13-101. Health officer. The "health officer" shall be such municipal, county, or state officer as the city council shall appoint or designate to administer and enforce health and sanitation regulations within the city. (1972 Code, § 8-701)
13-102. Smoke, soot, cinders, etc. It shall be unlawful for any person to permit or cause the escape of such quantities of dense smoke, soot, cinders, noxious acids, fumes, dust, or gases as to be detrimental to or to endanger the health, comfort, and safety of the public or so as to cause or have a tendency to cause injury or damage to property or business. (1972 Code, § 8-705)
13-103. Stagnant water. It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly allow any pool of stagnant water to accumulate and stand on his propert without treating it so as to effectively prevent the breeding of mosquitoes. (1972Code, § 7-106)
13-104. Weeds. Every owner or tenant of property shall periodically cut the grass and other vegetation commonly recognized as weeds on his property, and it shall be unlawful for any person to fail to comply with an order by the city recorder or chief of police to cut such vegetation when it has reached a height of over one (1) foot. (1972 Code, § 8-707)
13-105. Dead animals. Any person owning or having possession of any dead animal not intended for use as food shall promptly bury the same or notify the health officer and dispose of such animal in such manner as the health officer shall direct. (1972 Code, § 8-708)
13-106. Health and sanitation nuisances. It shall be unlawful for any person to permit any premises owned, occupied, or controlled by him to become or remain in a filthy condition, or permit the use or occupation of same in such a manner as to create noxious or offensive smells and odors in connection therewith, or to allow the accumulation or creation of unwholesome and offensive matter or the breeding of flies, rodents, or other vermin on the premises to the menace of the public health or the annoyance of people residing within the vicinity. (1972 Code, § 7-109)
13-107. House trailers. It shall be unlawful for any person to park, locate, or occupy any house trailer or portable building unless it complies with all plumbing, electrical, sanitary, and building provisions applicable to stationary structures and the proposed location conforms to the zoning provisions of the city and unless a permit therefor shall have been first duly issued by the building official, as provided for in the building code. (1972 Code,§ 7-104)
1State law reference
The provisions of this section were taken substantially from the Bristolordinance upheld by the Tennessee Court of Appeals as being a reasonable and valid exercise of the police power in the case of Hagaman v. Slaughter, 49 Tenn. App. 338, 354 S.W.2d 818 (1961).
13-201. Junkyards.1 All junkyards within the corporate limits shall be operated and maintained subject to the following regulations:
(1) All junk stored or kept in such yards shall be so kept that it will not catch and hold water in which mosquitoes may breed and so that it will not constitute a place or places in which rats, mice, or other vermin may be harbored, reared, or propagated.
(2) All such junkyards shall be enclosed within close fitting plank or metal solid fences touching the ground on the bottom and being not less than six (6) feet in height, such fence to be built so that it will be impossible for stray cats and/or stray dogs to have access to such junkyards.
(3) Such yards shall be so maintained as to be in a sanitary condition and so as not to be a menace to the public health or safety. (1972 Code, § 8-711)
ABANDONED, WRECKED, DISMANTLED OR INOPERATIVE VEHICLES
13-302. Storing, parking or leaving dismantled or other such motor vehicle prohibited and declared nuisance; exceptions.
13-303. Notice to remove.
13-304. Responsibility for removal.
13-305. Notice procedure.
13-306. Content of notice.
13-307. Request for hearing.
13-308. Procedure for hearing.
13-301. Definitions. For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words, and their derivations shall have the meaning given herein. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future, words in the plural number include the singular number and words in the singular number include the plural number. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
(1) "Town" is the Town of Decherd.
(2) "Mayor" is the Mayor of the Town of Decherd.
(3) "City recorder" or "city administrator" of the town who performs all
the administrative duties for the town council.
(4) "Motor vehicle" is any vehicle which is self-propelled and designed to travel along the ground and shall include, but not be limited to, automobiles, buses, motorbikes, motorcycles, motorscooters, trucks, tractors, riding lawn mowers, go-carts, golf carts, campers and trailers.
(5) "Junked motor vehicle" is any motor vehicle, as defined by
§ 13-301(4), which does not have lawfully affixed thereto an unexpired licenseplate or the condition of which is wrecked, dismantled, partially dismantled, inoperative, abandoned or discarded.
