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Legislation #: 150829 Introduction Date: 10/1/2015
Type: Ordinance Effective Date: none
Sponsor: None
Title: Amending Chapter 56, Code of Ordinances, by repealing Sections 56-282 and 56-283 of Article II, Residential Property, and enacting two new sections of like title and subject matter to Article I; by repealing Section 56-286 of Article II, and enacting one new section of like title and subject matter to Article II; and by repealing Article V, Dangerous Buildings and Structures, and enacting in lieu thereof a new Article V, Dangerous Buildings or Structures, which updates the dangerous buildings process.

Legislation History
DateMinutesDescription
9/29/2015 Filed by the Clerk's office
10/1/2015 Referred to Neighborhoods and Public Safety Committee
10/7/2015 Do Pass
10/8/2015 Assigned to Third Read Calendar
10/15/2015 Passed

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ORDINANCE NO. 150829

 

Amending Chapter 56, Code of Ordinances, by repealing Sections 56-282 and 56-283 of Article II, Residential Property, and enacting two new sections of like title and subject matter to Article I; by repealing Section 56-286 of Article II, and enacting one new section of like title and subject matter to Article II; and by repealing Article V, Dangerous Buildings and Structures, and enacting in lieu thereof a new Article V, Dangerous Buildings or Structures, which updates the dangerous buildings process.

 

WHEREAS, properties with dangerous buildings or structures present grave health, safety and welfare concerns, and have a tremendous negative impact upon the quality of life, safety, and health of the neighborhoods where they are located; and

 

WHEREAS, the transfer of ownership of dangerous buildings and structures often merely move the property from one owner to another without any abatement of the dangerous buildings or structures; and

 

WHEREAS, the City believes that the public health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the City will be served by addressing the public nuisance of dangerous buildings and structures; and

 

WHEREAS, the City wants to update the process of recorded notification of dangerous buildings to the public by updating the Certificate of Existence requirements in the chain of title of the status of a property as a dangerous building; and

 

WHEREAS, the City wants to balance public safety with the rights of citizens by allowing the use of reasonable force to enter buildings or structures when authorized by a search warrant; NOW, THEREFORE,

 

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COUNCIL OF KANSAS CITY:

 

Section 1. That Chapter 56, Code of Ordinances of the City of Kansas City, Missouri, is hereby amended by repealing Sections 56-282 and 56-283 of Article II, Residential Property, and enacting two new sections of like title and subject matter to Article I, In General, to read as follows:

 

ARTICLE I. IN GENERAL

 

Sec. 56.5. Right of entry.

 

(a) Whenever necessary to make an inspection or to enforce the provisions of Articles II, III and V of this chapter, or whenever the director, or the director's authorized representative has reasonable cause to believe that there exists in any building or structure any condition which makes such building or structure unsafe, the director or the director's authorized representative may enter the building or structure during normal work hours, or in the case of an emergency at any reasonable time to inspect the same or to perform any duty imposed upon the director by this code; provided, if such property be occupied, the director or the director's authorized representative shall request and obtain permission to enter before entering the building or structure. Reasonable effort must be made to locate the owner or other persons having charge or control of the property when seeking permission for entry.

 

(b) If no consent has been given to enter or inspect any building or structure, no entry or inspection shall be made without the procurement of a warrant from the judge presiding in the Ninth Division, or if that judge is not available, from any other judge presiding in the Municipal Division, Kansas City, 16th Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri.

 

(c) The director or the director's authorized representative may enter the premises without consent or a search warrant to make an inspection or enforce any of the provisions of this code only when an emergency exists as prescribed in sections 56-284 and 56-540.

 

(d) Unless emergency conditions exist, or until a notice of violation and a reasonable opportunity to correct the violation is afforded the person, a summons shall not be served upon a resident, property owner, or other responsible person, which alleges a violation of Articles II, III and V of this chapter based upon conditions discovered incidental to, and solely as a result of, conducting an investigation pursuant to the authority of a search warrant, but which is not the subject of the search warrant.

 

Sec. 56-6. Search warrant.

