8.50.005    Definitions

8.50.010    Public nuisance

8.50.015    Applicability

8.50.020    Public nuisances prohibited; enumeration

8.50.025    Public nuisance abatement

8.50.030    Violations, enforcement, and penalties


(A)    For the purpose of this chapter, buildings, walls, fences, yard furnishings, towers, and other structures which have been damaged by dismantling, fire, wind, water erosion, subsidence, snow load, vandalism, neglect, collision or any other cause, to such an extent that they cannot be used for their original purpose without significant repair or alteration, or are declared unsafe in accordance with code by the manager are declared to be junk. The following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.

(1)    “Junk vehicle” means a motor vehicle which is not currently registered to legally operate, if registration is required, and that also has one or more of the following characteristics: The vehicle is inoperable, unlicensed due to safety or equipment violations, wrecked, abandoned, partially dismantled, missing glass, body panels or drive train components, or illegal to operate without alteration or repair. Each outdoor area of 200 square feet that is substantially occupied by junk vehicle parts shall be considered equivalent to a junk vehicle.

(2)    “Junk vehicle parts” means parts of vehicles which are removed, dismantled, wrecked, discarded, abandoned, damaged, or are no longer suitable for their original use without repair, reprocessing, reconditioning or reinstallation.

(3)    “Trash” means any shredded, pulverized, broken, damaged, spoiled, discarded or waste tangible material that is, by evidence of its location and disposition, discarded and treated as waste including, but not limited to, food, containers, paper products, cloth, fabric, plastics, construction debris, trash-containing landfill topper material, metal, household items, waste by-products, manure, and liquids or other effluent.

(4)    “Junk” means any manmade tangible material that by evidence of its location and disposition is discarded and treated as waste, including, but not limited to, inoperable machinery, scrap iron, copper, lead, zinc, aluminum, or other metals, junk vehicle parts, tools, implements, rags, used building materials, rubber, and paper.

(Ord. 14-020, § 2, 2014; Ord. 99-111(AM), § 2 (part), 1999)


(A)    The accumulation of junk and trash in the borough is detrimental to the public health, safety, and welfare. Junk and trash that is improperly kept, or disposed of, increases risks of environmental pollution and hazards to public health, safety, and welfare and lowers property value in the vicinity. Junk and trash that is improperly kept or disposed of, interferes with the rights of other people to enjoy their property, makes the borough less attractive to residents, visitors, and investors, and harms the quality of life in the borough. Due to the potential for harm to the public health, safety, and welfare, junk and trash kept in a manner prohibited by this chapter are declared to be a public nuisance subject to regulation by the borough.

(B)    The accumulation of junk and trash is a public nuisance because it significantly reduces the value of surrounding property or businesses, unreasonably detracts from the character of the surrounding neighborhood, substantially interferes with the rights of other people to use and enjoy land and water, or causes detriment to the public’s health, safety, and welfare.

(Ord. 99-111(AM), § 2 (part), 1999)


(A)    This chapter is not applicable within the city limits of Palmer, Houston, or Wasilla.

(B)    The ordinance codified in this chapter does not supersede ordinances regulating junk or trash within special use districts.

(C)    This section does not apply to the following activities if they are operating in accordance with other applicable borough codes: commercial or public storage facilities, junk/salvage yards, refuse areas, landfills, trash transfer sites, and septic waste facilities.

(D)    This section does not apply to inoperative and unlicensed vehicles that are located on the premises of legally operating motor vehicle sales, service, and repair businesses if the vehicles are subject to an active repair order and will be removed within a reasonable time frame.

(E)    Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the right of the borough, pursuant to common law, to summarily abate a public nuisance.

(Ord. 99-111(AM), § 2 (part), 1999)


(A)    No person shall allow, maintain or permit a public nuisance to exist.

(B)    Public nuisances include, but are not limited to, the following acts and conditions:

(1)    Vacant, abandoned or unoccupied buildings are a public nuisance, except those that have been boarded up at all doors, windows, and other openings sufficiently to prevent ingress and otherwise secured.

(2)    No person may deposit or place junk, trash, garbage, or junk vehicles or other waste upon a street or borough owned property, or upon any property owned by another or in a refuse container owned by another except with the consent of the owner and for the purpose of collection.

(3)    [Repealed by Ord. 04-086(AM), § 2, 2004]

(4)    Property on which any of the following conditions exist is a public nuisance:

(a)    Property where junk or trash, as defined in MSB 8.50.005, is disposed of, scattered upon, or kept in plain view from any public right-of-way.

(b)    Property where abandoned or junk vehicles, junk vehicle parts, abandoned or junked trailers, snowmachines, four-wheelers, motorcycles, farm equipment or other similar items are in plain view from any public right-of-way. For purposes of this subsection, three or more junk vehicles shall constitute a public nuisance. “Junk vehicles” and “junk vehicle parts” shall have the meaning set forth in MSB 8.50.005.

(c)    Property where trash, garbage, animal waste, or other putrescible wastes are stored in a manner which creates a public health hazard; or

(d)    Property maintained in a condition of deterioration or disrepair so that the property contributes to the diminution of surrounding property values. “Diminution of surrounding property values” means:

(i)    a showing through borough tax assessments or testimony from the borough tax assessor that adjacent property values have diminished by 10 percent, as a result of proximity to the subject property; or

(ii)    testimony from a licensed real estate agent or broker that the market value of a property in the proximity of the subject property would be negatively impacted by at least 10 percent.

(C)    The borough shall have met its burden of proof for a public nuisance if the items constituting a public nuisance have been maintained on the property for a period in excess of three months or cover a significant area of the property which is in plain view from the public right-of-way. For the purposes of this section, “public right-of-way” includes, but is not limited to, streets, alleys, public trails, public access easements, section line easements, or easements with similar uses.

(Ord. 04-086(AM), § 2, 2004; Ord. 99-111(AM), § 2 (part), 1999)


(A)    The manager may investigate any junk vehicle or area with accumulated junk and trash to determine if the subject items constitute a public nuisance detrimentally affecting the public’s health, safety, and welfare or significantly reduces the value of surrounding property or businesses, unreasonably detracts from the character of the surrounding neighborhood, or substantially interferes with the rights of other people to use and enjoy land and water. The manager’s determination shall include findings supporting the decision.

(B)    The reduction in assessed value of other real property by the borough board of equalization, due to negative impacts of the junk or trash, may be evidence supporting the manager’s determination that a public nuisance exists.

(C)    Upon determination that a public nuisance exists, the manager may issue an enforcement order in accordance with MSB 1.45 to the owner of the property upon which the junk, trash, or litter is located, and to any owner’s agents, occupants, tenants, operators, or any other person responsible for the junk and trash.

(D)    The enforcement order may require abatement of the public nuisance and may require provision of visual screening, cessation and removal of the hazard and nuisance, relocation, containment, remediation, decontamination, and other measures authorized under MSB 1.45. If removal is required, the enforcement order shall require proof of legal and proper disposal of the subject junk, trash, or waste. The enforcement order shall provide a reasonable time frame for the property owner to bring the property into compliance.

(Ord. 99-111(AM), § 2 (part), 1999)


(A)    Trash or junk determined to be a public nuisance under this chapter is a violation of borough code.

(B)    Except as otherwise specified in this chapter violations of this chapter are infractions.

(C)    Remedies, enforcement actions, and penalties specified in this chapter shall be consistent with the terms and provisions of MSB 1.45.

(Ord. 00-110, § 2, 2000; Ord. 99-111(AM), § 2 (part), 1999)