Chapter 17: Nuisances
AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF ST. JAMES, MISSOURI REPEALING CHAPTER 17-NUISANCES, SECTIONS 17-1 THROUGH 17-23 OF THE CODE OF THE CITY OF ST. JAMES, MISSOURI AND ENACTING IN LIEU THEREOF A NEW CHAPTER 17-LITTER AND NUISANCE CONTROL OF THE CODE OF THE CITY OF ST. JAMES, MISSOURI.
BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ST. JAMES, MISSOURI AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION I: THE MUNICIPAL CODE OF THE CITY OF ST. JAMES, MISSOURI, CHAPTER 17 NUISANCES, IS HEREBY REPEALED AND DELETED AND A NEW CHPTER 17 LITTER AND NUISANCE CONTROL IS ENACTED TO READ AS FOLLOWS:
ARTICLE I: NUISANCES
Section 17-1 Nuisances Prohibited:
No person shall cause, permit, keep or maintain any nuisance, as defined by the laws of this State or provisions of the Code of the City of St. James, Missouri, nor shall any person contribute to the causing, committing, keeping or maintaining of any such nuisance within the City of Saint James, Missouri or within one-half (½) mile thereof as prescribed by Section 71.780, RSMo. No person shall fail or refuse to abate or remove a nuisance within the time required by the City as specified in this Article. Each day that a nuisance shall be maintained shall constitute a separate offense.
Section 17-2 Nuisances Generally:
In addition to any other act declared by the Revised Statutes of Missouri or provisions of the Code of the City of St. James and any of its Ordinances to be a nuisance or to be injurious, detrimental or dangerous to the public health, the following are declared to be, but shall not be limited to, nuisances:
A. All decayed or unwholesome food offered for sale or at no charge to the public.
B. All diseased animals running at large.
C. All ponds or pools of stagnant water.
D. Carcasses of dead animals not buried or destroyed within twelve (12) hours after death.
E. Accumulations, wheresoever they may occur, of debris of any kind including, but not limited to, weed cuttings, cut, fallen, or hazardous trees and shrubs, lumber, rocks or bricks, tin, steel, parts of derelict cars or trucks, broken furniture, appliances, manure, rubbish, garbage, refuse, any flammable material which may endanger public safety or any material or condition which is unhealthy or unsafe.
F. Privy vaults or garbage cans which are not fly-tight, and do not prevent the entry of flies, insects and rodents.
G. The pollution of any well, cistern, spring, underground water stream, lake, canal, or body of water by sewage or industrial wastes, or other substances harmful to human beings.
H. Dense smoke, noxious fumes, gas and soot, or cinders in unreasonable qualities, or the presence of any gas, vapor, fume, smoke, dust or any other toxic substance on, in or emitted from the equipment of any premises in quantities sufficient to be toxic, harmful or injurious to the health of any employee or to any premises, occupant, or to any other person.
I. Common drinking cups, roller towels, combs, brushes or eating utensils in public or semi-public places where not properly sanitized after use.
J. Any vehicle used for garbage or rubbish disposal which is not equipped with a water-tight metal body and provided with a tight metal cover or covers and so constructed as to prevent any of the contents from leaking, spilling, falling or blowing out of such vehicle at any time, except while being loaded or not completely secured and covered so as to prevent offensive odors from escaping therefrom or exposing any part of the contents at any time.
K. Any and all infestations of flies, fleas, roaches, lice, ticks, rats, mice, fly maggots, mosquito larvae and hookworm larvae.
L. The keeping, possession, display or offer for sale of any wild animal within the city. For purpose of this section, the term "wild animals" shall include but not be limited to dangerous or exotic carnivorous animals and bats, nonhuman primates, dangerous or poisonous reptiles, foxes, raccoons, skunks, opossums and turtles, or any wild animal crossbred to domestic dogs or cats.
M. Unlicensed dumps, and licensed dumps not operated or maintained in compliance with the ordinances of the City of Saint James and the laws and regulations of the applicable County or of the State of Missouri.
N. The discharge into a storm water system of any waste materials, liquids, vapor, fat, gasoline, benzene, naphtha, oil or petroleum product, mud, straw, lawn clippings, tree limbs or branches, metal or plastic objects, rags, garbage or any other substance which is capable of causing an obstruction to the flow of the storm system or interfere with the proper operation of the system, or which will pollute the natural creeks or waterways.