 

(a)    Defined. A Search warrant under this section is a written order by any judge in the Municipal Division, Kansas City, 16th Judicial Court of Missouri for the search or inspection of any property within the limits of the city. A search warrant is allowed in Articles II, III and V of this chapter.

 

(b)   Process. If a complaint in writing is filed by the director, or the director's authorized representative, the director of health or the director’s authorized representative, any police officer, deputy, or the city attorney of the city, with the municipal division judge, stating that he or she has probable cause to believe there exists in a building or structure, more particularly described therein, a violation or violations of provisions of this code and is within the territorial jurisdiction of the city, and permission to enter the building and structure from the owner was requested but not obtained, if such complaint is verified by the oath or affirmation stating evidential facts from which such judge determines the existence of probable cause, then such judge shall issue a search warrant directed to the authorized person to search the structure or premises therein described for the purposes requested. Such search warrant may be executed and returned only within ten days after the date of its issuance. The person authorized to search shall make a return promptly after concluding the search, and such return shall contain an itemization of all violations of this code discovered pursuant to such search. Refusal to allow entry upon presentation of a search warrant shall be an ordinance violation. Forcible entry may be permitted when authorized by the search warrant.

 

(c)    Prior to entering upon private property to perform the search, the person executing the search warrant shall knock at the door or entrance where entry is to be made and shall announce that such person is an inspector executing a search warrant. If not permitted entry after knocking and announcing the search warrant is being executed, then the person executing such warrant may enter by reasonable force. For the purposes of this section, the term “reasonable force” means only the force necessary to remove a physical obstruction or barrier that is impeding entry onto private property and includes the removing of a boarded opening, cutting of a lock, forced opening of a door or the moving of debris.

 

Section 2. That Chapter 56, Code of Ordinances of the City of Kansas City, Missouri, is hereby amended by repealing Sections 56-286 of Article II, Residential Property, and enacting one new section of like title and subject matter to Article II, Residential Property to read as follows:

 

ARTICLE II. RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY

 

DIVISION 4. ENFORCEMENT

 

Sec. 56-286. Order to correct violations.

 

Except in emergency cases, the director shall issue a notice and order stating the deficiencies found on the premises, identifying them as violations of this code and ordering the owner or occupant to correct such violations. This notice and order shall:

 

(1) Be in writing.

 

(2) Set forth the alleged violations of this code.

 

(3) Describe the premises where the violations are alleged to exist or to have been committed.

 

(4) Specify a period of 30 days for the correction of any violation alleged other than a violation of section 56-352 and advising the owner or occupant of his right to appeal. Property owners shall be allowed 15 days for the correction of an alleged violation of section 56-352 and any appeal shall be made to the hearing officer as described in section 56-290.

 

(5) Be served upon the owner or occupant of the premises by delivery of a copy of the notice and order to such owner or occupant personally or by leaving such copy at their usual place of abode with a member of the family over the age of 15 years or by mail addressed to the owner, occupant or agent thereof. If one or more persons to whom such notice and order is addressed cannot be found after diligent effort to do so, service may be made upon such person by posting the notice and order in or about the premises described in the notice and order or by causing such notice and order to be published in a newspaper of general circulation.

 

Section 3. That Chapter 56, Code of Ordinances of the City of Kansas City, Missouri, is hereby amended by repealing Article V, Dangerous Buildings or Structures, and enacting in lieu thereof a new Article V of like title and subject matter to read as follows:

 

ARTICLE V. DANGEROUS BUILDINGS OR STRUCTURES

 

Sec. 56-531. Purpose.

 

The purpose of this article is to implement the provisions of RSMo 67.400 et seq. The director of neighborhoods and housing services is authorized to make and promulgate reasonable and necessary rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this article.

 

Sec. 56-533. Orders for vacation, repair or demolition.

 

In any case where a building or structure is found to be a dangerous building, it shall be ordered vacated. All buildings or structures found to be dangerous buildings or structures are ordered repaired or demolished.

 

Sec. 56-534. Duties.

 

(a) Duties of the inspectors. The inspectors' duties shall include but not be limited to the following. The inspectors shall:

 

(1) Inspect any building or portion thereof or any structure which is or may be existing in violation of this article. Identify the conditions listed in section 56-532 which are present.

