Back to Table of Contents

Chapter 215

NUISANCES

ARTICLE I

Nuisances Affecting Health, Abandoned Vehicles, Etc.

Section 215.010. Definitions. [Ord. No. 427 Art. II §1, 2-5-2014]

As used in this Article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

ABANDONED, DAMAGED OR DISABLED VEHICLE — Any vehicle that is not registered or is improperly registered with the State of Missouri and has been inoperable for more than seventy-two (72) hours or is in such a state of repair as to be inoperable, except those in a duly licensed automobile junking yard. “Abandoned vehicles” are vehicles which have been left unattended for forty-eight (48) hours.

JUNK — Any metal, glass, paper, rags, wood, machinery parts, cloth or other waste or discarded material of any nature or substance whatsoever, or scrap or salvage materials.

PERSON — Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation or other organization of any kind.

PROPERTY — Any land owned by the City or located within the City limits, not including streets and highways.

STREET or HIGHWAY — The entire area between the boundary lines of every publicly maintained way when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel.

VEHICLES — Any machine propelled by power other than human power designed to travel along the ground by use of wheels, treads, runners or slides, including but not limited to automobiles, trucks, trailers, motorcycles, tractors, buggies and wagons, or any part thereof.

YARD WASTE — Green waste which is biodegradable and that can be composted such as fallen leaves, grass clippings, fallen tree limbs, trimmed tree limbs, hedge trimmings and other vegetative waste.

Section 215.020. Nuisances Affecting Health. [Ord. No. 427 Art. II §2, 2-5-2014]

A. The following shall be declared nuisances and are declared to be nuisances affecting health:

1. Abandoned, damaged or disabled vehicles.

2. All decayed or unwholesome food offered for sale to the public, or offered to the public at no charge.

3. All diseased animals running at large.

4. All ponds, pools, or containers of stagnant water.

5. Carcasses of dead animals not buried or destroyed within twenty-four (24) hours after death.

6. Accumulations, wheresoever they may occur, of manure, rubbish, garbage, refuse and human and industrial, noxious or offensive waste, except the normal storage on a farm of manure for agricultural purposes on property in excess of twenty (20) acres.

7. The pollution of any well, cistern, spring, underground water stream, lake, canal, or body of water by sewage or industrial wastes, or other substances harmful to human beings.

8. Dense smoke, noxious fumes, gas and soot, or cinders in unreasonable quantities, or the presence of any gas, vapor, fume, smoke, dust or any other toxic substance on, in or emitted from the equipment of any premises in quantities sufficient to be toxic, harmful or injurious to the health of any employee or to any premises, occupant, or to any other person.

9. Common drinking cups, roller towels, combs, brushes or eating utensils in public or semipublic places where not properly sanitized after use.

10. Any vehicle used for septic tank cleaning which is not sealed to prevent any of its contents from leaking, spilling, falling or blowing out of such vehicle at any time.

11. Any vehicle used for garbage or rubbish disposal which is not equipped with a watertight metal body and provided with a tight metal cover or covers and so constructed as to prevent any of the contents from leaking, spilling, falling or blowing out of such vehicle at any time, except while being loaded, or not completely secured and covered so as to prevent offensive odors from escaping therefrom or exposing any part of the contents at any time.

12. Any and all infestations of flies, fleas, roaches, lice, ticks, rats, mice, fly maggots, mosquito larvae and hookworm larvae.

13. Unlicensed dumps, and licensed dumps not operated or maintained in compliance with the ordinances of the City of Laddonia or the County of Audrain and the Statutes of the State of Missouri.

14. All yard waste that is collected or permitted to collect or accumulate within twenty (20) feet of the edge of any roadway, street or lane.

15. All ashes, cinders, slops, filth, excrement, sawdust, stones, rocks, dirt, straw, dead grass, grass clippings, dead limbs, leaves, brush, logs, weeds, foliage, shrub cuttings, clippings, soot, sticks, shavings, eggshells, oyster shells, cans, dust, brush, logs, paper, trash, rubbish, manure, refuse, offal, wastewater, chamber lye, fish, putrid meat, entrails, decayed fruits or vegetables, broken wares, rags, iron or other metal, old wearing apparel, animal or vegetable matter, all dead animals, any grass, dead limbs, leaves, brush, logs, weeds, foliage, shrub cuttings, clippings or any other kind of yard wastes, or any other offensive or disagreeable substance or thing thrown, left, deposited, or caused to be left, thrown, or deposited by anyone in or upon any street, sidewalk, park, public place, public enclosure, lot, vacant or occupied, ditch, pond, or pool of water.