O. All other acts, practices, conduct, businesses, occupations, callings, trades, uses of property and all other things detrimental or certain to be detrimental to the health of the inhabitants of the City of Saint James and surrounding areas.
P. Aboveground storage tanks or other containers for gasoline or other volatile fluid.
Q. The burning of garbage, refuse, waste, leaves, straw or other combustible materials in any ash pit, stove or incinerator on or in any street, alley or on any private property except when the burning of garbage, refuse, waste, leaves, straw or other combustible materials is allowed by the authorized representative of the City under applicable City Ordinance, consistent with State and local laws and Fire District regulations.
R. All privies or private vaults not connected with a sanitary sewer where available, or with an efficient septic tank in areas where sanitary sewers are not available.
S. Any dirt gathered in the cleaning of yards, waste from industrial or business establishments, or any rags, damaged merchandise, wet, broken or leaking barrels, casks or boxes, or any materials which are offensive, or tend by decay to become putrid or to render the atmosphere impure or unwholesome.
T. Perforated, punctured, ruptured, broken, cracked or leaking sanitary sewer lateral lines.
U. The removal or destruction of vegetation or the failure to establish or maintain such vegetation on property within the City of Saint James so as to cause or be very likely to cause damage to, or otherwise adversely affect, adjoining private or public streets, storm sewers or properties due to soil erosion or siltation.
V. The keeping or allowing to remain on any premises any trees, shrubs, or other vegetation infected with fungus or any other disease that will or might spread to other non-infected trees, shrubs or other vegetation.
W. All substances which emit or cause foul, obnoxious, unhealthy or disagreeable odors or effluvia in the neighborhood where they exist.
X. Abandoned, discarded, or unused objects or equipment including, but not limited to, automobiles, furniture, and household appliances.
Y. Any condition in violation of St. James City Code and Ordinance pertaining to the maintenance and condition of real property.
Section 17-3 Authority to Abate Generally:
The City is authorized to provide for the abatement of a condition of any lot or land that has the presence of a nuisance as provided in this Chapter 17, including, but not limited to, any nuisance which may endanger public safety or which is unhealthy or unsafe and declared to be a public nuisance.
Section 17-4 Authority to Abate Emergency Cases:
In cases where it reasonably appears that there is an immediate danger to the health, safety or welfare of the public due to the existence of a nuisance, the Mayor or his/her designee shall have the authority to order the immediate abatement of the nuisance in an appropriate manner or the immediate vacation of the vicinity.
Section 17-5 Abatement Procedure Generally:
A. If the Mayor or his/her designee has reason to believe that a nuisance is being maintained within the City, the City shall notify the person causing, maintaining or permitting the same to forthwith remove, terminate or abate such nuisance within seven (7) days of receiving such notice. Such notices shall be given either personally or by first class United States mail to the owner or owners at the address shown on the public records of the City of St. James, Missouri, or the owner's agents, and by posting such notice by the Mayor or his/her designee on the premises and shall include a statement of the condition constituting such nuisance and those actions necessary to remove, terminate or abate same.
B. Should the person so notified fail to remove, terminate or abate such nuisance within seven (7) days of receiving notice, the City may cause the same to be promptly removed, terminated or abated pursuant to Section 67.398, RSMo., and thereafter certify the cost of such corrective action to the City Clerk who shall cause a special tax bill to be issued in that amount against the property from which the nuisance was removed, terminated or abated, the same to be collected with other taxes assessed against the property. If the City causes such condition to be removed or abated, the cost of such removal shall be certified to the City Clerk who shall cause the certified cost to be included in a special tax bill or added to the annual real estate tax bill, at the collecting officials option, for the property and the certified cost shall be collected by the County Collector or other official collecting taxes in the same manner and procedure for collecting real estate taxes. If the certified cost is not paid, the tax bill shall be considered delinquent, and the collection of the delinquent bill shall be governed by the laws governing delinquent and back taxes. The tax bill from the date of its issuance shall be deemed a personal debt against the owner and shall also be a first (1st) lien on the property until paid.
C. The certified costs associated with the removal, termination or abatement of such nuisance shall include all expenses incurred by the City in the removal of the nuisance including, but not limited to, the actual cost of inspecting the land or lot, the actual cost of service of notice as provided herein, the actual cost of abatement, reasonable attorneys fees, and, if a tax bill is recorded, the actual cost for issuing and recording the tax bill. Such tax bills if not paid when due shall bear interest at the rate of nine percent (9%) per annum or the statutory rate, whichever is higher.
