Chapter 15.25


15.25.010    Wrecking permits.

15.25.020    Storage of salvaged material or building equipment.

15.25.030    Protection during wrecking and repair.

15.25.040    Fences or barricades.

15.25.050    Bridges or sidewalk covers.

15.25.060    Fans.

15.25.070    Construction of fences, fans, and bridges.

15.25.080    Wrecking operations.

15.25.090    Exception to regulations.

15.25.010 Wrecking permits.

(A) For the purpose of this section, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning:

“Minor building” or “minor structure” means any masonry building not over one story in height and 5,000 cubic feet in volume above the grade line.

“Owner” means any person, firm, partnership, or corporation holding title and possession of the land on which the building or structure to be wrecked is located by virtue of a deed, real estate contract, or lease for more than three years.

(B) A wrecking permit shall be applied for and obtained from the Building Commissioner for the wrecking or removal of all masonry buildings and for all frame buildings less than 10 feet from a street or alley line if over one story in height. The application shall be in duplicate and shall give accurately all the information which is required thereon. A plot plan drawn to scale shall be provided for buildings where barricades or bridges are required, showing the building on the lot and the distance to the street, alley, and property lines, with the width of adjacent sidewalks. The barricade, fence, or bridge required by this chapter shall be shown and specified in its proper position relative to the buildings, and complete details of its construction given.

(1) The application shall state the type of construction of the building, its height, and number of stories, and shall state the method to be used in the wrecking, together with any other information as the Building Commissioner may reasonably require. No permit will be issued for wrecking buildings unless the application is signed by the owner of the property and verified by affidavit authorizing the wrecking company to secure the permit for the demolition of the building referred to in statements contained in the application. No permit for the wrecking of any building or other structure shall be issued except to a person licensed under the provisions of this chapter; provided, that a permit may be issued for the wrecking of a minor building or structure to the owner of the premises on which the minor building or structure shall be located.

(2) The work or operation of wrecking under a permit issued to an owner as above provided shall be performed or executed by the employees or servants of the owner acting under his supervision and direction, and shall not be done by an independent contractor, unless the independent contractor shall be licensed to carry on the business of wrecking under the provisions of this chapter.

(3) Landfill receipts for wrecking operations, roofing tear-offs, etc., by the permit applicant shall be maintained for a period of one calendar year and will be made available upon request by the Building Commissioner for each project for which a permit is required.

(C) Procedure for Application of Demolition or Wrecking Permit.

(1) An owner, or owner’s duly authorized agent, shall make an application for a demolition permit to the Building Commission prior to initiating any demolition activity. As used herein, a “demolition permit” and a “wrecking permit” are the same permit and such terms are used interchangeably herein.

(2) The application shall contain the following information:

(a) Owner’s name, address, and phone number;

(b) Duly authorized agent of the owner (if any) including said agent’s name, address and phone number, and relationship to owner (example: property manager, agent, attorney, etc.). Said agent shall be served with any notice, and notice on the agent shall be deemed sufficient notice to the owner of any proceeding or determinations hereunder;

(c) Address of structure to be demolished;

(d) Tax ID number of the property with the structure to be demolished;

(e) Detailed description of the structure to be demolished including square footage, number of stories, structure;

(f) Photograph of the front (side facing street address) of the structure; and

(g) Licensed demolition contractor’s name and contractor’s license number.

(3) The Building Commissioner’s office will review the application for its accuracy including, but not limited to, the following;

(a) Address check for special districts (example: preservation or redevelopment).

(b) On-site visit by the Building Commission or Area Plan Commission staff.

(c) The posting of the sign described below which shall remain in place for not less than seven days or longer than 14 days.

(d) At time of application, the owner will be provided with a “Structure to be Demolished” sign, to be posted in a conspicuous place easily seen from the street. The sign shall contain the following:

(i) Owner’s name;

(ii) Name, address and telephone number of the owner’s agent or of owner if no agent is given on the application; and

(iii) The date a permit will be issued if no objections are received by the Building Commissioner.

(e) A copy of the demolition permit application will be forwarded to the Department of Metropolitan Development for review by the City’s Preservation Officer and Redevelopment Commission Staff. They will provide in writing their findings and recommendations on the demolition permit issuance. Such report shall be forwarded to the Building Commissioner within five working days of receiving the demolition permit application.

(f) The Building Commissioner shall take into consideration any comments from the public, the report from the Department of Metropolitan Development concerning any safety issues or compliance with preservation laws and redevelopment laws, and compliance with rules and regulations of the Evansville Preservation Commission and Redevelopment Commission in the proposed demolition. The Building Commissioner, if there are no valid objections raised, shall issue the demolition permit no later than 14 calendar days after the owner submits the completed application for a demolition permit; however, if permission is required to demolish the structure from either the Evansville Preservation Commission or the Redevelopment Commission, or both, as may be required elsewhere in this municipal code, if there are no valid objections raised to the issuance of the permit. The Building Commissioner shall direct the owner to the Evansville Preservation Commission and/or the Redevelopment Commission if the structure is located within the jurisdiction of either of these commissions prior to approval of the demolition permit.