16. All sidewalks, gutters, ditches, culverts or curbstones permitted to remain in an unsafe condition, covered with yard waste or out of repair by any person required by this Article or any other ordinance of this City to be kept in good condition or repair, or free of yard waste or trash are hereby declared to be public nuisances.

17. The outside storage of new, used and/or waste tires.

18. All other acts, practices, conduct, business, occupation callings, trades, uses of property and all other things detrimental or certain to be detrimental to the health of the inhabitants of the City of Laddonia.

Section 215.030. Unlawful To Maintain Such Nuisance. [Ord. No. 427 Art. II §3, 2-5-2014]

It shall be unlawful for any person to create or maintain a nuisance as defined in Article I, Section 215.020.

Section 215.040. Notice. [Ord. No. 427 Art. II §4, 2-5-2014]

A. Whenever the Chief of Police, Mayor or such other person as is designated by the Board of Aldermen from time to time, determines that any vehicle, junk or other item described in Section 215.020 is a nuisance as defined herein, he shall cause written notice to be served upon the owner of the nuisance, if he can be located, or the person in custody of such nuisance, by registered mail or by personal service. The notice shall describe the nuisance, state that the nuisance is deemed to be a nuisance within the provisions of Section 215.020 hereof, and shall briefly state facts deemed to constitute such a nuisance within the terms of this Article, and state that the nuisance shall be abated within ten (10) days from receipt of such notice.

B. Proceedings When Owner Or Custodian Cannot Be Located. When the owner or custodian of any nuisance as defined in Section 215.020 cannot be located by reasonable search, the notice shall be attached to the property, briefly stating facts deemed to constitute the property a nuisance and stating that the nuisance shall be abated within seven (7) days of the date notice was posted, or if the vehicle is on public property, within two (2) days of the date notice was posted.

Section 215.050. Duty of Owner or Custodian. [Ord. No. 427 Art. II §5, 2-5-2014]

Any person receiving the notice provided for above shall comply with the provisions of the notice requiring abatement within the time specified therein. Failure to comply with this provision is unlawful.

Section 215.060. Disposition. [Ord. No. 427 Art. II §6, 2-5-2014]

A. If not removed within the times specified in the notice, the nuisance shall be abated by or at the direction of the Mayor, Chief of Police, or such other person as is designated by the Board of Aldermen from time to time, or his duly authorized representative, at the expense of the owner or person in custody thereof.

B. In the case of a vehicle or other item described in Section 215.010 that may be removed from the property, it shall be removed and it then shall be stored for a period of at least ninety (90) days, and the person entitled to possession thereof may redeem the property by payment to the City of the actual cost of its removal and a reasonable storage fee. If the vehicle, junk or other item described in Section 215.010 is unredeemed after the expiration of the ninety-day period, the Chief of Police, the Clerk of the City of Laddonia, or such other person as is designated by the Board of Aldermen from time to time may sell it to the highest bidder or, if it has no sale value, may otherwise dispose of it. Any money received from disposal of any vehicle or junk shall be applied to the expenses charged to the owner or person in charge thereof.

Section 215.070. Notice of Sale. [Ord. No. 427 Art. II §7, 2-5-2014]

A. Prior to the sale of any such property, the Chief of Police, Mayor, or such other person as is designated by the Board of Aldermen from time to time, shall cause to be posted in the City Hall, and at least one other public place in the City, the place of storage, a notice of sale stating:

1. The City is selling nuisance or abandoned property;

2. The color, make, year, motor number and serial number, if available, and any other information necessary for an accurate identification of the property;

3. The terms of the sale;

4. The date, time and place of the sale. This notice shall be published not less than ten (10) nor more than thirty (30) days prior to the date of the sale.

Section 215.080. Entry Onto Private Property. [Ord. No. 427 Art. II §8, 2-5-2014]

The Chief of Police, Mayor, or such other person as is designated by the Board of Aldermen from time to time, or his duly authorized representative, may enter upon private property for inspection of any potentially hazardous nuisance. When a property owner has been given a proper and legal nuisance notice and the time frame has expired, City personnel may enter the private property for the purpose of removing the nuisance. If any person refuses to allow entry onto his private property, the Chief of Police, City Attorney, or Mayor may obtain a warrant from the proper official and proceed in accordance therewith.

