A. General Definitions Of Nuisance: Any activity that meets any one or more of the five (5) definitions set forth below shall constitute a "nuisance" if it occurs within the city:
1. Section 78-38-1(1): "Nuisance", as defined in Utah Code Annotated section 78-38-1(1). Anything which is injurious to health, indecent, offensive to the senses, or an obstruction of the free use of property, so as to interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property.
2. Section 76-10-801: "Nuisance", as defined in Utah Code Annotated section 76-10-801. Any item, thing, manner or condition whatsoever that is dangerous to human life or health or renders soil, air, water or food impure or unwholesome.
3. Section 76-10-803: "Nuisance", as defined in Utah Code Annotated section 76-10-803. Unlawfully doing any act or omitting to perform any duty, which act or omission:
a. Annoys, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health or safety of three (3) or more persons;
b. Offends public decency;
c. Unlawfully interferes with, obstructs or tends to obstruct, or renders dangerous for passage, any lake, stream, canal or basin, or any public park, square, street or highway;
d. In any way renders three (3) or more persons insecure in life or the use of property.
An act which affects three (3) or more persons in any of the ways specified in this subsection is still a nuisance regardless of the extent to which the annoyance or damage inflicted on individuals is unequal.
4. Nuisance Conditions: A condition which:
a. Wrongfully annoys, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health or safety of others; or
b. Unlawfully interferes with, obstructs or tends to obstruct, or render dangerous for passage, any public park, square, street or highway, or any other public place; or
c. In any way renders other persons insecure in life, or in the use of property, and which affects the rights of an entire community or neighborhood, although the extent of the damage may be unequal.
5. Specific Nuisances: Anything specifically listed as a nuisance in subsection B of this section.
B. Nuisances Enumerated: Every situation, conduct or activity listed below constitutes a nuisance and may be abated pursuant to this chapter. The listed examples are not exhaustive; a situation, conduct or activity not listed below, but coming within one of the general definitions of nuisance listed in subsection A of this section, shall also constitute a nuisance. The first six (6) listed nuisances are also listed as nuisances pursuant to Utah Code Annotated section 78-38-9.
1. Drug Houses: Every building or premises where the unlawful sale, manufacture, service, storage, distribution, dispensing or acquisition of any controlled substance, precursor or analog specified in Utah Code Annotated title 57, chapter 37 (Utah controlled substance act) occurs.
2. Gambling: Every building or premises where gambling is permitted to be played, conducted or dealt upon as prohibited in Utah Code Annotated title 76, chapter 10, part 11 (gambling), which creates the conditions of a "nuisance", as defined in subsection A1 of this section.
3. Gangs: Every building or premises wherein criminal activity is committed in concert with two (2) or more persons, as provided in Utah Code Annotated section 76-3-203.1.
4. Party Houses: Every building or premises where parties occur frequently which create the conditions of a "nuisance", as defined in subsection A1 of this section.
5. Prostitution: Every building or premises where prostitution or the promotion of prostitution is regularly carried on by one or more persons, as provided in Utah Code Annotated title 76, chapter 10, part 13 (prostitution).
6. Weapons: Every building or premises where a violation of Utah Code Annotated title 76, chapter 10, part 5 (weapons), occurs on the premises.
7. Unsafe Condition: A condition that unreasonably or unlawfully affects the health or safety of one or more persons.
8. Fire Hazard: A fire hazard.
9. Noxious Emanations: Emanation of noxious or unreasonable odors, fumes, gas, smoke, soot or cinders.
10. Noxious Weeds1: Noxious weeds located on vacant lots or other property, along public sidewalks or the outer edge of any public street, or weeds in any other location which constitute a fire hazard.
11. Refuse: Keeping or storing of any refuse or waste matter which interferes with the reasonable enjoyment of nearby property.
12. Stagnant Water: Polluted or stagnant water which constitutes an unhealthy or unsafe condition.
13. Improper Accumulations: Accumulation of soil, litter, debris, plant trimmings or trash, visible from the street or an adjoining property.
