CHAPTER 2
NUISANCES

Sections:

12-2-111    Purpose.

12-2-112    Definitions.

12-2-113    Nuisance – Definition.

12-2-114    Exceptions.

12-2-115    Responsibility for Nuisances.

12-2-116    Finding of Nuisance.

12-2-117    Voluntary Compliance.

12-2-118    Citation.

12-2-119    Other Remedies.

12-2-120    Inspection.

12-2-121    Penalty.

12-2-111 Purpose.

The purpose of this ordinance is to provide a means for the City and individuals to identify nuisances within the City and to provide a means for correcting or abating the nuisances. The City needs the ability to Abate nuisances in order to protect the health and safety of the public, to foster neighborhood stability, to preserve the appearance, character and beauty of neighborhoods, to encourage community pride, to preserve the value of Property, and to protect the general welfare of the City and its citizens, businesses and visitors. This ordinance provides for progressive enforcement measures to Abate nuisances.

(Adopted by Ordinance No. 20-01)

12-2-112 Definitions.

(1)    “Abate” means to repair, replace, remove, destroy, correct or otherwise remedy a condition which constitutes a nuisance by such means, in such a manner and to such an extent as the Community Officer determines is necessary in the interest of the general health, safety and welfare of the community.

(2)    “Community Officer” means an employee hired by the City to enforce this ordinance.

(3)    “Completion Date” means the date by which the Responsible Person must Abate a nuisance. The Completion Date is originally set by the Community Officer in the Voluntary Compliance Agreement.

(4)    “Emergency” means a situation which, in the opinion of the Community Officer, requires immediate action to prevent or eliminate an immediate threat to the health or safety of a person or Property.

(5)    “Owner” means any person who, alone or with others, has title or interest in any building or Premise(s), with or without accompanying actual possession thereof. For the purpose of giving notice, the term “Owner” also includes any person in physical possession.

(6)    “Premise(s)” means a plot of ground, whether occupied or not.

(7)    “Property” means a building or structure, or the Premise(s) on which the building or structure is located, or undeveloped land.

(8)    “Public Place” means an area generally visible to public view and includes alleys, bridges, driveways, parking lots, parks, plazas, sidewalks, streets, and buildings open to the general public, including those that serve food or drink or provide entertainment, and the doorways and entrances to buildings or dwellings and the grounds enclosing them.

(9)    “Responsible Person” means the person(s) responsible for correcting or abating a nuisance pursuant to this ordinance. The Responsible Person includes the Property owner and/or any person who causes or permits a nuisance to occur or remain upon Property in the City, and includes but is not limited to the owner(s), lessor(s), lessee(s), or other person(s) entitled to control, use and/or occupy Property where a nuisance occurs. In cases where there is more than one Responsible Person, the City may proceed against one, some or all of them.

(Adopted by Ordinance No. 20-01)

12-2-113 Nuisance – Definition.

This section defines “nuisance” by providing five (5) general definitions of what constitutes a nuisance (subsection 1), and then providing specific examples of situations, conduct or activities that constitute nuisances (subsection 2). The purpose of the general definitions is to allow the City to classify an offending situation, conduct or activity as a nuisance, even though the situation, conduct or activity may not be listed as a nuisance in the specific examples. The first three (3) general definitions are taken directly from Utah State law. The purpose of listing the specific examples is to identify some of the specific situations, conduct and activities that the City intends to Abate as nuisances.

(1)    General Definitions of Nuisance. Any activity that meets any one or more of the five (5) definitions set forth below shall constitute a “nuisance” if it occurs within the City of Springville:

(a)    Nuisance as Defined in U.C.A. §78-38-1(1). Anything which is injurious to health, indecent, offensive to the senses, or an obstruction to the free use of Property, so as to interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or Property.

(b)    Nuisance as Defined in U.C.A. §76-10-801. Any item, thing, manner, or condition whatsoever that it is dangerous to human life or health or renders soil, air, water, or food impure or unwholesome.

