Chapter 15.21
DANGEROUS BUILDINGS

Sections:

15.21.010    Purpose.

15.21.015    Scope.

15.21.020    Alterations, additions and repairs.

15.21.025    Administration.

15.21.030    Inspections.

15.21.035    Right of entry.

15.21.040    Dangerous buildings declared to be public nuisances – Abatement.

15.21.045    Violations.

15.21.050    Inspections of work.

15.21.060    Definitions.

15.21.070    Commencement of proceedings.

15.21.080    Notice and order.

15.21.090    Service of notice and order.

15.21.100    Method of service.

15.21.110    Proof of service.

15.21.120    Repair, vacation and demolition.

15.21.130    Notice to vacate – Posting.

15.21.140    Compliance with notice to vacate.

15.21.150    Form of appeal.

15.21.160    Scheduling appeal for hearing.

15.21.170    Effect of failure to appeal.

15.21.180    Scope of appeal hearing – Stay of order.

15.21.190    Form of notice of hearing to appellant.

15.21.200    Record.

15.21.210    Conduct of hearings.

15.21.220    Rights of parties.

15.21.230    Official notice.

15.21.240    Inspection of the premises.

15.21.250    Form of decision – Judicial review.

15.21.260    Enforcement of orders.

15.21.270    Failure to commence work.

15.21.280    Interference with repair or demolition work prohibited.

15.21.010 Purpose.

A. This chapter is to provide a method (cumulative with and in addition to any other remedy(ies) available to the city by law) whereby buildings or structures which from any cause endanger the life, limb, health, property, safety or welfare of the general public or the building’s occupants such that they should be required to be repaired, vacated or demolished.

B. This chapter does not create or otherwise establish or designate any particular class or group of persons who will or should be especially protected or benefited by the terms hereof. (Ord. 8-2005 § 1)

15.21.015 Scope.

This chapter shall apply to all “dangerous buildings” as herein defined be they now in existence or which may hereafter become dangerous buildings in the city. (Ord. 8-2005 § 1)

15.21.020 Alterations, additions and repairs.

All buildings or structures required to be repaired under the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to the provisions of Section 3403 of the Oregon State Structural Specialty Code as it currently exists or may hereafter be amended. (Ord. 8-2005 § 1)

15.21.025 Administration.

A. The community development director (or his/her designate) (hereinafter “director”) is hereby authorized to enforce the provisions of this chapter. The director shall have the power to render interpretations of this chapter and to adopt and enforce rules and supplemental regulations in order to clarify the application of its provisions. Such interpretations, rules and regulations shall be in conformity with the intent and purpose of this chapter.

B. Any person may appeal an interpretation of this chapter, or any rule or supplemental regulation made by the director to the building code board of appeals which shall have the authority to affirm, modify, reverse or annul the director’s action. An appeal shall be made, if at all, in writing setting out the general nature of the person’s objection to the director’s action. The appeal shall be made within 14 days of the person receiving notice from the director that the interpretation, rule or supplemental regulation is applicable to that person. An appeal made to the board shall be addressed by the board in an expeditious manner and the board shall issue a written opinion thereon not later than 30 days after the board hears or otherwise considers the appeal. The board’s opinion on the matter shall be the final decision on the matter. (Ord. 8-2005 § 1)

15.21.030 Inspections.

The director with other officials such as the building official, the fire marshal and Multnomah County health department officials are authorized to make such inspections and take such other actions as may be required to enforce the provisions of this chapter, including (but not limited to) the issuance of stop work or similar abatement orders. (Ord. 8-2005 § 1)

15.21.035 Right of entry.

A. When necessary to make an inspection to enforce the requirements imposed by the terms of this chapter (or when the director or the director’s authorized representative has reasonable cause to believe there exists in a building or upon a premises a condition which is contrary to or in violation of this chapter making the building or premises unsafe, dangerous or hazardous) the director may enter the building or premises at reasonable times to inspect or to perform the duties imposed by this chapter; provided, that if such building or premises be occupied that credentials be presented to the occupant and entry requested. If entry is refused, the director shall have recourse to the remedies provided by law to secure entry, including (but not limited to) the ability to apply for and obtain an administrative search warrant.

