CHAPTER 6. BUILDINGS AND BUILDING REGULATIONSCHAPTER 6. BUILDINGS AND BUILDING REGULATIONS\Article VI. Dangerous, Unsafe And Blighted Structures

The Governing Body has found that there exist within the corporate limits of the City, structures which are unfit for human use or habitation because of dilapidation, defects increasing the hazards of fire or accidents, structural defects or other conditions which render such structures unsafe, unsanitary or otherwise inimical to the general welfare of the City, or conditions which provide a general blight upon the neighborhood or surrounding properties.  It is hereby deemed necessary by the Governing Body to require all cause the repair, closing or demolition or removal of such structures as provided in this ordinance.

(Code 2015)

For the purpose of this ordinance, the following words and terms shall have the following meanings:

A.    Enforcing Officer means the City Manager or his or her authorized representative.

B.    Structure shall include any building, wall superstructure or other structure which requires location on the ground, or is attached to something have a location on the ground.

(Code 2015)

The Public Officer is hereby authorized to exercise such powers as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this ordinance, including the following:

A.    Inspect any structure which appears to be unsafe, dangerous or unfit for human habitation.

B.    Have authority to enter upon premises at reasonable hours for the purpose of making such inspections.  Entry shall be made so as to cause the least possible inconvenience to any person in possession of the structure.  If entry is denied, the enforcing officer may seek an order for this purpose from a court of competent jurisdiction.

C.    Report all structures which he or she believes to be dangerous, unsafe or unfit for human habitation to the Community Development Director.

D.    Receive petitions as provided in this ordinance.

(Code 2015)

The Public Office may determine that a structure is unfit for human use or habitation if he or she finds that conditions exist in such structure which are dangerous or injurious to the health or safety of the occupants of such buildings or other residents of the City, or which have a blighting influence on properties in the area.  Such conditions include, but are not limited to: defects therein increasing the hazard of fire, accident, or other calamity; air pollution; dilapidation; structural defects; uncleanliness; overcrowding; dead and dying trees, limbs, or unsightly natural growth; unsightly appearances that constitute a blight to adjoining property, the neighborhood, or the City; unsightly stored or parked material, equipment, supplies, machinery, trucks or automobiles or parts thereof; vermin infestation; inadequate drainage; open unattended excavations; vandalism activities, or any violation of health, fire, building, housing or zoning regulations or any other laws or regulations relating to the use of land and the use and occupancy of buildings and improvement now in effect or hereafter duly approved by the Governing Body.

(Code 2015)

Whenever a petition is filed with the Public Officer by at least five (5) residents charging that any structure is dangerous, unsafe or unfit for human habitation, or whenever it appears to the enforcing officer on his or her own motion that any structure is dangerous, unsafe or unfit for human habitation, he or she shall, if a preliminary investigation discloses a basis for such charges, report such findings to the Governing Body.

(Code 2015)

The Governing Body upon receiving a report as provided in Section 6-604 shall by resolution fix a time and place at which the owner, the owner’s agent, any lien holder of records and any occupant of the structure may appear and show cause why the structure should not be condemned and ordered repaired or demolished.

(Code 2015)

A.    The resolution shall be published once each week for two (2) consecutive weeks on the same day of each week.  At least thirty (30) days shall elapse between the last publication and the date set for the hearing.

B.    A copy of the resolution shall be mailed by certified mail return receipt within three (3) days after its first publication to each owner, agent, lien holder and occupant at the last known place of residence and shall be marked “deliver to addressee only.”

(Code 2015)

A.    If, after notice and hearing, the Governing Body determines that the structure under consideration is dangerous, unsafe or unfit for human use or habitation, it shall state in a resolution its findings of fact in support of such determination and shall cause the resolution to be published once in the official city newspaper and a copy mailed to the owners, agents, lien holders of record and occupants in the same manner provided for the notice of hearing.  The resolution shall fix a reasonable time within which the repair or removal of such structure shall be commenced and a statement that if the owner of such structure fails to commence the repair or removal of such structure within the time stated or fails to diligently prosecute the same until the work is completed, the Governing Body will cause the structure to be razed and removed.

B.    If the repair, alteration, or improvement of the structure can be made at a cost which shall not exceed fifty (50) percent of the fair market value of the structure, the owner of the property shall within the time specified in the order, repair, alter or improve the structure to render it safe and fit for human use or habitation, or shall vacate and close the structure until such time as he has complied with the order.

C.    If the repair, alteration or improvement of the structure cannot be made at a cost of fifty (50) percent or less of its fair market value, the owner shall, within the time specified in the order, remove or demolish the structure.

(Code 2015)

Whenever any structure within the City shall be found to be dangerous, unsafe or unfit for human use or habitation, it shall be the duty and obligation of the owner of the property to render the same secure and safe or to remove the same.

(Code 2015)

A.    If, within the time specified in the order, the owner fails to comply with the order to repair, alter, improve or vacate the structure, the enforcing officer may cause the structure to be repaired, altered, improved, or to be vacated and closed.

B.    If, within the time specified in the order, the owner fails to comply with the order to remove or demolish the structure, the enforcing officer may cause the structure to be removed and demolished.

(Code 2015)

Upon removal of any structure, the owner shall fill any basement or other excavation located upon the premises and take any other action necessary to leave the premises in a safe condition.  If the owner fails to take such action, the enforcing officer may proceed to make the site safe.

(Code 2015)

A.    The cost to the City of any notices, repairs, alterations, improvements, vacating, removal or demolition by the enforcing officer, including making the site safe, shall be reported to the City Clerk.

B.    The City Clerk or designee shall give notice to the owner of the structure by certified return receipt of the cost of removing the structure and making the premises safe and secure.  The notice shall also state that payment of the cost is due and payable within thirty (30) days following receipt of the notice.

C.    If the costs remain unpaid after thirty (30) days following receipt of notice, the enforcing officer may sell any salvage from the structure and apply the proceeds or any necessary portion thereof to pay the cost of removing the structure and making the site safe.  Any proceeds in excess of that required to recover the costs shall be paid to the owner of the premises upon which the structure was located.

D.    If the costs remain unpaid and if the proceeds of the sale of salvage is insufficient to recover the cost, or if there is no salvage, the City Clerk shall, at the time of certifying other city taxes, certify the unpaid portion of the costs to the County Clerk who shall extend the same on the tax roll of the County.

(Code 2015)

When in the opinion of the Governing Body any structure is in such condition as to constitute an immediate hazard requiring immediate action to protect the public, the Governing Body may direct the Enforcing Officer to erect barricades or cause the property to be vacated, taken down, repaired, shored or otherwise made safe without delay.  Such action may be taken without prior notice to a hearing of the owners, agents, lien holders and occupants.  The cost of any action under this section shall be assessed against the property as provided in Section 12.

(Code 2015)

Any person affected by an order issued by the Governing Body under this ordinance may, within thirty (30) days following service of the order, petition the District Court of the County in which the structure is located for an injunction restraining the Enforcing Officer from carrying out the provisions of the order pending final disposition of the case.

(Code 2015)

Nothing in this ordinance shall be construed to abrogate or impair the powers of the courts or of any department of the City to enforce any provisions of its ordinances or regulations, nor to prevent or punish violations thereof; and the powers conferred by this ordinance shall be in addition to and supplemental to the powers conferred by the constitution, any other law or ordinance.  Nothing in this ordinance shall be construed to impair or limit in any way the power of the City to define and declare nuisances and to cause the removal or abatement by summary proceedings or otherwise or to exercise those powers granted specifically by K.S.A. 12-1750:1756.

(Code 2015)