Chapter 5B
BLIGHTED PROPERTY1

Sections:

ARTICLE I. IN GENERAL

5B.1    Purpose of chapter.

5B.2    Definition of blighted property.

5B.3    Property blight—Nuisance.

5B.4    General obligation.

5B.5    Enforcement responsibility—Delegation of authority.

5B.6    Property blight—Abatement required.

5B.7    Supervision of work.

5B.8    Work standard.

5B.9    Procedures of this ordinance—Cumulative.

5B.10    Penalties for violation.

5B.11    Joint or common ownership.

5B.12    Reserved.

ARTICLE II. SUMMARY ABATEMENT ACTIONS

5B.13    Summary abatement—Imminent danger.

5B.14    Summary abatement procedures; notice—Posting.

5B.15    Form of notice to destroy or remove imminently dangerous property blight.

5B.16    Restriction from use.

5B.17    Restriction from use or occupancy—Defined.

5B.18    Restriction from use or occupancy notice—Posted.

5B.19    Compliance with notice required.

ARTICLE III. ABATEMENT OF PROPERTY BLIGHT

5B.20    Resolution declaring nuisance; publication of notice of resolution.

5B.21    Form of notice to destroy or remove property blight.

5B.22    Hearing on notice to destroy or remove property blight.

5B.23    Abatement by city administrator upon order of council; prior abatement by property owner.

5B.24    Accounting and reporting cost of abatement by city administrator.

5B.25    Assessment of abatement costs—Notice of hearing.

5B.26    Same—Hearing and confirmation.

5B.27    Same—Collection.

ARTICLE I. IN GENERAL

5B.1 Purpose of chapter.

The purpose of this chapter is to promote the health, safety and general welfare of the public by requiring a level of maintenance of private property which will protect the livability, appearance and social and economic stability of the city and which also will protect the public from the health and safety hazards and the impairment of property values which results from the neglect and deterioration of property. It is not the purpose of this chapter to regulate artistic, cultural or religious expression. (Ord. No. 96-18, § I, 10-7-96)

5B.2 Definition of blighted property.

Any property in an industrial or commercial zoning district or used as industrial or commercial property on which there exists any one or more of the following conditions or activities is a blighted property for the purposes of this chapter:

(a) Abandoned Building or Structure.

(1) A building or structure which is not being inhabited, occupied or used and which is unsecured. For purposes of this chapter, a building or structure is unsecured when the public can gain entry without the consent of the owner.

(2) A partially constructed, reconstructed or demolished building or structure upon which work is abandoned. Work is deemed abandoned when there is no valid and current building or demolition permit or when there has not been any substantial work on the project for a period of six (6) months or more.

(b) Attractive Nuisance. Property which is in an unsecured state so as to potentially constitute an attraction to children, a harbor for vagrants, criminals or other unauthorized persons, or so as to enable persons to resort thereto for the purpose of committing a nuisance or unlawful act.

(c) A building or structure which is in a state of disrepair:

(1) Exterior wall and/or roof coverings which have become deteriorated and do not provide adequate weather protections, resulting in termite infestation and/or dry rot.

(2) Broken or missing windows or doors which constitute a hazardous condition or a potential attraction to trespassers.

(3) Building exteriors, walls, fences, signs, retaining walls, driveways, walkways, sidewalks or other structures on the property which are broken, deteriorated, or substantially defaced, to the extent that the disrepair is visible from any public right of way or visually impacts neighboring public or private property or presents an endangerment to public safety.

(4) Building exteriors, walls, fences, signs, retaining walls, driveways, walkways, sidewalks or other structures on the property which have been repainted in such a manner that the appearance may be further deteriorated or substantially defaced.

(d) Property Inadequately Maintained.

(1) Overgrown, diseased, dead, or decayed trees, weeds or vegetation that:

a. Are likely to harbor rats, pigeons, vermin, and other nuisances; or

b. Substantially detract from the aesthetic and property values of neighboring properties; or

c. Constitute a fire hazard or other condition that is dangerous to the public health, safety, or welfare; or

(2) Solid waste, which includes “garbage,” “refuse” and “rubbish” as those terms are defined in section 12.1 of this Code, and all “solid waste” as additionally may be defined in this Code, constitutes blight and blighted property in the following situations:

a. The accumulation of solid waste is visible from a street or public right-of-way, is not enclosed in a city-approved container, and is present for more than seventy-two (72) consecutive hours; or

b. The accumulation of solid waste is being stored or disposed of in a manner that would allow the material to be transported by wind or otherwise onto or upon any public street, public right-of-way, or neighboring property, unless the method of storage or disposal is specifically allowed by this Code.