(g) If the Building Commissioner denies the issuance of the demolition permit, the Building Commission will contact the property owner, or his designated agent, to provide the reason(s) for denial and refer the applicant or his agent to the proper agency contact person to which the owner may appeal the decision of the Building Commissioner. The decision of the Building Commissioner may be appealed by the applicant to the Board of Public Safety for safety issues, to the Redevelopment Commission for preservation issues within their jurisdiction. A hearing on the denial shall be held within 30 days of the receipt of the request for appeal. The Building Commissioner shall comply with the decision of the respective board or commission. The decision of the board or commission may be appealed to a court of proper jurisdiction within 30 days of the issuance of a written order or decision of the board or commission. [Ord. G-2005-25, passed 11-16-05; Ord. G-93-23, passed 12-7-93; Ord. G-73-16, passed 6-25-73. 1962 Code § 1341.06; 1982 Code § 150.100; 1983 Code § 15.150.100.]

15.25.020 Storage of salvaged material or building equipment.

No building, structure, place, or lot shall hereafter be established and used for the storage of used, secondhand, or salvaged building material, building equipment, and building appurtenances, unless a permit authorizing the establishment has first been obtained from the Building Commissioner. No permit shall be granted for the establishment in any block on any street in which half of the buildings on both sides of the street are used exclusively for residence purposes, unless the consent in writing of the owners, or the duly authorized agents of the owners, owning 51 percent of the frontage of the property on both sides of the street in the block in which the business is to be established, shall first have been obtained. The written consent shall be filed with the Building Commissioner before a permit shall be granted under this chapter; provided, that no permit shall be issued for the establishment within Fire Zone No. 1, and no permit shall be issued which shall in any way conflict with the zoning code. [1962 Code § 1341.07; 1982 Code § 150.101; 1983 Code § 15.150.101.]

15.25.030 Protection during wrecking and repair.

Whenever a building or structure abutting a street, alley, or sidewalk is dismantled, removed, or extensively repaired, suitable protection shall be provided for persons using the streets and for adjacent property. The protection shall be a fence or barricade, fan or sidewalk bridge or cover as provided in this chapter. [1962 Code § 1341.09; 1982 Code § 150.102; 1983 Code § 15.150.102.]

15.25.040 Fences or barricades.

(A) Fences or barricades shall be required, for buildings not over 40 feet high, adjacent to street and alley lines, and for higher buildings 15 or more feet from these lines. For buildings not exceeding 22 feet in height, the fence shall not be less than seven feet from the building. For buildings exceeding 22 feet in height, fences or barricades shall not be less than six feet in height, shall not be less than nine feet from the building, and shall be built of three-fourths-inch boards laid tight together and securely fastened to four-inch by four-inch uprights, set not over four feet apart with two-inch by four-inch bracing and girts. The posts shall be securely set and braced to prevent buckling or overturning. The fence shall be continued past each end of the building a distance equal to the required distance from the face of the building and returned back to the property line at each end, but no fence shall extend beyond the lot line of the property on which the building is located without the consent of the adjoining owner. Wherever the fence cannot be continued past the end of the building the required distance, a sidewalk cover or other effective protection shall be provided to guard the public from falling materials.

(B) Fences may be omitted where the building is set back 20 feet from the street or alley line. For buildings over 40 feet high, similar fences may be used if located 15 feet or more from the building, except that the boards on the fence shall be nominal two-inch plank. Fans shall also be provided at each alternate story unless the fence is at least 25 feet from the building. In the storage of materials and the erection of fences or barricades, care shall be taken to leave fire hydrants easily accessible. [1962 Code § 1341.10; 1982 Code § 150.103; 1983 Code § 15.150.103.]

15.25.050 Bridges or sidewalk covers.

(A) Bridges or sidewalk covers shall be provided over all sidewalks or alleys in all cases where it is not permissible to use a fence as required in EMC 15.25.040. The cover or bridge for sidewalks, streets, or alleys shall not be less than eight feet wide overall and the inner edge shall be located not less than seven feet from the exterior wall of the building. The frame of the bridge shall be designed to carry at least 150 pounds per square foot and the top deck shall be designed to carry not less than 250 pounds per square foot. Nominal two-inch planking shall not span more than three feet. The roof of the bridge shall be made watertight and suitable provisions shall be made for lighting the walk under the bridge by means of 40-watt electric lights placed 12 feet on center. The clear ceiling height above the sidewalk under the bridge shall not be less than eight feet six inches except the lower ends of knee braces which shall be located not less than six feet six inches above the sidewalk.

