SB 42

Sponsor
Session
Regular Session 2018
Title
Class 8 municipalities, weeds, abatement, alternative procedures to declare a public nuisance after prior abatement
Description

This bill would provide an alternative procedure for any Class 8 municipality to abate grass or weeds which become a nuisance and would provide for the assessment and collection of the costs of the abatement when the work is required to be performed by the municipality

Relating to Class 8 municipalities; to provide for the abatement of grass or weeds which become a nuisance under certain conditions; to provide for notice to the property owners; to provide for the assessment of the costs for abatement when the work is required to be performed by the municipalities; to provide for the collection by the municipality of the costs through the addition of the costs to ad valorem taxes and for enforcement by the county tax collecting official; and to provide for liens on the property under certain conditions.

Subjects
Municipalities
View Original PDF: SB 42 - Introduced - PDF

This bill would provide an alternative procedure for any Class 8 municipality to abate grass or weeds which become a nuisance and would provide for the assessment and collection of the costs of the abatement when the work is required to be performed by the municipality

Relating to Class 8 municipalities; to provide for the abatement of grass or weeds which become a nuisance under certain conditions; to provide for notice to the property owners; to provide for the assessment of the costs for abatement when the work is required to be performed by the municipalities; to provide for the collection by the municipality of the costs through the addition of the costs to ad valorem taxes and for enforcement by the county tax collecting official; and to provide for liens on the property under certain conditions.

Section 1

This act shall apply only to any Class municipality.

Section 2

An abundance of overgrown grass or weeds within the municipality which is injurious to the general public health, safety, and general welfare by providing breeding grounds and shelter for rats, mice, snakes, mosquitoes, and other vermin, insects, and pests; or attaining heights and dryness so as to constitute a serious fire threat or hazard; or bearing wingy or downy seeds, when mature, that cause the spread of weeds and, when breathed, irritation to the throat, lungs, and eyes of the public; or hiding debris, such as broken glass or metal, which could inflict injury on a person going upon the property; or being unsightly; or a growth of grass or weeds, including plants of no value, undesirable, and usually of rank growth; or grass, shrubs, and undergrowth, other than ornamental plant growth, which exceeds nches in height, are declared to be a public nuisance and abated as provided in this act.

Section 3

For the purposes of this act, the following words have the following meanings: (1) ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIAL. A person designated by the municipal council to hear appeals for the purposes of this act, but the person shall not be the same person as the enforcing official. (2) ENFORCING OFFICIAL. The municipal manager or mayor or any other municipal official or employee the mayor or municipal manager from time to time may designate. (3) TAX COLLECTING OFFICIAL. The county tax collector, county revenue commissioner, or other county ad valorem tax collecting official.

Section 4

(a) Whenever, in the opinion of the enforcing official, a public nuisance exists as described in Section 2, the enforcing official may serve written notice upon the owner of the property on which the nuisance is located ordering the abatement of the nuisance. (b) The enforcing official may serve the owner with the written notice by delivering it to the owner; or by mailing it to the owner, via first class mail, at the owner's last known address. Delivery under this subsection means handing it to the owner, or in a case where the owner is an impersonal entity, to an agent or officer of the entity; or by leaving it at the owner's residence or place of business with a person of suitable age and discretion residing or employed therein. Service by mail is complete upon mailing. (c) The enforcing officer may rely upon any information appearing on record in the office of the county tax collecting official to establish the identity of an owner of property and to establish the owner's last known address, which, if utilized, shall be deemed conclusive and sufficient proof of the same. (d) The written notice shall also be posted at a conspicuous place on the property on which the nuisance is located, on or prior to the date of service of the written notice as described in subsection (c). (e) The enforcing official is authorized, but not required, to utilize any additional means of providing notice that the enforcing official deems appropriate. Specifically, the enforcing official is authorized, but not required, to provide this additional, optional notice by placement of notice in a public place or places located within the city, or by publishing notice in a newspaper of general circulation published in the city as often and for as long as deemed appropriate. The additional, optional notice provided for in this section may be provided in whatever form the enforcing official deems appropriate. (f) The written notice to the owner shall require the owner to abate the condition within the time stated in the notice or to request a hearing before the administrative official to determine whether the conditions on the property constitute a public nuisance that should be abated. The notice shall apprise the owner of the facts of the alleged nuisance, including a description or address of the property, or both, that provides reasonable notice of its location, the address of the enforcing official, and shall name the particular date, time, and place for the hearing before the administrative official if requested by the owner, which date shall be at least 10 days after the date of the written notice. (g) If the owner desires a hearing before the administrative official, then the owner may request a hearing by delivering a written notice to the enforcing official within five days after the date of service of the notice. If so requested, then the enforcing official's order to abate the nuisance shall be suspended, and the administrative official shall hold a hearing at the time and place specified in the notice previously issued by the enforcing official or at such other time and place that may be mutually agreed upon by the administrative official and the owner. The administrative official may continue the hearing from time to time, upon good cause shown. At the hearing, any interested party shall have the right to present evidence and testimony. The hearing shall be open to the public, and a record of the proceedings shall be kept as a part of the public records of the municipality. The administrative official shall render a written decision on the merits of the proposed abatement within five days of the conclusion of the hearing. The enforcing official shall notify the owner by personal service or by first class mail of the written determination of the administrative official. If the administrative official determines that a nuisance exists and should be abated, the written determination of the administrative official shall inform the owner that the owner must complete the abatement ordered by the enforcing official within 10 days of the date of the administrative official's decision, or upon such additional time, but in no case more than 28 days from the administrative official's determination. If the administrative official determines that a nuisance does not exist, then the enforcing official's notice to abate the nuisance will be null and void, but such determination shall not bar any subsequent notice concerning the same property. (h) Any person aggrieved by the decision of the administrative official at the hearing, within 10 days from the issuance of the determination by the administrative official, may appeal to the circuit court upon filing with the clerk of the circuit court notice of the appeal and bond for security of costs in the form and amount to be approved by the circuit clerk. (i) Upon filing of the notice of appeal and approval of the bond, the clerk of the court shall serve a copy of the notice of appeal on the clerk of the municipality and the appeal shall be docketed in the court and shall be a preferred case. The clerk of the municipality, upon receiving the notice, shall file with the clerk of the court a copy of the finding and determination of the administrative official in its proceedings. Any trials shall be held without a jury upon the determination of the administrative official that the weeds are a public nuisance.

