- Code Enforcement
- Detailed Code Violations
Detailed Code Violations
- KEEPING, STORING, OR ACCUMULATING REFUSE ON PREMISES IN A NEIGHBORHOOD UNLESS THE REFUSE IS ENTIRELY CONTAINED IN A CLOSED RECEPTABLE
Keeping, storing, or accumulating refuse on premises in a neighborhood unless the refuse is entirely contained in a closed receptacle. (Ordinance 1086, att. A (26-27), adopted 9/16/13)
- KEEPING, STORING, OR ACCUMULATING RUBBISH, INCLUDING NEWSPAPERS, ABANDONED VEHICLES, REFRIGERATORS, STOVES, FURNITURE, TIRES, AND CANS, ON PREMISES IN A NEIGHBORHOOD FOR TEN (10) DAYS OR MORE, UNLESS THE RUBBISH OR OBJECT IS COMPLETELY ENCLOSED IN A BUILDING OR IS NOT VISIBLE FROM A STREET
Keeping, storing, or accumulating rubbish, including newspapers, abandoned vehicles, refrigerators, stoves, furniture, tires, and cans, on premises in a neighborhood for ten (10) days or more, unless the rubbish or object is completely enclosed in a building or is not visible from a public street. (Ordinance 1086, att. A (26-27), adopted 9/16/13)
- MAINTAINING PREMISES IN A MANNER THAT CREATES AN UNSANITARY CONDITION LIKELY TO ATTRACT OR HARBOR MOSQUITOES, RODENTS, VERMIN, OR DISEASE-CARRYING PESTS
Maintaining premises in a manner that creates an unsanitary condition likely to attract or harbor mosquitoes, rodents, vermin, or disease-carrying pests. (Ordinance 1086, att. A (26-27), adopted 9/16/13)
- ALLOWING WEEDS TO GROW ON PREMISES IN A NEIGHBORHOOD IF THE WEEDS ARE LOCATED WITHIN THREE (300) HUNDRED FEET OF ANOTHER RESIDENCE OR COMMERCIAL ESTABLISHMENT
Allowing weeds to grow on premises in a neighborhood if the weeds are located within three hundred (300) feet of another residence or commercial establishment. (Ordinance 1086, att. A (26-27), adopted 9/16/13)
- MAINTAINING A BUILDING IN A MANNER THAT IS STRUCTURALLY UNSAGE OR CONSTITUTES A HAZARD TO SAFETY, HEALTH, OR PUBLIC WELFARE BECAUSE OF INADEQUATE MAINTENANCE, UNSANITARY CONDITIONS, DILAPIDATION, OBSOLESCENCE, DISATER, DAMAGE, OR ABANDONMENT OR BECAUSE IT CONSTITUTES A FIRE HAZARD
Maintaining a building in a manner that is structurally unsafe or constitutes a hazard to safety, health, or public welfare because of inadequate maintenance, unsanitary conditions, dilapidation, obsolescence, disaster, damage, or abandonment or because it constitutes a fire hazard. (Ordinance 1086, att. A (26-27), adopted 9/16/13)
- MAINTAINING ON ABANDONED AND UNOCCUPIED PROPERTY IN A NEIGHBORHOOD A SWIMMING POOL THAT IS NOT PROTECTED WITH: (A) A FENCE THAT IS AT LEASE FOUR (4) FEET HIGH AND THAT HAS A LATCHED GATE THAT CANNOT BE OPENED BY A CHILD; OR (B) A COVER OVER THE ENTIRE SWIMMING POOL THAT CANNOT BE REMOVED BY A CHILD
Maintaining on abandoned and unoccupied property in a neighborhood a swimming pool that is not protected with:
(A) A fence that is at least four feet high and that has a latched gate that cannot be opened by a child; or
(B) A cover over the entire swimming pool that cannot be removed by a child;
(Ordinance 1086, att. A (26-27), adopted 9/16/13)
Maintaining a flea market in a manner that constitutes a fire hazard. (Ordinance 1086, att. A (26-27), adopted 9/16/13)
- DISCARDING REGUSE OR CREATING A HAZARDOUS VISUAL OBSTRUCTION ON: (A) CITY-OWNED LAND; OR (B) LAND OR EASEMENTS OWNED OR HELD BY A SPECIAL DISTRICT THAT HAS THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY AS ITS GOVERNING BODY
Discarding refuse or creating a hazardous visual obstruction on:
(A) City-owned land; or
(B) Land or easements owned or held by a special district that has the city council of the city as its governing body
(Ordinance 1086, att. A (26-27), adopted 9/16/13)
- DISCARDING REFUSE ON SMALLER OF: (A) THE AREA THAT SPANS TWENTY (20) FEET ON EACH SIDE OF A UTILITY LINE; OR (B) THE ACTUAL SPAN OF THE UTILITY EASEMENT
Discarding refuse on smaller of:
(A) The area that spans twenty (20) feet on each side of a utility line; or
(B) The actual span of the utility easement
(Ordinance 1086, att. A (26-27), adopted 9/16/13)
- ALLOWING GRASS, WEEDS, VEGETATION, BRUSH, OR ANY PLANT THAT IS NOT CULTIVATED TO GROWN IN RANK PROFUSION: (A) ALONG THE SIDEWALK ADJACENT TO THE PREMISES BETWEEN THE PROPERTY LINE AND THE CURB OR, IF THERE IS NO CURB, WITHIN TEN (10) FEET OUTSIDE THAT PROPERTY LINE; OR (B) IN AN ALLEY OR EASEMENT ADJACENT TO THE PREMISES MEASURED TO THE CETNERLINE OF SUCH ALLEY OR EASEMENT
Allowing grass, weeds, vegetation, brush, or any plant that is not cultivated to grow in rank profusion:
(A) Along the sidewalk adjacent to the premises between the property line and the curb or, if there is no curb, within ten (10) feet outside that property line; or
(B) In an alley or easement adjacent to the premises measured to the centerline of such alley or easement
(a) In the event that any person fails to comply with this article within seven (7) days of notice of a violation, the city (or its representative) may:
(1) Enter upon the premises upon which the violation exists without further notice, and remedy the nuisance or make the improvements required; and/or
(2) Pay for the work done to remedy the nuisance or make the improvements and charge the expenses to the owner of the premises.