14. Accumulation Of Junk2: Accumulation of used or damaged lumber; junk; salvage materials; abandoned, discarded or unused furniture; stoves, sinks, toilets, cabinets or other fixtures or equipment stored so as to be visible from a public street, alley or adjoining property. However, nothing herein shall preclude the placement of stacked firewood for personal noncommercial use on the premises.
15. Attractive Nuisances3: Any attractive nuisance dangerous to children and other persons, including, but not limited to, abandoned, broken or neglected household appliances, equipment and machinery, abandoned foundations or excavations, or improperly maintained or secured pools.
16. Vegetation: Dead, decayed, diseased or hazardous trees, weeds, hedges and overgrown or uncultivated vegetation which is in a hazardous condition, is an obstruction to pedestrian or vehicular traffic, or which is likely to harbor rats, vermin or other pests.
17. Dust: Any premises which causes excessive dust due to lack of landscaping, nonmaintenance or other cause.
18. Improper Storage: The keeping, storing, depositing or accumulating on the premises or in the public right of way for an unreasonable period of time dirt, sand, gravel, concrete or other similar materials, or maintenance of such material on public rights of way. Material stored as part of an active construction project shall not be considered a nuisance.
19. Removal Of Garbage Receptacles4: The leaving of any garbage can or refuse container in the street, other than on collection day, for more than twenty four (24) hours after the collection day.
20. Construction Equipment: Construction equipment or machinery of any type or description parked or stored on property when it is readily visible from a public street, alley or adjoining property, except while excavation, construction or demolition operations covered by an active building permit are in progress on the subject property or an adjoining property, or where the property is zoned for the storage of construction equipment and/or machinery.
21. Improper Sign: Improper maintenance of a sign; or signs which advertise a business that is no longer extant on the property.
22. Improper Parking Or Storage:
a. Parking or storage of inoperative, unregistered, abandoned, wrecked or dismantled vehicles, boats, trailers or vehicle parts, including recreational vehicles, on a premises or in the public right of way5. Storage or parking that is specifically allowed by the city's zoning ordinance shall not be considered a nuisance.
b. Parking or storage of registered vehicles, trailers or boats in violation of city ordinance.
23. Hazardous Conditions: Any wall, sign, fence, gate, hedge or structure maintained in such condition of deterioration or disrepair as to constitute a hazard to persons or property.
24. Graffiti: Graffiti which remains on the exterior of any building, fence, sign or other structure and is visible from a public street.
25. Dangerous Buildings: Maintenance of buildings and/or structures in such condition as to be deemed defective or in a condition of deterioration or disrepair, including, but not limited to:
a. Any building or structure which is unfit for human habitation, or which is an unreasonable hazard to the health of people residing in the vicinity thereof, or which presents an unreasonable fire hazard in the vicinity where it is located; or
b. Any building or structure set up, erected, constructed, altered, enlarged, converted, moved or maintained contrary to the provisions of city ordinances, or any use of land, buildings or premises in violation of city ordinances; or
c. Buildings which are abandoned, partially destroyed or left in an unreasonable state of partial construction for a period of six (6) months or longer. An "unreasonable state of partial construction" is defined as any unfinished building or structure where the appearance or condition of the building or structure does not meet the requirements for finished buildings or structures as required by applicable city ordinances or building codes. The building or structure shall not be considered to be a nuisance if it is under active construction; or
d. Buildings having dry rot, warping, termite infestation, decay, excessive cracking, peeling or chalking, as to render the building unsightly and/or in a state of disrepair; or
e. Buildings with missing doors and/or windows containing broken glass and/or no glass at all where the window is of a type which normally contains glass; or
f. Building exteriors, walls, fences, gates, driveways, sidewalks, walkways, signs or ornamentation, or alleys maintained in such condition as to render them unsightly and/or in a state of disrepair; or
g. Buildings or conditions that violate any building, electrical, plumbing, fire, housing or other code adopted by the city.
26. City Code Nuisances: Any violation of a city code section that expressly declares a specific situation, conduct or activity to be a nuisance.