Section 5

(a) If the owner fails, neglects, or refuses to abate the nuisance, or the nuisance is not otherwise abated, (1) within the time permitted to do so as stated in the enforcing official's notice, where such notice was not suspended by the request for a hearing before the administrative official; or (2) within the time permitted to do so as stated in the administrative official's written determination, then the municipality may enter upon the property and abate the nuisance using its own forces, or it may provide by contract for the abatement. However, if an appeal has been taken to the circuit court as provided in subsection (i) of Section 3, then the municipality may not abate the nuisance until the determination or judgment authorizing abatement becomes final as provided by law. (b) Upon completion of the abatement work performed by the municipality, including work by contractors employed by the municipality, the enforcing official shall compute the expenses of the municipality for the abatement of the nuisance, including, but not limited to, cost of labor, value of the use of the equipment, advertising expenses, postage, administrative expense, legal expense, and materials purchased which were incurred by the municipality as a result of the work. An itemized statement of the expenses shall be given by first class mail to the last known address of the owner of the property. This notice shall be sent at least five days in advance of the time fixed by the municipal council to consider the assessment of the cost against property. (c) At the time fixed for receiving and considering the statement, the municipal council shall hear the same, together with any objections which may be raised by the owner whose property is liable to be assessed for the expenses of the municipality for the abatement of the nuisance, and thereupon make modifications in the statement as deemed necessary, after which a resolution may assess the cost. The cost stated in the resolution shall constitute a lien on the property and shall be referred to as a weed lien on the property. (d) A copy of the resolution shall be given to the county tax collecting official. It shall be the duty of the county tax collecting official to add the costs of the weed lien to the next regular bill for taxes levied against the property subject to the weed lien, and thereafter, the costs shall be collected and remitted to the municipality at the same time and in the same manner as ordinary municipal ad valorem taxes are collected, and shall be subject to the same penalties and the same procedure under foreclosure and sale in case of delinquency; provided, however, that if the foreclosure and sale is the result of a delinquency caused by a weed lien, the municipality shall reimburse the county tax collecting official for all costs associated with the foreclosure and sale unless the costs are collected at the time of sale as part of the sale. (e) The municipal clerk may also cause a certified copy of the resolution showing the weed lien to be filed for recording in the office of the judge of probate.

Section 6

When a weed lien is made against a lot or lots or parcel or parcels of land, a subsequent redemption thereof by a person authorized to redeem, or sale thereof by the state, shall not operate to discharge, or in any manner affect the weed lien of the municipality, but a redemptioner or purchaser at a sale by the state of any lot or lots, parcel or parcels of land upon which a weed lien has been made, whether prior to or subsequent to a sale to the state for the nonpayment of taxes, shall take the same subject to the weed lien.

Section 7

Upon payment of the weed lien, the city clerk shall notify the county tax collecting official and may file a notice of satisfaction of weed lien in the records of the probate court.

Section 8

This act is cumulative in its nature and in addition to any and all power and authority which a municipality may have under any other law.

Section 9

This act shall become effective immediately following its passage and approval by the Governor, or its otherwise becoming law.

No articles found.
Action Date Chamber Action
February 15, 2018HPending third reading on day 13 Favorable from County and Municipal Government
February 15, 2018HRead for the second time and placed on the calendar
January 30, 2018HRead for the first time and referred to the House of Representatives committee on County and Municipal Government
January 30, 2018SEngrossed
January 25, 2018SMotion to Read a Third Time and Pass adopted Roll Call 154
January 25, 2018SAllen motion to Adopt adopted Roll Call 153
January 25, 2018SCounty and Municipal Government Amendment Offered
January 25, 2018SThird Reading Passed
January 18, 2018SRead for the second time and placed on the calendar 1 amendment
January 9, 2018SRead for the first time and referred to the Senate committee on County and Municipal Government
2018-01-25
Chamber: Senate
Result: Passed
2018-01-25
Chamber: Senate
Result: Passed