(Ordinance 1086, att. A (26-31), adopted 9/16/13)
(b) The fees for cutting shall be billed to the owner of the premises at the following rates:
(Ordinance 2081 adopted 5/21/20)
The maintaining, using, placing, depositing, leaving or permitting to be or remain on any public property of any of the following items, conditions or actions are hereby declared to be and constitute a nuisance; provided, however, this enumeration shall not be deemed or construed to be conclusive, limiting or restrictive:
(1) Accumulation of rubbish, trash, refuse, junk and other abandoned materials, metals or lumber.
(2) Any condition, which provides harborage for rats, mice, snakes and other vermin.
(3) It shall be unlawful to pile, stack, lay, heap, gather, accumulate, or store any of the following on any block, lot, tract or piece of land within the corporate limits of the city, including but not limited to:
(A) Piles of used lumber, old tires, used metal, used concrete materials, used construction materials;
(B) Limbs, organic materials or household trash;
(C) Old furniture, (including couches, chairs, electronics, weight equipment, tables, washers, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, hot water heaters, or parts of any of these items);
(D) Clothing or material of any kind.
(Ordinance 1086, att. A (26-34), adopted 9/16/13)
It shall be unlawful for any person who shall own or occupy any lot in the city limits, and in the city's extraterritorial jurisdiction for a distance of five thousand (5,000) feet from the city limits, to permit or allow holes or places on such lot where water may accumulate and become stagnant, or to permit such holes or places to remain. (Ordinance 2016 adopted 4/13/15)
It shall be unlawful for any person who shall own or occupy any lot in the city limits, and in the city's extraterritorial jurisdiction for a distance of five thousand (5,000) feet from the city limits, to permit or allow the accumulation of stagnant water thereon, or to permit such accumulation of stagnant water to remain. (Ordinance 2016 adopted 4/13/15)
Parking, Storage and Occupancy of Recreational Vehicles Restricted
ENFORCED BY POLICE DEPARTMENT
(a) It shall be unlawful to park or store a recreational vehicle on or in any public roadway or right-of-way except as follows:
(1) Recreational vehicles may be parked on a public roadway and/or right-of-way, for a period not to exceed seventy-two (72) hours, for the express purpose of loading or unloading the vehicle, preparing the vehicle for use, or preparing the vehicle for storage. Said recreational vehicle shall not be parked within 35 feet of a stop sign or intersection, or parked in such a manner that creates a safety hazard.
(2) Recreational vehicles owned and operated by a person or persons who do not reside in the city may be parked on private property in residential areas for no more than seven (7) calendar days (or portions thereof) within any 60-day period, for the purpose of visiting city residents. Said recreational vehicles shall be self-sufficient, in that no utility service, cord, or drain shall be connected to the vehicle. Said recreational vehicle shall not be parked in such a manner that creates a safety hazard.
(3) Recreational vehicles, under emergency conditions, may be used as a temporary shelter unless use of the recreational vehicle results in an adverse effect on the health and/or general welfare of the occupants or users of adjacent or proximate properties.
ENFORCED BY CODE ENFORCEMENT DEPARTMENT AND/OR POLICE DEPARTMENT
(b) It shall be unlawful for a recreational vehicle to be stored on an unimproved or vacant lot in the city, except that a recreational vehicle may be stored on a vacant lot owned by the owner of the recreational vehicle and which is immediately adjacent to the owner's principal residence. Said vehicle may be stored on an unimproved pad located in accordance with the appropriate zoning setbacks.
(c) It shall be unlawful for any person to occupy a recreational vehicle for residence or custodial residence purposes in the city, except in a duly licensed recreational vehicle campground or park. If located in a duly licensed recreational vehicle campground or park, the recreational vehicle shall occupy a platted parking space within the facility that is fitted with all necessary utility connections.