(3) Any swimming pool, pond or other body of water which is abandoned, unattended, unfiltered, or not otherwise maintained, resulting in the water becoming polluted. Polluted water is defined for the purpose of this chapter, as water which contains organic growth, including algae, remains of rubbish, refuse, debris, papers, and any other foreign matter or materials, which, because of its nature or locations, constitutes an unhealthy or unsafe condition. (Ord. No. 96-18, § I, 10-7-96; Ord. No. 2003-14, § I, 9-15-03)

5B.3 Property blight—Nuisance.

Any property which is blighted property is hereby declared and determined to be a public nuisance. (Ord. No. 96-18, § I, 10-7-96)

5B.4 General obligation.

No person, firm or corporation whether as owner, agent or manager of the subject property, or as lessee, sublessee, or occupant in possession of the property shall maintain any property in a blighted condition or shall cause or permit the property to be blighted. No person, firm or corporation shall take any action or allow any action to be taken in violation of any provision of this chapter or order issued pursuant thereto. (Ord. No. 96-18, § I, 10-7-96)

5B.5 Enforcement responsibility—Delegation of authority.

The city administrator is charged with the responsibility for the enforcement of this chapter. All city employees with enforcement responsibilities are authorized to make such inspections and take any actions on behalf of the city administrator as may be required to enforce the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. No. 96-18, § I, 10-7-96)

5B.6 Property blight—Abatement required.

The person, firm or corporation whether as owner, agent or manager of the subject property, or as lessee, sublessee, or occupant in possession of the property shall immediately cause the property blight to be abated. Whenever the city administrator finds that a property is blighted, the city administrator may require or take necessary abatement actions to cause the property blight to be abated in accordance with the provisions of this chapter or other applicable Municipal Code provisions. Temporary corrective measures may be required prior to the time permanent abatement actions are instituted. The city administrator or other employees with enforcement responsibilities may authorize a compliance schedule providing such schedule is reasonable in its timetable of corrections and meets the intent of this chapter. Except as provided in Article II of this chapter, persons required to make corrections to their property shall be allowed at least thirty (30) calendar days to make such corrections. (Ord. No. 96-18, § I, 10-7-96)

5B.7 Supervision of work.

Any abatement action performed by the city pursuant to this chapter shall be accomplished under the supervision of the city administrator either:

(a) By city personnel; or

(b) By contract awarded by the city administrator or by the city council. (Ord. No. 96-18, § I, 10-7-96)

5B.8 Work standard.

Whenever the city performs any abatement action pursuant to this chapter, the city shall not be required to perform such abatement actions to the standard that the property, building or structure complies with all applicable provisions of this Code. The city shall perform such actions as are determined by the city administrator to be necessary to abate or remedy the nuisance caused by such property, building or structure. Such limited abatement action by the city does not relieve the property owner from any requirement to bring the property into compliance with any applicable provisions of this Municipal Code. (Ord. No. 96-18, § I, 10-7-96)

5B.9 Procedures of this ordinance—Cumulative.

(a) Procedures used and actions taken for the abatement of property blight are not limited by this chapter. Procedures and actions under this chapter may be utilized in conjunction with or in addition to any other procedure applicable to the regulation of buildings or structures or property. This chapter shall not constitute a repeal of any other provision of this Municipal Code except as expressly stated.

(b) All property blight conditions which are required to be abated pursuant to this chapter shall be subject to all provisions of the Gilroy Municipal Code including, but not limited to building construction, repair or demolition and to all property improvement, zoning and fire code provisions. (Ord. No. 96-18, § I, 10-7-96)

5B.10 Penalties for violation.

(a) Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed guilty of an infraction. Each day such violation is committed or permitted to continue shall constitute a separate offense and shall be punishable as such hereunder.

(b) Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter with reference to blighted property as defined in section 5B.2(c) or (d) hereof more than three (3) times in any twelve (12) month period in addition to abatement of the nuisance and the penalties described above shall be required to enter into a continuing maintenance agreement with a qualified person to provide continuing and immediate care to the property so as to avoid and abate conditions of blight, and shall present to the city administrator proof of said agreement. (Ord. No. 96-18, § I, 10-7-96)

5B.11 Joint or common ownership.

