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Ordinance 1996-04

AN ORDINANCE REGULATING LAND CLEARANCE, SOLID
WASTE AND ABANDONED OR INOPERATIVE MOTOR
VEHICLES, TO CLARIFY LANGUAGE AND TIME
REQUIREMENTS, AND TO ADD PENALTIES, PROCEDURES
FOR OBTAINING AND ENFORCING LIENS FOR COSTS,
AND TO DECLARE AN EMERGENCY, AND FOR OTHER
PURPOSES.
WHEREAS, the removal of unsafe, unsanitary or unsightly
conditions on property within the City is necessary to protect the
citizens from fire, health and safety hazards as well as to protect
the benefit of surrounding property owners and all citizens;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY
OF JOHNSON, ARKANSAS.
SECTION 1: LAND CLEARANCE
Section 1-A: Intent and purpose.
This ordinance is hereby declared to be remedial, and shall be
construed to secure the beneficial interests and purposes hereof,
which are public safety, health, aesthetics and general welfare of
the residents of the City of Johnson through prevention and
alleviation of unsafe, unsanitary and unsightly conditions; risk to
safety of life and property from fire, bodily injury and other
hazards incident to such conditions existing upon real property
within the City, whether upon empty lots, in driveways, yards, or
open spaces, within or about structures of any and all types, or
any other manner of existence; and to preserve the aesthetic values
of the residents of the City of Johnson.
Section 1-B: Unsanitary, unsightly or unsafe condition defined.
An unsanitary, unsightly or unsafe condition is defined as any
such condition deemed such in the discretion of the Mayor or his
authorized representative, including but not limited to stagnant
pools of water, an accumulation of trash or garbage, waste products
from commercial activity; or the refuse accumulations of animal,
fruit or vegetable matter, rubbish, leaves, limbs, weeds, metal,
plastic, paper, or other substances which may accumulate and/or
which emit vile, offensive odors, or provide a harborage for
insects, flies or rodents,.or increase the risk or hazard of fire,
or constitute a public nuisance, or creates a condition offensive
or dangerous to health, safety, aesthetics or public welfare
generally.
Section 1-C: Duty of property owners and persons holding a
possessory interest in the property.
All property owners and those persons holding a possessory
interest in property within the City of Johnson, such as leasehold
tenants, are hereby required to cut weeds, grass, remove garbage,
rubbish, and other unsanitary and unsightly articles and things
from their property/ and to eliminate, fill up, or remove stagnant
pools of water or any other unsanitary things, places or conditions
which might become a breeding place for mosquitoes, flies, rodents
or germs harmful to the health of the community, or which otherwise
constitute a condition offensive or dangerous to the public
aesthetics or welfare.
Section 1-D: Notice; correction by City; lien.
(a) If the owner or persons having a possessory interest in
any lot or other real property, within the City of Johnson, shall
neglect or refuse to remove, abate, or eliminate any condition
provided for in this ordinance, then the City of Johnson, after
giving the owner or person having a possessory interest in the lot
or other real property seven (7) days notice in writing to do so,
is authorized to do whatever is necessary to correct the condition
and to charge the cost thereof to the owner or persons having a
possessory interest in the lots or other real property.
(b) Pursuant to the authority of A.C.A. Section 14-54-903,
the City of Johnson is hereby granted a lien against the lot(s) or
other real property for the costs of the City in correcting the
violation.
Section 1-E: Service of notice.
Owners or persons having a possessory interest in property in
violation of this ordinance shall be notified in writing at their
current or last known address. In case the owner or persons having
a possessory interest in any lot or other real property is unknown
or his whereabouts is not known or is a non-resident of this State,
then a copy of the written notice shall be posted upon the
premises. Before any action to enforce the lien shall be had, the
City Clerk shall make an Affidavit setting out the facts as to
unknown address or whereabouts of the non-resident. Thereupon,
service of the notice by publication as provided for by law against
non-resident defendants, may be had. An attorney ad litem shall be
appointed to notify the defendant by registered letter, addressed
to his last known place of residence, if it can be found.
Section 1-F: Enforcement of lien.