(d) It shall be unlawful to permanently connect a recreational vehicle to city utilities, including but not limited to water, sewer, natural gas or LPG, or telecommunications. Any recreational vehicle permanently connected to city utilities as of the effective date of this subsection shall be disconnected within one hundred twenty (120) calendar days, save and except those recreational vehicles that as of the effective date of this subsection have received and hold a valid permit issued by the city authorizing such connection.
(e) As an exception to subsection (d), the owner of a recreational vehicle may connect a recreational vehicle to city utilities, including but not limited to water, sewer, natural gas or LPG, or telecommunications for no more than three (3) calendar days (or portions thereof) within any 30-day period, to maintain the recreational vehicle in good working order and to perform routine maintenance or repairs.
(f) It shall be unlawful to park or store a recreational vehicle on private property except as follows:
(1) The recreational vehicle is located on commercial or industrial property.
(2) The recreational vehicle is temporarily located on a permitted construction site for use as office space.
(3) The recreational vehicle is stored in a facility designated for the short or long-term storage of recreational vehicles.
(4) The recreational vehicle is stored on residential property on an improved site/pad/driveway that is located in accordance with the appropriate zoning setbacks.
(g) It shall be unlawful to park or store an unregistered, unlicensed recreational vehicle in the city.
Provisions of this article may be enforced by the police department and/or the code enforcement department as a misdemeanor as follows:
(1) Any person convicted as defined by this article shall, upon conviction, be fined in any sum not exceeding $500.00.
(2) Each offense and every day wherein this article is violated shall constitute a separate offense, and the person, firm or corporation so guilty of such violation shall, upon conviction, be punished therefore as hereinbefore provided.
(Ordinance 2044, att. A, adopted 10/17/16)
ARTICLE 3.04 SUBSTANDARD BUILDINGS
Sec. 3.04.001 Definitions
Terms, words, phrases and their derivatives used but not specifically defined in this article shall have the meanings defined in Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary. Words used in the singular include the plural and the plural the singular. Words used in the masculine gender include the feminine and the feminine the masculine. For purposes of this article, the following terms shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates that a different meaning is intended:
Agricultural Structure Any building or structure which is used solely for farming or ranching uses. This term includes, but is not limited to, barns, windbreaks, or silos. An agricultural structure may not be an accessory structure.
Building A structure with walls and a roof, or a structure that was originally constructed with walls and a roof, e.g., a house or factory, but does not include any agricultural structure. Typically includes, but is not limited to, residential or commercial structures, and includes any accessory structures on the same property. The term “building” includes the term “structure.”
Enforcement Officer The chief of police, building official, code enforcement officer, or fire marshal, or their designated representatives, charged with any enforcement and administration of this article.
Inspection The examination of property by the enforcement officer or his authorized representative for the purpose of evaluating its condition as provided for in this article.
Manifestly Unsafe A building that is a public nuisance, as that term is defined in this section, or unsafe for human occupation, whether temporary or permanent, and a hazard to the public health, safety and welfare.
Owner Any person, agent, firm, corporation, association or other entity having a legal or equitable interest in a property as shown on the most recent tax roll.
Person Any person, agent, firm, corporation, association or other legal entity, or tenant as that term is defined in this section.
(1) The physical condition or use of any premises regarded as a public nuisance at common law or as defined elsewhere in the city's Code of Ordinances;
(2) Any physical condition, use or occupancy of any premises or its appurtenances considered an attractive nuisance to children, including, but not limited to, abandoned wells, shafts, basements, excavations and unsafe fences or structures;
(3) Any premises that are manifestly capable of being a fire hazard, or are manifestly unsafe or unsecure as to endanger life, limb or property;
(4) Any premises from which the plumbing, heating and/or facilities required by the city's ordinances have been removed, or from which utilities have been disconnected, destroyed, removed, or rendered ineffective, or the required precautions against unauthorized use or entry have not been provided;
(5) Any structure or building that is in a state of dilapidation, deterioration or decay, faulty construction, overcrowded, open, vacant or abandoned, damaged by fire to the extent as not to provide shelter, in danger of collapse or failure and dangerous to anyone on or near the premises;
(6) Any physical condition, use or occupancy of any premises or its appurtenances that is dangerous to the physical health or safety of an occupant or other person; or
(7) Because of violations of section 3.04.007 of this article, the state of disrepair is such that it could reasonably cause injury, damage, or harm to a considerable portion of the community in the use and enjoyment of property, materially interfering with the proper use or comfort and enjoyment of surrounding property, taking into consideration the nature and use of the properties in the area and the character of the community in which they are situated, which condition would be substantially offensive and annoying to persons of ordinary sensibilities living in the community.
Tenant Any person, agent, firm, corporation, or association who occupies a property or premises and who is not the owner.