Whenever blighted property is jointly owned, owned as common property or is otherwise subject to multiple ownership whether in fee or as an easement, the owners of the property shall be jointly and severally liable for the nuisance. The city may apportion each owner’s liability in reasonable proportion to each individual’s ownership interest in the subject property. (Ord. No. 96-18, § I, 10-7-96)

5B.12 Reserved.

ARTICLE II. SUMMARY ABATEMENT ACTIONS

5B.13 Summary abatement—Imminent danger.

(a) Any condition of property blight which is reasonably believed to be imminently dangerous to the life, limb, health or safety of the occupants of the property or to the public may be summarily abated by the city administrator.

(b) Actions taken to abate imminently dangerous conditions may include, but are not limited to repair or removal of the condition creating the danger and/or the restriction from use or occupancy of the property on which the dangerous condition exists or any other abatement action determined by the city administrator to be necessary. (Ord. No. 96-18, § I, 10-7-96)

5B.14 Summary abatement procedures; notice—Posting.

Whenever the city administrator reasonably believes property to be blighted and imminently dangerous to life, limb, health, or safety, the city administrator shall declare the same to be a public nuisance and give notice to the owners by posting a notice on the property stating therein that unless a written objection is filed with the city clerk or such dangerous condition be abated within twenty-four (24) hours by the destruction or removal of such blighted condition, the work of abating such imminently dangerous condition shall be done by the city and the expense thereof assessed upon the lots and lands from which the blighted condition shall have been destroyed or removed. If the dangerous condition persists and there is no written objection timely filed with the city clerk within twenty-four (24) hours, the city administrator, city employees, contracting agents or other representatives are expressly authorized to enter upon private property to abate the dangerous condition. Costs for any summary abatement performed by or on behalf of the city shall be accounted and reported to the city council by the city administrator, assessed after public hearing, and collected pursuant to the provisions of Article III. (Ord. No. 96-18, § I, 10-7-96)

5B.15 Form of notice to destroy or remove imminently dangerous property blight.

The posted notice shall be substantially in the following form:

NOTICE TO DESTROY OR REMOVE DANGEROUS PROPERTY BLIGHT

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that on _________ the city administrator declared that property located at ________________ is blighted property, as the same is defined in Part I, Sec. 5B.2 of this Ordinance, constitutes a public nuisance, and that such nuisance is imminently dangerous to life, limb, health, or safety and must be immediately abated.

NOTICE IS FURTHER GIVEN that the property owners of this property shall immediately destroy or remove the dangerous condition caused by such property blight, or after 24 hours that condition may be abated by the city authorities, in which case the costs of such abatement will be assessed upon the lots and lands from which the dangerous condition shall have been destroyed or removed; and such costs will constitute a lien upon such lots or lands until paid and will be collected upon the next tax roll upon which general municipal taxes are collected. All persons having any objection on the proposed destruction or removal of such dangerous condition, or upon the assessment of such costs, are hereby directed to file such written objection with the city clerk in the City Hall, 7351 Rosanna Street, City of Gilroy, by 5:00 p.m. on _________, 19________, or thereafter all such objections shall be deemed waived and the city administrator, city employees, contracting agents or other representatives are authorized to enter upon this property to abate the dangerous condition.

DATED: This _________ day of _________ 19________.

_________________________

City Administrator

(Ord. No. 96-18, § I, 10-7-96)

5B.16 Restriction from use.

If there exists on a blighted property any condition reasonably believed to be imminently dangerous to life, limb, health, or safety should such property be occupied or used, the city administrator may order the immediate restriction from use or occupancy of the blighted property in addition to requiring other abatement actions to be taken. (Ord. No. 96-18, § I, 10-7-96)

5B.17 Restriction from use or occupancy—Defined.

For the purpose of this chapter, an order to “restrict from use or occupancy” includes either total or partial restriction from use or occupancy of either all or some specified portion of a building, structure or property. The methods which may be used for such restriction from use or occupancy include, but are not limited to, the construction, erection, installation and maintenance of such fencing, enclosures, barricades and/or other protective devices, used for the purpose of closing, barring, boarding, locking and/or otherwise securing all means of access to a property, building or structure as will effectively prevent entry into the building or structure or onto the property by unauthorized persons and effectively prevent any use or occupancy thereof. (Ord. No. 96-18, § I, 10-7-96)

5B.18 Restriction from use or occupancy notice—Posted.