The amount of the lien may be determined at a hearing before
the City Council held after thirty (30) days' written notice by
certified mail to the owner or persons having a possessory interest
in the real property if the name and whereabouts of the owner is
known. If the name of the owner or the whereabouts of the owner
cannot be determined, then the amount will be determined only after
publication of notice of the hearing once a week for four (4)
consecutive weeks. The determination of the City Council is
subject to appeal by the property owner to the Chancery Court. The
amount so determined at the hearing/ plus ten percent (10%) penalty
for collection, shall be certified by the City Council by ordinance
to the tax collector of the county in which the property is
located, to be placed on the tax books as delinquent taxes, and
collected accordingly. The amount, less three percent (3%)
thereof, when so collected shall be paid to the City by the county
tax collector. In the alternative, the lien provided for pursuant
to this ordinance and state law may be enforced in Chancery Court
at any time within eighteen (18) months after work has been done by
the City.
Section 1-G: Additional Penalties.
In addition to any lien provided for in Section 1-D (b), any
violation of this ordinance by a property owner and/or person
holding a possessory interest in the property, such as a leasehold
tenant, is punishable by a fine of not less than five dollars
($5.00), nor more than five hundred dollars ($500.00), and double
that amount for a repeated and willful violation of the same
ordinance; and/or, fine of not less than ($1.00) nor more than two
hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) for each day of continuance.
Section 1-H: Definitions.
A. Extraordinary Materials - hazardous wastes, body wastes,
dead animals, abandoned vehicles, vehicle parts, large equipment
and parts thereto.
B. Garbage - shall mean the same as and be defined as solid
waste.
C. Hazardous Materials - shall mean wastes that are
hazardous by reason of their pathological, explosive, radiological
or toxic characteristics, or by virtue of their being defined as
hazardous by any state or federal law or regulation.
D. Motor Vehicle - shall mean any automobile, truck,
trailer, motorcycle, camper, recreational vehicle, parts and/or
components of the foregoing, and the like.
E. Rubbish or Yard Trash - shall mean the same as and be
defined as solid waste,
F. Solid Waste - shall mean all putrescible and nonputrescible
waste in solid or semi-solid form, including, but not
limited to, garbage, rubbish, ashes or incinerator residue, or
street refuse, but excluding "extraordinary materials" and
"hazardous materials".
G. Special Materials - shall mean those bulky materials or
other special wastes that are not stored in approved containers and
cannot be picked up by hand.
H. Trash - shall mean the same as and be defined as solid
waste.
Section 2: Abandoned or Inoperative Motor Vehicles.
Section 2-A: Leaving on public streets.
It is unlawful for any person to in any way abandon a motor
vehicle or leave an inoperative motor vehicle on any public street
or in any public place for a period of more than forty-eight (48
Section 2-B: Leaving on property of another.
It is unlawful to have/leave any abandoned, unlicensed,
inoperative/ or unsightly motor vehicle , as defined in Section 1-H
(D.), exposed to public view on any private premises for a period
of more than fifteen (15) days.
Section 2-C: Violations; procedures.
Enforcement of this article shall be as follows:
(1) Any motor vehicle left abandoned, unlicensed/ or
unattended in violation of Sections 2-A or 2~B shall be towed away
and stored at the expense of the owner of the motor vehicle.
(2) The owner or occupier of premises upon which any motor
vehicle is left exposed to public view in violation of Section 2-B
shall be charged with such violation and punished according to
Section 1-G.
Section 2-D: Enforcement.
The responsibility for enforcement of this article shall be
with the Johnson Police Department which shall make investigations,
serve notices, make arrests, arrange for towing and storage, and
dispose of motor vehicles and perform such other duties as are
necessary or incidental thereto.
Section 3: Ordinance #103 Repealed.
Ordinance #103 of the City of Johnson is hereby repealed in
its entirety.
WHEREAS, it is necessary for the efficient operation of the
Johnson Municipal Government that the regulation of land clearance,
solid waste removal and abandoned and/or inoperative motor vehicles
be planned and adopted;
Emergency Clause.
NOW, THEREFORE, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and
this ordinance being necessary for the preservation of the public
peace, health, and safety, shall take effect and be in force from
and after its passage and approval.