What is a “nuisance” as characterized by City Ordinance?

This is only a portion of our ordinance. For a complete ordinance, please refer to our ordinances in the menu at the top of the page.

A “nuisance” is defined and treated by City Ordinance as follows:

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 drain field.
  • N. The obstruction of a gutter or drainage ditch or pipe.
  • O. The maintaining of any accumulations of rubbish and animal manure.

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.