D. Nothing in this Section shall limit the right of the City or the Mayor to seek any other remedy in the Circuit Court of Phelps County, Missouri, available or allowed by law in addition to or in lieu of the remedy specified in Chapter 17.
Section 17-6 Separate Offense for Failure to Abate:
The City may issue a complaint for any person who fails to remove or abate a nuisance after such notice to abate and such failure shall be a separate offense in violation of this Code. Jurisdiction of the case shall proceed in all respects as in other cases of ordinance violations.
Section 17-7 Civil Action to Abate Nuisance:
In addition to any other remedies or penalties established by law, the Mayor may, on behalf of the City and after approval by the City Council, apply to the Circuit Court of Phelps County, Missouri, for such legal or equitable relief as may be necessary to require the abatement of any nuisance defined by this Article. In such action the court may grant such legal or equitable relief, including, but not limited to, mandatory or prohibitory injunctive relief, as the facts may warrant. Upon the successful prosecution of any such action, the City may be awarded by the court reasonable attorneys fees in accordance with Section 79.383, RSMo.
Section 17-8 City Counsel Authority to Revise Provisions:
The City Council is hereinafter authorized and empowered to make and adopt or revise or revoke such rules and regulations as they deem proper and necessary for the implementation of these provisions for the better protection of the health, welfare and safety of the City. In doing so, applicable Federal, State, and local standards regarding fire prevention, pollution control, public safety, nuisance and health regulations shall be given due consideration. Such adoption, revision or revocation shall become effective thirty (30) days after enactment by said City Council. Any pre-existing rules or regulations enacted or otherwise adopted pursuant to the former Section 225.280 of the Citys Code are hereby repealed in their entirety.
ARTICLE II: WEEDS AND VEGETATION
Section 17-9 Violations:
Any person, firm or corporation violating any provisions of this Article shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500.00), or by imprisonment not exceeding three (3) months, or by both such fine and imprisonment for each offense. A separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or which a violation occurs or continues.
Section 17-10 Excessive Growth of Weeds and Vegetation:
No person shall cause or permit any grass, weeds or rank vegetation growth to attain a height in excess of seven (7) inches upon any property located within the City. Any owner who shall cause or permit any weeds or rank vegetation growth to attain a height in excess of seven (7) inches shall be deemed to have committed a public nuisance. Whenever private property abuts a public right-of-way or easement belonging to the City, or any public entity, and there exists in such right-of-way or easement a tree lawn or grassy area between the private property line and the midline of said right-of-way or easement, then such tree lawn or grassy area shall be considered, for purposes of this Section requiring cutting of weeds or rank vegetation, to be a part of the private lot which abuts the right-of-way or easement, and it shall be the duty of those responsible under this Section for the maintenance of the private lot to equally maintain the tree lawn or grassy area within the abutting right-of-way or easement, and all of the provisions of this Section shall apply with equal force and effect to said tree lawn or grassy area. "Grass, weeds or rank vegetation" shall not be deemed to include any genuine agricultural product or crop that is grown for agricultural purposes.
The following exceptions to this Section 17-10 shall apply as set forth below:
A. "NU" Non-Urban District zoning. On properties of three (3) acres or greater having "NU" Non-Urban District zoning, Section 17-10 shall apply only to:
1. Any property within five (5) feet adjacent to any sidewalk, and
2. The portions of such property within the area of fifty (50) feet from any dwelling on the property, or within any fenced yard area surrounding such dwelling, whichever is less.
B. "M-l" and "M-2" Manufacturing District zoning. Undeveloped and unused portions of property in the "M-1" or "M-2" Manufacturing District zoning may be exempted in whole or in part from such portions of Section 17-10 by the City Council upon written petition if the City Council determines that the maintenance of weeds in excess of seven (7) inches on such portions of the property would not be a hazard to public safety, cause a harm to nearby property owners, or contribute to the decline of property values. The visibility from the rights-of-way and proximity to residences shall be a factor considered in reviewing an exemption request. This exemption shall not apply to any property within five (5) feet of any sidewalk or other public improvement.
C. In addition to the remedial provisions set forth in this Section 17-10 and in order to protect, promote and preserve the public health and safety, it is hereby declared that any person owning any lot within the City and permitting or suffering a growth of weeds or rank vegetation thereon in excess of seven (7) inches from the soil shall be deemed to be in violation of this Section 17-10 and shall be punished upon conviction as provided in the general penalty provision of the Code of the City of St. James.