Section 215.090. Abatement — Without Notice; Special Tax Bill. [Ord. No. 427 Art. II §9, 2-5-2014]

Whenever it becomes necessary to immediately abate a nuisance, as defined by this Article or by the Statutes of the State, in order to secure the general health or safety of the City or any of its inhabitants, the Chief of Police, Mayor, or such other person as is designated by the Board of Aldermen from time to time, or his duly authorized representative, are authorized to abate such nuisance without notice, and they may use any suitable means or assistance for that purpose, whether employees of the City or day laborers especially employed for that purpose, or any other help or assistance necessary therefor. The Chief of Police or the Mayor of the City of Laddonia, as the case may be, shall certify the cost of abating such nuisance to the Board of Aldermen, and the Board may by ordinance levy the cost thereof as a special tax against the property on which such nuisance was located, which tax shall be collected as other taxes and shall be a special lien on the property until paid.

ARTICLE II

Weeds and Tall Vegetation

Section 215.100. Definitions. [Ord. No. 427 Art. III §1, 2-5-2014]

As used in this Article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

WEEDS — Wild or uncontrolled growth or vegetation of every kind standing on land, other than trees, ornamental shrubbery, flowers and garden vegetables. The definition of “Weeds” includes all vegetation in excess of eight (8) inches in height.

Section 215.110. Declaration of Public Nuisance. [Ord. No. 427 Art. III §2, 2-5-2014]

The growth of weeds, brush or other rank vegetation in excess of eight (8) inches in height is declared to be a public nuisance, per se, detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the public.

Section 215.120. Weeds and Tall Vegetation Prohibited. [Ord. No. 427 Art. III §3, 2-5-2014]

No person, firm, legal entity of any kind or occupying or owning any real estate within the City of Laddonia, Missouri, shall permit any weeds or any other vegetation to grow to a height of greater than eight (8) inches, provided, however, that this Article shall not apply to the growth of ornamental shrubs, brushes, and trees, ornamental grasses or flowers, provided that such vegetation does not obstruct the vision of parties at the intersection of streets or roads in the City of Laddonia, and any such vegetation located within a triangle created by two (2) streets and running back thirty (30) feet on the line of each street shall be trimmed in such a manner that such vegetation does not in any way obstruct the vision of persons using the roadways; or such vegetation growing within two (2) feet of the foundation of a structure and having a height in excess of four (4) feet shall not be in violation of this Article; and this Article shall not apply to any vegetation that exists in established flower beds or obvious places of adornment.

Section 215.130. Property Owners’ Responsibility. [Ord. No. 427 Art. III §4, 2-5-2014]

Each owner, lessee, agent or occupant in control of a lot or piece of real estate in the City of Laddonia is responsible for maintaining the property on either side of a public sidewalk and/or on either side of ditches or culverts abutting his/her property up to the edge of the traveled portion of any street or roadway within the City of Laddonia. It shall be unlawful for any owner, lessee, agent or occupant in control of a lot or piece of land to permit such a growth of weeds, brush or rank vegetation as would constitute a nuisance under the terms of this Article. It shall be such owner’s, lessee’s, agent’s or occupant’s duty to abate such nuisance, if it exists. A failure to abate shall be unlawful.

Section 215.140. Responsibility of Owners, Agents and Occupants. [Ord. No. 427 Art. III §5, 2-5-2014]

Each owner of real estate in the City, each occupant of real estate within the City, and each managing agent for any owner of property within the City is responsible for compliance with this Article. Any or all of the foregoing individuals may be cited for any violation of this Article. The parties may contract among themselves as to who shall do the required work, but each may be held responsible to see that the Article is in fact complied with. It shall not be a defense to any action filed under this Article that someone other than the person charged with the violation is responsible to take care of the problem.

Section 215.150. Multiple Violations. [Ord. No. 427 Art. III §6, 2-5-2014]

The giving of one (1) notice in one (1) calendar year shall require that the nuisance be abated for the remainder of the calendar year, and more than one (1) property may be included on any notice sent to any owner, occupant, or agent. Each period of violation continuing more than seven (7) days shall create a new violation of this Article and each abatement by the City of Laddonia shall also create a new violation.

Section 215.160. Exemptions. [Ord. No. 427 Art. III §7, 2-5-2014]

A. This Article shall not apply to any lot or tract of land in excess of ten (10) acres [four hundred thirty-five thousand six hundred (435,600) square feet] in area upon which there are located no buildings and there is no commercial, residential, parking, or storage use on any part of said lot or tract of land, except that this Article shall apply to that portion of such tracts of land which lie within fifty (50) feet of a public right-of-way line or within twenty-five (25) feet of an adjacent lot or tract of land which is used by its owner for commercial, residential, parking, or storage purposes and in such cases, the entire lot or tract shall be maintained to be free of nuisance.

