Danger Building

DANGERIOUS BUILDING ORDINANCE

ORDINANCE NO. 8-05

An ordinance to promote health, safety and welfare of the people of Escanaba Township, Delta County, Michigan by regulating the maintenance and safety of certain buildings and structures; to define the classes of buildings and structures affected by the ordinance; to establish administrative requirements and procedures for the maintenance or demolition of certain buildings and structures; establish remedies, provide for enforcement, and fix penalties for the violation of this ordinance; and to repeal all ordinance or part of ordinances in conflict therewith.

SECTION 1: TITLE

This ordinance shall be known and cited as the Escanaba Township Dangerous Building Ordinance.

SECTION II: DEFINTION OF TERMS

A. “Dangerous building” means any building or structure residential or structure, residential or otherwise, that has one or more of the following defects or is in one or more of the following conditions:
1. A door, aisle, passageway, stairway or other means of exits that does not conform to the Michigan Building Code for Exiting Structure. (Ch. 34)
2. A portion of the building of structure is damaged by fire, wind, flood, or other cause so that the structural strength or stability of the building is appreciably less than it was before the catastrophe and does not meet the minimum requirements of the Housing Law of the State of Michigan, Act No. 167 of the Public Acts of 1917, as amended being Section 125.401 et seq. of the Michigan Compiled Laws, or the Township Building Code for a new building of structure, purpose or location.
3. A part of the building or structure is likely to fall, becoming detached or dislodged, or collapse, and injure persons or damage property.
4. A portion of the building or structure has settled to such an extent that walls or other structural portions of the building or structure have materially less resistance to wind than is required in the case of new construction by the Housing Law of the State of Michigan, Act No. 167 of the Public Acts of 1917, as amended being Section 125.401 et seq. of the Michigan Compiled Laws.
5. The building or structure, or part of the building or structure, because of dilapidation, deterioration, decay, faulty construction, or the removal or movement of some portion of the ground necessary for the support, or other reason, is likely to partially or completely collapse, or some portion of the foundation or underpinning of the building or structure is likely or fall or give way.
6. The building or structure, or part of the building or structure, is manifestly unsafe for the purpose for which it is used.
7. The building or structure is damaged by fire, wind, or flood, or is dilapidated or deteriorated and becomes an attractive nuisance to children who might play in the building or structure to their danger, or becomes a harbor for vagrants, criminals, or immoral persons, or enables persons to resort to the building or structure for committing nuisance or unlawful or immoral act. The building becomes an attractive nuisance from an infestation of animals, rodents, or insects.    8. A building or structure used or intended to be used for dwelling purposes, including the adjoining grounds, because of dilapidation, decay, damage, faulty construction, or arrangement, or otherwise, is unsanitary or unfit for human habitation, is in a condition that the health officer of the county determines is likely to cause sickness or disease, or is likely to injure the health, safety or general welfare of people living in the dwelling.
9. A building or structure is vacant, dilapidated and open at door or window, leaving the interior of the building exposed to the elements or accessible to entrance by trespassers. 10. A building or structure remains unoccupied for a period of 180 consecutive days or longer, and is not listed as being available for sale, lease or rent with real estate broker licensed under Article 25 of the Occupation Code, No. 299 of the Public Acts of 1980, being Section 339.2501 et seq. of the Michigan Compiled Laws, or is not publicly offered for sale by owner. This subdivision does not apply to either of the following.
a. A building or structure as to which the owner or agent does both of the following.
1. Notifies the Township Zoning Administrator that the building or structure will remain unoccupied for a period of more than 30 days after the building or structure becomes occupied.
2. Maintains the exterior of the building or structure and adjoining grounds in accordance with this ordinance and the Housing Law of the State of Michigan, Act No.167 of the Public Acts of 1917, as amended, being Section 125.401 et seq. of the Michigan Compiled Laws, or the Township Building Code.
b. A secondary dwelling of the owner that is regularly unoccupied for a period of 180 days or longer each year, if the owner notifies the Zoning Administrator of the Township that the dwelling will remain unoccupied for a period of 180 consecutive days or more each year. An owner who has given the notice prescribed by this subparagraph shall notify the Township Zoning Administrator not more than 30 days after the dwelling no longer qualifies for this exception. As used in this subparagraph, “secondary dwelling” means a dwelling such as a vacation home, hunting cabin or summer home that is occupied by the owner or member of the owner’s family during part of the year.

