CHAPTER 10. ENVIRONMENTCHAPTER 10. ENVIRONMENT\Article II. Junked, Wrecked, Abandoned Property

The governing body finds that junked, salvaged, inoperable, or dismantled materials, including vehicles, affect the health, safety and general welfare of citizens of the city because they:

1.    Serve as a breeding ground for flies, mosquitoes, rats, mice, snakes and other insects and rodents;

2.    Are a danger to persons, particularly children, because of broken glass, sharp metal protrusions, insecure mounting on blocks, jacks or other supports;

3.    Are a ready source of fire and explosion;

4.    Encourage pilfering and theft;

5.    Constitute a blighting influence upon the area in which they are located;

6.    Constitute a fire hazard because they frequently block access for fire equipment to adjacent buildings and structures.

(Code 2015)

As used in this article, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

1.    Salvage material means materials that are obtained from the disassembly of various kinds of machinery, mechanical appliances and/or the demolition of buildings and structures;

2.    Junk material means materials, which are obtained from the aggregation of salvage materials reassembled or in the process of disassembly;

3.    Inoperable means a condition of being junked, wrecked, wholly or partially dismantled, discarded, abandoned or unable to perform the function or purpose for which it was originally constructed, disallowed from legal or safe operation on any public road, or unable to be used;

4.    Vehicle means, without limitation, any automobile, truck, tractor or motorcycle which as originally built contained an engine regardless of whether it contains an engine at any other time and any tractor or other vehicle designed to be towed or otherwise conveyed by another vehicle.

(Code 2015)

It shall be unlawful for any person, corporation, or association to maintain, store or permit the maintenance or storage of any salvaged or junked material nuisances, as defined; and the premises of any such person, corporation, partnership or association, or under the control thereof, shall be kept free of litter, and refuse.

1.    A motor vehicle nuisance is any motor vehicle which is not currently registered or tagged pursuant to K.S.A. 8-126 to 8-149 inclusive, as amended; or parked in violation of city ordinance; or incapable of moving under its own power; or in a junked, wrecked or inoperable condition.  Any one of the following conditions shall raise the presumption that a vehicle is junked, wrecked or inoperable;

i.     Absence of a current registration plate upon the vehicle;

ii.    Placement of the vehicle or parts thereof upon jacks, blocks, or other supports;

iii.   Absence of one or more parts of the vehicle necessary for the lawful operation of the vehicle upon street, highway or any public rights-of-way.

2.    The provisions of this section shall not apply to:

i.     Any material or vehicle that is enclosed in a garage or other building;

ii.    Any person conducting a business enterprise in compliance with existing zoning regulations if such materials or vehicles are placed behind screening of sufficient size, strength and density to screen such items from view of the public and to prohibit ready access by children and protect the public health and safety as may be directed by the public officer, however, nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize the maintenance of a public nuisance.

3.    Sentence enhancement is appropriate refer to 10-209

(Code 2015)

The public officer shall make inquiry and inspection of premises upon receiving a complaint stating that a nuisance exists and describing the same and where located or is informed that a nuisance may exist.  The public officer may make such inquiry and inspection when he or she observes conditions that appear to constitute a salvage, junk and motor vehicle nuisance.  Upon making any inquiry and inspection the public officer shall make a written report of findings.

(Code 2015)

The public officer, or an authorized assistant, shall notify in writing the owner, occupant or agent in charge of any premises or violation stored on public rights-of-way or parking lots in the city upon which junked, salvaged, or dismantled materials, including vehicles, exist in violation of this ordinance, by certified mail or by personal service.  Such notice shall include the following:

1.    That the owner, occupant or agent in charge of the property is in violation of the city’s junked, wrecked, abandoned property ordinance, including a description of the specific violations noted.

2.    That the owner, occupant, or agent in charge of the property is ordered to abate the conditions in violation within ten (10) days from the date of personal service of notice, or three days in addition to the ten days if service is by certified mail, return receipt requested (the three days to begin the day after the date of the letter). In the case where the owner of the nuisance has placed the item(s) on the public property the owner must remove them within 24 hours.