 

(2) Report to the director or the director's authorized representative all buildings, structures or portions thereof deemed to be an emergency as defined in section 56-540.

 

(3) Identify all parties as defined in section 56-532(c).

 

(4) Report to the director or the director's authorized representative any noncompliance with the order issued pursuant to section 56-535.

 

(b) Duties of director of neighborhoods and housing services. The director of neighborhoods and housing services or the director’s authorized representative shall:

 

(1) Review all available information relating to the building or structure in question. If the director or the director's authorized representative deems it necessary to the performance of duties and responsibilities imposed herein, the director or the director's authorized representative may request that an inspection and report be made to the director or the director's authorized representative by the city engineer, the city architect, the department of codes administration, the fire department, the police department, the health department, or by any other city department, or may contract for services of an expert whenever the director or the director's authorized representative deems such services necessary.

 

(2) Following the review, make written findings of fact as to whether the building or structure in question is a dangerous building and a public nuisance.

 

(3) Issue an order based upon the findings of fact, ordering the owner or other parties to vacate, close and secure, repair or demolish such building or structure if found to be a dangerous building.

 

(4) Cause a building or structure which has been determined to be a dangerous building to be vacated, repaired or demolished as ordered or have the dangerous building temporarily closed as provided in section 56-317, if the owner or parties fail to comply with the order of the director or the director's authorized representative.

 

(c) Duties of the city attorney. The city attorney's duties shall include but not be limited to the following:

 

(1) Within the proper exercise of discretion, prosecute all persons failing to comply with the terms of the orders provided for herein.

 

(2) Within the proper exercise of discretion, bring suit to collect all municipal liens, assessments or costs incurred by the director or the director's authorized representative in causing "dangerous buildings" to be vacated, secure, repaired or demolished.

 

(3) Take such other legal action as is necessary to carry out the terms and provisions of this article.

 

Sec. 56-535. Order.

 

The director or the director’s authorized representative shall issue an order to all parties of a building or structure determined to be a dangerous building.

 

(1)               The order shall contain the written findings of fact which caused the building to be determined to be a dangerous building. In accordance with the findings of fact, the order shall require the owner, or other parties, to vacate, close and secure, and repair or demolish the building. The order shall allow up to 30 days for compliance. The order shall advise all parties of the right to appeal as provided in section 56-537.

 

(2)               The order shall be served upon all parties by regular United States mail or by personal service. If the party to whom such order is addressed cannot be found after diligent effort to do so, service may be made upon such party by posting the order on the building or structure described in the order.

 

Sec. 56-536. Posting notice on building.

 

(a)    A notice of the dangerous condition of a building shall be posted on any building determined to be a dangerous building. The notice shall contain the words, "Warning, Dangerous Building, DO NOT ENTER," followed by text authorized by the director or the director’s authorized representative.

 

(b)   Any person removing such sign shall be guilty of an ordinance violation and upon conviction thereof shall be punished as set forth in section 56-545.

 

(c) No person shall enter a building that has been posted as provided above unless such entry is authorized by the director or the director’s authorized representative. This does not prevent entry by the owner or an agent of the owner for the purpose of repair or demolition. Any person entering a building without authorization shall be guilty of an ordinance violation and upon conviction shall be punished as set forth in section 56-545.

 

Sec. 56-537. Right of appeal.

 

Except in emergencies any decision of the director or the director's authorized representative in the enforcement of this article may be appealed to the property maintenance appeals board by any person aggrieved by any decision of the director or the director's authorized representative. Such appeal must be taken within ten days from the date of the order or other ruling appealed by filing with the director or the director's authorized representative a written notice of appeal setting forth the grounds therefor.

 

Except in emergencies, as set out in section 56-540, an appeal to the board stays all enforcement of the determination from which the appeal is being taken.

 

Sec. 56-538. Certificate of existence.

 

After a building has been determined to be a dangerous a building by the director or the director's authorized representative, a "certificate of existence of dangerous building" will be filed and recorded in the office of the recorder of deeds or director of records of the county wherein the land is located, except if a previous order to repair or demolish has continually been in effect, a new certificate of existence is not required to be filed. Such certificate shall set forth the address and description of the premises upon which such dangerous building is located, and a certification that such building thereon is dangerous within the provisions of Article V, Chapter 56 of the Code of Ordinances, and that the owner thereof has been ordered to repair or demolish such building. Such certification shall be made and signed by the director or the director's authorized representative.

