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Ordinance #126

AN ORDINANCE TO SET PROCEDURES FOR REMOVAL OF
UNSAFE STRUCTURES, TO DECLARE AN EMERGENCY,
AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
WHEREAS, the Town Council for the Town of Johnson deems it
necessary to determine procedures for the removal of unsafe
buildings of any type which are hazardous* to the health and
safety of the citizens of Johnson; and
WHEREAS, it is deemed to be in the best interest of the
citizens of the Town of Johnson to set forth the City's
procedures for removing unsafe or substandard structures after
notice to property owners; and
WHEREAS/ this ordinance is to provide for the control of the
use, maintenance, safety, repair, and aesthetic value, and
occupancy of all dwellings, dwelling units and/or structures of
every type within the area of jurisdiction of the Town of Johnson
so as to ensure the public safety, health, aesthetic and general
welfare of the residents of the Town of Johnson;
NOW, THE'REFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE TOWN COUNCIL OF THE
TOWN OF JOHNSON, ARKANSAS that:
SECTION ONE - UNSAFE STRUCTURES
All buildings or structures which are unsafe, unsanitary, or
not provided with adequate egress, or which are substandard,
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 by reason of inadequate maintenance,

dilapidation, obsolescence,, abandonment, or severely in
contemplation of this section, are unsafe buildings. All such
unsafe buildings are hereby declared illegal and shall be abated
by repair and rehabilitation or by demolition in accordance with
the following provisions:
(a) Whenever the building official shall find any
building or structure or portion thereof to be unsafe, as defined
in this section, he shall, in accordance with established
procedure for legal notices, give the ox-raer, agent, or person in
control of such building or structure written notice stating the
defects thereof. This notice shall require the owner within
thirty (30) days to purchase a building permit and to commence
specified repairs or improvements, or to demolish and remove the
building or structure or portion thereof. The building official
shall set the time allowed to complete such repairs or removal.
If the person to whom such notice and order is addressed cannot
be found after diligent search, then such notice and order shall
be sent by certified mail to the last known address of such
person; and a copy of such notice shall be posted in a
conspicuous place on the premises to which it relates. Such
mailing and posting shall be deemed adequate service.
(b) Any owner, agent, or person in control of such
building or structure who shall fail, neglect, or refuse within
the stated time to comply with said notice from the building
official to repair, rehabilitate, or to demolish said building or
structure or portion thereof, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor
and shall be subject to penalties set out in Section 3 of this
Ordinance.
(c) In case the owner, agent, or person in control
cannot be found within the stated time, or, if such owner, agent,
or person in control shall fail, neglect, or refuse to comply
with notice to repair, rehabilitate, or to demolish and remove
said building or structure or portion thereof, the building
official shall refer the matter of removing said building to the
Town Council. If the Town Council deems the structure unsafe and
that it is in the best interest of the Town to proceed with
removal of the unsafe structure, it shall enact an Ordinance
ordering the property owner to raze and remove the unsafe
structure, with work thereon to commence within 10 days and be
completed within 30 days. If the property owner fails to do so,
the Mayor or his authorized representative shall cause the unsafe
structure to be razed and removed. The cost thereof shall be
charged against said premises and shall constitute a lien
thereon.
(d) The amount of the lien may be determined at a
hearing before the Town Council held_ after thirty (30) days
written notice by certified mail to the owner of the property if
the name and whereabouts of the owner is known. If the name 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
Town Council is subject to appeal by the property owner to the
Chancery Court. The amount so determined at the hearingf plus
ten percent (10%) penalty for collection, shall be certified by
the Town 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 Town by the County Tax Collector. In the alternative, the
lien provided for pursuant to this chapter and state law may be
enforced in Chancery Court at any time within eighteen (18)
months after work has been done.
(e) In cases of emergency which, in the opinion of the
building official, involve imminent danger to human life or
health, he shall promptly cause such building, structure or
portion thereof to be made safe or removed, whether the procedure
prescribed in this section has been instituted or not. For this
purpose he may at once enter such structure or land on which it
stands, or abutting land or structures, with such assistance and
at such cost as he may deem necessary. He may vacate adjacent
structures and protect the public by appropriate fence or such
other means as may be necessary, and for this purpose may close a
public or private way.
SECTION TWO - CONSTITUTIONALITY
If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase ' of
this Ordinance is for any reason held to be unconstitutional,
such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining
portions of this Ordinance.
SECTION THREE - VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES
Whenever it is found that any person is violating any of the
provisions or requirements set out in this Ordinance, a written
notice stating the offense and setting time limit for the.
correction thereof shall be served upon the offender in person or
by certified mail by the chief city inspector. If the offending
party is not the owner of record of the tract upon which such
dwelling or dwellings are being constructed, a copy of such
notice shall also be served on the owner of record. The offender
shall within this time limit set in the notice served upon him
forever cease all violations. Any person who .shall continue to
violate any of the provisions of this ordinance shall be guilty
of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined in
any sum not less than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) nor more than
two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00). Each day any such violation
may continue shall be deemed a separate offense.

SECTION FOUR - EMERGENCY CLAUSE
It is hereby declared that an emergency exists and that this
Ordinance being necessary for the preservation of the health,
safety and welfare of the citizens of Johnson, Arkansas, become
effective immediately upon its passage, approval and publication.