27. Alcohol: Every property or premises not licensed under applicable state law or city ordinance where any intoxicating liquors or alcohol are kept for unlawful use, sale or distribution.
28. Disorderly House Or Premises: Every property or premises where there exists an environment which causes, encourages or allows individuals or groups of individuals to commit one or more of the following acts on the property, premises or adjacent public place, including, but not limited to:
a. Illegally consuming intoxicating liquor or alcohol;
b. Publicly urinating or defecating;
c. By physical action, intentionally causing or attempting to cause another person to reasonably fear imminent bodily injury or the commission of a criminal act upon their person or upon property in their immediate possession;
d. Engaging in acts of violence, including fighting amongst themselves;
e. Discharging a firearm or explosive in violation of city ordinance or state law6;
f. Creating unreasonable noise which disturbs others;
g. Intentionally obstructing pedestrian or vehicular traffic; or
h. Soliciting acts of prostitution.
29. Dangerous Conditions: Any fence, wall, shed, deck, house, garage, building, structure or any part of the aforesaid; or any tree pole or smokestack; or any excavation, hole, pit, basement, cellar, sidewalk, subspace, dock or loading dock; or any lot, land, yard, premises or location which in its entirety, or in any part thereof, by reason of the condition in which the same is found or permitted to be or remain, shall or may endanger the health, safety, life, limb or property, or cause any hurt, harm, inconvenience, discomfort, damage or injury to any one or more individuals in the city, in any one or more of the following particulars:
a. By reason of being a menace, threat and/or hazard to the general health and safety of the community;
b. By reason of being a fire hazard;
c. By reason of being unsafe for occupancy, or use on, in, upon, about or around the aforesaid property;
d. By reason of lack of sufficient or adequate maintenance of the property, and/or being vacant, any of which depreciates the enjoyment and use of the property in the immediate vicinity to such an extent that it is harmful to the community in which such property is situated or such condition exists.
30. Illegal Accessory Apartments: Any violation of the city's accessory apartment ordinance.
31. Single-Family Residence: Keeping or allowing people at a premises in violation of the city's single-family residence requirements.
32. Parking On Landscaping: Parking in an area required to be landscaped by city ordinance.
33. Banner Signs: Keeping or allowing banner signs in violation of city ordinance.
34. Required Landscaping: Failure to install or maintain landscaping required by city ordinance. (Ord. 2002-7, 4-16-2002)
A. Contact: Before taking other steps to abate the nuisance, the code enforcement officer shall make a reasonable attempt to secure voluntary correction or abatement of the nuisance by:
1. Contacting the responsible person, where possible;
2. Explaining the nuisance;
3. Requesting the responsible person to abate the nuisance; and
4. Agreeing to terms with the responsible person to abate the nuisance.
B. No Agreement: If the code enforcement officer and the responsible person cannot agree to terms for correcting or abating the nuisance, the officer may still abate the nuisance using one or more of the procedures set forth in this chapter, state law or common law.
C. Voluntary Correction Agreement; Extension:
1. If a code enforcement officer and the responsible person agree to terms for abating the nuisance, they shall enter into and sign a voluntary correction agreement. The voluntary correction agreement is a contract between the city and the responsible person in which the responsible person agrees to abate the nuisance within a specified time and according to specified conditions. The voluntary correction agreement shall include the following terms:
a. The name and address of the responsible person;
b. The street address of the nuisance, or a description sufficient to identify the building, structure, premises or land upon or within which the nuisance is occurring;
c. A description of the nuisance;
d. The necessary corrective action to be taken, and a date or time by which correction must be completed;
e. An agreement by the responsible person that the city may inspect the premises as may be necessary to determine compliance with the voluntary correction agreement;
f. An agreement by the responsible person that the city may abate the nuisance and recover its costs and expenses to abate the nuisance, as well as a monetary fine pursuant to this chapter from the responsible person, if the terms of the voluntary correction agreement are not met;
g. An agreement by the responsible person acknowledges that he/she waives the right to appeal the code enforcement officer's finding that a nuisance exists and waives the right to appeal the specific corrective action required in the voluntary correction agreement; and
h. An agreement by the responsible person that failure to comply with the voluntary correction agreement may be grounds for criminal prosecution.
