Chapter 8.12
NUISANCES

Sections:

8.12.010    Definitions.

8.12.020    Certain conditions declared nuisances.

8.12.030    Hazardous building or structure prohibited.

8.12.040    Hazardous building or structure – Condemnation authority.

8.12.050    Hazardous building or structure – Inspection and report to assembly.

8.12.060    Abatement official.

8.12.070    Notice and order to abate.

8.12.080    Service of notice.

8.12.090    Method of service.

8.12.100    Proof of service.

8.12.110    Abatement by borough.

8.12.120    Method of abatement.

8.12.130    Appeal to assembly.

8.12.140    Enforcement.

8.12.150    Recovery of costs.

8.12.010 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms are defined as follows:

“Incidental expenses” includes, but is not limited to, the actual expenses and costs incurred by the borough in the preparation of notices, specifications, and contracts, in the overhead and inspection of the work, and in the printing and mailing required under this chapter.

“Nuisance” means any act or thing that is injurious to the public health or safety, prevents or obstructs the reasonable use and enjoyment of life or property, or is dangerous to surrounding property.

8.12.020 Certain conditions declared nuisances.

It shall be unlawful for any person to cause or create the following declared nuisances within the townsite service area:

A. To bury a person except within an established cemetery.

B. To annoy, injure or endanger the safety, health, comfort, or repose of the public.

C. To offend the public decency.

D. To interfere with, obstruct, or render dangerous any street, highway, navigable lake, or stream.

E. To make any loud or unreasonable noise that annoys, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, or health of a person, except as may be necessary in the operation of properly maintained equipment or other apparatus which cannot be operated otherwise.

F. To operate a machine, device or apparatus that causes reasonably preventable electric interference in the operation of any radio or television receiving set.

G. To maintain an unoccupied building in such a manner as to permit or enable the ingress and egress of animals.

H. To maintain a building in a state of disrepair or deterioration, in a manner creating or permitting the existence of a hazardous or unsafe condition, or in a manner constituting an attractive nuisance.

I. To maintain a building in a state of disrepair or deterioration so as to reduce the surrounding property values or cause other unreasonable economic detriment to surrounding property owners, including, but not limited to, allowing on the premises: lumber, refuse, junk, debris, or abandoned, discarded, and unused objects, such as automobiles, fixtures, furniture, appliances, and other objects which are not kept for immediate use and have been allowed on the premises for more than 30 days.

J. To cause the accumulation of stagnant water or discharge of wastewater on the ground surface or into any surface watercourse as a result of the failure of an on-site wastewater disposal system.

K. To create, permit, or allow to exist, or to fail to take reasonable and precautionary measures to restrict access to, a condition on property in one’s control or possession constituting an attractive nuisance or safety hazard to children, including, but not limited to: abandoned or broken equipment or tools, excavations, water pools, or objects in which children can be confined, such as refrigerators or other enclosures.

L. To cause the emission of noxious fumes.

M. To cause the exposure, display, sale, or distribution of pictures, books, pamphlets, magazines, papers, documents, or objects that offend the public decency, according to prevailing community standards; or to provide a facility, location or other medium where such items are exposed, displayed, sold, or distributed.

N. To use a street, sidewalk, or place adjacent thereto in such a manner as to cause an obstruction of traffic except as may be authorized by law or ordinance.

O. To cause the public exposure of a person having a contagious disease.

P. To cause one’s cellar, pool, sewer, water closet, or private drain to become noxious, foul, offensive, or to otherwise pose an unreasonable risk to the public health and safety.

8.12.030 Hazardous building or structure prohibited.

It is unlawful for any person, association, corporation, or other entity to have, keep, or maintain, within the townsite service area, any building or other structure that is or has become a fire or health hazard or a public nuisance.

8.12.040 Hazardous building or structure – Condemnation authority.

Any building or other structure within the townsite service area that is a fire or health hazard or a public nuisance shall be subject to condemnation as authorized by AS 29.

8.12.050 Hazardous building or structure – Inspection and report to assembly.

Whenever the manager, fire chief, chief of police, or planning commission of the borough, after inspection, deems any building or other structure within the townsite service area to be a fire or health hazard or a public nuisance, said public official shall render to the assembly a complete written report concerning the conditions of such building or other structure and, if condemnation is recommended, a statement of the reasons why such building or other structure should be condemned. Included in such report shall be any violations of this chapter or of any other code provisions and of any state statutes, together with recommendations as to abating, altering, repairing, removing, or demolishing such building or other structure.

