City Code

9.77: Nuisance Abatement

1.000 Declaration of Policy.
The purpose of this chapter is to protect the public health, safety and welfare by enactment of provisions which:
  1. Define public nuisance and nuisance conditions.
  2. Determine the responsibilities of owners and operators of dwellings and property for correction of nuisance conditions.
  3. Provide remedies to eliminate public nuisances
  4. Provide for administration, enforcement and penalties
  5. Promote the stabilization and maintenance of neighborhoods.Unless otherwise specified in the City Code, the abatement processes in this chapter are to be used to abate and resolve nuisance conditions within the City.

(Ord. of 03-26-2007)
2.000 Definitions.
The following definitions shall apply to this chapter:
  1. Attractive Nuisance: A condition such as a dangerous structure, an unsecured vacant or condemned building, or other condition which in the opinion of the enforcement officer may attract non owner(s) or other unauthorized person(s) and which may expose them to risk, peril or danger.
  2. Enforcement Officer: All persons appointed as enforcement personnel or acting as inspectors for the City of Mankato or any other city employee designated by the City Manager to enforce the provisions of the Mankato City Code.
  3. Hazardous Waste: Any waste material so defined by Minnesota Statutes 116.06, subdivision 11 or described or listed as hazardous waste in Minnesota Rules.
  4. Interested Party: Any owner of record, occupying tenant or lien holder of record.
  5. Last Known Address: The address shown on the records of Blue Earth County Property Information and Taxpayer Services or a more recent address known to the enforcement officer. In the case of parties not listed in these records, the last known address shall be that address obtained by the officer after a reasonable search.
  6. Mail: Service by mail shall mean by depositing the item with the United States Postal Service addressed to the intended recipient at his or her last known address with first class postage prepaid thereon.
  7. Nuisance building: A vacant building or portion of a vacant building, which has multiple housing code or building code violations or has been ordered vacated by the city or which has a documented and confirmed history as a blighting influence on the community.
  8. Owner: Those shown to be owner or owners on the records of Blue Earth County Property Information and Taxpayer Services.
  9. Personal Service: Service by personally handing a copy to the intended recipient or by leaving a copy at the intended recipient’s residence or place of business with a person of suitable age and discretion.
  10. Refuse: Putrescible and nonputrescible and combustible and noncombustible waste, including paper, garbage, material resulting from the handling, processing storage, preparation, serving and consumption of food vegetable or animal matter, offal, rubbish, plant wastes such as tree trimmings or grass cuttings, ashes incinerator residue, street cleanings, construction debris, detached vehicle parts, furniture and solid industrial and market wastes.
  11. Responsible Party: Any one or more of the following: Agent; Assignee or collector of rents; Holder of a contract for deed; a mortgagee or vendee in possession; receiver of executor or trustee; lessee; those know to the enforcement officer as having an ownership interest; or other person, firm or corporation exercising apparent control over a property.
     

(Ord. of 3-26-2007)
3.000 Violations.
  1. No person shall directly or indirectly or by omission create a nuisance.
  2. No owner or responsible party shall allow a nuisance to remain upon or in any property or structure under his or her control.
     

(Ord. of 3-26-2007)
4.000 Criminal Penalty
Any person who violates any provision of this section or fails to comply with a lawful written order issued pursuant to subdivision 11, 12, or 13 and/or a lawful verbal order issued pursuant to subdivision 6, shall be guilty of a misdeameanor. Each day during which noncompliance or violation continues shall constitute separate misdemeanor offenses.
5.000 Disclosure of Responsible Party.
Upon the request of the enforcement officer, a responsible party or owner shall disclose the name of any other responsible party or owner known to them. This shall include, but not be limited to, the person for whom they are acting, from whom they are leasing the property, to whom they are leasing the property, with whom they share joint ownership, or with whom they have any contact pertaining to the property.
(Ord. of 3-26-2007)
6.000 Order to Cease.
In the event that an enforcement officer observes a person creating or allowing a nuisance, the officer may order that the person cease and desist creating or allowing the nuisance.
(Ord. of 3.26-2007)
7.000 Authorization to Enter.
The enforcement officer shall be authorized to enter any property or structure in the city for the purpose of enforcing and assuring compliance with the provisions of this chapter. An owner or responsible party shall, upon the request of the enforcement officer, provide access to all interior portions of a building in order to permit the officer to make a complete inspection.

