Ordinance No. 19 – Nuisance Ordinance

Posted on Posted in Ordinance

An ordinance defining and prohibiting nuisances and providing a penalty for violation

The City Council of the City of Bellechester do ordain as follows:

SECTION 1. Public Nuisance Defined.

Whoever by his act or failure to perform a legal duty intentionally does any of the following is guilty of maintaining a public nuisance, which is a misdemeanor:

  1. Maintain or permits a condition which unreasonably annoys, injures, or endangers the safety, health, morals, comfort, or repose of any considerable number of members of the public; or
  2. Interferes with, obstructs, or renders dangerous for passage, any public highway or right-of-way, or waters used by the public; or
  3. Is guilty of any other act or omission declared by law or this ordinance to be a public nuisance and for which no sentence is specifically provided.

SECTION 2. Public Nuisance Affecting Health.

The following are hereby declared to be nuisances affecting health.

  1. Exposed accumulation of decayed or unwholesome food or vegetable matter;
  2. All diseased animals running at large;
  3. All ponds or pools of stagnant water;
  4. Carcasses of animals not buried or destroyed within 24 hours after death;
  5. Accumulations of manure, refuse, or other debris;
  6. Privy vaults and garbage cans which are not rodent free or fly tight or which are so maintained as to constitute a health hazard or to emit foul and disagreeable odors;
  7. The pollution of any public well or cistern, stream or lake, canal or body of water by sewage, industrial waste, or other substances.
  8. All noxious weeds or other rank growths of vegetation upon public or private property;
  9. Dense smoke, noxious fumes, gas, and soot, or cinders, in unreasonable quantities;
  10. All public exposure of persons having a contagious disease;

SECTION 3. Public Nuisances Affecting Peace and Safety

  1. All snow and ice not removed from public sidewalks 12 hours after the snow or other precipitation causing the condition has ceased to fall;
  2. All trees, hedges, billboards, or other obstructions which prevent persons from having a clear view of all traffic approaching an intersection;
  3. All wires and limbs of trees which are so close to the surface of a sidewalk or street as to constitute a danger to pedestrians or vehicles;
  4. All unnecessary noises or annoying vibrations;
  5. Obstructions and excavations affecting the ordinary use by the public of streets, alleys, sidewalks, or public grounds except under conditions as are permitted by this code or other applicable law;
  6. Radio aerials or television antennae erected or maintained in a dangerous manner;
  7. Any use of property abutting on a public street or sidewalk or any use of a public street or sidewalk which causes large groups of people to gather, obstructing traffic and the free use of the street or sidewalk;
  8. All hanging signs, awnings, and other similar structures over street and sidewalks, or so situated so as to endanger public safety, or not constructed and maintained as provided by ordinance;
  9. The allowing of rainwater, ice, or snow to fall from any building or structure upon any street or sidewalk or to flow across any sidewalk;
  10. Any barbed wire fence less than six feet above the ground and within three feet of a public sidewalk or way.
  11. All dangerous, unguarded machinery in any public place or so situated or operated on private property as to attract the public;
  12. Wastewater cast to flow upon streets or other public property;
  13. Accumulations in the open of discarded or disused machinery, household appliances, automobile bodies, or other material, in a manner conducive to the harboring of rats, mice, snakes, or vermin, or the rank growth of vegetation among the items so accumulated, or in a manner creating fire, health, or safety hazards from such accumulation.
  14. Any well, hole, or similar excavation which is left uncovered or in such other condition as to constitute a hazard to any child or other person coming on the premises where it is located;
  15. Obstruction to the free flow of water in a natural waterway or a public street drain, gutter, or ditch with trash or other materials;
  16. The placing or throwing on any street, sidewalk, or other public property of any glass, tacks, nails, bottles, or other substance which may injure any person or animal or damage any pneumatic tire when passing over such substance;
  17. The depositing of garbage or refuse on a public right-of-way or on adjacent private property;
  18. All other conditions or things which are likely to cause injury to the person or property of anyone.

SECTION 4. Duties of City Officers.

The City Council, police department or other designated official shall enforce the provisions of this ordinance relating to the nuisances affecting public safety. The Police department shall enforce provisions relating to other nuisances and shall assist the other designated officer(s) in the enforcement of provisions relating to nuisances affecting public safety. Such officers shall have the power to inspect private premises and take all reasonable precautions to prevent the commission and maintenance of public nuisances.

SECTION 5. Abatement.

Whenever the officer charged with enforcement determines that a public nuisance is being maintained or exists on premises in the city, the officer shall notify in writing the owner or occupant of the premises of such fact and order that such nuisance is terminated and abated. The notice shall be served in person or by certified or registered mail. If the premises are not occupied and the owner is unknown, the notice may be served by posting it on the premises. The notice shall specify the steps to be taken to abate the nuisance and the time, not exceeding thirty (30) days, within which the nuisance is to be abated. If the notice is not complied with within the time specified, the enforcing officer shall report the fact forthwith to the council. Thereafter, the council may, after notice to the owner or occupant and an opportunity to be heard, provide for abating the nuisance by the City. The notice shall be served in the same manner as notice by the enforcing officer is served and shall be given at least ten (10) days before the date stated in the notice when the council will consider the matter. If the notice is given by posting, at least thirty (30) days shall elapse between the day of posting and hearing.

SECTION 6. Recovery of Cost.

Subdivision 1. Personal Liability. The owner of premises on which a nuisance has been abated by the City shall be personally liable for the cost to the City of the abatement, including Page 64 administrative costs. As soon as the work has been completed and the cost determined, the city clerk or other official designated by the council shall prepare a bill for the cost and mail it to the owner. Thereupon the upon the amount shall be immediately due and payable to the city clerk.

Subdivision 2. Assessment. If the nuisance is a public health or safety hazard on private property, the accumulation of snow and ice on public sidewalks, the growth of weeds on private property or outside the traveled portion of streets, or unsound or insect-infected trees, the clerk shall, on or before September 1 next following abatement of the nuisance, list the total unpaid charges along with other such charges as well as other charges for current services to be assessed under Minnesota Statutes, Section 429.101 against each separate lot or parcel to which the charges are attributable. The council may then spread the charges against such property under that statute and other pertinent statutes for certification to the county auditor and collection along with current taxes the following year or in annual installments, not exceeding ten, as the council may determine in each case.

SECTION 7. Penalty.

Any person convicted of violating any provisions of this ordinance is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $700.00 or imprisonment for not more than ninety (90) days, or both, plus the costs of prosecution in either case.

Enacted by the City Council of the City of Bellechester this 11th day of January 1990 and effective upon its passage and publication.

ATTEST : Barbara Heppelmann, Clerk Quentin J. Majerus, Mayor

Published in the Goodhue County Tribune January 31, 1990.