8.12.060 Abatement official.

The manager or the manager’s designee may, as provided by this chapter, abate any nuisance within the townsite service area that is prohibited by this chapter.

8.12.070 Notice and order to abate.

A. Upon discovery or receipt of notice of any nuisance prohibited by this title, the abatement official shall immediately notify the owner of the property on which the nuisance exists and require the abatement of the nuisance within a reasonable time limit specified by the abatement official.

B. The abatement official may abate any public nuisance without notice in an emergency when the public safety, comfort or repose is seriously annoyed, injured, or endangered to the point where immediate action is necessary to avoid further harm and notice cannot be reasonably given in a timely manner. All abatement procedures provided in this chapter, except the giving of notice, shall apply to the nuisance abated under this subsection, including the recovery of costs.

C. Unless a nuisance has created an emergency situation which requires immediate abatement as provided in subsection (B) of this section, the abatement official shall issue an abatement notice and order to:

1. The record owners of the affected property;

2. The person committing, creating, or maintaining the public nuisance; and

3. The occupant of the affected property.

D. The notice and order shall contain:

1. The street address and legal description of the subject property;

2. A statement that the abatement official has found the property affected with a public nuisance including a brief and concise description of the public nuisance as declared in this chapter;

3. A statement of the action to be taken, as determined by the abatement official, to wholly abate the public nuisance by rehabilitation, repair, demolition, or other action;

4. A statement advising that, if any required abatement is not commenced or completed within the time specified, the abatement official may proceed to cause the necessary work to be done and charge the cost thereof against the property or its owner;

5. An advisement that any person having record title or other legal interest in the property may appeal the notice and order of any action of the abatement official to the assembly by filing with the clerk, an appeal in writing in accordance with the appeal procedure provided under HBC 8.12.130 within 15 days from the date of service of such notice and order;

6. An advisement that failure to file a timely appeal will constitute a waiver of the right to contest the order.

E. No notice and order under subsection (C) of this section is required for the abatement of a public nuisance occurring on borough property or public streets, parks, and rights-of-way.

8.12.080 Service of notice.

A. The abatement notice and order issued under HBC 8.12.070 and any amended or supplemental notice and order shall be posted on and served upon the record owner of the property affected by the public nuisance. A copy thereof shall also be served on each of the following if reasonably ascertainable to the abatement official or readily available from official public records:

1. The holder of any mortgage, deed of trust, lien, or other encumbrance of record;

2. The lessor or holder of any lease of record;

3. The owner of any other estate or legal interest of record in or to the property affected with the public nuisance;

4. The person in possession of the property.

B. The failure of the abatement official to serve any person required to be served under subsection (A) of this section shall not invalidate any proceedings herein as to any other person duly served or relieve such person from any duty or obligation imposed by the provisions of this chapter.

8.12.090 Method of service.

Service of the notice and order shall be made upon all persons entitled thereto under HBC 8.12.080, personally or by mailing a copy of such notice and order by registered or certified mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested, to the person’s address as it appears on the last assessment roll of the borough or to such proper address as is known, or reasonably ascertainable by, the abatement official. If no address of such person is available, a copy of the notice and order shall be addressed to such person at the address of the property involved in these proceedings. A failure of any such person to receive such notice shall not affect the validity of any proceedings taken under this section. Service by certified or registered mail in the manner herein provided shall be effective on the date of mailing.

8.12.100 Proof of service.

Proof of service of the notice and order shall be certified to at the time of the service by written declaration under penalty of perjury executed by the person effecting service, declaring the time, date, and manner in which service was made. The declaration, together with any receipt, card return, or acknowledgment of receipt by certified or registered mail, shall be affixed to the copy of the notice and order.

8.12.110 Abatement by borough.

After the expiration of the time limit specified in the notice and order for the abatement of the nuisance, the abatement official shall proceed to abate the nuisance at the expense of the borough, unless:

A. The nuisance has already been abated to the satisfaction of the abatement official; or

B. An appeal from the order of abatement has been filed with the assembly.

8.12.120 Method of abatement.

A. The abatement official (and the assembly, if an appeal is taken) shall order the means best calculated to wholly abate the nuisance for the least cost. Demolition shall not be ordered if repair or removal may accomplish the abatement.

B. Abatement of a public nuisance by the borough shall be accomplished by borough personnel or by private contractor.

8.12.130 Appeal to assembly.

A. A person entitled to service under HBC 8.12.080 may appeal a notice and order or an action of the abatement official concerning abatement of a public nuisance, by filing at the office of the clerk, within 15 days from the date of service of such order, a written appeal to the assembly.