(6) "Person" shall mean any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
(7) "Private property" shall mean any real property within the town which is privately owned and which is not public property as defined in the section.
(8) "Public property" shall mean any street or highway which shall include the entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained for the purposes of vehicular travel, and shall also mean any other publicly owned property or facility. (Ord. #162, Nov. 1991)
13-302. Storing, parking or leaving dismantled or other such motor vehicle prohibited and declared nuisance; exceptions. No person shall park, store, leave, or permit the parking storing, or leaving of any motor vehicle of any kind which is in an abandoned, wrecked, dismantled, inoperative, rusted, junked or partially dismantled condition, whether attended or not, upon any public or private property within the town for a period of time in excess of seventy-two (72) hours. The presence of an abandoned, wrecked, dismantled, inoperative, rusted, junked or partially dismantled vehicle or parts thereof, on private or public property is hereby declared a public nuisance which may be abated as such in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. #162, Nov. 1991)
13-303. Notice to remove. Whenever it comes to the attention of the mayor, board, city recorder or city administrator that any nuisance as defined in § 13-302 of this code of ordinances exists in the Town of Decherd, Tennessee, a notice in writing shall be served upon the occupant of the land where the nuisance exists, or in case there is no such occupant, then upon the owner of the property or his agent, notifying them of the existence of the nuisance and requesting its removal in the time specified in this chapter. (Ord. #162, Nov.1991)
13-304. Responsibility for removal. Upon proper notice and opportunity to be heard, the owner of the abandoned, wrecked, dismantled, or inoperative vehicle and the owner or occupant of the private property on which the same is located, either or all of them, shall be responsible for its removal. (Ord. #162,Nov. 1991)
13-305. Notice procedure. The mayor, city recorder or city administrator shall give notice of removal to the owner or occupant of the private property where it is located, at least thirty (30) days before the time of compliance. It shall constitute sufficient notice, for the purpose of this section, written notification upon placing a letter, postage prepaid, in the United States mail.(Ord. #162, Nov. 1991)
13-306. Content of notice. The notice shall contain the request for removal within the time specified in this chapter, and the notice shall advise that upon failure to comply with the notice to remove, the town or its designee shall undertake action against the owner or occupant of the property. (Ord.#162, Nov. 1991)
13-307. Request for hearing. The persons to whom the notices are directed, or their duly authorized agents, may file a written request for a hearing before the municipal/city judge of the Town of Decherd, or its designee within the thirty (30) day period of compliance prescribed in § 13-305, for the purpose of defending the charges by the town. (Ord. #162, Nov. 1991)
13-308. Procedure for hearing. The hearing shall be held as soon as practicable after the filing of the request and the persons to whom the notices are directed shall be advised of the time and place of said hearing at least fifteen (15) days in advance thereof. At any such hearing, the town and the persons to whom the notices have been directed may introduce such witnesses and evidence as either party deems necessary. (Ord. #162, Nov. 1991)
13-309. Penalty. Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction, shall be subject to punishment in accordance with the general penalty provisions of this code not to exceed fifty dollars ($50.00) per offense. Each day the property of an owner or occupant remains in violation of these sections constitutes a separate and distinct offense, and the provisions of this § 13-309 can be invoked daily in event of a continuing violation without necessity of a second written notification or appearance before the mayor, city recorder or city administrator or its designee.(Ord. #162, Nov. 1991)
1State law reference
Tennessee Code Annotated, title 13, chapter 21.
13-401. Findings of board.
13-403. "Public officer" designated; powers.
13-404. Initiation of proceedings; hearings.
13-405. Orders to owners of unfit structures.
13-406. When public officer may repair, etc.
13-407. When public officer may remove or demolish.
13-408. Lien for expenses; sale of salvaged materials; other powers not limited.
13-409. Basis for a finding of unfitness.
13-410. Service of complaints or orders.
13-411. Enjoining enforcement of orders.
13-412. Additional powers of public officer.
13-413. Powers conferred are supplemental.
13-414. Structures unfit for human habitation deemed unlawful.