(Ordinance 1072, sec. II(E), adopted 6/10/13)
Sec. 3.04.002 Adoption of State Law
The city hereby adopts chapter 214, subchapter A, of the Texas Local Government Code, as amended, and the following minimum standards for the continued use and occupancy of all buildings regardless of the date of their construction; the following provisions for giving proper notice to the owner of a building; and the following provisions for a public hearing to determine compliance of real property, buildings, structures, premises and vacant lots. In the event that any provision of this article conflicts with said chapter 214, subchapter A, or in the event that any provision of said chapter 214, subchapter A has been omitted from this article, the city shall be entitled to pursue its remedies in conformity with said state law, as hereafter amended. (Ordinance 1072, sec. II(A), adopted 6/10/13)
Sec. 3.04.003 Building Standards Commission
(a) Created. There is hereby created a building standards commission, which shall consist of the city council. All cases to be heard by the commission shall be heard by a panel of at least five members. (Ordinance 1072, sec. II(B), adopted 6/10/13; Ordinance adopting Code)
(b) Ex officio members. The code enforcement officer, the fire marshal, the building official and the city secretary shall be ex officio, nonvoting members of the building standards commission. It shall be the duty of the ex officio members of the building standards commission to inspect all buildings or structures reported to be or believed to be substandard and present a report of such inspection to the city secretary.
(c) Officers. At its first meeting of each year, the commission shall select from its members a chairperson, a vice-chairperson and a secretary of the commission.
(d) Rules and procedures.
(1) Four members of the commission shall be required to constitute a quorum, and the simple majority vote of the commission is necessary to take any action under this article.
(2) A commission member having a personal or financial interest in any matter before the commission shall excuse himself from the discussion and the vote on that matter.
(3) The person acting as secretary to the commission shall make a record of all proceedings of the commission, which shall set forth the particulars of the matter before the commission, the decision rendered by the commission, the reason for the decision and the vote of each member participating therein.
(4) The chairperson or city secretary may call meetings of the commission when necessary to rule on any case brought before it regarding substandard building nuisances.
(5) The commission shall establish such other rules and procedures it deems necessary for the election of officers and the conduct of its business.
(e) Duties. The commission shall hear any case dealing with substandard building nuisances and make a ruling as to whether such building is a public nuisance and whether such building or structure should be repaired, vacated and/or demolished.
(Ordinance 1072, sec. II(B), adopted 6/10/13)
State law reference–Creation of building and standards commission by municipality, V.T.C.A., Local Government Code, sec. 54.033 et seq.
Sec. 3.04.004 Repairs to conform with building code
All buildings or structures that are required to be repaired under provisions of this article shall be subject to all applicable sections of the building code, as amended, and as adopted by the city council. (Ordinance 1072, sec. II(C), adopted 6/10/13)
Sec. 3.04.005 Violations declared nuisance
Any real property, building, structure, or any portion thereof, or any premises, including a vacant lot, in or on which there exists a condition not in compliance with this article shall be deemed and is hereby declared to be a public nuisance, a violation of this article and subject to the penalty clauses and remedies available to the city hereunder and under the common law or equity jurisprudence of the state. (Ordinance 1072, sec. II(D), adopted 6/10/13)
Sec. 3.04.006 Specific nuisances
Without limiting the power of the city council to hereafter declare as public nuisances any other act, condition or thing, by ordinance, the following specific acts, conditions and things are, each and all of them, hereby declared to be and constitute public nuisances:
(1) Any building or any portion thereof that is:
(A) Dilapidated, substandard, or unfit for human habitation and a hazard to the public health, safety, and welfare;
(B) Regardless of its structural condition, unoccupied by its owners, lessees, or other invitees and is unsecured from unauthorized entry to the extent that it could be entered or used by vagrants or other uninvited persons as a place of harborage or could be entered or used by children; or
(C) Boarded up, fenced or otherwise secured in any manner if:
(i) The building constitutes a danger to the public even though secured from entry; or
(ii) The means used to secure the building are inadequate to prevent unauthorized entry or use of the building.
(2) Any building that has any or all of the conditions or defects hereinafter described shall be deemed to be a dangerous building, provided that such conditions or defects exist to the extent that the life, health, property or safety of the public or its occupants is endangered:
(A) Whenever any door, aisle, passageway, stairway or other means of exit is not of sufficient width or size or is not arranged so as to provide safe and adequate means of exit in case of fire or panic.
(B) Whenever the walking surface of any aisle, passageway, stairway or other means of exit is so warped, worn, loose, torn or otherwise unsafe as to not provide safe and adequate means of exit in case of fire or panic.
(C) Whenever the stress in any materials, member or portion thereof, due to all dead and live loads, is more than one and one-half times the working stress or stresses allowed in the building code for new buildings of similar structure, purpose or location.
(D) Whenever any portion of a building has been damaged by fire, earthquake, wind, flood or by any other cause to such an extent that the structural strength or stability thereof is materially less than it was before such a catastrophe and is less than the minimum requirements of the building code for new buildings of similar structure, purpose or location.
(E) Whenever any portion of a building, or member or appurtenance thereof, is likely to fail, or to become detached or dislodged, or to collapse and thereby injure persons or damage property.