B. If such building or premises be unoccupied, the director shall first make a reasonable effort to locate the owner or other person(s) having charge or control of the building or premises and request entry. If entry is refused, the director shall have recourse to the remedies provided by law to secure entry, including (but not limited to) the ability to apply for and obtain an administrative search warrant. (Ord. 8-2005 § 1)

15.21.040 Dangerous buildings declared to be public nuisances – Abatement.

All buildings or portions thereof determined after inspection by the director or his/her agent or designate to be dangerous as defined in this chapter are hereby declared to be public nuisances and shall be abated by repair, rehabilitation, demolition or removal in accordance with the procedure specified in this chapter. It is understood that the director, his/her agent or designate shall not, in designating a building to be dangerous as defined in this chapter, act unilaterally but rather shall involve other relevant officials, such as the building official, county health officer or fire marshal as necessary in the designation. (Ord. 8-2005 § 1)

15.21.045 Violations.

It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, partnership, unincorporated association, corporation or other entity to erect, construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, improve, remove, convert or demolish, equip, use, occupy or maintain any building or structure or cause or permit the same to be done in violation of this chapter. (Ord. 8-2005 § 1)

15.21.050 Inspections of work.

All buildings or structures within the scope of this chapter and all construction or work for which a permit is required shall be subject to inspection by the director consistent with and in the manner provided by this chapter and Sections 108 and 1701 of the Oregon State Structural Specialty Code and other relevant provisions of municipal, county or state law. (Ord. 8-2005 § 1)

15.21.060 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, certain terms, phrases, words and their derivatives shall be construed as specified in either this chapter or as specified in the building code or the housing code. Where terms are not defined, they shall have their ordinary accepted meanings within the context with which they are used. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language (unabridged, copyrighted 1986) shall be construed as providing ordinary accepted meanings. Words used in the singular include the plural and the plural the singular. Words used in the masculine gender include the feminine and the feminine the masculine.

A. “Director” is the community development director or such other person as may be designated as such by the city administrator.

B. “City” means the city of Fairview.

C. “Dangerous building” is any building or structure which has any or all of the conditions or defects hereinafter described; provided, that such conditions or defects exist to the extent that the life, health, property or safety of the public or the building or structure’s occupants are endangered:

1. Whenever any door, aisle, passageway, stairway or other means of exit is not of sufficient width or size or is not so arranged as to provide safe and adequate means of exit in case of fire or panic.

2. Whenever the walking surface of any aisle, passageway, stairway or other means of exit is so warped, worn, loose, torn or otherwise unsafe as to not provide safe and adequate means of exit in case of fire or panic.

3. Whenever the stress in any materials, member or portion thereof, due to all dead and live loads, is more than one and one-half times the working stress or stresses allowed in the building code for new buildings of similar structure, purpose or location.

4. Whenever any portion thereof has been damaged by fire, earthquake, wind, flood or by any other cause, to such an extent that the structural strength or stability thereof is materially less than it was before such catastrophe and is less than the minimum requirements of the building code for new buildings of similar structure, purpose or location.

5. Whenever any portion or member or appurtenance thereof is likely to fail, or to become detached or dislodged, or to collapse and thereby injure persons or damage property.

6. Whenever any portion of a building, or any member, appurtenance or ornamentation on the exterior thereof is not of sufficient strength or stability, or is not so anchored, attached or fastened in place so as to be capable of resisting a wind pressure of one-half of that specified in the building code for new buildings of similar structure, purpose or location without exceeding the working stresses permitted in the building code for such buildings.

7. Whenever any portion thereof has wracked, warped, buckled or settled to such an extent that walls or other structural portions have materially less resistance to winds or earthquakes than is required in the case of similar new construction.

8. Whenever the building or structure, or any portion thereof, because of: (i) dilapidation, deterioration or decay; (ii) faulty construction; (iii) the removal, movement or instability of any portion of the ground necessary for the purpose of supporting such building; (iv) the deterioration, decay or inadequacy of its foundation; or (v) any other cause, is likely to partially or completely collapse.