 

The recording of a "certificate of existence of dangerous building" shall place persons purchasing such property subsequent to such recording on notice that such property has been declared a dangerous building and ordered vacated, repaired or demolished. The act of subsequent purchase shall not delay the processing or cause a delay in such matter.

 

Upon application and after verification that the order of the director or the director's authorized representative to vacate, repair or demolish a dangerous building has been complied with, the director or the director's authorized representative shall issue the applicant a "release of certificate of existence of dangerous building" which is in such form that it may be filed with and recorded by the office of recorder of deeds or director of records of the county wherein the land is located stating that the dangerous condition has been abated.

 

The certificate of existence, once filed, is notice of all continuing and subsequent orders to repair or demolish and remains in effect until the property is in compliance. New certificates of existence do not need to be filed as long as an order to repair or demolish exists on the property.

 

Sec. 56-539. Permits.

 

(a) Building permits must be obtained in accordance with the Building Code of Kansas City, Missouri. However, demolition permits may be issued without a certificate of appropriateness from the landmarks commission for buildings designated as a historic landmark or located within a local historic district which have been declared dangerous buildings and ordered demolished in accordance with this article.

 

(b) It shall be unlawful for any person, other than the owner, to salvage or cause or allow any other person to salvage a building which has been ordered demolished without first obtaining written authorization of the director or the director's authorized representative.

 

(c) It shall be unlawful for the owner to salvage or cause or allow any other person to salvage a building which has been ordered demolished once the notice to proceed has been issued to the contractor by the department.

 


Sec. 56-540. Emergencies.

 

(a) Emergency defined. For the purpose of this article, an emergency is hereby defined as any case where it reasonably appears there is immediate danger to the health, life, safety or welfare of any person because of a dangerous condition which exists in violation of this article.

 

(b) Authority. In any emergency case, the director or the director's authorized representative shall have the power to take emergency measures to abate or to correct such dangerous condition. The emergency power herein granted shall include power to cause the immediate vacation of any building and the summary correction of any emergency condition which exists in violation of this article, including but not limited to demolition of dangerous buildings.

 

(c) Emergency order not appealable. No appeal to the property maintenance appeals board shall lie from an emergency order, and such order shall not be reviewed or stayed other than by the circuit court of the county in which the premises is located on which the emergency condition exists.

 

(d) Costs of abatement. The costs of emergency abatement shall be recovered as provided in section 56-541 for the recovery of costs.

 

Sec. 56-542. Administrative fee.

 

The charge for administering the provisions of this article shall include the actual cost of repair, demolition, water service cut, sewer capping, boarding and all other necessary security measures, and a charge for the administrative costs associated with processing the dangerous building case. The director or the director's authorized representative will calculate the administrative costs on an annual basis and set the fee accordingly, but the fee shall not be higher than $1,500.00.

 

Sec. 56-543. Dangerous buildings resulting from insured casualty.

 

(a) If there are proceeds of any insurance policy based upon a covered claim payment made for damage or loss to a building or other structure caused by or arising out of any fire, explosion or other casualty loss, and if the covered claim payment for such damage or loss exceeds 50 percent of the face value of the policy on such building or other structure, then the insurance carrier for such building or structure shall pay 25 percent of such insurance claim proceeds to the Kansas City treasurer, who shall hold such money in an interest bearing account. If a bill or special tax assessment is issued by the city for the expenses of administering the provisions of this article and expenses of demolition, repair, cleaning debris and rubbish, and/or closing of such building or as a dangerous building pursuant to this article, such shall be paid from the moneys held by the city treasurer, and if there is any excess, such shall be paid by the city treasurer to the insured.

 

(b) If within 30 days of the receipt of such insurance moneys the city has not instituted legal proceedings by issuance of the order provided for at section 56-535 or by taking emergency measures as provided for at section 56-540, then the city treasurer shall release such proceeds and any interest which has accrued on such proceeds to the insured.

