Chapter 8.120


8.120.010    Defined.

8.120.020    Order to abate – City abatement – Costs – Right of entry.

8.120.030    Abatement by City – Cost – Lien.

8.120.010 Defined.

An “unfit structure” is deemed unfit for human use whenever the Public Officer finds that such structure is unsafe, unlawful or because of the condition to which the structure is in disrepair or lacks maintenance, is unsanitary, vermin infested, contains refuse, or lacks ventilation, illumination, sanitary or heating facilities, lacks operating utility connections or other essential equipment required by this code or any other adopted code or standard or because the location of the structure constitutes a hazard to the occupants of the structure or to the public. (Ord. 2366 § 2)

8.120.020 Order to abate – City abatement – Costs – Right of entry.

Whenever the Public Officer has determined a structure to be unfit for human use, a notice shall be served upon the property owner either in person or by certified mail. The notice will contain information on the address, the violation and a timeline for corrections. The Public Officer at the time of initial inspection may deem the violation is imminently dangerous to the occupants or the public’s health so that the structure may be posted as a prohibited occupancy. At that time a placard will be affixed to the front of the structure, with a copy of the certified notice, stating “Unfit for Human Occupancy.” Any person removing or defacing the placard will be found subject to the penalties of this title.

If the structure is posted “Unfit for Human Occupancy,” the property owner has seven days from the date of the notice to file a written appeal to request a hearing on the matter. If the request is deemed valid, the City Administrator or designee shall assemble the Building Code Board of Appeals and conduct a hearing within 10 days of the request. The Building Code Board of Appeals shall receive evidence, investigate the property and make a written decision no longer than 20 days from the original posting of the structure. If the decision of the Building Code Board of Appeals supports the original posting of the structure, the timeline set for correction or abatement by the Public Officer shall still be valid.

After the decision of the Building Code Board of Appeals has been sent to the owner by certified mail, the structure shall have all violations corrected by the date specified on the original notification. If that date passes and the structure remains in violation of the original posting, then the Public Officer can use K.S.A. 12-1750 to declare the building dangerous and to proceed with removal of the structure. (Ord. 2519 § 4; Ord. 2366 § 2)

8.120.030 Abatement by City – Cost – Lien.

A. Abatement by City. Under the following circumstances, the City may initiate abatement activities for code violations:

1. If the code offender fails to comply with a notice of violation, the Public Officer may cause the violation to be abated; or

2. If the code offender fails to comply with a notice to remove or demolish the structure, the Public Officer may cause such structure to be removed or demolished; or

3. If the Public Officer makes a reasonable determination that an emergency situation exists in violation of this title, the City may immediately use the enforcement and abatement powers and remedies available pursuant to this section including, but not limited to, immediate abatement and/or the issuance of a notice to appear in Municipal Court. No other notification procedures are required as a prerequisite to any action taken in an emergency situation.

B. The cost of the repairs, alterations, improvements, vacating and closing or removal by the City shall be assessed as a lien against the real property upon which the cost was incurred. The lien shall include allowance of the City’s costs, any assessed penalties, and the necessary court costs and attorneys’ fees, and may be foreclosed in judicial proceedings in the manner provided or authorized by law for loans secured by liens on real property. In lieu of foreclosure, the costs, including the City’s costs, may be assessed as a special assessment against the lot or parcel of land on which the structure was located, in which case the City Clerk, at the time of certifying other City taxes, shall certify the unpaid portion of the costs and the County Clerk shall place the same on the tax rolls of the County against the lot or parcel of land. (Ord. 2366 § 2)