9. Whenever, for any reason, the building or structure, or any portion thereof, is manifestly unsafe for the purpose for which it is being used.

10. Whenever the exterior walls or other vertical structural members list, lean or buckle to such an extent that a plumb line passing through the center of gravity does not fall inside the middle one-third of the base.

11. Whenever the building or structure, exclusive of the foundation, shows 33 percent or more damage or deterioration of its supporting member or members, or 50 percent damage or deterioration of its nonsupporting members, enclosing or outside walls or coverings.

12. Whenever the building or structure has been so damaged by fire, wind, earthquake or flood, or has become so dilapidated or deteriorated as to become an attractive nuisance to children or a harbor for vagrants and criminals.

13. Whenever any building or structure has been constructed, exists or is maintained in violation of any specific requirement or prohibition applicable to such building or structure provided by the building regulations of this jurisdiction, as specified in the building code or of any law or ordinance of this state or jurisdiction relating to the condition, location or structure of buildings.

14. Whenever any building or structure which, whether or not erected in accordance with all applicable laws and ordinances, has in any nonsupporting part, member or portion less than 50 percent, or in any supporting part, member or portion less than 66 percent of the (a) strength, (b) fire-resisting qualities or characteristics, or (c) weather-resisting qualities or characteristics required by law in the case of a newly constructed building of like area, height and occupancy in the same location.

15. Whenever a building or structure, used or intended to be used for dwelling purposes, because of inadequate maintenance, dilapidation, decay, damage, faulty construction or arrangement, inadequate light, air or sanitation facilities, or otherwise, is determined by the health officer to be unsanitary, unfit for human habitation or in such a condition that is likely to cause sickness or disease.

16. Whenever any building or structure, because of obsolescence, dilapidated condition, deterioration, damage, inadequate exits, lack of sufficient fire-resistive construction, faulty electric wiring, gas connections or heating apparatus, or other cause, is determined by the fire marshal to be a fire hazard.

17. Whenever any building or structure is in such a condition as to constitute a public nuisance known to the common law or in equity jurisprudence.

18. Whenever any portion of a building or structure remains on a site after the demolition or destruction of the building or structure or whenever any building or structure is abandoned for a period in excess of six months so as to constitute such building or portion thereof an attractive nuisance or hazard to the public.

D. “Owner” or “record owner” is the person whose name and address is listed as the owner of the property by the county tax assessor on the county assessment and taxation records. (Ord. 8-2005 § 1)

15.21.070 Commencement of proceedings.

When the director has inspected or caused to be inspected any building and has found and determined that such building is a dangerous building, the director shall commence proceedings to cause the repair, vacation or demolition thereof. (Ord. 8-2005 § 1)

15.21.080 Notice and order.

A. The director shall issue a notice and order directed to the record owner of the building. The notice and order shall contain the following items:

1. The street address and a description sufficient for identification of the premises upon which the building is located.

2. A statement that the director has found the building dangerous with a brief factual description of the conditions found to render the building dangerous under the terms of this chapter.

3. A statement of the action(s) required to be taken by the director:

a. If the building must be repaired, the notice and order shall require all required permits be secured therefor and the work physically commenced within such time (not to exceed 60 days from the date of the order) and completed with in such time as the director shall determine reasonable under all of the circumstances.

b. If the building must be vacated, the order shall require that the building or structure be vacated within a time certain from the date of the order as determined by the director to be reasonable.

c. If the building or structure is to be demolished, the order shall require that the building be vacated within such time as the director determines reasonable (not to exceed 60 days from the date of the order); that all required permits be secured therefor within 30 days of the date of the order; and that the demolition be completed within 30 days thereafter.

4. Statement advising that if any required repair or demolition work (without vacation also being required) is not commenced within the time specified, the director:

a. Will order the building vacated and posted to prevent further occupancy until the work is completed; and

b. May proceed to cause the work to be done and charge the costs thereof against the property or its owner.

5. Copy of the regulations and procedures set out in this chapter.

6. Statements advising:

a. That any person having any record title or legal interest (other than a leasehold interest) in the building may appeal from the notice and order or any action of the director to the municipal court provided the appeal is made in writing as provided in this chapter and filed with the director within 14 days from the date of service of such notice and order; and

b. That failure to appeal will constitute a waiver of all right to a hearing and determination of the matter.

