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Legislation #: 031184 Introduction Date: 10/23/2003
Type: Ordinance Effective Date: 11/9/2003
Sponsor: None
Title: Amending Chapter 62, Code of Ordinances of Kansas City, Missouri, by repealing Sections 62-90 through 62-93 and enacting one new article, Article VIII. Nuisances and new sections 62-230 through 62-233 and 62-250 through 62-262.

Legislation History
DateMinutesDescription
10/23/2003

Prepare to Introduce

10/23/2003

Referred Operations Committee

10/29/2003

Advance and Do Pass

10/30/2003

Passed


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ORDINANCE NO. 031184

 

Amending Chapter 62, Code of Ordinances of Kansas City, Missouri, by repealing Sections 62-90 through 62-93 and enacting one new article, Article VIII. Nuisances and new sections 62-230 through 62-233 and 62-250 through 62-262.

 

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COUNCIL OF KANSAS CITY:

 

Section 1. That Chapter 62 is hereby amended by repealing Sections 62-90 through 62-93 and enacting one new article, to read as follows:

 

ARTICLE VIII. NUISANCES

 

DIVISION 1. GENERAL

 

Sec. 62-230. Definitions.

 

The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this Article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

 

Director of Environmental Management means the director of environmental management or any authorized representative.

 

Garbage means the animal and vegetable waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking, serving and non-consumption of food.

 

Noxious plant means any living stage (including but not limited to, seeds and reproductive parts) of any parasitic or other plant of a kind, or subdivision of a kind, which is of foreign origin, is new to or not widely prevalent in the United States, and can directly or indirectly injure crops, other useful plants, livestock, or poultry or other interests of agriculture, including irrigation, or navigation or the fish or wildlife resources of the United States or the public health. As used in Revised Statutes of Missouri RsMo263.450 to RsMo263.474, the term "noxious weed" includes bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis), Johnson grass (Sorghum halepense), multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora) except when cultivated for or used as understock for cultivated roses, Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense), musk thistle (Carduus nutans L.), Scotch thistle (Onoprodum acanthium L.), purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), and any other plant or weed designated as noxious by rules and regulations promulgated by the director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

 

Occupant means any person who has a legal or equitable interest in a parcel of real property other than a fee interest, including a life tenant, tenant, lessee, tenant at will, tenant at sufferance or adverse possessor, as well as a person in possession or a person who has charge, care or control of the parcel of real property, as the agent or personal representative of the person holding legal title to a fee interest. Possession, charge, care or control may include living, sleeping, cooking or eating in the parcel of real property.


Owner means any person who, alone or jointly or severally with others:

(1) Shall have legal title to any parcel of real property, building or structure, or part thereof, with or without accompanying actual possession thereof; or

 

(2) Shall have charge, care or control of any parcel of real property, building or structure, or part thereof, as agent or personal representative of the person having legal title to the building or structure, or part thereof; or

 

(3) Shall have possession or right to possession under a contract for deed.

 

Person means and includes any individual, firm, estate, corporation, association, partnership, cooperative or governmental agency.

 

Premises means any public or private property, vacant or occupied lot, plot, parcel of land, street, sidewalk, alley, boulevard, highway, right-of-way, park, parkway, public square or viaduct, including the structures or buildings thereon.

 

Rank weeds means thickets or any vegetation which may emit noxious odors or any vegetation which is 10 inches or more in height, including but not limited to grasses and unattended growths of other plants, bushes and shrubbery. Rank weeds shall not mean trees in excess of six feet in height, cultivated or attended trees less than six feet in height, or cultivated or attended plants, bushes or shrubbery.

 

Refuse means unwanted or discarded waste materials in a solid or semisolid state consisting of garbage or rubbish or a combination thereof.

 

Rubbish means solid wastes consisting of combustible and noncombustible waste materials from residential, commercial, industrial and institutional establishments, including yard wastes and items commonly referred to as trash.