Failure to allow the enforcement officer full access to the property and structure is a violation of this ordinance for which the person or person s refusing access may be cited.

(Ord. of 3-26-2007)
8.000 Service
When service of an order or notice is required, any one or more of the following methods of service shall be adequate:
  1. By personal service; or
  2. By certified mail, through the U. S. Postal Service; or
  3. By U. S. mail, unless it is a written order which gives three days or less for the completion of any act it requires; or
  4. If the appropriate party or address cannot be determined after reasonable effort, by posting a copy of the order in a conspicuous place on the property; or
  5. If a mailed order or notice is returned by the U. S. Postal Service, a good faith effort shall be made to determine the correct address, unless the order or notice orders abatement and that abatement has been completed.

(Ord. of 3-26-2007)
9.000 Administrative Penalties
The City Council may, by resolution, establish a schedule of administrative penalties for Class I and Class II nuisances. The amount of the  penalty shall reflect the costs associated with inspection, notice and order, posting, and/or abatement of nuisances. Administative penalties shall be imposed according to the schedule adopted by the City Council. Administrative penalties may be imposed in addition to any criminal charges or fines.
(Ord. of 3-26-2007, Ord. of 2-23-2009)
10.000 Nuisance.
A nuisance shall mean any substance, matter, emission or thing which creates a dangerous or unhealthy condition or which threatens the public peace, health, safety or sanitary condition of the city or which is offensive or has a blighting influence on the community and which is found upon, being discharged or flowing from any street, alley, highway, railroad right-of-way, vehicle, railroad car, water, excavation, building, erection, lot, grounds or other property located within the city. Nuisances shall include but not be limited to those set forth in this section and sections 3.62, 6.04, 9.13, 9.14, 9.67, 12.02 and 12.71 of the Mankato City Code.
  1. Class I Nuisances. For purposes of this section, the following conditions when existing or allowed to exist in the City of Mankato shall be designated as "Class I Nuisances"
    1. Dangerous Structure. A structure which is potentially hazardous to persons or property including, but not limited to:
      1. A structure which is in danger of partial or complete collapse; or
      2. A structure with any exterior parts which are broken, loose or in danger of falling; or
      3. A structure with any parts such as floors, porches, railings, stairs, ramps, balconies or roofs which are accessible and which are either collapsed, in danger of collapsing or unable to support the weight of normally imposed loads.
    2. Fire Hazards. Any thing or condition on the property which, in the opinion of the enforcement officer, creates a fire hazard or which is a violation of the fire code.
    3. Hazards. Any thing or conditions on the property which in the opinion of the enforcement officer, may contribute to injury of any person present on the property, which shall include but not be limited to , open holes, open foundations, open wells, dangerous trees or limbs or abandoned appliances.
    4. Health Hazards Any thing or condition on the property which, in the opinion of the enforcement officer, creates a health hazard or which is a violation of any health or sanitation law.
    5. Insects, Rodents or Pest Harborage. Conditions which are conducive to the presence, harborage or breeding of insects, rodents or other pests.
    6. Nuisance Building. Any building or portion of a building which is a nuisance as defined in subdivision 2 of this section.
    7. Obstructions over public sidewalks. Shrubs, bushes, trees, vines or other uncontrolled vegetation which has grown over the public sidewalk and which obstructs, interferes, or renders dangerous for passage any public sidewalk.
    8. Sight Triangle Obstructions. A fence, wall, shrubbery or other obstruction to vision above a height of thirty (30) inches from the established street grades within the triangular area formed at the intersection of any street right-of-way lines by a straight line drawn between said right-of-way lines at a distance along each line of twenty-five (25) feet from their point of intersection. Structures permitted under Sections 10.43, 10.44 and 10.48 may encroach into the required sight triangle as defined by Section 12.71, Subd. 5, provided the structure location does not unduly restrict vehicular or pedestrian sight distances.
    9. Statutory and Common Law Nuisances. Any thing or condition on property which is known to the common law of the land, the Statutes of Minnesota or the Mankato City Code as a nuisance.
    10. Unsecured Unoccupied Buildings. Unoccupied buildings or unoccupied portions of buildings which are unsecured. Owners may be required to replace coverings over broken or missing windows or doors with the appropriately sized windows or doors.
    11. Roll-off style trash dumpsters left on properties for longer than 90 days, that are not associated with an active construction project or otherwise permitted by the Mankato City Code.
    12. Motor vehicles not parked on hard surfaced parking area as required by Mankato City Code Section 10.85 Subd.10 F.
    13. Occupations or commercial activity operated, maintained or permitted in violation of Mankato City Code Section 10.82.
    14. Spoil piles of fill, excavations and/or construction debris existing for periods longer that seven (7) days unless otherwise approved by the City.
    15. Any other conditions whereby a substance, matter, emission or thing which creates a dangerous or unhealthy condition or which threatens the public peace, health, safety or sanitary condition of the city or which is offensive or has a blighting influence on the community and which is found upon, being discharged or flowing from any street, alley, highway, railroad right-of-way, vehicle, railroad car, water, excavation, building, erection, lot, grounds or other property located within the city exists or is allowed to exist.
  2. Class II Nuisances. For purposes of this section, conditions existing or allowed to exist in the City of Mankato and violations of the Mankato City Code defined as nuisance by Sections 3.32, 3.62, 6.04, 9.13 9.14, 9.67 and 12.02 of the Mankato City Code shall be designated as "Class II Nuisances".

