Chapter 8.16

8.16.000    Chapter Contents


8.16.010    Definitions.

8.16.020    Business buildings to be free of rats.

8.16.030    Action upon order or notice to rat proof building.

8.16.040    Action of health officer if owner fails to comply with notice.

8.16.050    Continued rat proofing required.

8.16.060    Rat proofing not to be removed.

8.16.070    Replacement of floors.

8.16.080    Animal food storage to be rat proof.

8.16.090    Refuse to be stored in containers.

8.16.100    Accumulation of refuse prohibited.

8.16.110    Loose material to be stored aboveground.

8.16.120    Inspections by health officer.

8.16.130    Violations -- Misdemeanor -- Gross Misdemeanor -- Civil Infraction.

8.16.010 Definitions

For the purposes of this chapter the following definitions shall apply:

A.    "Business buildings" means any structure, whether public or private, that is adopted for the occupancy for transaction of business, for rendering of professional service, for amusement, for the display, sale or storage of goods, wares, or merchandise, or for the performance of work or labor, including hotels, rooming houses, office buildings, public buildings, stores, theaters, markets, restaurants, grain elevators, abattoirs, warehouses, workshops, factories, and all outhouses, sheds, barns, and other structures on premises used for business purposes.

B.    "Health officer" means the city health officer or any duly authorized person who may represent him.

C.    "Occupant" means the individual, partnership, or corporation, that has the use of or occupies any business building or a part or fraction thereof whether the actual owner or tenant. In the case of vacant business buildings or any vacant portion of a business building the owner, agent or person having custody of the building shall have the responsibilities of an occupant of a building.

D.    "Owner" means the actual owner of the business building, whether individual, partnership, or corporation, or the agent of the building or other person having custody of the building or to whom rent is paid. In the case of business buildings leased with a clause in the lease specifying that the lessee is responsible for maintenance and repairs the lessee will be considered in such cases as the "owner" for the purposes of this chapter.

E.    "Rat harborage" means any condition which provides shelter or protection for rats, thus favoring their multiplication and continued existence in, under, or outside of a structure of any kind.

F.    "Rat stoppage" or "rat proofing" applies to a relatively inexpensive form of rat proofing to prevent the ingress of rats into business buildings from the exterior or from one business building to another. It consists essentially of the closing of all openings in the exterior walls, ground or first floors, basements, roofs and foundations, that may be reached by rats from the ground, by climbing or by burrowing, with material impervious to rat gnawing.

(Ord. 2563 §1, 1947).

8.16.020 Business buildings to be free of rats

It is hereby provided that all business buildings in the city shall be rat proofed, freed of rats, and maintained in a rat proof rat-free condition under the direction and supervision of the health officer.

(Ord. 2563 §2, 1947).

8.16.030 Action upon order or notice to rat proof building

Upon receipt of written notice and/or order from the health officer the owner of any business building specified therein shall take immediate measures for rat proofing the building, and that unless such work and improvements have been completed by the owner in the time specified in the written notice, in no event to be less than fifteen days, or within the time to which a written extension may have been granted by the health officer, then the owner shall be deemed guilty of an offense under the provisions of this chapter.

(Ord. 2563 §3, 1947).

8.16.040 Action of health officer if owner fails to comply with notice

Whenever the health officer notifies the occupant of a business building that there is evidence of rat infestation of the building, the occupant or occupants shall immediately institute appropriate measures for freeing the premises each occupies of all rats, and that unless suitable measures for freeing the building of rats are instituted within three days after receipt of notice and unless continuously maintained in a satisfactory manner until the building is free of rats the health officer is authorized and directed to free the building of rats and to levy a monthly charge against the occupant to cover the costs for labor, materials, and equipment necessary for eradication measures carried out each month.

(Ord. 2563 §4, 1947).

8.16.050 Continued rat proofing required

The occupants of all rat proofed business buildings are required to maintain the premises in a rat proof condition and to repair all breaks or leaks that may occur in the rat proofing unless such breaks or leaks develop as the result of natural deterioration of the building.

(Ord. 2563 §5, 1947).

