If any filling station becomes abandoned, such filling 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 such nuisance shall be abated. "Abandoned" is defined as a failure to operate such filling station for at least three consecutive months in any eighteen-month period.
   Whenever the Director of Inspections finds any filling station to be abandoned, he shall give notice to the Fire Chief. Notice shall also be given 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 these Codified Ordinances, adapting and using the building for another permitted business use or by razing the filling station structure. If the structure is used for another permitted use or razed, the pumps, signs and all underground storage tanks shall be removed from the premises in accordance with accepted safe practice as prescribed by Section 1503.01 of the Codified Ordinances.
   Upon the failure, neglect or refusal of any owner to comply with the notice to abate such abandonment, the Director and/or the Fire Chief shall refer the issue to the Law Department to take such action as may be necessary to abate the nuisance.
   Inoperative filling stations which do not come within the definition of abandoned filling station shall be maintained in accordance with the provisions of these Codified Ordinances and the owner shall cut all grass and remove all rubbish and weeds from the premises. The parking of motor vehicles upon such premises shall be prohibited and the owner shall place in the window of such filling station a sign of at least ten square feet in area notifying the public of this fact. Notwithstanding any other provision of these Codified Ordinances if the Director 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 a barricade approved by the Director which will be sufficient to block motor vehicle access to the property.
(Ord. 1993-27. Passed 2-4-93.)