Whenever any property, building, or structure is ordered restricted from use or occupancy, the following notice shall be posted. Said notice may be posted at or upon each entrance or exit of the property, building or structure in substantially the following form:

RESTRICTED

DO NOT ENTER

UNSAFE TO ENTER, USE OR OCCUPY

It is a misdemeanor to enter, use or occupy this building or premises, or to remove or deface this notice.

City Administrator

City of Gilroy

(Ord. No. 96-18, § I, 10-7-96)

5B.19 Compliance with notice required.

Whenever any property, building, or structure is ordered restricted from use or occupancy and the property is duly posted, no person shall remain in or on or enter the property, building or structure, except that entry may be made to perform abatement actions under permit. Whenever such abatement actions require any permits, such required permits shall be obtained prior to the commencement of any such abatement actions. No person shall remove or deface any such notice after it is posted until the required abatement actions have been completed and inspected and approved by the city. (Ord. No. 96-18, § I, 10-7-96)

ARTICLE III. ABATEMENT OF PROPERTY BLIGHT

5B.20 Resolution declaring nuisance; publication of notice of resolution.

Whenever any property is determined by the city administrator to be blighted and it is further determined that the condition is not imminently dangerous to life, limb, health, or safety, the city council shall pass a resolution declaring the same to be a public nuisance and ordering the city administrator to give notice of the passage of such and stating therein that, unless such nuisance be abated without delay by the destruction or removal of such blighted condition, the work of abating such nuisance shall be done by the city authorities and the expense thereof assessed upon the lots and lands from which the blighted condition shall have been destroyed or removed. The city administrator shall provide notice of such resolution by certified mail with return receipt requested addressed to the owner of the property at the address shown on the last available equalized assessment roll for the property, or as otherwise known, and by posting notice at or upon each entrance or exit of the property. The city clerk shall thereupon fix the time and place for hearing any objections to the proposed destruction or removal of such blighted property. (Ord. No. 96-18, § I, 10-7-96)

5B.21 Form of notice to destroy or remove property blight.

The notice shall be substantially in the following form:

NOTICE TO DESTROY OR REMOVE PROPERTY BLIGHT

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that on _________ pursuant to the provisions of ________________ of the Gilroy City Code, the Gilroy City Council passed a resolution declaring that property located at ________________ is blighted property, as the same is defined in Part I, Sec. 5B.2 of this Ordinance, constitutes a public nuisance, and that such nuisance must be abated.

NOTICE IS FURTHER GIVEN that the property owners of this property shall without delay destroy or remove the property blight, or such property blight shall be abated by the city authorities, in which case the costs of such abatement will be assessed upon the lots and lands from which blighted property shall have been destroyed or removed; and such costs will constitute a lien upon such lots or lands until paid and will be collected upon the next tax roll upon which general municipal taxes are collected. All persons having any comment on the proposed destruction or removal of such property blight are hereby notified to attend a meeting of the Council of said City of Gilroy to be held in the Council Chambers in the City Hall, 7351 Rosanna Street, City of Gilroy, on _________, at _________ p.m., when and where their comments will be heard and be given due consideration.

DATED: This _________ day of _________, 19________.

___________________________

City Administrator

(Ord. No. 96-18, § I, 10-7-96)

5B.22 Hearing on notice to destroy or remove property blight.

At the time stated in the notice, the council shall hear and consider any and all comments to the proposed destruction or removal of such property blight and may continue the hearing from time to time. The council, by motion or resolution, shall allow or overrule any and all objections, if any, after which the council shall thereupon be deemed to have acquired jurisdiction to proceed and perform the work of destruction or removal of such property blight. (Ord. No. 96-18, § I, 10-7-96)

5B.23 Abatement by city administrator upon order of council; prior abatement by property owner.

The council shall by resolution order the city administrator to abate such nuisance, or cause the same to be abated as may be determined by the city council; and the city administrator, city employees, contracting agents or other representatives are hereby expressly authorized to enter upon private property for such purposes. Any property owner shall have the right to abate such nuisance or have the same destroyed or removed at his own expense; provided that such nuisance shall have been completely abated prior to the arrival of the city administrator or his authorized representatives to abate the nuisance. (Ord. No. 96-18, § I, 10-7-96)

5B.24 Accounting and reporting cost of abatement by city administrator.