13-401. Findings of board. Pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated,
§ 13-21-101, et seq., the city council finds that there exists in the city structures which are unfit for human occupation due to dilapidation, defects increasing the hazards of fire, accident or other calamities, lack of ventilation, light or sanitary facilities, or due to other conditions rendering such dwellings unsafe or unsanitary, or dangerous or detrimental to the health, safety and morals, or otherwise inimical to the welfare of the residents of the city.
13-402. Definitions. (1) "Municipality" shall mean the City of Decherd, Tennessee, and the areas encompassed within existing city limits or as hereafterannexed.
(2) "Governing body" shall mean the city council charged with governing the city.
(3) "Public officer" shall mean the officer or officers who are authorizedby this chapter to exercise the powers prescribed herein and pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated, § 13-21-101, et seq.
(4) "Public authority" shall mean any housing authority or any officer who is in charge of any department or branch of the government of the city or state relating to health, fire, building regulations, or other activities concerning structures in the city.
(5) "Owner" shall mean the holder of title in fee simple and every mortgagee of record.
(6) "Parties in interest" shall mean all individuals, associations, corporations and others who have interests of record in a dwelling and any who are in possession thereof.
(7) "Structures" shall mean any building or structure, or part thereof, used for human occupation and intended to be so used, and includes any outhouses and appurtenances belonging thereto or usually enjoyed therewith.
13-403. "Public officer" designated; powers. There is hereby designated and appointed a "public officer," to be the building inspector of the city, to exercise the powers prescribed by this chapter, which powers shall be supplemental to all others held by the building inspector.
13-404. Initiation of proceedings; hearings. Whenever a petition is filed with the public officer by a public authority or by at least five (5) residents of the city charging that any structure is unfit for human occupancy or use, or whenever it appears to the public officer (on his own motion) that any structure is unfit for human occupation or use, the public officer shall, if his preliminary investigation discloses a basis for such charges, issue and cause to be served upon the owner of, and parties in interest of, such structure a complaint stating the charges in that respect and containing a notice that a hearing will be held before the public officer (or his designated agent) at a place therein fixed, not less than ten (10) days nor more than thirty (30) days after the service of the complaint; and the owner and parties in interest shall have the right to file an answer to the complaint and to appear in person, or otherwise, and give testimony at the time and place fixed in the complaint; and the rules of evidence prevailing in courts of law or equity shall not be controlling in hearings before the public officer.
13-405. Orders to owners of unfit structures. If, after such notice and hearing as provided for in the preceding section, the public officer determines that the structure under consideration is unfit for human occupancy or use, he shall state in writing his finding of fact in support of such determination and shall issue and cause to be served upon the owner thereof an order: (a) if the repair, alteration or improvement of the structure can be made at a reasonable cost in relation to the value of the structure (not exceeding fifty percent [50%] of the reasonable value), requiring the owner, during the time specified in the order, to repair, alter, or improve such structure to render it fit for human occupancy or use or to vacate and close the structure for human occupancy or use; or (b) if the repair, alteration or improvement of said structure cannot be made at a reasonable cost in relation to the value of the structure (not to exced fifty percent [50%] of the value of the premises), requiring the owner within the time specified in the order, to remove or demolish such structure.
13-406. When public officer may repair, etc. If the owner fails to comply with the order to repair, alter, or improve or to vacate and close the structure as specified in the preceding section hereof, the public officer may cause such structure to be repaired, altered, or improved, or to be vacated and closed; and the public officer may cause to be posted on the main entrance of any dwelling so closed, a placard with the following words: "This building is unfit for human occupancy or use; the use or occupation of this building for human occupancy or use is prohibited and unlawful."
13-407. When public officer may remove or demolish. If the owner fails to comply with an order, as specified above, to remove or demolish the structure, the public officer may cause such structure to be removed and demolished.