(c)    Nuisance as Defined in U.C.A. §76-10-803. Unlawfully doing any act or omitting to perform any duty, which act or omission:

(i)    annoys, injures, or endangers the comfort, repose, health, or safety of three (3) or more persons;

(ii)    offends public decency;

(iii)    unlawfully interferes with, obstructs, or tends to obstruct, or renders dangerous for passage, any lake, stream, canal, or basin, or any public park, square, street, or highway; or

(iv)    in any way renders three or more persons insecure in life or the use of Property. An act which affects three or more persons in any of the ways specified in this subsection is still a nuisance regardless of the extent to which the annoyance or damage inflicted on individuals is unequal.

(d)    Nuisance. A condition which:

(i)    wrongfully annoys, injures, or endangers the comfort, repose, health or safety of others; or

(ii)    unlawfully interferes with, obstructs or tends to obstruct, or render dangerous for passage, any public park, square, street or highway, or any other public place; or

(iii)    in any way renders other persons insecure in life, or in the use of Property, and which affects the rights of an entire community or neighborhood, although the extent of the damage may be unequal.

(e)    Specific Nuisances Listed in Subsection (2). Anything specifically listed as a nuisance in subsection (2), below.

(2)    Nuisances Enumerated. Every situation, conduct or activity listed below constitutes a nuisance and may be Abated pursuant to this ordinance. The listed examples are not exhaustive; a situation, conduct or activity not listed below, but coming within one of the general definitions of nuisance listed above, shall also constitute a nuisance. The first six (6) listed nuisances are also listed as nuisances pursuant to U.C.A. §78-38-9:

(a)    Drug Houses. Every building or Premise(s) where the unlawful sale, manufacture, service, storage, distribution, dispensing, or acquisition of any controlled substance, precursor, or analog specified in Title 57, Chapter 37 of the Utah Code (Utah Controlled Substances Act) occurs.

(b)    Gambling. Every building or Premise(s) where gambling is permitted to be played, conducted, or dealt upon as prohibited in Title 76, Chapter 10, Part 11 of the Utah Code (Gambling) which creates the conditions of a nuisance as defined in Section 12-2-13(A)(1) of this ordinance.

(c)    Gangs. Every building or Premise(s) wherein criminal activity is committed in concert with two or more persons as provided in Section 76-3-203.1 of the Utah Code.

(d)    Party Houses. Every building or Premise(s) where parties occur frequently which create the conditions of a nuisance as defined in Section 12-2-113(A)(1) of this ordinance.

(e)    Prostitution. Every building or Premise(s) where prostitution or the promotion of prostitution is regularly carried on by one or more persons as provided in Title 76, Chapter 10, Part 13 (Prostitution) of the Utah Code.

(f)    Weapons. Every building or Premise(s) where a violation of Title 76, Chapter 10, Part 5 (Weapons) of the Utah Code occurs on the Premise(s).

(g)    Unsafe Condition. A condition that unreasonably or unlawfully affects the health or safety of one or more persons.

(h)    Fire Hazard. A fire hazard.

(i)    Noxious Emanations. Emanation of noxious or unreasonable odors, fumes, gas, smoke, soot or cinders.

(j)    Noxious Weeds. Noxious weeds located on vacant lots or other Property, along public sidewalks or the outer edge of any public street, or weeds in any other location which constitute a fire hazard or are unsightly. Undeveloped lots which have weeds, grass or other growth which constitute an existing or potential fire hazard shall be Abated by the owner of the Property. Weed Abatement compliance shall be accomplished by pulling, discing, plowing or mowing weeds within 4 inches of the ground. The City shall survey properties within the City and identify those needing Abatement and then serve notice in writing upon the owner or occupant of such land in person or by mailing notice, postage prepaid, addressed to the owner or occupant at the last known post office address as indicated by the records of the County Assessor. The notice shall require the owner or occupant as the case may be to Abate the weeds by a specific time, which shall not be less than ten (10) days from the date of service of such notice. One notice shall be deemed sufficient on any lot or parcel of Property for the entire season of weed growth during that year.

(k)    Refuse. Keeping or storing of any refuse or waste matter which interferes with the reasonable enjoyment of nearby Property.

(l)    Stagnant Water. Polluted or stagnant water which constitutes an unhealthy or unsafe condition.

(m)    Improper Accumulations. Accumulation of soil, litter, debris, plant trimmings, or trash, visible from the street or an adjoining Property.