8.16.060 Rat proofing not to be removed

It is unlawful under the provisions of this chapter for the occupant, owner, contractor, public utility company, plumber or any other person to remove the rat proofing from any business building for any purpose and fail to restore the same in a satisfactory condition or to make any new openings that are not closed or sealed against the entrance of rats.

(Ord. 2563 §8, 1947)

8.16.070 Replacement of floors

Whenever conditions inside or under business buildings provide such extensive harborage for rats that the health officer deems it necessary to eliminate such harborage he may require the owner to install suitable cement floors in basements or to replace wooden first or ground floors or require the owner to correct such other interior rat harborage as may be necessary in order to facilitate the eradication of rats in a reasonable time and thereby to reduce the cost thereof.

(Ord. 2563 §7, 1947).

8.16.080 Animal food storage to be rat proof

All food and feed kept within the city for feeding chickens, cows, pigs, horses, and other animals shall be kept and stored in rat-free and rat proof containers, compartments, or rooms unless kept in a rat proof building.

(Ord. 2563 §9, 1947).

8.16.090 Refuse to be stored in containers

Within the corporate limits of the city all garbage or refuse consisting of waste animal or vegetable matter upon which rats may feed, and all small dead animals, shall be placed and stored until collected by the garbage department in covered containers of a type prescribed by the health officer according to existing conditions, and it is hereby declared unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to dump or place on any premises, land or waterway, any dead animals, or any waste vegetable or animal matter of any kind.

(Ord. 2563 §10, 1947).

8.16.100 Accumulation of refuse prohibited

It is unlawful for any person to place, leave, dump or permit to, accumulate any garbage, rubbish or trash in any building or premises in the city so that the same shall or may afford food or harborage for rats.

(Ord. 2563 §11, 1947).

8.16.110 Loose material to be stored above ground

It is unlawful for any person to permit to accumulate on any premises, improved or vacant, and on all open lots and alleys in the city any lumber, boxes, barrels, bricks, stones or similar materials that may be permitted to remain thereon unless the same are placed on open racks that are elevated not less than eighteen inches above the ground, and evenly piled or stacked so that these materials will not afford harborage for rats.

(Ord. 2563 §12, 1947).

8.16.120 Inspections by health officer

From and after passage of this chapter the health officer is empowered to make unannounced inspections of the interior and exterior of business buildings as, in his opinion, may be necessary to determine full compliance with this chapter, and the health officer shall make periodic inspections at intervals of not more than forty-five days of all rat-stopped buildings to determine evidence of rat infestation and the existence of new breaks or leaks in their ratproofing and when any evidence is found indicating the presence of rats or openings through which rats may again enter business buildings the health officer shall serve the owners or occupants with notice and/or orders to abate the conditions found.

(Ord. 2563 §6, 1947).

8.16.130 Violations -- Misdemeanor -- Gross Misdemeanor -- Civil Infraction

A.    Any person, firm, or corporation who knowingly violates or fails to comply with any term or provision of this chapter shall be deemed to have committed a misdemeanor, and if found guilty, shall be subject to a fine not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000), and/or to imprisonment not to exceed ninety (90) days or to both such fine and imprisonment. Each day shall be a separate offense. In the event of a continuing violation or failure to comply, the second and subsequent days shall constitute a gross misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000) and/or imprisonment not to exceed three hundred and sixty-five (365) days or both such time and imprisonment. Continuing violation shall mean the same type of violation which is committed within a year of the initial violation.

B.    As an additional concurrent penalty, it shall be a civil infraction for a person, firm, or corporation to violate or fail to comply with any term or provision of this chapter. Each day shall be a separate infraction. A person, firm, or corporation found to have committed a civil infraction shall be assessed a monetary penalty as follows:

1.    First offense: Class 3 ($50), not including statutory assessments.

2.    Second offense arising out of the same facts as the first offense: Class 2 ($125), not including statutory assessments.

3.    Third offense arising out of the same facts as the first offense: Class 1 ($250), not including statutory assessments.

See also OMC Chapter 4.44, Uniform Code Enforcement.

(Ord. 6081 §26, 2001; Ord. 2563 §13, 1947).