(F) Whenever any portion of a building, or any member, appurtenance or ornamentation on the exterior thereof, is not of sufficient strength or stability, or is not so anchored, attached or fastened in place, so as to be capable of resisting a wind pressure of one-half of that specified in the building code for new buildings of similar structure, purpose or location without exceeding the working stresses permitted in the building code for such buildings.
(G) Whenever any portion of a building has cracked, warped, buckled or settled to such an extent that walls or other structural portions have materially less resistance to wind or earthquakes than is required in the case of similar new construction.
(H) Whenever the building, or any portion thereof, is manifestly unsafe because of:
(i) Dilapidation, deterioration or decay;
(ii) Faulty construction;
(iii) The removal, movement or instability of any portion of the ground necessary for the purpose of supporting such building;
(iv) The deterioration, decay or inadequacy of its foundation; or
(v) Any other cause, or is likely to partially or completely collapse.
(I) Whenever, for any reason, the building, or any portion thereof, is manifestly unsafe for the purpose for which it is being used.
(J) Whenever the exterior walls or other vertical structural members list, lean or buckle to such an extent that a plumb line passing through the center of gravity does not fall inside the middle one-third of the base.
(K) Whenever the building, exclusive of the foundation, shows thirty-three percent (33%) or more damage or deterioration of its supporting member or members, or fifty percent (50%) or more damage or deterioration of its nonsupporting members, enclosing or outside walls or coverings.
(L) Whenever the building has been so damaged by fire, wind, earthquake or flood, or has become so dilapidated or deteriorated, as to:
(i) Become an attractive nuisance to children;
(ii) Become a harbor for vagrants, criminals or immoral persons; or
(iii) Enable persons to resort thereto for the purpose of committing unlawful or immoral acts.
(M) Whenever any building has been constructed, exists or is maintained in violation of any specific requirement or prohibition applicable to such building provided by the building regulations of this jurisdiction, as specified in the International Building Code or International Property Maintenance Code, or of any law or ordinance of this state or jurisdiction relating to the condition, location or structure of buildings.
(N) Whenever any building, whether or not erected in accordance with all applicable laws and ordinances, has in any nonsupporting part, member or portion less than fifty percent (50%), or in any supporting part, member or portion less than sixty-six percent (66%), of the strength, fire-resisting qualities or characteristics, or weather-resisting qualities or characteristics required by law in the case of a newly constructed building of like area, height and occupancy in the same location.
(O) Whenever a building, used or intended to be used for dwelling purposes, because of inadequate maintenance, dilapidation, decay, damage, faulty construction or arrangement, inadequate light, air or sanitation facilities, or otherwise, is determined by the enforcement officer to be unsanitary, unfit for human habitation or in such a condition that it is likely to cause sickness or disease.
(P) Whenever any building, because of obsolescence, dilapidated condition, deterioration, damage, inadequate exits, lack of sufficient fire-resistive construction, faulty electric wiring, gas connections or heating apparatus, or other cause, is determined by the fire marshal to be a fire hazard.
(Q) Whenever any building is in such a condition as to constitute a public nuisance known to the common law or in equity jurisprudence.
(R) Whenever any portion of a building remains on a site after the demolition or destruction of the building or whenever any building is abandoned for a period in excess of six (6) months so as to constitute such building or portion thereof an attractive nuisance or hazard to the public.
(S) Whenever water heating facilities are not properly installed or maintained in a safe and good working condition and/or such water heating facilities are not capable of heating water to such a temperature as to permit an adequate amount of water to be drawn at every required kitchen sink, lavatory basin, bathtub or shower at a temperature of not less than one hundred twenty degrees Fahrenheit (120°). Such water heating facilities shall be capable of meeting the requirements of this subsection when the dwelling or dwelling unit heating facilities required under the provisions of this subsection are not in operation.
(T) Whenever any minimum standards provided by the International Building Code, the International Property Maintenance Code, the International Residential Code, the International Fire Code, the International Mechanical Code, the International Plumbing Code, the International Fuel Gas Code or National Electrical Code, as amended, and as adopted by the city council, are not met for any building.
(3) Any agricultural structure that fails to meet the minimum standards required for such agricultural structure adopted pursuant to the Occupational Safety and Health Standards for Agriculture, 29 C.F.R. section 1928, as amended.
(Ordinance 1072, sec. II(F), adopted 6/10/13)
Sec. 3.04.007 Minimum Standards
(a) The minimum standards for the continued use and occupancy of all buildings, regardless of the date of construction thereof, shall be those established by the International Property Maintenance Code, which standards are hereby adopted, as well as those standards established by the International Building Code as promulgated by the International Conference of Building Officials as heretofore previously adopted or hereafter adopted or amended by the city, and those standards established by this article.
(b) Those standards specified and enumerated in section 3.04.006 of this article.
