the property of the condition so found by necessary repairs or other corrective measures. Such order shall be in writing, specifying the building, structure or portion thereof found to be dangerous or unfit, and specify the repairs to be made thereto, and direct such owner to cause such repairs to be made, or the building or structure to be demolished, and specify a reasonable time frame set forth by the Enforcement Officer. The order shall direct that such repairs or demolition commence within a period of 30 days from service of notice and proceed with such repairs or demolition so commenced, without interruption and with diligence, until completed.
(d) General compliance order (service). The general compliance order specified in division (c) shall be served to the owner of the property by certified mail, by direct personal service, or if unfeasible or unable to serve by certified mail or direct personal service, by tacking the order on the structure in a conspicuous location.
(e) Declaration of public nuisance by Village Council.
(1) If the owner of the property has not complied with the terms specified in the general compliance order authorized under division (c), the Enforcement Officer shall present the case to the Village Council.
(2) If, after hearing testimony and reviewing pictorial evidence supplied by the Enforcement Officer, it is the opinion of the Village Council that there exists a condition dangerous to the public health by reason of a public nuisance structure, the Village Council may, by resolution, declare such structure to be a public nuisance.
(f) Order to abate public nuisance.
(1) Upon the declaration of such building or structure as a public nuisance, the Village Council shall direct the Enforcement Officer to order the owner of the property, or the agent or other person having control thereof or responsible for such condition, to abate such public nuisance within 30 days.
(2) Whenever the Village Council determines that the cost of repairs would exceed 100% of the current value of such building or structure, such repairs shall be presumed unreasonable and it shall be presumed for the purpose of this section that such structure is a public nuisance which may be ordered removed or razed without option on the part of the owner to repair.
(g) Village Council hearing. If the order of the Village Council is neglected or disregarded in whole or in part, a citation shall be issued requiring the owner, or the agent or other person having control thereof or responsible for such condition, to appear before the Village Council to show cause why the village should not proceed and furnish the material and labor necessary to abate the public nuisance and charge the costs thereof to the tax duplicate.
(h) Agreement of owner to abate public nuisance. The owner(s) of record of such property or the holder(s) of liens of record upon such property may abate such public nuisance or may enter into an agreement with the village to perform the removal or repair of the public nuisance structure.
(i) Removal of public nuisance structure by village. If the owner of the property fails to comply with the order by Village Council described in division (f) to remove the public nuisance structure, fails to enter into an agreement with the village to remove the public nuisance structure, and does not show cause at the hearing described in division (g) why the village should not proceed to remove the public nuisance structure, then the Village Council shall direct the Enforcement Officer to cause the public nuisance structure to be razed and removed. Such razing and removal may be conducted by the village itself, through an available public agency, or by contract or arrangement with private persons.
(j) Cost recovery for removal of public nuisance structure.
(1) The total costs incurred by the village for razing and removal of a public nuisance structure may include any costs incurred due to the use of employees, materials, or equipment of the village, any costs arising out of contracts for labor, materials, or equipment, and any costs of service of notice or publication required.
(2) The village may recover such costs by any of the following methods:
A. The Village Clerk-Treasurer may certify the total costs, together with a proper description of the land to the County Auditor, who shall place the costs on the tax duplicate. The costs are a lien upon such lands from and after the date of entry. The costs shall be collected as other taxes and be returned to the village.
B. The village may commence a civil action to recover the total costs from the owner(s).
(Ord. 649, passed 10-4-1999)