- Public Works
- Code Enforcement
- Substandard Homes
The City's Code of Ordinances concerning Substandard Buildings states:
Sec. 18-2. - Standards for substandard buildings adopted; notice procedures; correction of defects or demolition.
- Minimum standards for continued use and occupancy of all buildings, structures or premises located within the city are as follows:
- Concrete. The slab shall be structurally sound and free of cracks;
- Pier and beams. Floor joists, floors and subfloors shall be structurally sound, level, and free from decay, rot and termites.
- Walls. All walls, inside and outside, shall be in good repair, in place and free of defects or openings.
- All supporting beams, rafters, joists and other supports shall be structurally sound and free of decay and rot, and shall not be sagging;
- The roof shall be structurally sound, all shingles or roofing material shall be in place, and the roof shall be in place, and the roof shall be free from leaks and sags. There shall not be any more than two layers of shingles on any one roof.
- Windows and doors.
- All movable windows shall be screened and in good and workable condition. This also includes the window frames and sash;
- All doors, door jambs and hardware shall be in good and workable condition.
- Cabinets and countertops.
- All cabinets and hardware shall be in good and workable condition;
- All countertops shall be in good condition.
- Floor covering. All floor coverings shall be cleanable and in good condition.
- Drives and parking areas. All drives and parking areas shall be an approved hard surface and structurally sound and in good condition.
- Yards. The yard shall be adequately drained and free of high grass, trash and rubbish.
- All plumbing shall comply with the city codes;
- Any plumbing equipment or fixtures condemned by the plumbing official because of wear, damage, defect or sanitary hazards shall not be reused for plumbing purposes;
- Gas line minimum requirements shall be one inch, and all valves shall be A.G.A. approved;
- Water heaters shall be in good working order. Vents shall be double-walled through the roof. Pop-off valves shall be vented to the outside. Gas regulators shall be in good working order;
- All heat-producing vents shall be of double-walled construction;
- All vents and traps shall be in good working order;
- All homes shall be plumbed with a washing machine connection and also an electric or gas dryer connection;
- Hot and cold water lines serving sink, lavatories, washing machines and water closets shall have individual shutoff valves;
- All fixtures shall be of good quality with no need of repair;
- All faucets shall be repairable;
- Yard sewer lines of concrete shall be replaced with Schedule 40 ABS or PVC;
- Septic tanks shall be backfilled and left open for inspection.
- All electrical wiring and facilities shall comply with the electrical code of the city;
- Concealed wiring shall be made available for inspection as the electrical inspector deems necessary.
- Any building, structure or premises which does not meet one or more of the standards as set out in subsection (a) of this section may be declared dilapidated, substandard or unfit for human habitation.
- When any building is found to be dilapidated, substandard or unfit for human habitation under the provisions of this article, the building official making such finding shall notify, in writing, the owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee, agent and all other persons having an interest in such building, as shown by the current city tax and water meter records, that:
- The owner must vacate, vacate and repair, or vacate and demolish such building in accordance with the terms of the notice and this section;
- The occupant or lessee must vacate such building, or may have it repaired in accordance with the notice and remain in possession;
- The notice provided for in this section shall contain a description of the building or structure deemed unsafe, a statement of the particulars which make the building or structure dilapidated, substandard or unfit for human habitation, and an order requiring the building or structure to be put in such condition as to comply with the terms of this article;
- Any person notified under this section to repair, vacate and repair, or vacate and demolish any building shall be given such reasonable time, not exceeding 30 days, to comply with such notice. If, in the judgment of the building official after inspection of the building, it is necessary to extend such time, the building official shall specify, in writing, the date on which such extension is made;
- The building official shall place a notice forthwith on any building found to be dilapidated, substandard or unfit for human habitation, reading as follows:
"THIS BUILDING HAS BEEN FOUND TO BE A DANGEROUS BUILDING BY THE DEPARTMENT OF BUILDING INSPECTION OF THE CITY OF DEER PARK. THIS NOTICE IS TO REMAIN ON THIS BUILDING UNTIL IT IS REPAIRED, VACATED AND REPAIRED, OR VACATED AND DEMOLISHED, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE NOTICE WHICH HAS BEEN GIVEN TO THE OWNER, OCCUPANT, LESSEE, MORTGAGEE OR AGENT OF THIS BUILDING, AND ALL OTHER PERSONS HAVING AN INTEREST IN SAID BUILDING, AS SHOWN BY THE CURRENT TAX RECORDS OF THE CITY OF DEER PARK. IT IS UNLAWFUL TO REMOVE THIS NOTICE UNTIL SUCH NOTICE IS COMPLIED WITH."