2. A code enforcement officer may grant an extension of the time limit for correcting or abating the nuisance if the responsible person has shown due diligence and/or substantial progress in correcting or abating the nuisance but unforeseen circumstances render abatement under the original conditions unattainable. If the responsible person complies with the terms of the voluntary correction agreement, the city shall take no further action against the responsible person related to the nuisance described in the voluntary correction agreement unless the nuisance recurs. (Ord. 2002-7, 4-16-2002)
A. Authority; Conditions: When the code enforcement officer determines that a nuisance exists, and is unable to secure voluntary correction pursuant to section 4-3-8 of this chapter, the officer may issue an administrative citation to the responsible person. The officer may issue an administrative citation without having attempted to secure voluntary correction as provided in section 4-3-8 of this chapter under the following circumstances:
1. When an emergency exists; or
2. When the code enforcement officer is unable to locate or determine the identity of the responsible person.
B. Content Of Administrative Citation: The administrative citation shall include the following:
1. The name and address of the responsible person; and
2. The street address of the nuisance or a description sufficient for identifying the building, structure, premises or land upon or within which the nuisance is occurring; and
3. A description of the nuisance; and
4. The required corrective action; and
5. The completion date and a notice that the city may abate the nuisance and charge the responsible person for all abatement costs if the responsible person does not correct the nuisance before the completion date; and
6. The time for appealing the administrative citation to the hearing officer and the procedure for filing an appeal; and
7. A statement indicating that no monetary fine will be assessed if a code enforcement officer approves the completed, required corrective action prior to the completion date; and
8. A statement that the city may abate the nuisance and assess costs and expenses of the abatement and a monetary fine against the responsible person if the correction is not completed by the responsible person and approved by the code enforcement officer before the completion date.
C. Service Of Administrative Citation: A code enforcement officer shall serve the administrative citation upon the responsible person, either personally or by mailing certified, return receipt requested, a copy of the administrative citation to the responsible person at his/her last known address. If the responsible person cannot, after due diligence, be personally served within Utah County and if an address for mailed service cannot, after due diligence, be ascertained, notice shall be served by posting a copy of the administrative citation conspicuously on the affected property or structure. Proof of service shall be made by a written declaration under penalty of perjury executed by the person effecting the service, declaring the time and date of service, the manner by which the service was made and, if by posting, the facts showing that due diligence was used in attempting to serve the person personally or by mail.
D. No Extension: No extension of the time specified in the administrative citation for correction of the nuisance may be granted, except by order of the hearing officer. (Ord. 2002-7, 4-16-2002)
A. Abatement By City:
1. The city may abate a nuisance when:
a. The terms of a voluntary correction agreement have not been met; or
b. The requirements of an administrative citation have not been complied with or, if the administrative citation is appealed to a hearing officer and the terms of the administrative citation are amended by the hearing officer, the terms of the hearing officer's order have not been complied with; or
c. The condition is subject to summary abatement as provided for in subsection A2 of this section.
2. Whenever a nuisance is occurring which constitutes an immediate and emergent threat to the public health, safety or welfare or to the environment, the city may summarily and without prior notice abate the condition. Notice of such abatement, including the reason for it, shall be given to the responsible person as soon as reasonably possible after the abatement.
3. Using any lawful means, the city may enter upon the subject property and may remove or correct the condition which is subject to abatement. The city may seek, but is not required to seek, such judicial process as it deems necessary to effect the removal or correction of such condition.
4. The costs, including incidental expenses, of correcting or abating the violation shall be billed to the responsible person and/or the owner, lessor, tenant or other person entitled to control, use and/or occupy the property and shall become due and payable to the city within ten (10) days of actual receipt of the bill (within 15 days of the mailing date if the bill is mailed). The term "incidental expenses" includes, but is not limited to:
a. Personnel costs, both direct and indirect, including attorney fees and costs;
b. Costs incurred in documenting the violation;
c. Hauling, storage and disposal expenses;
d. Actual expenses and costs for the city in preparing notices, specifications and contracts, and in accomplishing and/or contracting and inspecting the work; and
e. The costs of any required printing and mailing.