(n)    Accumulation of Junk. Accumulation of used or damaged lumber; junk; salvage materials; abandoned, discarded or unused furniture; stoves, sinks, toilets, cabinets, or other fixtures or equipment stored so as to be visible from a public street, alley, or adjoining Property. However, nothing herein shall preclude the placement of stacked firewood for personal non-commercial use on the Premise(s).

(o)    Attractive Nuisances. Any attractive nuisance dangerous to children and other persons including, but not limited to, abandoned, broken, or neglected household appliances, equipment and machinery, abandoned foundations or excavations, or improperly maintained or secured pools.

(p)    Vegetation. Dead, decayed, diseased, or hazardous trees, weeds, hedges, and overgrown or uncultivated vegetation which is in a hazardous condition, is an obstruction to pedestrian or vehicular traffic, or which is likely to harbor rats, vermin or other pests.

(q)    Dust. Any Premise(s) which causes excessive dust due to lack of landscaping, non-maintenance or other cause.

(r)    Improper Storage. The keeping, storing, depositing or accumulating on the Premise(s) or in the public right-of-way for an unreasonable period of time dirt, sand, gravel, concrete, or other similar materials, or maintenance of such material on public rights-of-way. Material stored as part of an active construction project shall not be considered a nuisance.

(s)    Garbage Can. The leaving of any garbage can or refuse container in the street, other than on collection day, for more than 24 hours after the collection day.

(t)    Construction Equipment. Construction equipment or machinery of any type or description parked or stored on Property when it is readily visible from a public street, alley or adjoining Property, except while excavation, construction or demolition operations covered by an active building permit are in progress on the subject Property or an adjoining Property, or where the Property is zoned for the storage of construction equipment and/or machinery.

(u)    Improper Sign. Improper maintenance of a sign; or signs which advertise a business that is no longer extant on the Property.

(v)    Improper Parking or Storage. (i) It shall be unlawful to park, store or leave or permit the parking, storage, or leaving of any licensed or unlicensed motor vehicle of any kind, including boats, trailers or vehicle parts, and recreational vehicles, or a part or parts thereof which is in a wrecked, junked, partially dismantled, dismantled, or inoperative condition, whether attended or not, upon any Property in the city for a period of time in excess of seventy-two (72) hours, except that two (2) or less vehicles or part or parts thereof may be stored within a building, or placed behind an opaque screening fence six feet in height, and except that such vehicles and part or parts thereof may be within a junk yard or automobile wrecking yard or motor vehicle repair establishment lawfully established and licensed pursuant to this code.

(ii)    For purposes of this section, a motor vehicle shall be deemed to be inoperative if any of the following conditions exist:

(A)    the engine, transmission, or other mechanical part has been removed so that the motor vehicle may not be operated under its own power.

(B)    the vehicle is stored or parked other than on its wheels.

(C)    more than one tire is flat.

(D)    it has not been registered under the Utah Motor Vehicle Act for a period in excess of 18 months.

(E)    it has not been operated under its own power for a period in excess of eighteen (18) months.

(w)    Hazardous Conditions. Any wall, sign, fence, gate, hedge, or structure maintained in such condition of deterioration or disrepair as to constitute a hazard to persons or Property.

(x)    Graffiti. Graffiti which remains on the exterior of any building, fence, sign, or other structure and is visible from a public street.

(y)    Improper Maintenance. Maintenance of buildings and/or structures in such condition as to be deemed defective or in a condition of deterioration or disrepair including, but not limited to:

(i)    any building or structure which is unfit for human habitation, or which is an unreasonable hazard to the health of people residing in the vicinity thereof, or which presents an unreasonable fire hazard in the vicinity where it is located; or

(ii)    any building or structure set up, erected, constructed, altered, enlarged, converted, moved or maintained contrary to the provisions of City ordinances, or any use of land, buildings or Premise(s) in violation of City ordinances; or

(iii)    buildings which are abandoned, partially destroyed, or left in an unreasonable state of partial construction for a period of six (6) months or longer. An unreasonable state of partial construction. is defined as any unfinished building or structure where the appearance or condition of the building or structure does not meet the requirements for finished buildings or structures as required by applicable City ordinances or building codes. The building or structure shall not be considered to be a nuisance if it is under active construction; or

(iv)    buildings having dry rot, warping, termite infestation, decay, excessive cracking, peeling, or chalking, as to render the building unsightly and/or in a state of disrepair; or

(v)    buildings with missing doors and/or windows containing broken glass and/or no glass at all where the window is of a type which normally contains glass; or

(vi)    building exteriors, walls, fences, gates, driveways, sidewalks, walkways, signs or ornamentation, or alleys maintained in such condition as to render them unsightly and/or in a state of disrepair; or

(vii)    buildings or conditions that violate any building, electrical, plumbing, fire, housing or other code adopted by the City.