B. In the event the director believes conditions exist at a structure such that it presents an imminent threat to the health, safety and welfare of the general public and/or the structure’s occupants, service of the notice and order consistent with the terms of FMC 15.21.090 shall not be required prior to any action(s) being taken by the director to address the imminent threat. The director is authorized to take all such actions as he/she deems reasonably necessary to address the imminent threat including demolition of the building, securing it against entry and vacation. (Ord. 8-2005 § 1)

15.21.090 Service of notice and order.

A. The notice and order (and any amended or supplemental notice and order) shall be served upon the record owner and posted on the property with a copy thereof being served on each of the following (if known to the director or disclosed from official public records):

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

2. The owner or holder of any lease of record; and

3. The holder of any other estate or legal interest of record in or to the building or the land on which it is located.

B. In the event the director has exercised his/her authority under the terms of FMC 15.21.080(B), in addition to the notice and order referred to herein, the director shall cause a notice of summary action to be sent to person(s) identified in subsection (A) of this section, which notice shall include the following:

1. The date the summary action was taken; and

2. A statement of the violations of this chapter that existed at the property that were the cause of the director’s determination that the conditions gave rise to a imminent threat.

C. The failure of the director to serve any person required herein to be served shall not invalidate any proceedings hereunder as to any other person duly served or relieve any such person from any duty or obligation imposed by the provisions of this section. (Ord. 8-2005 § 1)

15.21.100 Method of service.

Service of the notice and order shall be made upon all persons entitled thereto either personally or by mailing a copy of such notice and order by certified mail, postage prepaid, to each such person at his/her address as it appears in the Multnomah County tax records or as otherwise known to the director. If no address of such person appears or is known to the director, then a copy of the notice and order shall be mailed (addressed to such person) at the address of the building involved in the proceedings. The failure of any such person to receive such notice shall not affect the validity of any proceedings taken under this section. Service by certified mail in the manner herein provided shall be effective on the date of mailing. (Ord. 8-2005 § 1)

15.21.110 Proof of service.

Proof of service of the notice and order shall be certified to at the time of service by a written declaration under penalty of perjury executed by the persons effecting service, declaring the time, date and manner in which service was made. The declaration, together with any receipt card returned in acknowledgment of receipt by certified mail shall be affixed to the copy of the notice and order retained by the director. (Ord. 8-2005 § 1)

15.21.120 Repair, vacation and demolition.

A. Any building declared a dangerous building under this chapter shall be made to comply with one of the following:

1. The building shall be repaired in accordance with the current building code or other current code applicable to the type of substandard conditions requiring repair; or

2. The building shall be demolished consistent with subsection (D) of this section.

B. If the building does not constitute an immediate danger to the life, limb, property or safety of the public it may be vacated, secured and maintained against entry with the right to entry allowed to effect required repairs.

C. If the building or structure is in such condition as to make it immediately dangerous to the life, limb, property or safety of the public or the building’s occupants, it shall be ordered vacated, secured and maintained against entry.

D. If a building or structure is found to be or becomes dangerous such that the life, property or safety of the public is thereby jeopardized and if in the opinion of the director, the building or structure is not, under current circumstances, likely to be repaired such that it will be habitable within 120 days, it may be ordered demolished, with the cost thereof to be borne by the owners. In the event the director determines that a building is to be demolished, the director shall make a written order which includes the circumstances supporting demolition. The order shall be served on all persons entitled to notice provide under FMC 15.21.080 and is subject to a 21-day appeal consistent with the provisions of FMC 15.21.150. (Ord. 8-2005 § 1)

15.21.130 Notice to vacate – Posting.

Every notice to vacate shall, in addition to being served, be posted at or upon each exit of the building and shall be in substantially the following form:

DO NOT ENTER

UNSAFE TO OCCUPY

It is unlawful to occupy this building or to remove or deface this notice.