B. Monetary Fine:
1. The responsible person shall pay the city a monetary fine for each day the nuisance continues after the completion date. The nuisance shall be considered to continue until the code enforcement officer approves the responsible person's actions to correct or abate the nuisance. The amount of the monetary fine shall be as follows:
a. One hundred dollars ($100.00) per day for each day during the first week that the nuisance remains uncorrected or unabated after the completion date;
b. Two hundred dollars ($200.00) per day for each day thereafter until the nuisance is corrected or abated according to the terms set forth in the administrative citation.
2. The monetary fine shall be cumulative and may not be waived by the code enforcement officer. Payment of a monetary fine pursuant to this section does not relieve the responsible person from the duty to abate the nuisance as required by the voluntary consent agreement or the administrative citation. The monetary fine constitutes a personal obligation of the responsible person. Any monetary fine assessed must be paid to the city within ten (10) calendar days from the date of mailing of the hearing officer's decision and order or a notice from the city that the fine is due. The city attorney or his/her designee is authorized to take appropriate action to collect the monetary fine, plus reasonable attorney fees and costs incurred in collecting said monetary fine.
C. Civil Actions: Either the city or any private person directly affected by a nuisance may bring a civil action to abate or enjoin the nuisance, or for damages for causing or maintaining the nuisance (including the cost, if any, of cleaning the subject property). The civil action may be brought pursuant to this chapter or pursuant to state law.
D. Criminal Actions: Criminal actions may be initiated by criminal citation from a code enforcement officer or by long form information. (Ord. 2002-7, 4-16-2002)
1. Any person who maintains or assists in maintaining a nuisance is guilty of a class C misdemeanor and upon conviction, subject to penalty as provided in section 1-4-1 of this code. No person shall be prosecuted under this subsection D1 unless the code enforcement officer first attempted to obtain voluntary correction as provided in section 4-3-8 of this chapter.
2. If the alleged nuisance is also a violation of a provision of city code (other than this nuisance chapter), or state law, the responsible person may be charged under the specific provision of city code or state law, even if the officer did not first attempt to obtain voluntary correction as provided in section of 4-3-8 of this chapter.
3. Any person who knowingly obstructs, impedes or interferes with the city or its agents, or with the responsible person, in the performance of duties imposed by this chapter, or a decision and order issued by the hearing officer, or a voluntary correction agreement, is guilty of a class B misdemeanor and upon conviction, subject to penalty as provided in section 1-4-1 of this code. (Ord. 2002-7, 4-16-2002; amd. 2003 Code)
E. Abatement By Eviction: Whenever there is reason to believe that a nuisance under subsections 4-3-3B1 through B6 of this chapter is kept, maintained or exists in the city, the city attorney or any citizen residing in the city, or any person or entity doing business in the city, in his or their own names, may maintain an action in a court of competent jurisdiction to abate the nuisance and obtain an order for the automatic eviction of the tenant of the property harboring the nuisance. The eviction shall take place as specified in state law.
F. Lien For Costs: If a person fails to pay any fines or costs related to nuisance abatement when due, the city may record a lien on the property or premises for the full amount of the unpaid fines and costs.
G. Nonexclusive Remedies: The city may take any or all of the above mentioned remedies (administrative, civil or criminal) to abate a nuisance and/or to punish any person or entity who creates, causes or allows a nuisance to exist. The abatement of a nuisance does not prejudice the right of the city or any person to recover damages or penalties for its past existence. (Ord. 2002-7, 4-16-2002)
A. Grounds: Any person receiving an administrative citation may appeal the administrative citation to the hearing officer. Only the following issues may be appealed to the hearing officer:
1. The person charged in the administrative citation as the responsible person is not the "responsible person", as defined by this chapter.
2. The condition described as a nuisance in the administrative citation is not a "nuisance", as defined by this chapter.
3. The method required by the administrative citation to abate the nuisance is inappropriate or is not the most cost effective method of effectively correcting or abating the nuisance.