 

(c) If such building or structure is repaired or demolished pursuant to this article as attested to by the director or the director's authorized representative without cost to the city, then any insurance proceeds paid to the city treasurer and any interest thereon shall be paid to the insured.

 

(d) When the city takes bids from independent contractors for demolition of a building, bidders shall deduct any salvage value materials the building or structure may have from the cost of demolition in arriving in their bid amount. Should city employees do the demolition, the actual cash value of salvaged materials shall be deducted from the special tax bill for such demolition. In no case will the net cost of demolition be increased in order to effect salvage of materials.

 

(e) Upon presentation of satisfactory proof that the insured has removed or will remove debris and repair, rebuild or otherwise make the insured premises safe and secure, the director or the director's authorized representative shall issue a certificate within 30 days after receipt of such satisfactory proof to permit covered claim payment to the insured without deduction payable to the city treasurer as herein provided in this section. It shall be the obligation of the insured or other person making claim to provide the insurance company with such certificate.

 

Sec. 56-544. Violations.

 

(a) Any owner, party in actual or constructive possession, or one who has a legal duty to act for a party, who fails to vacate, repair or demolish a dangerous building within the time provided by the order of the director or the director's authorized representative shall be guilty of an ordinance violation and upon conviction thereof shall be punishable as set forth in section 56-545.

 

(b) Any person failing to immediately vacate a building or take other corrective actions upon the verbal or written order of the director or the director's authorized representative in cases of emergency pursuant to section 56-540 shall be guilty of an ordinance violation and upon conviction shall be punished as set forth in section 56-545.

 

(c) Any person who hinders, threatens or interferes with an inspector, contractor or any person working for a contractor having a permit to demolish a dangerous building shall be guilty of an ordinance violation and upon conviction shall be punished as set forth in section 56-545.

 

(d) Any person, firm, corporation, partnership, association or other organization who owns and maintains a dangerous building as defined in section 56-532(a), or erects, constructs, enlarges, repairs, moves, improves, removes, converts or demolishes, equips, uses, occupies or maintains any dangerous building or structure, partial or whole, or cause the same to be done, contrary to or in violation of any of the provisions of this article, or rules or regulations promulgated thereunder, shall be guilty of an ordinance violation and upon conviction shall be punished as set forth in section 56-545.

 

Sec. 56-546. Recovery of costs prior to demolition.

 

(a) Solicitation of bids; certification of costs; issuance of bill. In any case where a building or structure is found to be a dangerous building and ordered demolished, the director or the director's authorized representative may solicit no less than two independent bids for such demolition work. The amount of the lowest bid, including offset for salvage value, if any, plus reasonable anticipated costs of collection, including attorney's fees, shall be certified to the director of finance, who shall cause a special tax bill to be issued against the property owner to be prepared and collected by the city.

 

(b) Discharge of tax bill. The director of finance shall discharge the special tax bill upon documentation by the property owner of the completion of the demolition work. Upon determination by the director of finance that a public benefit is secured prior to payment of the special tax bill, the director of finance may discharge the special tax bill upon the transfer of the property.

 

(c) Refund; issuance of tax bill. The payment of the special tax bill shall be held in an interest-bearing account. Upon full payment of the special tax bill, the director or the director's authorized representative, within 120 days thereafter, cause the ordered work to be completed, and certify the actual cost thereof, including the cost of tax bill collection and attorney's fees, to the director of finance who shall, if the actual cost differs from the paid amount by greater than two percent of the paid amount, refund the excess payment, if any, to the payor. If the actual amount is greater than the amount paid, the director of finance shall cause a special tax bill or assessment for the difference against the property to be prepared and collected by the city. The tax bill for the difference shall be paid as provided in section 2-1721 of this Code of Ordinances, and from the date of the notice of assessment, it shall be deemed a personal debt against the property owner and shall also be a lien on the property until paid.

 

(d) Repayment. If the director or the director's authorized representative shall not, within 120 days after full payment, cause the ordered work to be completed, then the full amount of the payment, plus interest, shall be repaid to the payor.

 

_____________________________________________

 

Approved as to form and legality:

 

 

___________________________________

Martha Means

Assistant City Attorney