 

Thickets means dense growth of wild shrubbery, regardless of height, having stems or trunks less than four inches in diameter, and briar patches.

Sec. 62-231. Applicability of chapter to corporations.

 

When the owner or occupant of the premises on which a nuisance has been determined to exist is a corporation, any officer of such corporation or the person in charge of the local office of such corporation who shall have been notified as provided for in section 62-254 or section 62-257 shall be guilty of violating the provisions of this chapter upon the failure, neglect or refusal of such corporation to comply with such notice.

 

Sec. 62-232. Authority to prescribe additional rules and regulations.

 

The director of environmental management is authorized to make and promulgate reasonable and necessary rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this chapter. A copy of all such rules and regulations shall be filed in the office of the director of records.

 

Sec. 62-233. Conflicting provisions.

Whenever conflicting provisions or requirements occur between this article and any other municipal codes or laws, the most restrictive shall govern.

 

Secs. 62-234-62-249. Reserved.

 

DIVISION 2. NUISANCES AND ENFORCEMENT

 

Sec. 62-250. Right of entry for purpose of abatement.

 

The director of environmental management may enter the premises upon which a nuisance is situated for the purpose of abating the nuisance, with or without the consent of the owner thereof, without being guilty of trespass.

 

Sec. 62-251. Right of entry to inspect and carry out duties of this chapter.

 

Whenever necessary to make an inspection or to enforce any of the provisions of this chapter, the director of environmental management may enter any premises upon which a nuisance as enumerated in this chapter is situated, during normal working hours to inspect the same or to perform any duty imposed upon the director of environmental management.

 

Sec. 62-252. Rank Weeds and Noxious Plants.

 

Grass ten inches or more in height, rank weeds and noxious plants, as defined by this article, allowed to stand at any season of the year upon any lot, tract or parcel of land, or unpaved alley, or along the sidewalk, street or paved alley adjacent to such lot, tract or parcel of land are hereby declared to constitute a nuisance. This subsection shall not apply to land zoned or used for agricultural use which is more than 150 feet distant from any occupied residential subdivision, lot, tract or parcel of land.

 

Sec. 62-253. SameRemoval required.

 

It shall be unlawful for the owner or occupant of any parcel of real property to allow grass ten inches or more in height, rank weeds or noxious plants, as defined in this article, to grow or stand upon such parcel of real property. It shall be the duty of such owner or occupant to immediately cut, remove or destroy any and all weeds and noxious plants on such parcel of real property.

 

Sec. 62-254. Same--Notice of violation.

 

Whenever the director of environmental management shall have determined that a nuisance enumerated in section 62-252 exists on any premises within the city's corporate limits, he shall serve written notice of violation upon the owner or occupant having control thereof, or their agent, to abate such nuisance. This notice of violation shall:

 

(1) Be in writing.

 

(2) State the nature of such nuisance and that such condition constitutes a nuisance.

 

(3) Describe the premises where the nuisance is alleged to exist or to have been committed.

 

(4) Specify a period of 15 days for the abatement of the nuisance and advise the owner or occupant of his right to request a hearing.

 

(5) State that, unless such nuisance is abated without unnecessary delay, it may be abated by the city and the costs of such abatement may be specially assessed and shall be deemed a personal debt against the owner and constitute a lien against the property from which abated.

 

(6) State that failure, neglect or refusal to abate such nuisance within the 15 days specified renders the owner or occupant prosecutable in municipal court, and, upon a finding of guilty, punishable by a fine of not more than $500.00 or imprisonment of not more than 180 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

 

(7) Be served upon the owner or occupant of the premises or owner of the vehicle by delivery to him personally or by leaving such notice at his 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. If a person to whom such notice is addressed cannot be found after diligent effort to do so, service may be made upon such person by posting the notice in or about the premises described in the notice, or by causing such notice to be published in a newspaper of general circulation. If the owner or occupant is a corporation, notice shall be served upon an officer, a person in charge of any local business office, or its registered agent or any other agent authorized by appointment or required by law to receive service of process.