13-408. Lien for expenses; sale of salvaged materials; other powers not limited. The amount of the cost of such repairs, alterations or improvements, or vacating and closing, or removal or demolition by the public officer shall be assessed against the owner of the property, and shall upon the filing of the notice with the office of the register of deeds of Franklin County, be a lien on the property in favor of the municipality, second only to liens of the state, county and municipality for taxes, any lien of the municipality for special assessments, and any valid lien, right, or interest in such property duly recorded or duly perfected by filing, prior to the filing of such notice. These costs shall be collected by the municipal tax collector or county trustee at the same time and in the same manner as property taxes are collected. If the owner fails to pay the costs, they may be collected at the same time and in the same manner as delinquent property taxes are collected and shall be subject to the same penalty and interest as delinquent property taxes. In addition, the municipality may collect the costs assessed against the owner through an action for debt filed in any court of competent jurisdiction. The municipality may bring one action for debt against more than one or all of the owners of properties against whom said costs have been assessed and the fact that multiple owners have been joined in one action shall not be considered by the court as a misjoinder of parties. If the structure is removed or demolished by the public officer, he shall sell the materials of such structure and shall credit the proceeds of such sale against the cost of the removal or demolition, and any balance remaining shall be deposited in the chancery court of Franklin County by the public officer, shall be secured in such manner as may be directed by such court, and shall be disbursed by such court provided, however, that nothing in this section shall be construed to impair or limit in any way the power of the City of Decherd to define and declare nuisances and to cause their removal or abatement, by summary proceedings or otherwise.
13-409. Basis for a finding of unfitness. The public officer defined herein shall have the power and may determine that a structure is unfit for human occupation and use if he finds that conditions exist in such structure which are dangerous or injurious to the health, safety or morals of the occupants or users of such structure, the occupants or users of neighboring structures or other residents of the City of Decherd; such conditions may include the following (without limiting the generality of the foregoing): defects therein increasing the hazards of fire, accident, or other calamities; lack of adequate ventilation, light, or sanitary facilities; dilapidation; disrepair; structural defects; and uncleanliness.
13-410. Service of complaints or orders. Complaints or orders issued by the public officer pursuant to this chapter shall be served upon persons, either personally or by registered mail, but if the whereabouts of such person is unknown and the same cannot be ascertained by the public officer in the exercise of reasonable diligence, and the public officer shall make an affidavit to that effect, then the serving of such complaint or order upon such persons may be made by publishing the same once each week for two (2) consecutive weeks in a newspaper printed and published in the city. In addition, a copy of such complaint or order shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises affected by the complaint or order. A copy of such complaint or order shall also be filed for record in the Register's Office of Franklin County, Tennessee, and such filing shall have the same force and effect as other lis pendens notices provided by law.
13-411. Enjoining enforcement of orders. Any person affected by an order issued by the public officer served pursuant to this chapter may file a suit in chancery court for an injunction restraining the public officer from carrying out the provisions of the order, and the court may, upon the filing of such suit, issue a temporary injunction restraining the public officer pending the final disposition of the cause; provided, however, that within sixty (60) days after the posting and service of the order of the public officer, such person shall file such suit in the court. The remedy provided herein shall be the exclusive remedy and no person affected by an order of the public officer shall be entitled to recover any damages for action taken pursuant to any order of the public officer, or because ofnoncompliance by such person with any order of the public officer.
13-412. Additional powers of public officer. The public officer, in order to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of this chapter, shall have the following powers in addition to those otherwise granted herein:
(1) To investigate conditions of the structures in the city in order to determine which structures therein are unfit for human occupation or use;
(2) To administer oaths, affirmations, examine witnesses and receive evidence;
(3) To enter upon premises for the purpose of making examination, provided that such entry shall be made in such manner as to cause the least possible inconvenience to the persons in possession;
(4) To appoint and fix the duties of such officers, agents and employees as he deems necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter; and
(5) To delegate any of his functions and powers under this chapter to such officers and agents as he may designate.
13-413. Powers conferred are supplemental. This chapter shall not be construed to abrogate or impair the powers of the city with regard to the enforcement of the provisions of its charter or any other ordinances or regulations, nor to prevent or punish violations thereof, and the powers conferred by this chapter shall be in addition and supplemental to the powers conferred by the charter and other laws.
13-414. Structures unfit for human habitation deemed unlawful. It shall be unlawful for any owner of record to create, maintain or permit to be maintained in the city structures which are unfit for human occupation due to dilapidation, defects increasing the hazards of fire, accident or other calamities, lack of ventilation, light or sanitary facilities, or due to other conditions rendering such dwellings unsafe or unsanitary, or dangerous or detrimental to the health, safety and morals, or otherwise inimical to the welfare of the residents of the city.
Violations of this section shall subject the offender to a penalty of up to five hundred dollars ($500) for each offense. Each day a violation is allowed tocontinue shall constitute a separate offense.