(z)    City Code Nuisances. Any violation of a Springville City Code section that expressly declares a specific situation, conduct or activity to be a nuisance.

(aa)    Alcohol. Every Property or Premise(s) not licensed under applicable State law or City ordinance where any intoxicating liquors or alcohol are kept for unlawful use, sale or distribution.

(bb)    Inappropriate Conduct. Every Property or Premise(s) where there exists an environment which causes, encourages or allows individuals or groups of individuals to commit one or more of the following acts on the Property, Premise(s) or adjacent public place, including but not limited to:

(i)    illegally consuming intoxicating liquor or alcohol;

(ii)    publicly urinating or defecating;

(iii)    by physical action, intentionally causing or attempting to cause another person to reasonably fear imminent bodily injury or the commission of a criminal act upon their person or upon Property in their immediate possession;

(iv)    engaging in acts of violence, including fighting amongst themselves;

(v)    discharging a firearm or explosive in violation of City ordinance or State law;

(vi)    creating unreasonable noise which disturbs others;

(vii)    intentionally obstructing pedestrian or vehicular traffic; or

(viii)    soliciting acts of prostitution.

(cc)    Dangerous Conditions. Any fence, wall, shed, deck, house, garage, building, structure or any part of any of the aforesaid; or any tree, pole, smokestack; or any excavation, hole, pit, basement, cellar, sidewalk, subspace, dock, or loading dock; or any lot, land, yard, roadway, Premise(s) or location which in its entirety, or in any part thereof, by reason of the condition in which the same is found or permitted to be or remain, shall or may endanger the health, safety, life, limb or Property, or cause any hurt, harm, inconvenience, discomfort, damage or injury to any one or more individuals in the City, in any one or more of the following particulars:

(i)    by reason of being a menace, threat and/or hazard to the general health and safety of the community.

(ii)    by reason of being a fire hazard.

(iii)    by reason of being unsafe for occupancy, or use on, in, upon, about or around the aforesaid Property.

(iv)    by reason of lack of sufficient or adequate maintenance of the Property, and/or being vacant, any of which depreciates the enjoyment and use of the Property in the immediate vicinity to such an extent that it is harmful to the community in which such Property is situated or such condition exists.

(dd)    Illegal Accessory Apartments. Any violation of the City’s accessory apartment ordinance.

(ee)    Family. Keeping or allowing people at a Premise(s) in violation of the City’s single family residence requirements.

(ff)    Parking on Landscaping. Parking in an area required to be landscaped by City ordinance.

(gg)    Banner Signs. Keeping or allowing banner signs in violation of City ordinance.

(hh)    Required Landscaping. Failure to install or maintain landscaping required by City ordinance.

(ii)    Hazardous Materials. The actual or threatened discharge of hazardous materials.

(Adopted by Ordinance No. 20-01)

12-2-114 Exceptions.

No act which is done or maintained under the express authority of an authoritative statute, ordinance or court ruling shall be declared a nuisance.

(Adopted by Ordinance No. 20-01)

12-2-115 Responsibility for Nuisances.

The Responsible Person(s) is responsible for abating nuisances pursuant to this ordinance. Any person, whether as owner, agent, or occupant, who creates, aids in creating, or contributes to a nuisance, or who supports, continues, or retains a nuisance, is responsible for the nuisance and is therefore a Responsible Person pursuant to this ordinance. Every successive owner or tenant of a Property or Premise(s) who fails to Abate a continuing nuisance upon or in the use of such Property or Premise(s) caused by a former owner or tenant is responsible therefore in the same manner as the one who first created it.

(Adopted by Ordinance No. 20-01)

12-2-116 Finding of Nuisance.