B. Enforcing Agency means the township, though the Township Zoning Administration and/or such other official(s) or agency as may by designated by the Township Board to enforce this ordinance.

C. Township Building Code means the building code administered and enforced in the township pursuant to the State Construction Code Commission Act, Act No. 230 of the Public Acts of 1972, as amended, being Section 125.1501 et seq. of the Michigan Compiled Laws.

SECTION III: PROHIBITON OF DANGEROUS BUILDINGS

It shall be unlawful for any owner or agent thereof to keep or maintain any building or part thereof that is a dangerous building as defined in this ordinance.

SECTION IV: NOTICE OF DANGEROUS BUILDING; HEARING

A. Notice requirement. Notwithstanding any other provision of this ordinance, if a building or structure is found to be a dangerous building, the enforcing agency shall issue a notice that the building or structure is a dangerous building.

B. Parties Entitled to Notice. The notice shall be served on each owner of or party in interest in the building or structure in whose name the property appears on the last local tax assessment records of the township.

C. Contents of Notice. The notice shall specify the time and place of a hearing on whether the building or structure is a dangerous building and state that the person to whom the notice is directed shall have the opportunity at the hearing to show cause why the enforcing officer should not order the building or structure to be demolished, otherwise made safe, or properly maintained.

D. Service of Notice. The notice shall be in writing and served upon the person to whom the notice is directed either personally or by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the owner or party in interest at the address shown on the tax records. If notice shall be served upon a person by certified mail, a copy of the notice shall be posted upon conspicuous part of the building or structure. The notice shall be served upon the owner or party in interest at least 10 days before the date of the hearing included in the notice.

SECTION V: DANGEROUS BUILDING ENFORCING OFFICER; DUTIES; HEARING; ORDER

A. Appointment of Enforcing Officer- The Enforcing Officer shall be appointed by the Township Supervisor to serve at his or her pleasure. The Enforcing Officer shall be a person who has expertise in housing matters, including, but not limited to, an architect, building contractor, building inspector, or member of a community housing organization.

B. Filing Dangerous Building Ordinance with Enforcing Officer- The Enforcing Officer shall file a copy of the notice of the dangerous condition of any building with the Planning Commission officers.

C. Hearing Testimony and Decision- At a Hearing prescribed by this ordinance, the Planning Commission shall take testimony of the Enforcing Officer, the owner of the property, and any interested party. Not more than five days after the completion of the hearing, the Planning Commission shall render a decision either closing the proceedings or ordering the building or structure demolished, otherwise made safe, or properly maintained.

D. Compliance with Planning Commission’s Order- If the Hearing Officer determines that the building or structure should be demolished, otherwise made safe, or property maintained, the Planning Commission shall order, fixing a time in the order for the owner, agent or lessee to comply with the order. If the building is a dangerous building under Section II.A.10 of this ordinance, the order may require the owner or agent to maintain the exterior of the building and adjoining grounds owned by the owner of the building including, but not limited to, the maintenance of lawns, trees, and shrubs.

E. Noncompliance with Planning Commission’s Order/Request to Enforce Order- If the owner, agent or lessee fails to appear or neglects or refuses to comply with the order issued under Section V. D. of this ordinance, the Planning Commission shall file a report of the findings and a copy of the order with the Township Board not more than five days after noncompliance by the owner and request that necessary action be taken to enforce the order.

SECTION VI: ENFORCEMENT HEARING BEFORE THE TOWNSHIP BOARD

The Township board shall fix a date not less than 30 days after the hearing prescribed in Section V. C. of this ordinance for a hearing on the findings and order the Planning Commission and shall give notice to the owner, agent or lessee in the manner prescribed in Section VI. D. of this ordinance of the time and place of the hearing. At the hearing, the owner, agent or lessee shall be given the opportunity to show cause why the order should not be enforced. If the order is approved or modified, the owner, agent or lessee shall comply with the order within 60 days after the date of this hearing under this section. In the case of demolition, if the Township Board determines that the building or structure has been substantially destroyed by fire, wind, flood or other natural disaster and the cost of repair of the building or structure will be greater than the state equalized value of the building or structure, the owner, agent or lessee shall comply with the order of demolition within 21 days after the date of the hearing under this section.