4. The time period given to abate the nuisance in the administrative citation is unreasonable.
5. The monetary fine set forth in the administrative citation is unreasonable.
6. The code enforcement officer refused to approve a corrective action that met the requirements of the administrative citation.
7. The responsible person claims that the requirements of the administrative citation violates his/her constitutional rights.
B. Filing: The person desiring to appeal must file a notice at the city's public safety building within ten (10) days of receipt of the administrative citation (within 15 days of the mailing date if the administrative citation is mailed).
C. Hearing: The hearing before the hearing officer shall be informal according to rules and procedures established by the hearing officer. The appellant may, but is not required to, bring an attorney or other representative to assist him or her. The appellant and the code enforcement officer may each call witnesses at the hearing. The hearing officer may, with or without the parties present, visit the site of the alleged nuisance. If the hearing officer allows the parties at the site visit, both parties must be given the opportunity to be present. The hearing shall be scheduled by the hearing officer within thirty (30) days of when the notice of appeal is filed with the city.
D. Burden Of Proof: The appellant shall have the burden of proof to demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that he/she had legitimate grounds for an appeal. The determination of the code enforcement officer as to the need for the required corrective action shall be accorded substantial weight by the hearing officer in determining the reasonableness of the corrective action.
E. Authority Of Hearing Officer:
1. The hearing officer shall have authority to affirm or vacate the administrative citation, or to modify or waive specific provisions of the administrative citation. If the appellant fails to attend the hearing, the hearing officer shall affirm the administrative citation. The hearing officer shall not vacate the administrative citation unless he/she finds that no nuisance exists. The hearing officer shall modify the administrative citation if he/she finds that a nuisance exists, but that one or more of the requirements of the administrative citation is improper or inappropriate. A requirement is improper if it is contrary to this chapter. A requirement is inappropriate if the hearing officer finds that there is a better means of resolving the problem or that the proposed solution is inappropriate given the nature or severity of the problem. When determining whether to waive or modify a requirement of the administrative citation, the hearing officer may also consider:
a. Whether the appellant responded to the code enforcement officer's attempts to contact the appellant and cooperated with efforts to correct the nuisance;
b. Whether the appellant has shown due diligence and/or substantial progress in correcting the nuisance;
c. The financial ability of the appellant and the amount, if any, that the appellant has benefitted financially by maintaining the nuisance.
d. Any other relevant factors.
2. If the appellant appeals the code enforcement officer's refusal to approve appellant's corrective action, the hearing officer shall visit the site and determine if the appellant complied with the requirements of the administrative citation.
F. Order: The hearing officer shall issue a written order to the appellant and the city notifying them of his/her decision. The order shall include the hearing officer's findings of fact and ultimate decision. If the hearing officer modifies or waives provisions of the administrative citation, the order shall specify which portions are modified and how they are modified. The hearing officer shall mail a copy of the order to the appellant and the city within five (5) working days of the close of the hearing.
G. Appeal To District Court: Either the city or the appellant may appeal the hearing officer's order by filing a petition for review of the order. The petition must be filed in the fourth district court within thirty (30) calendar days from the date the hearing officer's order was mailed to the appellant. In the petition, the plaintiff may only allege that the hearing officer's order was arbitrary, capricious or illegal. The hearing officer shall transmit to the reviewing court the record of its proceedings, including any minutes, findings, orders and if available, a true and correct transcript of its proceedings. If, in the opinion of the district court, there is a sufficient record to review the hearing officer's order, the court's review is limited to the record provided by the hearing officer. The district court may not accept or consider any evidence outside of the hearing officer's record unless the evidence was offered to the hearing officer and the court determines that it was improperly excluded by the hearing officer. If, in the opinion of the district court, there is not a sufficient record to review the hearing officer's order, the court may call witnesses and take evidence. No petition or appeal may be filed in district court unless the responsible person first appeals to the hearing officer pursuant to the terms set forth in this chapter. (Ord. 2002-7, 4-16-2002)