If a Community Officer finds that a nuisance exists, the Community Officer shall attempt to have the Responsible Person Abate the nuisance. Although the Community Officer’s first step in correcting or abating the nuisance will always be to obtain voluntary compliance, the Community Officer may pursue any remedy or combination of remedies available pursuant to this ordinance, State law or common law in order to Abate the nuisance. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to prohibit the City from engaging in its standard prosecution practices. Therefore, the City may prosecute violators of City ordinances or State laws without first having to comply with the provisions of this ordinance, even though the activity or conduct prosecuted may also constitute a nuisance under this ordinance. Nothing in this ordinance shall be interpreted to prevent the City from enforcing applicable City ordinances or building codes without first treating the offending conduct, situation or activity as a nuisance pursuant to this ordinance.

(Adopted by Ordinance No. 20-01)

12-2-117 Voluntary Compliance.

This section applies whenever the Community Officer determines that a nuisance exists.

(1)    Contact. Before taking other steps to Abate the nuisance, the Community Officer shall make a reasonable attempt to secure voluntary correction or Abatement of the nuisance by:

(a)    contacting the Responsible Person, where possible;

(b)    explaining the nuisance;

(c)    requesting the Responsible Person to Abate the nuisance; and

(d)    setting a reasonable date in person or in writing for the Responsible person to Abate the nuisance by voluntary compliance.

(2)    No Action. If after a reasonable amount of time, the person responsible for the nuisance has taken no action, the Community Officer may abate the nuisance using one or more of the procedures set forth in this Ordinance, State law, or common law.

(3)    Voluntary Compliance Agreement. If the Community Officer and the Responsible Person agree to terms for abating the nuisance, they shall enter into and sign a Voluntary Compliance Agreement. The Voluntary Compliance Agreement is a contract between the City and the Responsible Person in which the Responsible Person agrees to Abate the nuisance within a specified time and according to specified conditions. The Voluntary Compliance Agreement shall include the following terms:

(a)    the name and address of the Responsible Person;

(b)    the street address of the nuisance, or a description sufficient to identify the building, structure, Premise(s), or land upon or within which the nuisance is occurring;

(c)    a description of the nuisance;

(d)    the necessary corrective action to be taken, and a date or time by which correction must be completed;

(e)    an agreement by the Responsible Person that the City may inspect the Premise(s) as may be necessary to determine compliance with the Voluntary Compliance Agreement;

(f)    an agreement by the Responsible Person that the City may Abate the nuisance and recover its costs and expenses to Abate the nuisance, as well as a monetary fine pursuant to this ordinance from the Responsible Person, if terms of the Voluntary Compliance Agreement are not met;

(g)    an agreement by the Responsible Person acknowledging that he/she waives the right to appeal the Community Officer’s finding that a nuisance exists and waives the right to appeal the specific corrective action required in the Voluntary Compliance Agreement; and

(h)    an agreement by the Responsible Person that failure to comply with the Voluntary Compliance Agreement may be grounds for criminal prosecution. The Community Officer may grant an extension of the time limit for correcting or abating the nuisance if the Responsible Person has shown due diligence and/or substantial progress in correcting or abating the nuisance but unforeseen circumstances render Abatement under the original conditions unattainable. If the Responsible Person complies with the terms of the Voluntary Compliance Agreement, the City shall take no further action against the Responsible Person related to the nuisance described in the Voluntary Compliance Agreement unless the nuisance recurs.

(Amended by Ord. No. 5-03)

12-2-118 Citation.

When the Community Officer determines that a nuisance exists, and is unable to secure voluntary correction pursuant to Section 12-2-117, the Community Officer may issue a citation to the Responsible Person. The Community Officer may issue a citation without having attempted to secure voluntary correction as provided in Section 12-2-117 under the following circumstances:

(a)    when an emergency exists; or

(b)    when the Community Officer is unable to locate or determine the identity of the Responsible Person.

(Adopted by Ordinance No. 20-01)

12-2-119 Other Remedies.

The City may take one or more of the following actions against any Responsible Person who fails to comply with the terms of a Voluntary Compliance Agreement, or a citation:

(1)    Abatement by the City.

(a)    The City may Abate a nuisance when:

(i)    the terms of a Voluntary Compliance Agreement have not been met; or

(ii)    the requirements of a citation and subsequent Court Order have not been complied with, or;

(iii)    the condition is subject to summary Abatement as provided for in subsection (b), below.

