Section 16-319 Administrative process for abating chronic nuisance property.

    (a)    If, after reviewing the police chief’s chronic nuisance property report, the city manager determines that the proper procedures have been followed and that there is reason to believe that the property may be a chronic nuisance property, the city manager may authorize the city counselor to initiate an administrative action to abate the nuisance.  The administrative action shall follow the contested case provisions of Chapter 536, RSMo.  The owners of the property and any tenants shall be necessary parties to the action.  The city manager or the manager’s designee shall serve as hearing officer.

    (b)    If, after considering all evidence, the hearing officer determines that the property is a chronic nuisance property and that the procedures of section 16-318 were followed, the hearing officer may order appropriate abatement.  Abatement may include closure of the property for up to one (1) year, physically securing the property, suspension of utility services during the period of closure and revocation of a certificate of compliance for rental property.  If there is more than one (1) residential unit on the property, the hearing officer shall close only the unit or units whose occupants, guests or invitees have engaged in the nuisance activities.  The hearing officer shall consider the following factors in determining whether to close a chronic nuisance property:

    (1)    The level of cooperation of the property owner and occupants in attempting to prevent nuisance activities;

        (2)        The nature and extent of the nuisance activities;

        (3)        The impact of the nuisance activities on neighbors and others; and

    (4)    Any actions taken to avoid further nuisance activities connected with the property.

    (c)    If an abatement order is not complied with, the hearing officer may authorize the abatement of the chronic nuisance property by city employees or by persons under contract with the city.  No person shall enter private property to enforce an abatement order unless the person in possession of the property has consented to the entry or unless the municipal judge has issued a warrant for the entry.  The chief of police shall certify the cost of abatement under this subsection to the city clerk.  The cost shall include administrative costs as well as the actual cost of abating the nuisance.  The city clerk shall cause a special tax bill against the property to be prepared in the amount of the abatement cost.  The tax bill from the date of its issuance shall be a lien on the property until paid and shall be prima facie evidence of the recitals therein and of its validity.  No clerical error or informality in the tax bill or in the proceedings leading up to the issuance of the tax bill shall be a defense in an action to collect the tax bill.  Tax bills issued under this section, if not paid when due, shall bear interest at the rate of nine percent (9%) per year.  The cost of abatement shall also constitute a personal obligation of any person who failed to comply with the order of the hearing officer.

(Ord. No. 19288, §1, 11-6-06)

(Ord. 19288, Added, 11/06/2006)