B. A delay in enforcement may be granted by the Board of Aldermen in any case where an application for delay of enforcement has been made to the City Clerk for consideration by the Board of Aldermen held at a regular meeting of the Board of Aldermen. A delay in enforcement may be made for a period of up to ninety (90) days only for the following reason:

1. New construction or rehabilitation of an existing structure that is to commence within thirty (30) days of the application and the delay may be for a period of no more than thirty (30) days;

2. Taking hay from the property if that application is made on or before April 1 of each year; or

3. If the tract of land is used to contain sufficient numbers of animals, for pleasure or profit, to require the size of the land.

ARTICLE III

Abatement

Section 215.170. Failure To Abate Nuisance. [Ord. No. 427 Art. IV §1, 2-5-2014]

Upon the failure by the person notified to abate the nuisance as required, the Chief of Police, the Mayor, or such other person as is designated by the Board of Aldermen from time to time, is empowered to enter upon the property to cause the same to be abated and the costs thereof shall be certified to the Clerk of the City of Laddonia, who shall cause a special tax bill therefor against the property prepared and to be collected by the Collector with other taxes assessed against the property. That tax bill, from the date of its issuance, shall be a first lien upon the property until paid, and shall be prima facie evidence of the recitals contained therein and of its validity, and no mere clerical error or informality in the same or in the proceedings leading up to the issuance thereof shall be a defense thereto. Each special tax bill issued by the Clerk of the City of Laddonia shall be delivered to the Collector, and such tax bills not paid when due shall bear interest at the rate of eight percent (8%) per annum as provided by law.

Section 215.180. (Reserved)

Section 215.190. Abatement — Without Notice; Special Tax Bill. [Ord. No. 427 Art. IV §3, 2-5-2014]

Whenever it becomes necessary to immediately abate a nuisance, as defined by this Chapter or by the Statutes of the State, in order to secure the general health or safety of the City or any of its inhabitants, the Chief of Police, the Mayor, or such other person as is designated by the Board of Aldermen from time to time, or his duly authorized representative, are authorized to abate such nuisance without notice, and they may use any suitable means or assistance for that purpose, whether employees of the City or day laborers especially employed for that purpose, or any other help or assistance necessary therefor. The Chief of Police or the Mayor of the City of Laddonia, as the case may be, shall certify the cost of abating such nuisance to the Board of Aldermen, and the Board may by ordinance levy the cost thereof as a special tax against the property on which such nuisance was located, which tax shall be collected as other taxes and shall be a special lien on the property until paid.

Section 215.200. Costs of Abatement. [Ord. No. 427 Art. IV §4, 2-5-2014]

A. The cost of enforcing this Chapter and abating such nuisance shall be computed and certified to the City Clerk. The owner of the property whereon such nuisance was abated shall be civilly liable to the City for the cost of such abatement, and a reasonable charge for administering the provisions of this Chapter, but not less than fifty dollars ($50.00), and a sum in the amount of such expense of abatement shall be collected from such property owner by levying the same as a special tax bill against the real property or, at the City Clerk’s option, added to the annual real estate tax bill for the property.

1. The costs of abatement shall include an hourly cost for labor in the amount of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) per man hour and the reasonable hourly costs for all items of equipment necessary to abate the nuisance. The minimum cost of abating such nuisance shall be fifty dollars ($50.00) to offset the labor and administrative expenses and twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for equipment rental.

2. The certified cost shall be collected by the Official responsible for collecting taxes in the same manner and procedure as used for collecting real estate taxes.

ARTICLE IV

Enforcement

Section 215.210. Criminal Enforcement. [Ord. No. 427 Art. V §1, 2-5-2014]

A. Notice.

1. A proceeding under this Chapter for prosecution in the Municipal Division of the Circuit Court of Audrain County may be initiated after the person charged with a violation of Article II or Article III of this Chapter has been given notice as hereafter provided and failed to abate the nuisance.

a. Notice shall be given by the Chief of Police, the Clerk of the City of Laddonia, the Mayor, the City Attorney or such other person as is designated by the Board of Aldermen from time to time, by personal service, by mail, or the same may be posted upon the property which is in violation of this Chapter; and said notice shall require that if the violation is not abated within ten (10) days, then the recipient of the notice shall be prosecuted by complaint and will appear at a hearing, in person or by representative attorney, at the time and place specified in said complaint filed with the Associate Circuit Court of Audrain County, Missouri. The notice shall further specify the street address or legal description of the property in violation, the names of the known owners, occupants, agents or lessees who are responsible for the condition of the property, the name of the individual to whom the notice is addressed, and the condition which constitutes a violation of this Chapter, in addition to a date for compliance by abatement.

b. No person notified as provided in this Section shall fail, neglect or refuse to comply with the same within the time specified in such notice. For every day thereafter that such person shall fail, neglect or refuse to comply with the same and for every day thereafter that such person shall fail, neglect or refuse to abate or remove such nuisance, he shall be deemed guilty of a separate offense and shall be proceeded against as in the first instance.

