Chapter 8.38
NUISANCE – JUNK, LITTER AND UNSIGHTLY PREMISES

Sections:

8.38.010    Definitions.

8.38.020    Owner and occupant to maintain premises.

8.38.030    Initiation of action.

8.38.040    Initial inspection and report.

8.38.050    Initial contact with owner and/or occupant.

8.38.060    Final notice to abate violation.

8.38.070    Repealed.

8.38.075    Remedies.

8.38.080    Repealed.

8.38.090    Repealed.

8.38.100    Repealed.

8.38.110    Repealed.

8.38.120    Repealed.

8.38.130    Repealed.

8.38.140    Repealed.

8.38.010 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following words are defined in this section:

“Junk” means any worn-out, wrecked, scrapped, partially or fully dismantled or discarded tangible material, combination of materials or items that cannot without further alteration and reconditioning be used for their original purposes, including but not limited to appliances, building material, chemicals, equipment, furniture, machinery, metal, rags, rubber, paper, plastics and wood.

“Litter” means all improperly discarded waste material, including but not limited to convenience food, beverage and other product packages or containers constructed of steel, aluminum, glass, paper, plastic and other natural and synthetic material, thrown or deposited on the lands and waters within the boundaries of the city.

“Occupant” means the person in possession of the real property on which the junk or litter is located. “Occupant” includes tenant and lessee.

“Owner” means the owner of the real property on which the junk or litter is located, or the agent of the owner.

“Unsightly premises” means property including but not limited to building exteriors maintained in such condition as to become so defective or unsightly or in such condition of deterioration or disrepair that the property causes appreciable diminution of the property values of surrounding property or is materially detrimental to proximal properties and improvements is a public nuisance. This includes but is not limited to the keeping or disposing of or the scattering over the property or premises of any lumber, junk, trash or debris; abandoned, discarded or unused objects or equipment such as automobiles, furniture, stoves, refrigerators, freezers, cans or containers; stagnant water or excavations; or any device, decoration, design, fence, structure, clothesline or vegetation that is unsightly by reason of its condition or its inappropriate location.

“Zoning administrator” means the person or the designee authorized by the city manager to enforce this chapter. (Ord. 06-016 § 3, 2006; Ord. 516 § 3, 1997)

8.38.020 Owner and occupant to maintain premises.

A. The owner and the occupant of any private property in the city shall at all times maintain the premises free from significant accumulations of junk and litter; provided, however, that this section shall not prohibit the storage of junk or litter in authorized private receptacles for collection, or the storage of junk that is not visible to the public at large. A significant accumulation of junk or litter on any private property in the city contrary to this section is deemed to be a public nuisance.

B. The owner and the occupant of any private property in the city shall at all times maintain the property in a manner so that the property does not constitute an unsightly premises.

C. This chapter does not apply to property zoned industrial. (Ord. 06-016 § 3, 2006; Ord. 516 § 3, 1997)

8.38.030 Initiation of action.

A city resident may initiate action under this chapter by filing a written signed statement with the zoning administrator complaining about junk, litter, or an unsightly premises on private property in the city. The zoning administrator may initiate action even without a complaint. (Ord. 06-016 § 3, 2006; Ord. 516 § 3, 1997)

8.38.040 Initial inspection and report.

Upon receiving a duly filed complaint, the zoning administrator will inspect the property in a reasonable time and make a written report of the findings of the inspection. When practicable, photographs of the premises will be attached to the report. The reports are to be maintained for at least one year. (Ord. 06-016 § 3, 2006; Ord. 516 § 3, 1997)

8.38.050 Initial contact with owner and/or occupant.

Unless the zoning administrator finds that health and safety considerations require prompt abatement of junk, litter, or an unsightly premises, the zoning administrator may contact the owner and/or occupant informally, either verbally or in writing or both, and inform the owner and/or occupant that the property appears to contain junk, litter or be an unsightly premises, that such may violate city ordinance, and that the city requests the junk, litter, or unsightly premises be removed or otherwise brought into compliance within a reasonable time, normally not to exceed 15 days. (Ord. 06-016 § 3, 2006; Ord. 516 § 3, 1997)

8.38.060 Final notice to abate violation.

A. After the zoning administrator has made a written report of the findings of the inspection and determined that there is a violation of this chapter, the zoning administrator shall provide final notice to abate the violation.

B. Final Notice.

1. The zoning administrator is authorized to notify either the owner and/or the occupant of property regarding a violation of this chapter.

2. Notice to the owner may be provided at the owner’s last known address as shown on the Matanuska-Susitna Borough assessment rolls for the city. Notice to the occupant may be provided by serving any adult residing on the premises. Notice to either the owner or occupant may be made in any other reasonable manner to assure due process is met.

3. The notice shall state the following:

a. The name of the owner and/or occupant;

b. The property description;

c.  The specific type and location of the junk or litter on the property or describe what makes the premises unsightly;

d. The owner and/or occupant of the property is to properly dispose of junk or litter located on the property or to cure the unsightliness of the premises within 30 days of receipt of the notice;

e. If the junk or litter is not properly disposed of or the unsightliness cured within 30 days after receipt of the final notice, the property owner and/or occupant is subject to the enforcement procedures as stated in PMC 1.08.011 or 1.08.013. The zoning administrator may issue a ticket or obtain city council approval to commence a lawsuit requesting a remedy allowed under PMC 1.08.013 or at law. (Ord. 06-016 § 3, 2006; Ord. 516 § 3, 1997)

8.38.070 Response to formal notice.

Repealed by Ord. 06-016. (Ord. 516 § 3, 1997)

8.38.075 Remedies.

A. If the junk or litter is not properly disposed of or the unsightliness cured within 30 days after receipt of the final notice, the property owner and/or occupant is subject to the enforcement procedures as stated in PMC 1.08.011 or 1.08.013.

B. After first confirmation and documentation (including photography) that the condition of the property has not changed sufficiently to comply with the terms of the final notice, the zoning administrator may issue a ticket.

C. In circumstances where appropriate, given the magnitude of the offense or continuous noncompliance including without limitation offenders who fail to comply with the final notice even after conviction or repeat offenders, the zoning administrator may obtain city council approval to commence a lawsuit requesting a remedy allowed under PMC 1.08.013 or at law. (Ord. 06-016 § 3, 2006)

8.38.080 Hearing procedure.

Repealed by Ord. 06-016. (Ord. 516 § 3, 1997)

8.38.090 Hearing decision.

Repealed by Ord. 06-016. (Ord. 516 § 3, 1997)

8.38.100 Appeal.

Repealed by Ord. 06-016. (Ord. 516 § 3, 1997)

8.38.110 Enforcement of decisions and orders.

Repealed by Ord. 06-016. (Ord. 516 § 3, 1997)

8.38.120 Board established.

Repealed by Ord. 06-016. (Ord. 516 § 3, 1997)

8.38.130 Conflict of interest.

Repealed by Ord. 06-016. (Ord. 516 § 3, 1997)

8.38.140 Ex parte contacts prohibited.

Repealed by Ord. 06-016. (Ord. 516 § 3, 1997)