Chapter 41 – Demolition of Substandard Buildings

(ORD #12-96)

 

Chapter 41–Demolition of Substandard Buildings

 

41.010.    Dangerous buildings defined.  All buildings or structures which have any or all of the following defects shall be deemed “dangerous buildings”:

 

  1. Those whose interior walls or other vertical structural members list, lean or buckle to such an extent that a plumb line passing through the center of gravity falls outside of the middle third of its base.

 

  1. Those which, exclusive of the foundation, show thirtythree (33) percent or more, of damage or deterioration of the supporting member or members, or fifty (50) percent of damage or deterioration of non-supporting enclosing or outside walls or covering.

 

  1. Those which have improperly distributed loads upon the floors or roofs or in which the same are overloaded, or which have insufficient strength to be reasonably safe for the purpose used.

 

  1. Those which have been damaged by fire, wind or other causes so as to have become dangerous to life, safety, or the health and welfare of the occupants or the people of this City.

 

  1. Those which have become or are so dilapidated, decayed, unsafe, unsanitary or which so utterly fail to provide the amenities essential to decent living that they are unfit for human habitation, or are likely to cause sickness or disease, so as to work injury to the health, safety, or general welfare of those living therein or others who may come in contact with such building or structure or its surroundings. .
  2. Those having light, air and sanitation facilities which are inadequate to protect the health, safety, or general welfare of human beings who live or may live therein or others who may come in contact with such building or structure or its surroundings.
  3. Those having inadequate facilities for egress in case of fire or panic or those having insufficient stairways, elevators, fire escapes, or other means of ascent or descent.

 

  1. Those which have parts thereof which are so attached that they may fall or be blown by wind and injure persons or property.

 

  1. Those which because of their condition are unsafe, unsanitary, or dangerous to the health, safety, or general welfare of the people of this City.

 

41.020.    Standards for repair, vacation or demolition.  The following standards shall be followed in ordering repair, vacation, or demolition:

 

  1. If the “dangerous building” can reasonably be repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this Chapter it shall be ordered repaired.

 

  1. If the “dangerous building” is in such condition as to make it dangerous to the health, safety, or general welfare of its occupants it shall be ordered to be vacated and repaired.

 

  1. In any case where a “dangerous building” is 50 percent damaged or decayed, or deteriorated from its original value or structure, it shall be demolished, and in all cases where a building or structure cannot be reasonably repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the provisions of this Chapter it shall be demolished. In all cases where a

“dangerous building” is a fire hazard existing or erected in violation of any provision of this Chapter or other ordinance of the City or statute of the State, it shall be repaired or demolished.

 

41.030.    Dangerous buildings are nuisances.  All dangerous buildings within the terms of Section 41.010 of this Chapter are hereby declared to be public nuisances, and shall be repaired, vacated, or demolished as hereinbefore and hereinafter provided.

 

41.035.    Parties.  In addition to the owner, all occupants, lessees, mortgagees, agents, or others having an interest in the building or structure as shown by the land records of the recorder of deeds of the county wherein the land upon which the dangerous building or structure is located shall be made parties to any action under this chapter.

 

41.040.    Building inspectors.  All persons so designated by the Mayor shall be “building inspectors” within the meaning of this Chapter.

 

41.050.    Same, duties.  The building inspectors shall:

 

  1. Inspect or cause to be inspected at any time he has reason to suspect a violation of Chapter 41 exists, all buildings and structures located within the City for purpose of determining whether any conditions exist which cause such places to be a “dangerous building” within the provisions of the Chapter.

 

  1. Inspect any building or structure about which complaints are filed by any person to the effect that a building or structure is or may be existing in violation of this Chapter.

 

  1. Inspect any building, or structure reported as probably existing in violation of the terms of this Chapter.
  2. Notify in writing, either by personal service or by certified mail, return receipt requested; or if service cannot be had by either of these modes of service, then by publication in a newspaper qualified to publish legal notices, for two successive weeks, the owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee, agent and all other persons having an interest in said building as shown by the land records of the recorder of deeds of the county, of any building or structure found by him to be a “dangerous building’ within the standards set forth in Section 41.010 of this Chapter, that the owner or other interested parties set forth above must vacate, vacate and repair, or vacate and demolish or remain in possession and repair, said building or structure in accordance with the terms of the notice and this Chapter.