The city administrator shall keep an account of the cost of abating such nuisance and embody such account in a report and assessment list to the city council, which shall be filed with the city clerk. Such report shall refer to each separate lot or parcel of land by description sufficient to identify such lot or parcel, together with the expense proposed to be assessed against each separate lot or parcel of land. (Ord. No. 96-18, § I, 10-7-96)

5B.25 Assessment of abatement costs—Notice of hearing.

The city clerk shall post copies of such report and assessment on the bulletin board in the council chambers at the City Hall in the city; on the bulletin board in the lobby of the city clerk’s office located at the City Hall in the city; and on the bulletin board near the entrance door of each fire station in the city, together with a notice of the filing thereof and of the time and place when and where it will be submitted to the city council for hearing and confirmation, notifying property owners that they may appear at such time and place and object to any matter contained therein. A like notice shall also be published twice in a newspaper of general circulation, published and circulated within the city. The posting and first publication of such notice shall be made and completed at least ten (10) days before the time such report shall have been submitted to the city council. Such notice, as so posted and published, shall be substantially in the following form:

NOTICE OF HEARING ON REPORT AND ASSESSMENT FOR PROPERTY BLIGHT ABATEMENT

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that on _________ the City Administrator of the City of Gilroy filed with the City Clerk of said City a report and assessment on the costs of abatement of blighted property within said City, copies of which are posted on the bulletin board in the Council Chambers at the City Hall located at __________________ Gilroy, California; on the bulletin board in the lobby of the City Clerk’s Office located in the City Hall, Gilroy, California; and on the bulletin board near the entrance door of each fire station in Gilroy, California.

NOTICE IS FURTHER GIVEN that on _________ at the hour of _________ p.m., in the Council Chambers of said City Hall, said report and assessment list shall be presented to the City Council of said City for consideration and confirmation. The confirmed costs of abating such nuisance referred to in such report shall constitute special assessments against such respective lots or parcels of land and shall constitute a lien on such property for the amount of such assessment until paid. Any and all persons interested, having any objections to said report and assessment list, or to any matter or thing contained therein, may appear at said time and place and be heard.

DATED: _________, 19________.

__________________________

City Clerk, City of Gilroy

In addition to the posting and publication of such notice described above, the report and assessment list, together with a notice of the filing thereof and of the time and place when and where it will be submitted to the city council for hearing and confirmation, notifying property owners that they may appear at such time and place and object to any matter contained therein, shall be served on the property owner at least ten (10) days before the hearing by any of the following methods:

(1) By personal service on the owner of such property; or

(2) By sending a copy of such notice by registered or certified mail return receipt requested, addressed to the owner of the property at the address shown on the last available equalized assessment roll for the property, or as otherwise known, and by posting notice at or upon each entrance or exit of the property. (Ord. No. 96-18, § I, 10-7-96)

5B.26 Same—Hearing and confirmation.

At the time and place fixed for receiving and considering such report, the city council shall hear the same together with any objections which may be raised by any of the property owners liable to be assessed for the work of abating such nuisance; and the city administrator shall attend such meeting with his record hereof; and upon such hearing, the council may make such modifications in the proposed assessment there for as it may deem necessary, after which such report and assessment all be confirmed by resolution.

The amount of the cost of abating such nuisance referred to in such report shall constitute special assessments against such respective lots or parcels of land and after thus made and confirmed shall constitute a lien on such property for the amount of such assessment until paid. (Ord. No. 96-18, § I, 10-7-96)

5B.27 Same—Collection.

The director of administrative services shall cause the amount of the assessment to be entered on the city assessment roll opposite the description of the particular property, and the amount shall be collected together with all other taxes thereon upon the property. Thereafter, such amounts shall be collected at the same time and in the same manner as general city taxes are collected and shall be subject to the same penalties and interest and the same procedure and sale in case of delinquency as provided for city taxes. All laws and ordinances applicable to the levy, collection and enforcement of city taxes are hereby made applicable to such special assessment.

The property owner has the option, if he so desires, of paying the assessment directly to the collector’s office before such entry on such assessment roll. (Ord. No. 96-18, § I, 10-7-96)


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Cross referencesBlighted residential property, Ch. 5C; Buildings, § 6.1 et seq.; graffiti regulations, § 12.5.1 et seq.; industrial development authority, § 8A.41 et seq.