_____________________________

Community Development Director

City of Fairview, Oregon

(Ord. 8-2005 § 1)

15.21.140 Compliance with notice to vacate.

A. Whenever such notice is posted, the director shall include a notification thereof in the notice and order issued under FMC 15.21.080 reciting the emergency and specifying the conditions which necessitate the posting.

B. No person shall remain in or enter any building which has been so posted except that entry may be made to repair, demolish or remove such building under permit.

C. No person shall remove or deface any such notice after it is posted until the required repairs, demolition or removal have been completed and all lawful requirements been met. (Ord. 8-2005 § 1)

15.21.150 Form of appeal.

A. Any person entitled to service under FMC 15.21.080 may appeal from any notice and order or any action of the director under this chapter by filing with the municipal court a written appeal containing:

1. A heading in the words: “Before the Municipal Court of the City of Fairview, Oregon.”

2. A listing of the names of all appellants participating in the appeal along with a brief statement setting forth the legal interest of each appellant in the building or the land involved in the notice and order.

3. A brief statement concerning the basis for the appeal together with any material fact(s) claimed to support those contentions and why the protested order or action should be reversed, modified or otherwise set aside.

4. The signatures of all parties named as appellants and their official mailing addresses.

5. The verification (by declaration under penalty of perjury) of at least one appellant as to the truth of the matters stated in the appeal.

B. The appeal shall be filed within 21 days of the date of service of the director’s order or action; provided, that if the building or structure is in such condition as to make it immediately dangerous to the life, limb, property or safety of the public or adjacent property and is ordered vacated and is posted in accordance with FMC 15.21.120 and 15.21.130, such appeal shall be filed within 10 days from the date of the service of the notice and order of the director. (Ord. 8-2005 § 1)

15.21.160 Scheduling appeal for hearing.

As soon as practicable after receiving the written appeal, the municipal court shall fix a date, time and place for the hearing of the appeal. Such date shall not be less than 10 nor more than 60 days from the date the appeal was filed with the director. Written notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be given at least 10 days prior to the date of the hearing to each appellant by the court 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. A copy shall also be posted at the property and sent to all persons who received notice under the terms of sent to all persons who received notice under the terms of FMC 15.21.080. (Ord. 8-2005 § 1)

15.21.170 Effect of failure to appeal.

Failure of any person to file an appeal in accordance with the provisions of FMC 15.21.150 shall constitute a waiver of the right to a hearing and adjudication of the notice and order or any portion thereof. (Ord. 8-2005 § 1)

15.21.180 Scope of appeal hearing – Stay of order.

A. Only those matters or issues specifically raised by the appellant shall be considered in the hearing of the appeal.

B. Except for vacation orders made pursuant to FMC 15.21.130, enforcement of any notice and order of the director issued under this chapter shall be stayed during the pendency of an appeal therefrom which is properly and timely filed. (Ord. 8-2005 § 1)

15.21.190 Form of notice of hearing to appellant.

The notice to the appellant(s) shall be substantially in the following form:

You are hereby notified that a hearing will be held before the Fairview Municipal Court at _____ on the ___ day of __________, 20___ at the hour, ___________ upon the notice and order served upon you for alleged violation(s) of Chapter 15.21 (Dangerous Buildings) of the Fairview Municipal Code. You may be present at the hearing. You may be, but need not be, represented by counsel. You may present relevant evidence and will be given full opportunity to examine all witnesses.

(Ord. 8-2005 § 1)

15.21.200 Record.

A record of the entire proceedings shall be made by tape recording or by any other means of permanent recording determined to be appropriate by the court. (Ord. 8-2005 § 1)

15.21.210 Conduct of hearings.

Hearings need not be conducted according to the technical rules relating to evidence and witnesses. Oral evidence shall be taken on oath or affirmation. Hearsay evidence may be used for the purpose of supplementing or explaining direct evidence, but shall not be sufficient in itself to support a finding unless it would be admissible over objection in civil actions in courts of competent jurisdiction in Oregon. Any relevant evidence shall be admitted if it is the type of evidence on which responsible persons are accustomed to rely in the conduct of serious affairs, regardless of the existence of any common law or statutory rule which might make improper the admission of such evidence over objection in civil actions in courts of competent jurisdiction in Oregon. Irrelevant and unduly repetitious evidence shall be excluded. (Ord. 8-2005 § 1)