(Ordinance 1072, sec. II(G), adopted 6/10/13)
Sec. 3.04.008 Inspection; Notice of Public Hearing
(a) An inspection shall be made of every building or structure located within the city which is suspected of being in violation of this article. The building inspector, or his/her official designee, is hereby authorized to conduct inspections of buildings suspected of being in violation of this article to determine if any such violation exists, and take such actions as may be required to enforce the provisions of this article. Whenever a violation of this article has been determined and reported by the building inspector or his/her designee, a public hearing shall be held by the building standards commission to determine whether a building or structure complies with the standards set out in this article. A diligent effort shall be made by the city to determine all owner(s), lienholder(s) and/or mortgagee(s). Once identified, a notice of the hearing shall be sent to the occupant, if any, and all record owner(s), lienholder(s) and/or mortgagee(s). Such notice shall be in writing and shall be served by personal delivery or by certified mail return receipt requested. Additionally, a copy of the notice shall be posted on the front door of each affected structure situated on the property or as close to the front door as practicable. It is not necessary that the notice to the occupant of the property list an occupant by name. Service of the notice may be accomplished by first class U.S. mail or by personal delivery to any occupant of the property who is above the age of eighteen (18) years. The notice shall include:
(1) The names of all persons to whom the notice is being served;
(2) The street address or legal description of the premises;
(3) The date of the inspection;
(4) The nature of the violation;
(5) The date, time and location of the public hearing; and
(6) A statement that the owner, lienholder, or mortgage will be required to submit at the hearing proof of the scope of any work that may be required to comply with this article and the time it will take to reasonably perform the work.
(b) If the city mails a notice in accordance with this article to a property owner, lienholder, or mortgagee and the United States Postal Service returns the notice as “refused” or “unclaimed,” the validity of the notice is not affected, and the notice is considered delivered.
(c) The city satisfies the requirements of this article to make a diligent effort, to use its best efforts, or to make a reasonable effort to determine the identity and address of an owner, a lienholder, or a mortgagee if the city searches the following records:
(1) County real property records;
(2) County appraisal district records;
(3) Records of the secretary of state;
(4) Assumed name records of the county;
(5) Tax records of the city; and
(6) Utility records of any utility doing business in the city.
(Ordinance 1072, sec. II(H), adopted 6/10/13)
Sec. 3.04.009 Date of Hearing
The date of the public hearing before the building standards commission shall not be fewer than thirty (30) days from the date of personal service or deposit of same in the U.S. mail, whichever is earliest. (Ordinance 1072, sec. II(I), adopted 6/10/13)
Sec. 3.04.010 Filing of Notice of Hearing in Public Records Required
The city secretary shall file a notice of public hearing in the county real property records at least ten (10) days before the date of the public hearing. The notice of public hearing shall contain:
(1) The name and address of the owner of the affected real property, if that information can be determined from a reasonable search of the instruments on file with the county clerk;
(2) A legal description of the property; and
(3) A description of the hearing.
(Ordinance 1072, sec. II(J), adopted 6/10/13)
Sec. 3.04.011 Effect of Filing of Notice in Public Records
The filing of the notice of public hearing under section 3.04.010 of this article shall be binding upon subsequent grantees, lienholders, or other transferees of any interest in the property who acquire such interest after the filing of the notice, and constitutes notice of the hearing on any subsequent recipient of any interest in the property who acquires such interest after the filing of the notice. (Ordinance 1072, sec. II(K), adopted 6/10/13)
Sec. 3.04.012 Conduct of Hearing
The building standards commission shall conduct the public hearing to determine compliance with the standards set out in this article. At the public hearing, the owner, lienholder, or mortgagee shall have the burden of proof to demonstrate the scope of any work that may be required to comply with this article and the time it will take to reasonably perform the work. (Ordinance 1072, sec. II(L), adopted 6/10/13)
Sec. 3.04.013 Order and Notice After Hearing
(a) If, after a public hearing, the building standards commission finds that a nuisance exists pursuant to this article, the building standards commission shall require the owner, lienholder, or mortgagee of the real property, building, structure or premises to within thirty (30) days:
(1) Secure the offending building or agricultural structure from unauthorized entry; or
(2) Abate the nuisance or repair, remove or demolish the building, unless the owner, mortgagee or lienholder establishes at the hearing that the work cannot reasonably be performed within the thirty (30) days allowed. The building standards commission shall establish specific time schedules for the commencement and performance of the work and shall require the owner, lienholder or mortgagee to secure the property in a reasonable manner from unauthorized entry while the work is being performed.
(b) If, after the public hearing, a building, structure or premises is found to be in violation of the standards set forth in this article, the building standards commission may order that the building, structure, or premises be vacated, secured, repaired, removed, or demolished by the owner within a reasonable time as provided by this section. The building standards commission also may order that the occupants be relocated within a reasonable time, at the cost of the owner. The building standards commission reserves the right to determine what is a reasonable amount of time to perform the ordered work or what is a reasonable amount of time to relocate occupants. In the event the owner fails to comply with the order within the time provided for action by the owner, the building standards commission may order any of the mortgagees or lienholders of the building, structure, or premises [to cause the building, structure, or premises] to be vacated, secured, repaired, removed, or demolished to comply with the order within a reasonable time as provided by this section. The building standards commission also may order that the occupants be relocated within a reasonable time, at the cost of any of the mortgagees or lienholders. Under this section, the city is not required to furnish any notice to a mortgagee or lienholder other than a copy of the order in the event the owner fails to timely take the ordered action.