 

Sec. 62-255. Refuse, rubbish and garbageVacant properties.

 

Refuse, rubbish and garbage allowed to stand at any season of the year upon any vacant lot, tract or parcel of land, or unpaved alley, or along the sidewalk, street or paved alley adjacent to such vacant lot, tract or parcel of land are hereby declared to constitute a nuisance.

 

Sec. 62-256. SameRemoval required.

It shall be the duty of every owner, lessee, agent or other person having control, charge, authority or management over vacant property to keep the property free and clear of any and all refuse, rubbish and garbage of every kind and description.

 

Sec. 62-257. SameNotice of violation.

Whenever the director of environmental management shall have determined that a nuisance enumerated in section 62-255 exists on any premises within the city's corporate limits, he shall serve written notice of violation upon the owner or occupant having control thereof, or their agent, to abate such nuisance. This notice of violation shall:

 

(1) Be in writing.

 

(2) State the nature of such nuisance and that such condition constitutes a nuisance.

 

(3) Describe the premises where the nuisance is alleged to exist or to have been committed.

 

(4) Specify a period of 5 days for the abatement of the nuisance and advise the owner or occupant of his right to request a hearing.

 

(5) State that, unless such nuisance is abated without unnecessary delay, it may be abated by the city and the costs of such abatement may be specially assessed and shall be deemed a personal debt against the owner and constitute a lien against the property from which abated.

 

(6) State that failure, neglect or refusal to abate such nuisance within the 5 days specified renders the owner or occupant prosecutable in municipal court, and, upon a finding of guilty, punishable by a fine of not more than $500.00 or imprisonment of not more than 180 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

 

(7) Be served upon the owner or occupant of the premises or owner of the vehicle by delivery to him personally or by leaving such notice at his 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. If a person to whom such notice is addressed cannot be found after diligent effort to do so, service may be made upon such person by posting the notice in or about the premises described in the notice, or by causing such notice to be published in a newspaper of general circulation. If the owner or occupant is a corporation, notice shall be served upon an officer, a person in charge of any local business office, or its registered agent or any other agent authorized by appointment or required by law to receive service of process.

 

Sec. 62-258. Emergencies.

 

(a) Whenever a nuisance as enumerated in this chapter creates an emergency requiring immediate action to protect the public health, safety or welfare, the director of environmental management may issue an immediate order directing the owner, occupant or other person in charge of the premises to take such action as is necessary to correct or abate the emergency.

 

(b) If circumstances warrant, the director of environmental management may act to correct or abate the emergency. An emergency order shall be in lieu of the notice of violation or the warning letter of alleged violation.

 

(c) The director of environmental management is authorized to make a final determination of whether or not something constitutes an emergency.

 

Sec. 62-259. Appeals.

(a) Any person entitled to be served with a notice of violation shall have the right to appeal from any notice of violation or other action taken to enforce this chapter to the property maintenance appeals board. The property maintenance appeals board, as established by chapter 56, shall hear each duly filed appeal and decide whether to affirm, amend or reverse the notice of violation or other action appealed. In doing so, the property maintenance appeals board may interpret the provisions of this chapter. The property maintenance appeals board shall have all other powers granted it by chapter 56.

 

(b) An appeal shall be in writing and shall be in such form and provide such information as the property maintenance appeals board may by regulation require. An appeal must be delivered to the office of the director of environmental management within ten days from the date of service of the notice of violation or the date of the action, whichever is the subject of the appeal. Only those matters or issues specifically raised by the appellant in the written appeal shall be considered in the appeal hearing.

 

(c) The timely filing of an appeal to the property maintenance appeals board shall stay enforcement of the notice of violation or action appealed, including abatement, until the appeal is finally determined. Failure of a person entitled to appeal under this chapter either to make appeal or to timely file his appeal shall constitute a waiver of his right to an administrative hearing and adjudication of his complaint, and such person shall be estopped to deny the validity of any order or action which could have been timely appealed.