 

  1. Set forth in the notice provided for in Subsection (4) hereof, a description of the building or structure deemed unsafe, a statement of the particulars which make the building or structure a “dangerous building” and an order requiring that on site work towards compliance must begin within a specific number of days from the date of the notice shall proceed continuously, without unnecessary delay, until full compliance is obtained. The time given to commence work shall be reasonable.

 

  1. Report in writing to the mayor or building commissioner of any noncompliance with the notice provided for in subsections (4) and (5) hereof.
  2. Appear at all hearings conducted under this Chapter.

 

  1. Place a notice on all “dangerous buildings” reading as follows:

“This building/structure has been found to be a dangerous                          building/structure by the building inspector.  This notice is to remain on this            building until it is repaired, vacated, or demolished in accordance with the notice which has been given to the owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee, or agent of this building, and all other persons having an interest in said

building/structure as shown by the land records of the recorder of deeds of the county.  It is unlawful to remove this notice until such notice is complied with.”

41.055.    Removal of Notice.  It shall be unlawful for any person to remove a notice posted pursuant to 41.050.8 from any building without the permission of the building inspector.

 

41.060.    Building commissioner.  The mayor shall designate the building commissioner under this Chapter.

 

41.070.    Same, duties.  The mayor or the building commissioner shall:

 

  1. Upon receipt of a report of a building inspector as provided for in Section 41.050 (6), give ten days written notice to the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee, agent, and all other persons having an interest in said building or structure as shown by the land records of the recorder of deeds of the county to appear before him on the date specified in the notice to show cause why the building or structure reported to be a “dangerous building” should not be repaired, vacated, or demolished in accordance with the statement of particulars set forth in the building inspector’s notice provided for in Section 41.050 (4) and (5).

 

  1. Hold a hearing, where any party may be represented by legal counsel, and hear such testimony as the building inspector or the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee, or any other person having an interest in said building or structure shall offer relative to the “dangerous building.” The Owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee, agent, and any other person having an interest in such building or structure as shown by the land records of the county shall be made parties.

 

  1. Make written findings of fact based upon substantial and competent evidence derived from the evidence presented at the hearing as to whether or not the building or structure in question is a “dangerous building” within the provisions of this chapter and is a nuisance or detrimental to the health, safety, or welfare of the residence of the city, and if so, the Mayor or Building Commissioner shall issue an order causing the building or structure to be demolished and removed, or repaired. If the evidence does not support a finding that the building or structure is a “dangerous building” within the provisions of this chapter and is a nuisance or detrimental to the health, safety, or welfare of the residence of the city, the Mayor or Building Commissioner shall make such finding but no order shall be issued.

 

  1. After such hearing as provided for above, if the Mayor or Building Commissioner issues an order whereby the building or structure is demolished, secured, repaired, or the property is cleaned up, the cost of performance shall be certified to the City Clerk or other officer in charge of finance, who shall cause a special tax bill or assessment therefore against the property to be prepared and collected by the City Collector or other official collecting taxes unless the building or structure is demolished, secured, or repaired by a contractor pursuant to an order issued by the City and such contractor files a mechanic’s lien against the property where the dangerous building is located. If such is the case, the contractor may enforce his lien as provided for in 429.010 to 429.460 RSMo.  At the request of the taxpayer, the tax bill may be paid in installments over a period not more than ten years.  The tax bill from the date of its issuance shall be deemed a personal debt against the property owner and shall also be a lien on the property until paid.