(c) If the owner, lienholder or mortgagee establishes at the public hearing that the work cannot be reasonably completed within ninety (90) days because of the scope and complexity of the work, and if the owner, lienholder or mortgagee has submitted at the hearing a detailed plan and time schedule, and the building standards commission allows the owner, lienholder, or mortgagee more than ninety (90) days to complete any part of the work required to abate the nuisance or repair, remove or demolish the building or agricultural structure, the building standards commission shall require the owner, lienholder or mortgagee to regularly submit progress reports to the building standards commission through the building official to demonstrate compliance with time schedules for commencement and performance of the work and may require appearance before the building official, the building standards commission, or their designees, to demonstrate compliance. If the owner, lienholder, or mortgagee owns property, including structures or improvements on property, within the city's boundaries that exceeds $100,000.00 in total value, the building standards commission may require the owner, lienholder, or mortgagee to post a cash or surety bond in an amount adequate to cover the cost of repairing, removing, or demolishing a building under this subsection. In lieu of a bond, the building standards commission may require the owner, lienholder, or mortgagee to provide a letter of credit from a financial institution or a guaranty from a third party approved by the building standards commission. The bond must be posted, or the letter of credit or third-party guaranty provided, not later than the 30th day after the date the city issues the order.
(d) Within ten (10) days after the date that the order is issued, the city secretary shall:
(1) File a copy of the order in the city secretary's office; and
(2) Publish in a newspaper of general circulation in the city a notice containing:
(A) The street address or legal description of the property;
(B) The date of the hearing;
(C) A brief statement indicating the results of the order; and
(D) Instructions stating where a complete copy of the order may be obtained.
(e) After the public hearing, the city secretary shall promptly mail by certified mail with return receipt requested, deliver by the United States Postal Service using signature confirmation service, or personally deliver a copy of the order to the owner of the building and to any lienholder or mortgagee of the building. The city shall use its best efforts to determine the identity and address of any owner, lienholder, or mortgagee of the building, structure or premises.
(f) If the building, structure or premises is not vacated, secured, repaired, removed, or demolished or the occupants are not relocated within the allotted time, the city may vacate, secure, remove, or demolish the building or relocate the occupants at its own expense. This subsection does not limit the ability of the city to collect on a bond or other financial guaranty that may be required by subsection (c) of this section.
(Ordinance 1072, sec. II(M), adopted 6/10/13)
Sec. 3.04.014 Standards for Ordering Repair, Vacation or Demolition; Abatement by City
(a) The following standards shall be followed by the building standards commission in ordering the repair, vacation or demolition of any building, structure, or premises, and any building, structure, or premises declared a nuisance under this article shall be made to comply with one or more of the following:
(1) The building, structure, or premises shall be repaired in accordance with the current building code or other current codes applicable to the type of substandard conditions requiring repair.
(2) Repairs shall be deemed feasible only if less than fifty percent (50%) of the building or agricultural structure must be repaired or replaced, and the repairs amount to less than fifty percent (50%) of the building or agricultural structure's value.
(3) If the building or agricultural structure is in such a condition as to make it dangerous to the health, safety and welfare of the occupants, it shall be ordered vacated and secured from unlawful entry.
(4) If the building or agricultural structure requires repairs over greater than fifty percent (50%) of its surface or amounting to greater than fifty percent (50%) of its value, it shall be demolished. Further, if a building or agricultural structure cannot be repaired so that it will be brought into compliance with this article, it shall be demolished. Additionally, if the building or agricultural structure as it stands presents an incurable fire hazard in violation of the terms of this article or any ordinance of the city or statute of the state, it shall be demolished. For the purpose of this article, the term “demolished” includes the cleaning and grading of the property and the removal of all debris and trash.
(b) If the building or agricultural structure is not vacated, secured, repaired, removed or demolished or the occupants are not relocated within the allotted time, the city may vacate, secure, remove or demolish the building or agricultural structure or relocate the occupants at its own expense, and may thereafter assess expenses, and establish a lien against the property, as set forth in section 3.04.020 of this article.
(c) If, after the expiration of the time allotted under section 3.04.013 of this article, the owner, lienholder or mortgagee fails to comply, the city may do or cause to be done the repairs necessary to bring the building into compliance with this article and only if the building is a residential building with ten (10) or fewer dwelling units. The repairs may not improve the building to the extent that the building exceeds the minimum standards, as defined by this article, and expenses may be assessed as provided in section 3.04.020 of this article.
