Chapter 2-Nuisances

3-2-1 DEFINITIONS
3-2-2 NUISANCE PROHIBITED
3-2-3 OTHER CONDITIONS REGULATED
3-2-4 NOTICE TO ABATE NUISANCE OR CONDITION
3-2-5 CONTENTS OF NOTICE TO ABATE
3-2-6 METHOD OF SERVICE
3-2-7 REQUEST FOR HEARING AND APPEAL
3-2-8 ABATEMENT IN EMERGENCY
3-2-9 ABATEMENT BY MUNICIPALITY
3-2-10 COLLECTION OF COST OF ABATEMENT
3-2-11 INSTALLMENT PAYMENT OF COST OF ABATEMENT

3-2-1 DEFINITIONS. For use in this Ordinance, the following terms are defined:

1. The term “nuisance” shall mean whatever is injurious to health, indecent, or offensive to the senses or an obstacle to the free use of property so as essentially to interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property. The following are declared to be nuisances:

A. The erecting, continuing or using any building or other place for the exercise of any trade, employment or manufacture, which by occasioning noxious exhalations, offensive smells, or other annoyances, becomes injurious and dangerous to the health, comfort of property or individuals or the public.

B. The causing or suffering any offal, filth, or noisome substance to be collected or to remain in any place to the prejudice of others.

C. The obstructing or impeding without legal authority the passage of any navigable river, harbor, or collection of water.

D. The corrupting or rendering unwholesome or impure the water of any river, stream, or pond, or unlawfully diverting the same from its natural course or state; to the injury or prejudice of others.

E. The obstructing or encumbering by fences, buildings or otherwise the public roads, private ways, streets, alleys, commons, landing places or burying grounds.

F. Houses of ill fame, kept for the purpose of prostitution and lewdness, gambling houses, or houses resorted to for the use of opium or hashish or houses where drunkenness, quarreling, fighting or breaches of the peace are carried on or permitted to the disturbance of others.

G. Billboards, signboards, and advertising signs, whether erected and constructed on public or private property, which so obstruct and impair the view of any portion or part of a public street, avenue, highway, boulevard or alley or of a railroad or street railway track as to render dangerous the use thereof.

H. Cotton-bearing cottonwood trees and all other cotton bearing poplar trees in cities.

I. The depositing or storing of flammable junk, such as old rags, rope, cordage, rubber, bones and paper by dealers in such articles within the fire limits of any city, unless it be in a building of fireproof construction.

J. The emission of dense smoke, noxious fumes or fly ash.

K. Dense growth of all weeds, vines, brush or other vegetation in the city so as to constitute a health, safety or fire hazard.

L. Trees on private property infected with Dutch elm disease.

M. Effluent from a septic tank or drainfield or ponding of polluted water over an overloaded or non-operating drainfield.

N. The obstruction of a gutter or drainage ditch or pipe.

O. The maintaining of any accumulations of rubbish and animal manure.

P. Any building or structure damaged by fire. (Ord. No. 1057, 7-21-08)

Q. Any water service line constructed of lead.

2. The term “property owner” shall mean the contract purchaser if there is one of record, otherwise the record holder of legal title.

3-2-2 NUISANCE PROHIBITED. The creation or maintenance of a nuisance is hereby prohibited, and a nuisance, public or private may be abated in the manner provided in this Ordinance.

3-2-3 OTHER CONDITIONS REGULATED. The following actions are required and may also be abated in the manner provided in this Ordinance:

1. The removal of diseased trees or dead wood, but not diseased trees and dead wood outside the lot and property lines and inside the curb lines upon the public street.

2. The removal, repair, or dismantling of a dangerous building or structure.

3. The connection to public drainage systems from abutting property when necessary for public health or safety.

4. The connection to public sewer systems from abutting property, and the installation of sanitary toilet facilities and removal of other toilet facilities on such property.

5. The cutting or destruction of weeds or other growth which constitutes a health, safety or fire hazard.

3-2-4 NOTICE TO ABATE NUISANCE OR CONDITION. Whenever the Mayor or other authorized municipal officer finds that a nuisance or other condition listed in Section 3 exists, he/she shall cause to be served upon the property owner as shown by the records of the County Auditor a written notice to abate the nuisance within a reasonable time after notice.

3-2-5 CONTENTS OF NOTICE TO ABATE. The notice to abate shall contain:

1. A description of what constitutes the nuisance or other condition;

2. The location of the nuisance or condition;

3. A statement of the act or acts necessary to abate the nuisance or condition;

4. A “reasonable time” within which to complete the abatement;

5. A statement that if the nuisance or condition is not abated as directed and no request for hearing is made within the time prescribed, the City will abate it, and assess the costs against such person.

3-2-6 METHOD OF SERVICE. The notice may be served by certified mail or personal service to the property owner as shown by the records of the County Auditor.
(Ord. 983, Passed June 16, 2003)

3-2-7 REQUEST FOR HEARING AND APPEAL. Any person ordered to abate a nuisance or condition may request a hearing with the officer ordering the abatement as to whether a nuisance or prohibited condition exists. A request for a hearing must be made in writing and delivered to the officer ordering the abatement within the time stated in the notice, or it will be conclusively presumed that a nuisance or prohibited condition exists and it must be abated as ordered.

At the conclusion of the hearing, or within ten (10) days thereof, the hearing officer shall render a written decision as to whether a nuisance or prohibited condition exists. If the officer finds that a nuisance or prohibited condition exists, the officer shall order it abated within an additional time which must be reasonable under the circumstances. Any person aggrieved by this decision may appeal the decision to the City Council. The appeal must be made in writing and delivered to the officer conducting the hearing within ten (10) days of the hearing officer’s decision. The appeal shall be heard at a time and place fixed by the City Council. The findings of the City Council shall be conclusive and, if a nuisance or prohibited condition is found to exist, it shall be ordered abated within a time that is reasonable under the circumstances.
(Ord. 985, 11-03-03)

3-2-8 ABATEMENT IN EMERGENCY. If it is determined that an emergency exists by reason of the continuing maintenance of the nuisance or condition, the City may perform any action which may be required under this Ordinance within prior notice. The City shall assess the costs as provided in Section 3-2-10 of this Ordinance, after notice to the property owner under the applicable provision of Section 3-2-4 and 3-2-5 and hearing as provided in Section 3-2-7.

3-2-9 ABATEMENT BY MUNICIPALITY. If the person notified to abate a nuisance or condition neglects or fails to abate as directed, the City may perform the required action to abate, keeping an accurate account of the expense incurred. The itemized expense account shall be filed with the City Clerk who shall pay such expenses on behalf of the municipality.

3-2-10 COLLECTION OF COST OF ABATEMENT. The Clerk shall mail a statement of the total expense incurred to the property owner who has failed to abide by the notice to abate, and if the amount shown by the statement has not been paid within one month, he shall certify the costs to the County Treasurer and it shall then be collected with, and in the same manner, as general property taxes.
(Ord. 991, Passed April 19, 2004)

3-2-11 INSTALLMENT PAYMENT OF COSTS OF ABATEMENT. If the amount expended to abate the nuisance or condition is less than $1000, the City may permit the assessment to be paid in up to five (5) annual installments, in the same manner and with the same interest rates provided for assessments against benefited property under Iowa Code Chapter 384, division IV. If the amount expended to abate the nuisance or condition is $1000 or more, the City may permit the assessment to be paid in up to ten (10) annual installments, in the same manner and with the same interest rates provided for assessments against benefited property under Iowa Code Chapter 384, division IV.
(Ord. No. 1020, 3-6-06)