SECTION VII: IMPLEMENTION AND ENFORCEMENT OF REMEDIES

A. Implementation of Order by Township. In the event of the failure or refusal of the owner or party in interest to comply with the decision of the Township Board, the Township Board may, in its discretion, contract for the demolition, making safe or maintaining the exterior of the building or structure or grounds adjoining the building or structure.

B. Reimbursement of Cost. The cost of the demolition, of making the building safe, or of maintaining the exterior of the building or structure or grounds adjoining the building or structure, incurred by the Township to bring the property into conformation with this ordinance shall be reimbursed to the Township by the owner or party in interest in whose name the property appears.

C. Notice of Cost. The owner or party in interest in whose name the property appears upon the last local tax assessment records shall be notified by the township assessor of the amount of the costs of the demolition, of making the building safe, or of maintaining the exterior of the building or structure or grounds adjoining the building or structure, by first class mail at the address shown on the township records.

D. Lien for Unpaid Cost. Of the owner or party in interest fails to pay the costs within 30 days after the mailing by the assessor of the notice of the amount of the cost, in the case of a single family dwelling or a two family dwelling, the township shall have a lien for the cost incurred by the township to bring the property into conformance with this ordinance. The lien shall not take effect until notice of the lien has been filed or recorded as provided by law. Alien provided for in this subsection does not have priority over previously filed or recorded liens and encumbrances. The lien for the costs shall be collected and treated in the same manner as provided for property tax liens under the General Property Tax Act, Act No. 206 of the Public Acts of 1893, as amended, being Section211.1 et seq. of the Michigan Compiled Laws.

E. Court Judgment for Unpaid Costs. In addition to other remedies under this ordinance, the Township may bring action against the owner of the building or structure for the full cost of the demolition, of making the building safe, or of maintaining the exterior of the building or structure or grounds adjoining the building or structure. In the case of a single family dwelling or a two family dwelling, the township shall have a lien on the property for the amount of a judgment obtained pursuant to this subsection. The lien is filed and recorded as provided for by the law. The lien does not have priority over the prior filed or recorded liens and encumbrances.

F.  Enforcement of Judgment. A judgment in an action brought pursuant to section VII.E of this ordinance may be enforced against the assets of the owner other than the building or structure.

F. Lien for Judgment Amount. In the case of a single family dwelling or a two family dwelling the Township shall have a lien for the amount of a judgment obtained pursuant to Section VII.E of this ordinance against the owner’s interest in all real property located in this state that is owned in whole or in part by the owner of the building or structure against which the judgment is obtained. A lien provided for in this subsection does not take effect until notice of the lien is filed or recorded as provided by law, and the lien does not have priority over prior filed or recorded liens and encumbrances.

SECTION VIII: SANCTION FOR NONCONFORMATION WITH ORDER

Any person or other entity who fails or refuses to comply with an order approved or modified by the Township Board under Section VI. Of this ordinance within the time prescribed by that Section irresponsible for a municipal civil infraction as defined by Michigan Law and subject to a civil fine of not more than $500.00, plus cost, which may include all direct or indirect expenses to which the Township has been put in connection with the violation. A violator of this ordinance shall also be subject to such additional sanctions, remedies, and judicial orders as are authorized under Michigan Law. Each day a violation of this ordinance continues to exist constitutes a separate violation.

SECTION Ix: APPEAL OF TOWNSHIP BOARD DECISION

An owner aggrieved by any final decision or order of the Township Board, as applicable under Section VI of this ordinance may appeal the decision order to the circuit court by filing a petition for an order of superintending control within 20 days from the date of the decision.

SECTION X: SEVERABILTY

The provisions of this ordinance are hereby declared severable and if any clause, sentence, word, section or provision is hereafter declared void or unenforceable for any reason by any court of competent jurisdiction, it shall not affect the remainder of such ordinance, which shall continue in full force and effect.

SECTION XI: REPEAL

All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict herewith are hereby repealed: provided that this ordinance shall not be construed to repeal expressly or by implication any provision of the Township Building Code.

SECTION XII: EFFECTIVE DATE

This ordinance shall take effect 30 days after publication as required by law. Published, August 16, 2005. This ordinance is in effect, September 16, 2005.

Kevin Dubord
Escanaba Township Supervisor

Patricia J. Beauchamp
Escanaba Township Clerk<br>