If the owner or agent of the owner of the property has failed to accept delivery or otherwise failed to effectuate receipt of a notice sent certified mail, return receipt requested, pursuant to this section during the preceding twenty-four month period, the public officer may provide notice of the issuance of any further orders to abate or remove a nuisance.  Except as specifically provided the public officer may provide notice of the order by such methods including, but not limited to, door hangers, conspicuously posting notice of such order on the property, personal notification, telephone communication or first class mail.  K.S.A. 12-1617e.

3.    That the owner, occupant, or agent in charge of the property may request a hearing before the governing body or its designee within five (5) days of the receipt of notice.  The governing body hereby designates the city manager or his/her designee as its representative for such hearing.

4.    Should the person fail to comply with the notice to abate the nuisance or fail to request a hearing, the public officer may file a complaint in municipal court of the city against such person and upon conviction of any violation, be fined in an amount not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) or be imprisoned not to exceed thirty (30) days or be both fined and imprisoned.  Each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues after notice has been served shall constitute an additional or separate offense.

5.    As an alternative to prosecution, when the owner, occupant, or agent in charge of the property neglects or fails to comply with the requirements, the city or its authorized agent, may cause to have the salvage, junk and motor vehicle nuisance removed as provided by K.S.A. 12-1617e and K.S.A. Supp.8-1102, as amended.  The actual cost of the removal of the salvage, junk and motor vehicle nuisance, the cost of providing notice, publication in the official city newspaper, including postage, filing fee and a $100 administration fee will be assessed against the owner, occupant, or agent in charge of the property.

6.    The public officer should be contacted if there are any questions regarding the order.

7.    Sentence enhancement is appropriate refer to Section 10-209

(Code 2015)

1.    The public officer, or an authorized assistant, shall give notice to the owner, occupant, or agent in charge of the premises by certified mail return receipt of the costs of abatement of the salvage, junk and motor vehicle nuisance.  The notice shall state that payment of the costs is due and payable within thirty (30) days following receipt of notice.

2.    If the costs of removal or abatement remain unpaid after thirty (30) days following the receipt of notice, a record of the costs shall be certified to the city clerk.  The city may levy a special assessment for such costs to be assessed against the particular lot or piece of land on which such violation occurred or originated from, in the same manner as provided by K.S.A. 12-1617e.  The city clerk shall certify the assessment to the county clerk at the time other special assessments are certified for placing such on the tax rolls of the county.

(Code 2015)

The public officer, and the public officers authorized assistants, employees, contracting agents or other representative are hereby given the right to enter onto private property at reasonable hours to inspect and make inquiry to determine if a salvage, junk and motor vehicle nuisance exists or has been abated.  If entry is denied, the public officer may seek an order for this purpose from a court of competent jurisdiction.  The public officer is not authorized to enter residences or buildings.

(Code 2015)

It shall be unlawful for any person to interfere with or to attempt to prevent the public officer or the public officer’s authorized representative from entering upon any such lot or piece of ground or from proceeding with removal of salvage, junk and motor vehicle nuisances.  Such interference shall constitute a Class B misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $500, or by imprisonment not to exceed 30 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.  Each separate day or part thereof shall constitute a separate offense.

(Code 2015)

The City Prosecutor shall have the authority to seek the enhancement of sentences as provided in this Ordinance by following the following procedure:

1.    Enhancement is appropriate if the defendant has violated the same or similar Code at least two (2) times in the preceding five (5) years from the date of the charge of the current violation.

2.    The City Prosecutor shall file a notice to enhance the sentence prior to the trial or plea in the current case, and shall provide the defendant notice of the enhancement at least 10 days prior to the plea or trial.

3.    For each defendant the enhancement shall be as follows: for the first filing the enhancement shall be double the penalty provisions contained in this chapter; for second and subsequent filings for a defendant the enhancement shall be triple the penalties contained in this chapter.

4.    Sentence enhancement is appropriate for violations of the following Sections:

10-203, Nuisances Unlawful

10-205, Public Officers; Notice to Remove

(Code 2015)