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Ordinance 2016-27



WHEREAS, the city of Johnson's current procedures for securing clean-up liens do not give the City's liens priority over other lienholders in the event of a mortgage default;

WHEREAS, the sections of the Arkansas Code empowering municipalities to place liens upon real property for the costs associated with land clearance have changed significantly since the adoption of the original Real Property Maintenance Ordinance;


Section l: Title 5, Health and Sanitation is hereby amended as to the listing of Chapters to read as follows:



5.04 Clean Up and Maintenance of Real Property

5.08 Littering

5.12 Solid Waste Collection"

Section 2: That inasmuch as the Northwest Arkansas Solid Waste Authority was disbanded several years ago, Chapter 5.16 is hereby deleted in its entirety.

Section 3: Johnson Municipal Code Chapter 5.04, is hereby amended to read as follows:



5.04.01 Land Clean Up and Maintenance

5.04.02 Definitions

5.04.03 Citations

5.04.04 Abandoned or Inoperative Motor Vehicles


5.04.01 Land Clean Up and Maintenance

A. This Ordinance is hereby declared to be remedial, and shall be construed to secure the beneficial interest 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.

B. An unsanitary, unsightly or unsafe condition is defined as a condition 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

C. 1.All property owners and those persons having a possessory interest in real property within the City of Johnson, such as renters, leasehold tenants, or lienholders, are hereby required to cut weeds, cut grass which is over eight inches (8") in height or length, 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.

2. All property owners and those persons having a possessory interest in real property within the City of Johnson. such as renters. leasehold tenants or lienholders. are hereby required to cut remove brush, weeds, bushes, limbs, and other vegetation on the real property they own occupy so as to prevent obstruction. hiding. Blocking or covering of signs. sidewalks. roadways or intersections and or to prevent the obstruction, hiding, blocking, or overhanging ( of less than seven feet) of sidewalks. Roadways, street lights, or intersections so as impede visibility or normal travel and passage.

D. 1. 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 prohibited by 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 lot or other real property.

2. Pursuant to the authority of A.C.A. 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. However, this lien shall not be construed as having a priority over any other lien secured by a mortgage on the real property. except as provided in Subsection 3 herein.

3. If there is a mortgage or other lien upon real property at issue within the City, the City shall provide written notice to any lienholders a minimum of ten ( l 0) business days prior to beginning any work on the property. Notice shall be sent to the lienholder's address as indicated in the relevant land records. If the lienholder responds within that period of ten ( l 0) business days that the property owner is in default under the terms of the note or mortgage, the City employee or other agent charged with abating the unsanitary or unsightly condition shall not undertake any monetarily significant work on the property without the prior approval of the City Attorney.

E. Owners or persons having a possessory interest in real property which is 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 are 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 Recorder/Treasurer shall make an affidavit setting out the facts as to unknown address or whereabouts of the non-resident. Thereupon, service of the notice as provided for by law against non-resident defendants, may be had. An attorney ad litem shall be appointed to notify the defendant by certified letter, addressed to his last known place of residence. if it can be found.

F. The amount of the lien may be determined at a public hearing before the City Council held after thirty (30) days' written notice by mail, return receipt requested to the owner of the property if the name and whereabouts of the owner is known, and to the lienholders of rec If the name of the owner or the whereabouts of the owner cannot he determined, then the amount will be determined only after newspaper publication, as required by law, of notice of the public hearing once a week for four (4) consecutive Weeks. The determination of the City Council is subject to appeal to the Circuit Court within the time specified by law. The amount so determined at the hearing. plus ten percent ( I 0%) penalty for collection in accordance with A.C.A. § 14-54-904- (a)( 2)(A ). may be certified by the City Council by resolution to the tax collector of the county in which the prope1ty 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 Circuit Court at any time within 10 (10) years after lien has been filed A.C.A. § 14-54-904 (a)
G. All owners of real property and others having a possessory interest in real property such as renters, leasehold tenants, or lienholders shall clean up and maintain their property so as to provide a clear line of sight for operators of vehicles at least 250 feet (as measured from the centerline of the road at the elongated apex of the intersection) at the intersection of two or more streets/roads.

H. Operators of motor vehicles and vehicles (as defined by C.A § 27--+9-219) shall not park, abandon or leave such so as to block or obstruct a street, Sidewalk, public trail, or other passageway used by the public.

5.01.02 Definitions

Extraordinary materials - hazardous wastes. body wastes, dead animals, abandoned vehicles, vehicle parts, large equipment and parts thereof.

Garbage - the same as and be defined as solid waste.

Hazardous materials - wastes th,1t 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.

Motor vehicle - State law reference A.C.A. § 27-49-219(b).

Rubbish or yard trash - the same as and be defined as solid waste.

Sidewalks - passageways adjacent to/along streets designed or built for foot traffic including but not limited to trails.

Signs - includes but not limited to street signs. traffic signs, traffic control devices of all types and permitted signs.

Solid waste - shall mean all putrescible and non-putrescible 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”.

Special materials - those bulky materials or other special \\astes that are not stored in approved containers and cannot be picked up by hand.

Trash - the same as and be defined as solid waste.

5.04.03 Citations

In addition to any lien provided for in 5.04.01 a violation of this Ordinance by a property owner and or person holding a possessory interest in the property, such as a leasehold tenant or lienholders, after that person entity has received two ( 2) warnings, oral, or written. in any twelve ( 12) month period, may be issued a citation to appear in the Johnson Department of the District Court and upon a conviction, plea of guilty or nolo contendere, such is punishable by a fine of not less than fifty dollars (S50.00), nor more than five hundred dollars (5500.00), and double that amount for a repeated and willful violation of the same ordinance; and/or fine of not less than twenty-five dollars (S25.00) nor more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) for each day of continuance.

5.04.04 Abandoned or Inoperative Motor Vehicles

A. 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) hours.

B. It is unlawful to have/leave any abandoned, unlicensed, inoperative, or unsightly motor vehicle, as defined in 5.04.01 exposed to public view on any private premises for a period of more than fifteen (15) days.

C. Any motor vehicle left abandoned, unlicensed, and/or unattended in violation of (A) or (B) above, shall be towed away and stored at the expense of the owner of the motor vehicle. The owner or occupier of real property upon which any motor vehicle is left exposed to public view in violation of (B) above, shall be charged with such violation and punished according to 5.04.03.

D. The responsibility for enforcement of this article shall be with the Johnson Police Department, Code Enforcement Ot1icer, or Building Inspector which shall make investigations, serve notice, issue citations, arrange for towing and storage, and disposal of motor vehicles and perform such other duties as are necessary or incidental thereto."
Section 4: In all other respects, Title 5 is not amended or modified and is hereby ratified and confirmed.

PASSED AND APPROVED this 11th day of October, 2016.