(Ordinance 1072, sec. II(N), adopted 6/10/13)
Sec. 3.04.015 Authority of Enforcement Officers
The enforcement officer, or his designated representative(s), are hereby directed and authorized to administer and enforce the provisions of this article. Nothing contained herein is meant to limit the discretion of any enforcement officer in evaluating and directing compliance with this article. (Ordinance 1072, sec. II(O), adopted 6/10/13)
Sec. 3.04.016 Liability of Enforcement Officers
The enforcement officer, or his designated representative(s), acting in good faith and without malice in the discharge of his duties, shall not thereby render himself personally liable for any damage that may accrue to persons or property as a result of any act or by reason of any act or omission in the discharge of his duties. Any suit brought against the enforcement officer, or his designated representative(s), because of such act or omission performed in the enforcement of any provision of this article shall be defended by legal counsel provided by the city until final termination of such proceedings. (Ordinance 1072, sec. II(P), adopted 6/10/13)
Sec. 3.04.017 Immediate Threats to Health and Safety
Nothing in this article shall prohibit the requirement for abatement within twenty-four (24) hours, or a period of time less than as prescribed herein for public hearings, notice thereof, or the recovery of costs and establishment of liens, when a nuisance has been declared an immediate threat to health and safety by any enforcement personnel. (Ordinance 1072, sec. II(Q), adopted 6/10/13)
Sec. 3.04.018 Remedies
To enforce any requirement of this article, any enforcement personnel may gain compliance by any or all of the following:
(1) Taking such action as the enforcement officer deems appropriate within the authorization provided for in this article or any other ordinances of the city.
(2) Causing appropriate action to be instituted in a court of competent jurisdiction.
(3) Ordering the abatement of the nuisance and assessing the costs of abatement against the property if the owner of the property does not abate same after the required notice.
(4) Any other remedies permitted or authorized at law or in equity.
(Ordinance 1072, sec. II(R), adopted 6/10/13)
Sec. 3.04.019 Contracting for Abatement
Whenever the property owner, agent, or tenant fails to abate the nuisance within the time allowed, the enforcement officer is hereby authorized to contract with a contractor to perform such work as may be required to abate the nuisance. (Ordinance 1072, sec. II(S), adopted 6/10/13)
Sec. 3.04.020 Recovery of City's Costs
(a) Whenever the city enters upon the premises and causes any work to be performed to abate a nuisance, or if the building or agricultural structure is not vacated, secured, repaired, removed, or demolished or if the occupants are not relocated within the allotted time, the city may take such action at its own expense, and a charge will be made to the property owner, agent, or tenant to recover the costs associated with the abatement. The charge shall be the actual cost of abatement, plus applicable sales taxes.
(b) An administrative fee of $200.00 shall be assessed for each such charge.
(c) If the actual charge and the administrative fee are not paid to the city within thirty (30) days after billing, the city shall file a lien against the property. Said lien shall be filed in the deed records of the county. The charges shown on the lien shall bear interest at the rate of eight (8) percent per annum from the due date until paid. The lien shall be collected under the same terms and provisions of law as on city ad valorem taxes. The lien may be extinguished prior to foreclosure if the owner or other person having an interest in the legal title to the property reimburses the city for its expenses. If the notice is given pursuant to section 3.04.010 and the opportunity to abate the nuisance or repair, remove, or demolish the building or agricultural structure is afforded to each mortgagee or lienholder under section 3.04.010 of this article, the lien is a privileged lien subordinate only to tax liens as authorized by Texas Local Government Code section 214.001(o).
(Ordinance 1072, sec. II(T), adopted 6/10/13)
Sec. 3.04.021 Penalty
(a) Any person violating or failing to comply with any provision, requirement or order issued pursuant to this article shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined as provided in the applicable city ordinances. A separate offense shall be deemed committed upon each day during or on which a violation or failure to comply occurs or continues to occur.
(b) In addition to any other remedies or penalties contained in this section, the city may enforce the provisions of this article pursuant to the applicable provisions of Texas Local Government Code, chapter 54, which chapter provides for the enforcement of municipal ordinances.
(c) Allegation and evidence of a culpable mental state is not required for the proof of an offense defined by this article.
(Ordinance 1072, sec. II(U), adopted 6/10/13)
Sec. 3.04.022 Judicial Review
Any owner, lienholder, or mortgagee aggrieved by an order of the building standards commission issued under this article shall be entitled to appeal the decision to a Texas district court pursuant to section 214.0012 of the Texas Local Government Code, as amended. A notice of appeal must be filed with the district court within thirty (30) calendar days from the date the order is personally delivered or mailed (in accordance with section 214.0012 of the Texas Local Government Code) to the owner(s), lienholder(s), or mortgagee(s), as provided herein. Upon the expiration of the thirty (30) calendar day period, the decision of the building standards commission shall become final. If applicable, the city shall be entitled to an award of attorney's fees, costs and expenses, and judgment therefor, pursuant to and as authorized by section 214.0012(h) of the Texas Local Government Code. (Ordinance 1072, sec. II(V), adopted 6/10/13)
Sec. 3.04.023 Municipal Court Proceedings Not Affected
Action taken by the city pursuant to this article shall not affect the ability of the city to proceed under the jurisdiction of the city's municipal court. (Ordinance 1072, sec. II(W), adopted 6/10/13)