Any unauthorized person removing such notice provided shall be guilty of a misdemeanor;
- If, after a reasonable time in the opinion of the building official, any person notified to repair, vacate and repair, or vacate and demolish any building, has failed to comply with such notice, it shall be the duty of the building official to notify the city council of the failure to comply.
- Whenever the city council shall receive information that any building, structure or premises situated in the city is dilapidated, substandard or unfit for human habitation and constitutes a hazard to the health, safety and welfare of the citizens, and that the owner of the premises has been notified of such condition and has failed to repair or restore the building, structure or premises, the city council shall, by motion, direct that a hearing be held concerning the building, structure or premises.
- Upon the passage of such motion, the city council shall promptly set a time, date and place for the holding of a hearing concerning, and investigation of, such building, structure or premises. The city council shall give all the owners, occupants, lessees or other parties interested in such building, structure or premises, in actual occupancy of the premises where the building, structure or premises is situated and as shown by the current city tax records (hereinafter called the owner, whether one or more, and regardless of actual interest in such building, structure or premises) a notice in writing by United States mail by personal delivery, addressed to such premises, if any such owner is in occupancy, otherwise to the address shown by such tax records, of the time, date and place of such hearing. Such notice shall inform the owner that he has a right to be present at such hearing to present evidence and to examine or cross examine witnesses. Such notice shall be given to such owner at least seven days prior to the time set for the hearing. If the owner of such building, structure or premises is unknown, or cannot be found in the city, the city council shall cause such notice to be given by advertising such notice in a newspaper circulated within the city at least three times prior to the date of hearing.
- The city council shall hold such hearing at the time, date and place set by it. The city attorney, or one of his assistants, shall be present to advise the committee on legal matters and assist it in the examination of witnesses. During the course of the hearing, or subsequent thereto, the city council may inspect the building, structure or premises in question. The city council shall fully determine the facts relative to such building, structure or premises. The owner shall be entitled at such meeting to be heard on the matters concerning the building, structure or premises, and to present witnesses to the council, and shall be entitled to have the council issue process to summon such witnesses. The city council shall also hear such other witnesses and consider such other facts as may be deemed advisable by them to arrive at proper conclusions concerning such building, structure or premises.
- Should the city council conclude that the facts show that the building, structure or premises is substandard and constitutes a hazard to the health, safety or welfare of citizens, but that measures can be taken to remove the hazardous conditions, contents or use and render the building, structure or premises safe, it shall specify the measures necessary to correct the hazardous conditions, contents or use and shall order the owner by ordinance to take such measures, at his own expense, setting forth a reasonable time in which such work is to be accomplished by him. The owner may, at his discretion, instead of complying with any such order as to a building, structure or premises, demolish the building, structure or premises completely and remove the building, structure or premises.
- If the city council should conclude that the facts show that the conditions rendering the building, structure or premises a serious hazard to life, health or property cannot be corrected by any measures, it shall find and declare the building, structure or premises substandard, to be a nuisance, and shall order the owner by ordinance to proceed within a reasonable time, to be specified in the ordinance, to demolish such building, structure or premises and remove such building or structure or premises. A copy of the ordinance embodying the final decision and orders of the city council shall be mailed or delivered to the owner.
- If, after the allotted time, the owner fails to comply with the orders of the city council, the city may demolish such building, structure or premises and remove the building, structure or premises from such owner's property at the city's expense, and charge the expense to the account of the owner of such property, and assess the expense against the real estate or lots upon which such expense is incurred. On filing with the county clerk a statement by the mayor or city secretary of such expenses, the city shall have a privileged lien upon such real estate or lots, second only to tax liens and liens for street improvements, to secure the expenditure so made, and ten percent interest on the amount from the date of such payment so made by the city. The city may institute suit and recover such expenses in any court of competent jurisdiction, and the statement so filed with the county clerk, or a certified copy thereof, shall be prima facie proof of the amount expended in any such work to remedy such condition or remove any such building, structure or premises. Notice of such filing with the county clerk shall be mailed to the owner of such property by United States mail.
(Code 1991, § 6-2)