15.21.220 Rights of parties.

The city and the appellant(s) shall be able:

A. To call and examine witnesses on matters relevant to the issues of the hearing;

B. To introduce documentary and physical evidence;

C. To cross-examine opposing witnesses;

D. To rebut evidence; and

E. To be represented by anyone lawfully permitted to do so. (Ord. 8-2005 § 1)

15.21.230 Official notice.

In reaching a decision, official notice may be taken (either before or after submission of the case for decision) of any fact which judicially noticeable by Oregon courts. Parties present at the hearing shall be informed of the matters to be noticed which is to be noted in the record. Parties present at the hearing shall be given a reasonable opportunity to refute the noticed matters by evidence or by written or oral presentation of authority. (Ord. 8-2005 § 1)

15.21.240 Inspection of the premises.

The court may inspect any building involved in an appeal during the course of the hearing; provided, that: notice of such inspection shall be given the parties before the inspection is made; the parties are given an opportunity to be present during the inspection; and, the judge shall state for the record after said inspection the material facts observed and the conclusions drawn therefrom. (Ord. 8-2005 § 1)

15.21.250 Form of decision – Judicial review.

A. With appeals heard by the municipal court, the court shall within a reasonable time (not to exceed 90 days from the date the hearing is closed) prepare a written decision which shall contain findings of fact, a determination of the issues presented and the requirements, if any, to be complied with. The effective date of the decision shall be as stated therein. A copy of the decision shall be delivered to the city and appellant by certified mail and regular mail, postage prepaid.

B. Judicial review of the court’s decision shall be by way of writ of review as provided for in ORS 34.010 to 34.100. (Ord. 8-2005 § 1)

15.21.260 Enforcement of orders.

A. After any order of the director or municipal court made pursuant to this chapter has become final, no person to whom any such order is directed shall fail, neglect or refuse to obey any such order.

B. If the person to whom an order of the director has been directed fails, neglects or refuses to comply with said order, the director shall, before taking any action to cause the repair, vacation or demolition of the building, bring an action consistent with the terms of Chapter 2.27 FMC and the municipal court shall, if the evidence adduced shows cause, issue a final order requiring compliance with the director’s order. (Ord. 8-2007 § 7; Ord. 8-2005 § 1)

15.21.270 Failure to commence work.

Whenever the required repair or demolition is not commenced within 30 days after any final notice and order issued under this chapter becomes effective:

A. The director shall cause the building described in such notice and order to be vacated by posting at each entrance thereto a notice reading:

DANGEROUS BUILDING

DO NOT OCCUPY

It is unlawful to occupy this building, remove or deface this notice.

_____________________________

Community Development Director

City of Fairview, Oregon

B. No person shall occupy any building which has been posted as specified in this section. No person shall remove or deface any such notice so posted until the repairs, demolition or removal ordered by the director have been completed and a certificate of occupancy issued pursuant to the provisions of the building code.

C. The director may, in addition to any other remedy herein provided, cause the building to be repaired to the extent necessary to correct the conditions which render the building dangerous as set forth in the notice and order; or, if the notice and order required demolition, to cause the building to be sold and demolished or demolished and the materials, rubble and debris therefrom removed and the lot cleaned. Any such repair or demolition work shall be accomplished and the cost thereof paid and recovered in the manner provided for the collection of assessment liens. (Ord. 8-2005 § 1)

15.21.280 Interference with repair or demolition work prohibited.

No person shall obstruct, impede or interfere with any officer, employee, contractor or authorized representative of this jurisdiction or with any person who owns or holds any estate or interest in any building which has been ordered repaired, vacated or demolished under the provisions of this chapter, or with any person to whom such building has been lawfully sold pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, whenever such officer, employee, contractor or authorized representative of the city, person having an interest or estate in such building or structure, or purchaser is engaged in the work of repairing, vacating and repairing, or demolishing any such building pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, or in performing any necessary act preliminary to or incidental to such work or authorized or directed pursuant to this chapter. (Ord. 8-2005 § 1)