Chapter 15.10


15.10.010    Definitions.

15.10.020    Nuisance declared.

15.10.030    Initial action.

15.10.040    Mailed notice.

15.10.050    Published and posted notices.

15.10.060    Hearings.

15.10.070    City council orders – Notice.

15.10.080    Abatement by the city.

15.10.090    Assessment.

15.10.100    Summary abatement.

15.10.110    Errors in procedure.

15.10.120    Violation – Penalty.

15.10.010 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the following mean:

(1) “Dangerous building” means:

(a) A structure that, for lack of proper repairs or because of age and dilapidated condition, or poorly installed electrical wiring, chimney, gas connection, or heating apparatus, or for any other reason, is likely to cause a fire and is situated or occupied in a manner that endangers other property or human life;

(b) A structure containing flammable or explosive materials that are likely to cause fire or danger to the safety of the building or to human life;

(c) A structure in such filthy or unsanitary condition that it is likely to cause the spread of contagious or infectious disease;

(d) A structure in such weak, dilapidated or deteriorated condition that it endangers persons or property because of the probability of partial or entire collapse;

(e) A structure which, for any reason, is manifestly unsafe for the purpose for which it is being used;

(f) A structure which has been so damaged or has become so dilapidated or deteriorated as to become an attractive nuisance to children or a harbor for vagrants, transients, or other trespassers.

(2) “Owner” means the owner of the title to real property, or the contract purchaser of real property, as shown on the last available complete assessment roll in the office of the Lane County assessor.

(3) “Person” means every natural person, firm, partnership, association or corporation. (Ord. 290 § 1, 1987)

15.10.020 Nuisance declared.

Every building found by the city council to be a dangerous building is declared to be a public nuisance and may be abated according to the procedures specified in this chapter, or by a suit for abatement brought by the city. (Ord. 290 § 2, 1987)

15.10.030 Initial action.

When the building official, city administrator, or public works director determines that a dangerous building exists in the city, the official shall report it to the city council. The city council shall, within a reasonable time, fix a time and place for a public hearing. (Ord. 290 § 3, 1987)

15.10.040 Mailed notice.

(1) The city shall notify the owner and any occupants of the building by certified or registered mail, or by personal service. The notice shall state:

(a) That a hearing will be held concerning the nuisance character of the property;

(b) A description of the property and alleged nuisances;

(c) The time and place of the hearing.

(2) A copy of this notice shall be posted on the building. (Ord. 290 § 4, 1987)

15.10.050 Published and posted notices.

At least 10 days prior to the hearing date, the city shall publish a notice of the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation within the city or post notices in at least three public places in the city. (Ord. 290 § 5, 1987)

15.10.060 Hearings.

(1) At the hearing, the owner or other interested parties shall have the right to be heard.

(2) The city council may inspect the building and consider the facts observed in determining whether the building is dangerous.

(3) (a) If the city council determines that the building is dangerous, it may:

(i) Order the building to be demolished; or

(ii) Order the building to be made safe and prescribe what must be done to make the building safe.

(b) In the order, the city council may set a time, not less than 10 days, within which the order must be obeyed, and may prescribe time limits within which specific portions of the work must be completed. (Ord. 290 § 6, 1987)

15.10.070 City council orders – Notice.

Notice of the city council’s determination and orders shall be served by certified or registered mail, or by personal service, to the owner of the building. If the orders are not obeyed, and the building is not made safe within the time specified by the order, the city council may, in its discretion, order the building demolished or made safe at the expense of the owner of the property on which it is located. (Ord. 290 § 7, 1987)

15.10.080 Abatement by the city.

If the city council orders are not complied with, the city council may specify the demolition or work to be done and direct that it be undertaken by city personnel and equipment, or that bids be obtained according to applicable local and state contracting laws and regulations. (Ord. 290 § 8, 1987)

15.10.090 Assessment.

(1) The city shall serve upon the owner, by registered or certified mail, or personal service, a notice stating:

(a) The total cost of abatement, including the administrative costs;

(b) That the costs as indicated will be assessed to and become a lien against the property unless paid within 30 days from the date of the notice;

(c) That if the owner objects to the cost of the abatement as indicated, a written notice of objection may be filed with the city not more than 10 days from the date of the notice.

(2) No sooner than 10 days after the date of the notice of costs, the city council, in the regular course of the business, shall hear and make a decision on the objections to the costs assessed.

(3) If the costs of the abatement are not paid within 30 days from the date of the notice of costs or, if an objection was filed, within 10 days from the council determination, an assessment of the costs, as stated or decided by the council, shall be made by resolution and shall be entered in the docket of city liens. When the entry is made, it shall constitute a lien on the property from which the nuisance was removed or abated.

(4) The lien shall bear interest at a rate set by the council at the time of assessment. The interest shall begin to run from the date of entry of the lien in the lien docket.

(5) Collection of the lien shall be in accordance with ORS 223.510 through 223.595. (Ord. 290 § 9, 1987)

15.10.100 Summary abatement.

The procedures set forth in VMC 15.10.030 through 15.10.080 need not be followed if the condition of a building or structure is unmistakably dangerous and imminently endangers life or property, in which case the fire chief or his designee, any law enforcement officer, the public works director or his designee, the city administrator or his designee, or any other person authorized by the city council may summarily abate the nuisance. (Ord. 290 § 10, 1987)

15.10.110 Errors in procedure.

Any failure to conform to the requirements of this chapter that does not substantially and adversely affect the legal right of a person does not invalidate a proceeding under this chapter. (Ord. 290 § 11, 1987)

15.10.120 Violation – Penalty.

A person who owns a dangerous building and who allows the building to remain dangerous past the time established in the notice described in VMC 15.10.070 may be fined not more than $1,000. Each subsequent day that the violation continues shall be considered a separate offense. (Ord. 290 § 12, 1987)