 

  1. Supervise all building inspectors.

 

41.080.    Appeal to Circuit Court.  Any owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee, agent or any other person having an interest in the building or structure as shown by the land records of the recorder of deeds of the county wherein the land is located may appeal any order issued by the Mayor or Building Commissioner pursuant to this Chapter to the Circuit Court as established in 536.100 to 536.140 RSMo., if a proper record as defined in

536.130  RSMo is maintained of the hearing provided by subsection 4 of 67.410

RSMo.; otherwise, the appeal shall be made pursuant to the procedures provided by 536.150 RSMo.  In any appeal as provided for above, any person who owns or occupies property located within 1,200 feet of the perimeter of the building or structure which is the subject of the building or structure which is the subject of the suit shall be allowed to present evidence to the court on behalf of the City of the condition of the building or structure, whether or not such person presented such evidence at the hearing provided for by subsection 4 of 67.410 RSMo.  The appellant before the court shall have the opportunity to cross-examine any such person presenting evidence to the court.

 

41.090.    Emergency Cases.  In cases where it reasonably appears there is immediate danger to the life or safety of any person unless a “dangerous building” is  immediately repaired, vacated, or demolished, the building inspector shall report such facts to the Mayor or Building Commissioner and the Mayor or Building Commissioner shall cause the immediate repair, vacation or  demolition of such “dangerous building”.  The costs of such emergency repair, vacation, or demolition of such building or structure shall be collected in the same manner as provided in Section 41.070 (4).

 

41.120.    Insurance proceeds from damage or loss to buildings or structures.  If there are proceeds of any insurance policy based upon a covered claim for damage or loss to a building or other structure caused by or arising out of any fire, explosion, or other casualty loss, the City may collect up to 25% of the insurance proceeds as  hereinafter provided.  This section shall only apply to a covered claim which is in excess of 50% of the face value of the policy covering a building or other structure.  If such is the case, the insurer shall withhold from any payment up to 25% of the covered claim payment and shall pay such funds to the city to deposit into an interest-bearing account.  Any named mortgagee on the insurance policy shall maintain priority over any obligation under this ordinance.  The City shall release the proceeds and any interest which has accrued on such proceeds to the insured or as the terms of the policy and endorsements thereto provide within 30 days after receipt of such insurance monies unless the City has instituted legal proceedings under the provisions of Subdivision 5 of Subsection 1 of 67.417 RSMo.  If the City has proceeded under the provisions of Subdivision 5 of Subsection 1  of 67.410 RSMo. for the removal, securing, repair, and cleanup of the building or structure, and the lot on which it is located, less salvage value, shall be paid to the insured.  If there are no insurance proceeds as set forth above, at the request of the taxpayer, the tax bill may be paid in installments over a period of not more than ten years.  The tax bill from the date of its issuance shall be a lien on the property until paid.  This section shall apply to fire, explosion, or other casualty loss claims arising on all buildings or structures.  This section does not make the City a party to any insurance contract, and the insurer is not liable to any party for any amount in excess of the proceeds otherwise payable under its insurance policy.

 

41.130.    Violation.  Any violation of this ordinance or any violation of any notice or order issued by any building inspector or the Mayor or the Building Commissioner is unlawful.  Each day such violation continues shall constitute a distinct and separate offense.

 

41.140.    Notification.  Upon passage of this ordinance, the City shall notify the Director of Insurance within 14 days of the passage of this ordinance.  The Director of Insurance shall notify insurance companies which issue policies insuring buildings and other structures against fire, explosion, other casualty loss within 14 days after such notification is received by the division.  Insurance company shall have 60 days after the director notifies them of the adoption of this ordinance to establish procedures within such cities or counties to carry out the provisions of Subsection 6 of 67.410 RSMo.

41.150.    The City may certify that in lieu of payment of all or part of an insurance payment under Subsection 6 of 67.410 RSMo., or has obtained satisfactory proof that the insured has or will remove debris and repair, rebuild, or otherwise make the premises sate and secure.  In this event, the City shall issue a certificate within 30 days after receipt of proof to permit the insurance payment to the insured without any deduction pursuant to

Subsection 6 of 67.410 RSMo.  It shall be the obligation of the insured or other person making such claim to provide the insurance company with a written certificate provided for in this section.