2. How served. Notices provided may be mailed to the person to whom it is directed, may be personally served upon that person, may be posted upon the premises, or by any combination thereof. A notice mailed by ordinary mail shall be presumed to have been delivered unless it is returned by the postal service. Three (3) days shall be allowed for the delivery of the notice if it is sent by ordinary mail.

B. If the person notified as provided in this Section shall fail, neglect or refuse to comply with the same within the time specified in such notice, the Codes Administrator or designated Officer shall abate such nuisance and the hours and names of all individuals charged with the task of abating such nuisance shall be recorded and verified by the City Clerk. If the estimated cost of abatement of the nuisance is in excess of the amount thus established, the designated Officer shall report the same to the Board of Aldermen.

C. Hearing.

1. The hearing provided in this Chapter shall be held before the Associate Circuit Judge of Audrain County Missouri following the filing of a complaint.

2. After the hearing upon the complaint filed with the Associate Circuit of Audrain County, Missouri, if the evidence supports a finding based upon competent and substantial evidence that a nuisance exists, that the person having an interest was notified, and that the person failed to abate the nuisance, the Board of Aldermen shall issue an order based upon its findings of fact to the Codes Administrator or its designated Officer to proceed to abate the nuisance.

D. Penalty. Any person violating any of the provisions of this Chapter shall be deemed guilty of an ordinance violation and for the purpose of this Chapter shall constitute an ordinance violation, punishable by a fine in an amount not less than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) nor exceeding five hundred dollars ($500.00). In addition, a civil judgment for the full cost of abatement shall be entered against the person.

Section 215.220. Civil Enforcement. [Ord. No. 427 Art. V §6, 2-5-2014]

A. Nothing in the preceding Sections shall be construed as abandoning or limiting the City’s right by civil action in the Municipal Court or in any court of competent jurisdiction to secure the abatement of, and to recover the expense incurred in abating, any nuisance.

B. Collection Of Attorney’s Fees for Abatement of Nuisances. For purposes of this Chapter, the provisions of Article V of this Chapter, and as provided in Section 79.383, RSMo., 2010, are specifically adopted herein where civil enforcement is used by the City to abate any nuisance.

Section 215.230. Costs To Be Lien Against Property. [Ord. No. 427 Art. VI §1-2, 2-5-2014]

A. If the Chief of Police, Mayor, or their designated official as provided in Article III whereby the nuisance is abated by the City, the costs of the abatement, any punishment fees or penalties for causing and maintaining any such nuisance as deemed appropriate by the Associate Circuit Judge, and a reasonable charge for administering the provisions of this Chapter, but not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00), shall be certified to the City Clerk who shall cause a special tax bill therefor against the property to be prepared and collected by the County Collector.

1. The tax bill from the date of its issuance shall be a lien upon the property until paid.

2. Such assessment shall bear interest at a rate of eight percent (8%) per annum until paid.

B. If the tax bill is not paid, the tax bill shall be considered delinquent, and the collection of the delinquent bill shall be governed by the laws governing delinquent and back taxes. The tax bill from the date of its issuance shall be deemed a personal debt against the owner and shall also be a lien on the property until paid.

ARTICLE V

Collection of Attorney Fees For Abatement of Nuisances

Section 215.240. Statutory Authority. [Ord. No. 283 §1, 5-9-1995]

The City of Laddonia, Missouri, hereby adopts the provisions empowered in Section 79.383, RSMo., 1986, as amended, to petition a court for attorney fees in a successful civil cause of action for abatement of nuisances caused by “the accumulation of unsightly, dangerous, or noxious” property located within the City.

Section 215.250. Timing of Assessment of Attorney Fees. [Ord. No. 283 §2, 5-9-1995]

For the purposes of this Article, the assessment of attorney fees will begin after the defendant has been given notice by the City to abate the nuisance by a date certain, and if the nuisance has not been abated by that date certain, any attorney fees incurred by the City in an effort to remedy the violation may be presented to the Court for reimbursement.