(B) The inner wall of the bridge shall be sheathed with nominal two-inch plank from the sidewalk to the top of the bridge. A substantial two-inch plank barricade not less than four feet high shall be provided on the outer edge of the roof and shall be well braced. Posts shall be knee braced in both directions by two-inch by six-inch pieces at an angle of 45 degrees, or other equally effective method. Posts may be set directly on the concrete sidewalk, but if there is no concrete sidewalk, suitable mud sills and stringers shall be provided for posts and a temporary tight two-inch plank sidewalk for the full width of the bridge shall be provided the full length of the bridge. There shall be no handrails or other obstructions on the outer edge of the bridge. Where desired, an iron or structural steel bridge may be constructed in place of the wooden bridge herein required, but the steel bridge shall be of equivalent strength and dimensions and shall be subject to the approval of the Building Commissioner in each case. [1962 Code § 1341.11; 1982 Code § 150.104; 1983 Code § 15.150.104.]

15.25.060 Fans.

In wrecking or extensively remodeling buildings over 40 feet high, fans shall be provided at each alternate story level in addition to fences and bridges required by EMC 15.25.040 and 15.25.050. The fans shall project from the side of the building not less than six feet, and shall be designed for a live load of 100 pounds per square foot for a distance of five feet out from the wall line. The lookouts or supports shall be not less than two-inch by 12-inch joists spiked together and spaced not over eight feet on center, cantilevered on the wall, and adequately anchored to beams, girders, or joists of the building with steel cables or bolts of sufficient strength to withstand the maximum load which can be applied to the fan outside of the building. The entire area of the fan shall be floored with two-inch plank laid tight and solid plank guard rails three feet in height shall be provided on the outer edge and the ends of the fan rigidly braced and secured to lookouts. [1962 Code § 1341.12; 1982 Code § 150.105; 1983 Code § 15.150.105.]

15.25.070 Construction of fences, fans, and bridges.

(A) All materials used in the construction of fences, barricades, fans, and bridges shall be clean, sound, and free from decay or other defects which would seriously impair their strength. Posts, beams, joists, and lookouts shall be one continuous piece and splicing shall be prohibited. All parts of the construction shall be well spiked or bolted to develop the strength of the structural members.

(B) All temporary sidewalk covers or fences erected on public property in accordance with these provisions which remain in place longer than 30 days shall be painted on all surfaces exposed to public view with at least one coat of suitable oil paint. Signs may be painted thereon descriptive of the building, the name and business of prospective tenants, and the name, address, and business of the owner or lessee. The signs shall cover not more than one-half of the street side of the barricade, bridge, or fence. No banner or temporary sign shall be permitted. [1962 Code § 1341.13; 1982 Code § 150.106; 1983 Code § 15.150.106.]

15.25.080 Wrecking operations.

(A) After obtaining a permit from the Building Commissioner as well as the permission of the Department of Public Safety for occupancy of any public property, the wrecker shall proceed to erect all required protections and shall then notify the Commissioner to inspect them before proceeding with wrecking operations. The wrecking company, or person who secures the permit for the razing of the structure, shall be held liable for compliance with the provisions herein and other laws and ordinances pertaining to the wrecking of buildings, and shall also be liable for the acts of subcontractors or other persons who do any work or removal or destruction in the wrecking of the building.

(B) The methods to be used in wrecking shall not involve undue hazards to the public or unnecessary danger to the workmen and shall be in accordance with good practice. Suitable provisions shall be made for the disposal of materials which are accumulated during the wrecking operations. No part of the structure shall be overloaded by excessive storage of materials or debris. Chutes, scaffolds, derricks, and hoists shall be strong, substantial, and safe for the purpose for which they are intended. Materials which in their removal would cause an excessive amount of dust shall be well wet down to prevent the creation of a nuisance. No open fires or other sources of flame except necessary cutting torches shall be used in the inside of the building being wrecked, nor in close proximity to inflammable materials outside of the buildings, and every precaution shall be taken to prevent the possibility of fire.

(C) The requirements of this section shall be the minimum requirements for average conditions and, in the case of unusual or dangerous situations, adequate provisions shall be made and every precaution taken to protect the safety of the public and workmen.

(D) The Building Commissioner is given authority to stop the wrecking of any building within the City wherever in his judgment it is being done in a reckless, careless, or unsafe manner or in violation of any local ordinance. When any wrecking work shall have been stopped, it shall not be resumed until the Commissioner shall have been satisfied that all precautions shall be taken for the protection of life and property and that the work shall be prosecuted in a safe manner and in conformity with City ordinances.

(E) At the completion of all wrecking, the lot shall be cleaned of all rubbish and debris accumulated in the course of wrecking and the lot leveled off so as to leave no unsightly condition. Any basements, cellars, or other excavations shall be filled in and leveled off with new earth puddled and tamped to ensure the minimum of settling or shall be fenced off, all to the approval of the Commissioner. [1962 Code § 1341.14; 1982 Code § 150.107; 1983 Code § 15.150.107.]

15.25.090 Exception to regulations.

The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to wrecking of minor buildings or structures as defined in EMC 15.25.010(A) nor to the wrecking or removal of 50 percent or less of any building or structure incidental to or necessary in connection with repair, alteration, or enlargement of the building or structure. [1962 Code § 1341.08; 1982 Code § 150.108; 1983 Code § 15.150.108.]