(b)    Whenever a nuisance is occurring which constitutes an immediate and emergent threat to the public health, safety or welfare or to the environment, the City may summarily and without prior notice Abate the condition. Notice of such Abatement, including the reason for it, shall be given to the Responsible Person as soon as reasonably possible after the Abatement.

(c)    Using any lawful means, the City may enter upon the subject Property and may remove or correct the condition which is subject to Abatement. The City may seek, but is not required to seek, such judicial process as it deems necessary to effect the removal or correction of such condition.

(d)    The costs, including incidental expenses, of correcting or abating the violation shall be billed to the Responsible Person and/or the owner, lessor, tenant or other person entitled to control, use and/or occupy the Property and shall become due and payable to the City within ten (10) days of actual receipt of the bill (within fifteen days of the mailing date if the bill is mailed). The term “incidental expenses” includes but is not limited to:

(i)    personnel costs, both direct and indirect, including attorneys’ fees and costs;

(ii)    costs incurred in documenting the violation;

(iii)    hauling, storage and disposal expenses;

(iv)    actual expenses and costs for the City in preparing notices, specifications and contracts, and in accomplishing and/or contracting and inspecting the work; and

(v)    the costs of any required printing and mailing.

(2)    Civil Actions. Either the City or any private person directly affected by a nuisance may bring a civil action to Abate or enjoin the nuisance, or for damages for causing or maintaining the nuisance (including the cost, if any, of cleaning the subject Property). The civil action may be brought pursuant to this ordinance or pursuant to State law.

(3)    Abatement by Eviction. Whenever there is reason to believe that a nuisance under section 12-2-113(2)(1 – 6) is kept, maintained, or exists in the City, the City Attorney or any citizen(s) residing in the City, or any person or entity doing business in the City, in his or their own names, may maintain an action in a court of competent jurisdiction to Abate the nuisance and obtain an order for the automatic eviction of the tenant of the Property harboring the nuisance. The eviction shall take place as specified in Utah law.

(4)    Lien for Costs. If a person fails to pay any fines or costs related to nuisance Abatement when due, the City may record a lien on the Property or Premise(s) for the full amount of the unpaid fines and costs.

(5)    Non-exclusive Remedies. The City may take any or all of these remedies (administrative, civil or criminal) to Abate a nuisance and/or to punish any person or entity who creates, causes or allows a nuisance to exist. The Abatement of a nuisance does not prejudice the right of the City or any person to recover damages or penalties for its past existence.

(Adopted by Ordinance No. 20-01)

12-2-120 Inspection.

The Responsible Person may contact the Springville Police Department at anytime after a Voluntary Compliance Agreement is signed or citation is issued to request an inspection of the Abated nuisance. The Community Officer will inspect the Property and include in the report the time and date that the nuisance has been deemed Abated. A request for inspection must be made by the Responsible Person in order to stop any penalty from continuing to accrue.

(Adopted by Ordinance No. 20-01)

12-2-121 Penalty.

(1)    Monetary Fine. The Responsible Person shall pay the City a monetary fine for each day the nuisance continues after the Completion Date or after the citation date, whichever occurs first. The nuisance shall be considered to continue until the Community Officer approves the Responsible Person’s actions to correct or Abate the nuisance. The amount of the monetary fine shall be as follows:

(a)    One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) per day for each day during the first week that the nuisance remains uncorrected or unabated after the Completion Date or citation date;

(b)    Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) per day for each day thereafter until the nuisance is corrected or Abated;

(c)    The monetary fine shall be cumulative and may not be waived by the Community Officer. Payment of a monetary fine pursuant to this section does not relieve the Responsible Person from the duty to Abate the nuisance as required by the Voluntary Compliance Agreement or the citation. The monetary fine constitutes a personal obligation of the Responsible Person. The City Attorney or his/her designee is authorized to take appropriate action to collect the monetary fine, plus reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in collecting said monetary fine.

(2)    Imprisonment. The responsible person may be imprisoned for failure to Abate a nuisance as set forth herein for a term not to exceed six months.

(3)    Either Penalty. The Court may issue either a fine or imprisonment or both.

(Adopted by Ordinance No. 20-01)

[Chapters 3 and 4 repealed by Ordinance 20-01]