B. Upon receipt of an appeal filed pursuant to this section, the clerk shall present it at the next regular or special meeting of the assembly.

C. Within five days of the assembly meeting referred to in subsection (B) of this section, and as directed by the assembly, the clerk shall fix a date, time, and place for the hearing by the assembly, or shall notify the appellant that the appeal has been rejected for lack of timeliness. Such hearing date shall not be less than 10 days or more than 60 days from the date the appeal was filed with the clerk. Written notice of the time and place of the hearing and the issue(s) to be heard shall be given at least 10 days prior to the date of the hearing to each appellant by the clerk either by causing a copy of such notice to be delivered to the appellant personally or by mailing a copy thereof, postage prepaid, addressed to the appellant at the address shown on the appeal. If applicable, the notice shall state that the appeal was not filed in a timely manner and require that the appellant show good cause for the late filing before proceeding on the merits of the appeal.

D. Unless excused by the assembly upon a showing of good cause, the failure to file an appeal in a timely manner in accordance with the provisions of subsections (A), (B) and (C) of this section shall constitute a waiver of the right to challenge or adjudicate the validity of the notice and order, or any portion thereof, before the assembly. In no event shall good cause be found to exist where an appeal is filed more than 30 days after the expiration of the filing deadline, at which time the clerk may refuse to accept an appeal outright.

E. Only those matters or issues specifically raised by the appellant shall be considered at the hearing on the appeal.

F. Enforcement of the notice and order of abatement issued under this chapter shall be stayed pending final disposition of a timely and properly filed appeal.

G. At the hearing, the appellant may appear in person or by agent or attorney. The presiding officer of the assembly may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses. Record shall be kept of the proceedings by the clerk or a competent stenographer under direction of the clerk and the appellant shall be furnished a copy upon request at no expense. The assembly shall have the following powers:

1. To hear and decide appeals where error is alleged in any order, findings, requirement, decision, or determination of the abatement official;

2. To hear and decide requests for exceptions to the terms of this chapter;

3. To grant variances from the terms of this chapter in specific cases as will not be contrary to the public interest, where, owing to special conditions, a literal enforcement of the chapter would result in unnecessary hardship, and so that the spirit of the chapter shall be observed and substantial justice done.

In exercising its powers, the assembly may, in whole or part, reverse, affirm, or modify the finding, order, requirement, decision, or determination appealed.

H. The assembly, after the public hearing, shall adopt a resolution of its findings. If removal of the nuisance is provided for and ordered, the owner shall have at least 30 days from the date of the resolution to do so unless the assembly orders that repairs or alterations be completed within a lesser time.

8.12.140 Enforcement.

A. The abatement official or any police officer may cite an offender or property owner for a violation of any provision of this chapter, whether or not abatement proceedings are instituted. Such a violation shall be considered a minor offense and is punishable by a fine a set forth in HBC 1.24.040, or if no fine is there established, a fine of not more than $500.00. Any proceeding instituted for such a violation is separate from, and shall not affect, the abatement process provided for in this chapter.

B. Each act of violation and every day upon which the violation occurs shall constitute a separate offense. A separate citation shall be issued for each day upon which a violation is alleged to have occurred.

C. In addition to prosecuting a violation of this section, the borough may initiate the nuisance abatement procedures set forth in HBC 8.12.040 through 8.12.130 against any person maintaining a nuisance or against any property upon which a nuisance is deemed to exist, whether or not the person is cited for a violation of this chapter.

D. In addition to other remedies or procedures provided in this chapter, any public nuisance may be restrained, enjoined or otherwise abated by the borough in a civil action. (Ord. 15-06-413 § 16)

8.12.150 Recovery of costs.

A. The abatement official shall keep an accounting of the costs, including incidental expenses, of abating each public nuisance, and shall render an itemized written report to the assembly showing the costs and manner of abatement of each public nuisance, including any salvage value relating thereto.

B. Upon the completion of the abatement work, the abatement official shall prepare and file with the clerk a report specifying the work done, itemizing the total cost of the work, and identifying the property affected by the public nuisance and the names and addresses of the persons entitled to notice pursuant to HBC 8.12.080. Before the report is submitted to the assembly, a copy of a report shall be posted for at least five days upon the affected premises, together with a notice of the time when the report shall be heard by the assembly.

C. The costs may be recovered by the borough in a civil action or the borough may assess such costs against each and every separate property affected by the abatement as a tax, which tax shall then be collected as other taxes are collected.

D. All moneys recovered for the costs of abatement shall be paid into the general fund.