 

(d) The method of judicial review of any decision of the property maintenance appeals board upon a notice of violation or other action taken pursuant to this chapter shall be by a duly verified petition for writ of certiorari presented to the circuit court of the county where the property affected by such decision is located. Such petition shall be filed with the court within 30 days after the filing of the board's decision in the office of the director. Such petition shall set forth with particularity the grounds for such review. Any person or persons jointly or severally aggrieved by any decision of the property maintenance appeals board shall be entitled to petition for such review. Upon presentation of the petition, the court may allow a writ of certiorari directed to the board to review such decision of the board and prescribe therein the time within which a return must be made and served upon the relator's attorney, which shall be not less than ten days and may be extended by the court. The allowance of the writ shall not stay the effect of the decision appealed from, but the court may, upon timely application and due notice to the board, for due cause shown, grant a restraining order. The court may reverse or affirm, wholly or in part, the decision brought up for review.

 

Sec. 62-260. Failure to comply.

 

When a notice of violation is required to be served under this chapter, at the end of the period of time allowed in the notice of violation or in a decision of the property maintenance appeals board to abate a cited nuisance, the director of environmental management shall reinspect the premises. If, upon reinspection, the cited nuisance is found not to have been abated, the director of environmental management may cause a complaint to be filed for prosecution in municipal court, or may cause the cited nuisance to be abated by an appropriate means, or both.

 

Sec. 62-261. Special assessment of abatement costs.

 

(a) If the director of environmental management causes a nuisance to be abated, the costs of such abatement shall be determined, including as a portion thereof the reasonable costs of administering the provisions of this chapter with respect to the property affected. Such administrative costs shall not exceed the sum of $100.00. The director of environmental management shall send a bill for such costs to the owner, with payment due in 60 days. If any appeal shall have been filed from the order from the director of environmental management within the period allowed by law, such costs of abatement shall not be so certified to the director of finance unless and until final judgment shall have been rendered on such appeal confirming such order.

 

(b) The director of environmental management shall certify the balance of bills unpaid after 60 days to the director of finance. Upon receipt of such certification, the director of finance shall cause the certified cost to be included in a special tax bill or added to the annual real estate tax bill for the property, at the director's option. The director of finance shall cause a copy of such statement to be sent to the owners of such property by regular U.S. mail, and the original thereof to be retained in the office of the city treasurer, appropriately filed. The certified cost shall be collected in the same manner and procedure for collecting real estate taxes. If the certified cost is not paid, the tax bill shall be considered delinquent, and its collection shall be governed by the laws governing delinquent and back taxes. The tax bill from the date of its issuance shall be deemed a personal debt against the owner and shall also be a lien on the property until paid. The tax bill shall be payable within 60 days after the date of issuance without interest, and thereafter with interest from the date of its issue until paid at the rate on ten year United States treasury notes as established at the last auction before the particular assessment is certified to the director of finance. When payments are not current, the interest rate shall be two percent higher. Should any such installment become delinquent, the whole unpaid amount shall become due.

 

(c) In any case where the costs of abatement shall have been assessed as additional costs in a municipal court action as provided in this chapter, and such cost judgment shall have been satisfied, the special assessment pertaining thereto shall be reduced or canceled accordingly, and the record in the office of the city treasurer shall be changed to reflect such reduction or cancellation.

 

Sec. 62-262. Assessment of additional costs on conviction in municipal court.

 

Whenever any owner or occupant shall be found guilty of a violation of the provisions of this chapter in a proceeding instituted in the municipal court on complaint of the director of environmental management, as provided in this chapter, the court shall assess therein as additional costs a sum of $12.00 for costs incurred in abatement and administering the provisions of this chapter, in addition to service costs, witness fees and jail costs otherwise authorized to be assessed.

 

Sec. 62-26362-279. Reserved.

 

_____________________________________________

 

Approved as to form and legality:

 

 

___________________________________

Joseph A. Guarino

Assistant City Attorney