(Ord. of 2-23-2009, Ord. 08-08-2011)
11.000 Abatement Procedure Class I Nuisances
Unless the nuisance is as described in subdivision 13, the city may abate Class I Nuisances by the procedure described below:
  1. Order. The enforcement officer shall serve a written order upon the owner. The written order shall also be served upon any responsible party known to the officer and may be served upon any party known to have caused the nuisance. The written order shall contain the following:
    1. A description of the property sufficient for identification;
    2. A description and location of the nuisance and the remedial action required to abate the nuisance;
    3. A statement that the nuisance is to be abated within 10 days of the date of the order;
    4. A statement that the order may be appealed and a hearing before the City Manager or designee may be obtained by filing a written request with the City Clerk before the appeal deadline which shall be the abatement deadline designated in the order or seven calendar days after the date of the order, whichever comes first; and
    5. A statement that, if remedial action is not taken nor a request for a hearing filed with the City Clerk within the time specified, the city will abate the nuisance and charge all costs incurred therein against the owner of the property and if cost is unpaid by the owner or responsible party the costs will be charged against the property as a special assessment to be collected in the same manner as property taxes.
  2. Setting Hearing Date. In the event that an appeal is filed with the City Clerk, a hearing shall be scheduled within two weeks of the date the request for appeal is received.
  3. Notice of Hearing Date. In the event that an appeal is filed, a notice shall be mailed to the owner and known responsible parties, stating the date, time, place and subject of the hearing.
  4. Designated Hearing Officer. The City Manager or a designated hearing officer shall convene a hearing at which time the property owner shall have an opportunity to present evidence and testimony to support the appeal of the abatement order. The hearing officer may receive evidence and testimony from the enforcement officer and other parties who wish to be heard. Upon receiving the evidence and testimony, the hearing officer shall make a written recommendation to the city council which may confirm, modify, revoke, alter or cancel the order of the enforcement officer. If the City Council determination requires abatement, the City Council shall, in the resolution, fix a time within which the nuisance must be abated and shall provide that, if the nuisance is not eliminated within the time specified, the city may abate the nuisance and assess the costs of the abatement to the property.
  5. Abatement. If the remedial action is not taken nor an appeal filed within the time specified, the city may abate the nuisance.
  6. Assessment. On or before September 1 of each year, the City shall cause to be listed the total unpaid charges and administrative penalties for each type of order issued or work performed against each seprate lot or parcel to which such charges are attributable pursuant to this subdivision. The City may then assess such charges against the property benefited as a special assessment, pursuant to the provisions of Minnesota Statutes  Chapter 429, for certification to the Country Auditor and collection together with current taxes payabel in the following year.