Section 17-11 Liability of Property Owner as to Weeds or Trash:
A. Whenever weeds or trash, in violation of an ordinance, are allowed to grow or accumulate, as the case may be, on any part of any lot or ground within the City, the owner of record of the ground, or in case of joint tenancy, tenancy by entireties or tenancy in common, each owner thereof, shall be liable.
B. The Mayor or his/her designee shall give a hearing after four (4) days' notice is sent, either personally or by United States mail to the owner or owners, or the owner's agents, and after posting the property at the property line with the date of hearing and the owner listed on the sign thereupon, the Mayor or other designated City Official may declare the weeds or trash to be a nuisance and order the same to be abated within five (5) business days after the hearing; and in case the weeds or trash are not removed within the five (5) business days after the hearing, the Mayor or other designated City Official shall have the weeds or trash removed, and shall certify the costs of same to the City Clerk who shall cause a special tax bill therefor against the property to be prepared and to be collected by the Collector, with other taxes assessed against the property; and the tax bill from the date of its issuance shall be a first (1st) lien on the property until paid and shall be prima facie evidence of the recitals therein and of its validity, and no mere clerical error or informality in the same, or in the proceedings leading up to the issuance, shall be a defense thereto.
C. Each special tax bill shall be issued by the City Clerk and delivered to the Phelps County Collector on or before the first (1st) day of June of each year. Such tax bills if not paid when due shall bear interest at the rate of nine percent (9%) per annum.
Section 17-12 Dead and Decaying Trees:
A. All dead or decaying trees, and all trees infected by a disease that is not promptly treated or that is not remediable, and that are within the fall zone of any property line or structure, or which constitutes a danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the general public are hereby declared to be a public nuisance and shall be promptly taken down and removed from the premises by the owner or owners of any tract of land on which the same is situated. The stump shall also be removed down to ground level.
B. It shall be the duty of the Mayor or his/her designee to serve notice in accordance with this Article that such tree or trees shall be removed and the reasons therefor. The City shall perform the same duties and have the same powers and rights and shall give the same notices and conduct the same hearings as are provided pursuant to this Article.
C. Trees overhanging the street right-of-way which are on any property in the City shall be the responsibility of the owner or owners of the property for the purposes of this Article.
D. In addition to the remedial provisions set forth in this Section and in order to protect, promote and preserve the public health and safety, it is hereby declared that any person failing to comply with the provisions of this Section shall be deemed to be in violation of this Chapter and shall be punished upon conviction as provided in the general penalty provision of this Code.
Section 17-13 Obstructions to View of Vehicular Traffic:
A. It shall be unlawful to maintain any tree, shrub, other vegetation growth or structure of any kind upon any corner lot in the City of Saint James in which the lot lines of the property adjoining two (2) intersecting streets in such a manner that the view of vehicular traffic in either direction at said intersection is obstructed.
B. Any tree, shrub, other vegetation growth or structure of any kind so situated, located and maintained on any such lot so as to obstruct the view of a motor vehicle on either intersecting street for a distance of forty (40) feet in each direction from the point of intersection of the curb lines of such intersecting streets shall be deemed to be unsafe, hazardous and a public nuisance.
C. It shall be the duty of the Mayor or his/her designee to serve notice in accordance with this Article. The City shall perform the same duties and have the same powers and rights and shall give the same notices as are provided pursuant to this Article.
D. In addition to the remedial provisions set forth in this Section and in order to protect, promote and preserve the public health and safety, it is hereby declared that any person failing to comply with the provisions of this Section shall be deemed to be in violation of this Article and shall be punished upon conviction as provided in the general penalty provision of this Code.
Section 17-14 Discharge of Dense Smoke Deemed Nuisance:
The emission or discharge into the open air of dense smoke within the City is hereby declared to be a public nuisance. The owners, lessees, occupants, managers or agents of any building, establishment or premises from which dense smoke is so emitted or discharged shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof in any court of competent jurisdiction shall pay a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) nor more than one hundred dollars ($100.00). Each and every day whereon such smoke shall be emitted or discharged shall constitute a separate offense; provided however, that in any suit or proceeding under this Section, it shall be a good defense if the person charged with a violation thereof shall show to the satisfaction of the jury or court trying the facts that there is no known practicable device, appliance, means or method by application of which to his building, establishment or premises the emission or discharge of the dense smoke complained of in that proceeding could have been prevented.