CHAPTER IV. BUILDINGS AND CONSTRUCTIONCHAPTER IV. BUILDINGS AND CONSTRUCTION\ARTICLE 5. DANGEROUS STRUCTURES

The purpose of this article is to provide for the removal of structures no longer fit for human habitation or which constitute hazards to public safety, health or welfare.

(Ord. 783-B; Code 2015)

The following terms whenever used or referred to in this article shall have the following respective meanings for the purpose of this article:

(a)   “City” is the City of Cottonwood Falls, Chase County, Kansas.

(b)   “Council” is the City Council for the City of Cottonwood Falls, Kansas.

(c)   “Dangerous Structures” shall mean all buildings or structures which are structurally unsafe or not provided with adequate egress, or which constitute a fire hazard, or are otherwise dangerous to human life, or which in relation to existing use constitute a hazard to safety or health, or public welfare, by reason of inadequate maintenance, dilapidation, obsolescence, fire hazard, or abandonment, as specified in this code or any other effective ordinance, are, for the purpose of this article, unsafe buildings. All such unsafe buildings are hereby declared to be public nuisances and shall be abated as herein­ after provided.

(d)   “Structure” shall mean and include any building, wall or other structure.

(e)   “Owner” is the holder of the record legal title to any dangerous structure with or without accompanying actual possession thereof.

(f)   “Enforcing Officer” shall mean a person appointed and designated by resolution or motion of the City Council to inspect structures and enforce this article.

(Ord. 783-B; Code 2015)

(a)   Whenever the enforcing officer files with the governing body a statement in writing that any structure describing the same and where located, is a dangerous structure, the governing body shall by resolution fix a time and place in which the owner, his agent, any lien holders of record and any occupant of such structure may appear and show cause why such structure should not be condemned and ordered repaired or demolished.

(b)   Such resolution shall be published once each week for two consecutive weeks on the same day of each week in a newspaper in general circulation in the County of Chase and City of Cottonwood Falls. At least thirty days shall lapse between the last publication and the date set for the hearing. A copy of the resolution shall be mailed by certified mail within three days after its first publication to each such owner, agent, lienholder and occupant, at that persons last known place of residence and shall be marked “deliver to addressee only”; provided, that if the owner is a resident of Chase County, the resolution shall be personally served within five days on such owner or deliver to their last known address in lieu of mailing the same, and, in this case, at least one week shall elapse between the service on such owner and the date set for the hearing.

(c)   On the date fixed for hearing or any adjournment thereof, the governing body shall hear all evidence submitted by the owner, his agent, lien holders of record and occupants having an interest in such structure as well as evidence submitted by the enforcing officer filing the statement and shall make findings by resolution. If the governing body finds that such structure is a dangerous structure, such resolution shall direct the structure to be repaired or removed and the premises made safe. Such resolution shall be published once in a newspaper of general circulation in Chase County and Cottonwood Falls and a copy mailed to the owners, agents, lien holders of record and occupants, in the same manner provided in the notice of hearing. The resolution shall fix a reasonable time within which the repair or the removal of such structure shall be commenced and a statement that if the owner of such structure fails to commence the repair or removal of such structure within the time stated or fails to diligently prosecute the same until the work is completed, the governing body will cause the structure to be razed and removed, or repaired.

(Ord. 783-B; Code 2015)

The owner of any structure, upon removing the same, shall fill any basement or other excavation located upon the premises and take any other action necessary to leave such premises in a safe condition.

(Ord. 783-B; Code 2015)

(a)   If the owner of any structure has failed to commence the repair or removal of such structure within the time stated in the resolution or has failed to diligently prosecute the same thereafter, the city may proceed to raze and remove such structure, make the premises safe and secure, or let the same to contract. The city shall keep an account of the cost of such work and may sell the salvage from such structure and apply the proceeds or any necessary portion thereof to pay the cost of removing such structure and making the premises safe and secure. All moneys in excess of that necessary to pay such costs and the cost of publications of notice and any postage for mailing of notice, after the payment of all costs, shall be paid to the owner of the premises upon which the structure was located.

(b)   The city shall give notice to the owner of such structure by restricted mail of the total cost incurred by the city in removing such structure and making the premises safe and secure and the cost of providing notice. Such notice also shall state that payment of such cost is due and payable within 30 days following receipt of such notice. If the cost is not paid within the thirty-day period and if there is no salvageable material or if moneys received from the sale of salvage or from the proceeds of any insurance in which the city has created a lien pursuant to K.S.A. 40-3901 et seq., and amendments thereto, are insufficient to pay the cost of such work, the balance shall be collected in the manner provided by K.S.A. 1985 Supp. 12-1,115 and amendments thereto, or shall be assessed as a special assessment against the lot or parcel of land on which the structure was located and the city clerk at the time of certifying other city taxes, shall certify the unpaid portion of the costs and the county clerk shall extend the same on the tax rolls of the county against such lot or parcel of land. The city may pursue collection both by levying a special assessment and in the manner provided by K.S.A. 1985 Supp. 12-1,115, and amendments thereto, but only until the full cost and any applicable interest has been paid in full. Whenever any structure is removed from any premises under the provisions of this article, the city clerk shall certify to the County appraiser that such structure, describing the same, has been removed.

(c)   If there is no salvageable material, or if the moneys received from the sale of salvage or from the proceeds of any insurance policy in which the city has created a lien pursuant to K.S.A. 40-3901 et seq., and amendments thereto, are insufficient to pay the costs of the work and the cost of providing notice, such costs or any portion thereof in excess of that received from the sale of salvage or any insurance proceeds may be financed, until the costs are paid, out of the general fund or by the issuance of no-fund warrants under the authority of K.S.A. 1988 Supp. 12-1758.

(Ord. 783-B; Code 2015)

When in the opinion of the enforcing officer, any structure is in such condition as to constitute an immediate hazard requiring immediate action to protect the public, such officer may erect barricades or cause the property to be vacated, taken down, repaired, shored or otherwise made safe without delay and such action may, under such circumstances, be taken without prior notice to or hearing of the owners, agents, lienholders and occupants. The cost of any such action shall be assessed against the property and paid in the manner provided by K.S.A. 1988 Supp. 12-1755.

(Ord. 783-B; Code 2015)