(Ord. of 3-26-07, Ord. of 2-23-2009)
12.000 Abatement Procedure Class II Nuisances
Unless the nuisance is as described in subdivision 13, the city may abate Class II Nuisances by the procedure described below:
  1. Notice. In the event any condition that is defined as a Class II Nuisance by the Mankato City Code is found to exist, the City may cause to be served upon the owner of the property upon which the condition exists, by registered or certified mail or by personal service, a notice ordering such owner to remove the nuisance within ten (10) days from the date of the notice and stating that in the event the owner does not comply with such order, the necessary work may be performed or caused to be performed by the City at the expense of the owner, and that if the owner does not pay for such expense, the cost of the work will be assessed against the property benefited. The notice may also be posted on the property for a period of ten (10) days, after which period the City may perform any necessary work. The notice shall state that is in effect for a period of twelve (12) months for the date of the notice and if the nuisance condition re-occurs within that twelve (12) month period the City shall abate the nuisance without further notification to the property owner.
  2. Performance of Work by City: Invoice. If the owner of any property fails to comply with the notice, within the period allowed for compliance as stated in the notice, the City may cause to be performed such wok as is ordered by such notice. The City shall prepare and maintain a record showing the cost of such work attributable to each separate lot and parcel and shall mail to the owner of each lot or parcel an invoice setting forth the charges for such work, which shall be immediately due and payable to the City. Invoices for charges for work completed pursuant to notices of violations under Mankato City Code Section 3.63 may be included with the City of Mankato utility bil.
  3. Assessment. On or before September 1 of each year, the City shall cause to be listed the total unpaid charges and administrative penalties for each type of notice issued or work performed against each separate lot or parcel to which such charges are attributable pursuant to this subdivision. The City may then assess such charges against the property benefited as a special assessment, pursuant to the provisions of Minnesota Statutes Chapter 429, for certification to the County Auditor and collection together with current taxes payable in the following year.

(Ord. of 2-23-2009)
13.000 Emergency Abatement Procedure.
When the enforcement officer determines that a nuisance exists which constitutes an immediate danger or hazard which if not immediately abated will endanger the health and safety of the public and there does not exist sufficient time to follow the procedures of subdivisions 11 and 12, the city may abate the nuisance by the procedure described below:
  1. Order. The City shall order emergency abatement by an administrative order to be signed by an enforcement officer.
  2. Notice of Abatement. Following an emergency abatement, a notice shall be mailed to the owner of the property and other responsible parties connected with the property that are known to the city. The notice shall contain;
    1. A description of the nuisance;
    2. The action taken by the city;
    3. The reasons for immediate action;
    4. The costs incurred in abating the nuisance; and
    5. The date, time and place of a hearing.
    Prior to the hearing the department director who ordered the abatement shall provide the owner with an opportunity to meet and informally discuss the matter. The department director may make a recommendation to the Council based on the information obtained at such a meeting.
  3. Hearing. If the matter is not resolved at the informal meeting, the City Manager or a designated hearing officer shall hear from the enforcement officer and any other parties who wish to be heard. After the hearing, the hearing officer shall make a recommendation to the City Council regarding payment of the costs of abatement. The City Council may adopt a resolution levying an assessment for all or a portion of the costs incurred by the City in abating the nuisance payable in a single payment or by equal annual installments as the City Council may provide.

(Ord. of 3-26-2007, Ord. of 2-23-2009)