City Code Governing Public Nuisances and Blight

ARTICLE III.  “PUBLIC NUISANCE” AND “BLIGHT” DETERMINATIONS

Sec. 28-37.  Public nuisance defined.
Public nuisance.  Any unoccupied property shall be deemed a public nuisance if:
(a)   It is detrimental to the health, morals, safety, public welfare, and the well being of the community, endangers life or Property or is conducive to ill health, delinquency and crime as a result of dilapidation, decay, or unsafe or unsanitary conditions; or
(b)   It is a fire hazard; or
(c)   The unoccupied property and its surrounding grounds are not adequately maintained thereby causing an adverse affect on nearby properties by depreciating the value, use, and enjoyment that is harmful to the public health, welfare, morals, safety and the economic stability of the area, community, or neighborhood in which the public nuisance is located; or
(d)   It is damaged, rendered uninhabitable, or otherwise has become an unoccupied property as a result of an act of God or other natural or unnatural disaster and, upon inspection is deemed to be environmentally unsound due to a failure by the owner to procure mold remediation, cleaning, gutting, or otherwise properly secure the premises; or
(e)   It is a vacant lot that has been determined to be in violation of any of the standards provided for within chapter, thereby causing or threatening to cause a hazard detrimental to the public health of safety.
(f)   For purposes of this section, the following detriments shall constitute a rebuttable presumption of constituting a public nuisance:

(1)   Certain ponds, pools and accumulation of stagnant water.
(2)   Any accumulation of rubbish, trash, or junk causing or threatening to cause a fire hazard, or causing or threatening to cause the accumulation of stagnant water, or causing or threatening to cause the inhabitation therein of rats, mice, snakes, or vermin of any kind which is or may be dangerous or prejudicial to the public health.
(3)   Any accumulation of animal or vegetable matter that is offensive by virtue of odors or vapors or by the inhabitance therein of rats, mice, snakes, or vermin of any kind which is or may be dangerous or prejudicial to the public health.
(4)   The uncontrolled growth of noxious weeds or grass to a height in excess of the length established by this chapter.
(5)   Accumulation in the open of discarded or unused machinery, household appliances, and furnishings, automobile bodies, or other material, in a manner conducive to the harboring of rats, mice, snakes or vermin, or the rank growth of vegetation among the items so accumulated, or in a manner creating fire, health or safety hazards from such accumulations.
(6)   The open storage of any abandoned automobiles, ice box, refrigerator, stove, glass, building material, building rubbish or similar items.
(7)   Any hole, foundation, slab, construction machinery, building materials, or excavation left uncovered or in such other condition as to constitute a hazard to a child or other person, being or coming upon the premises or vacant lot where the same is located.
(8)   Properties that fail to comply with the terms of a restoration permit within one year from the date of issuance of the restoration permit.
(M.C.S., Ord. No. 23046, § 5, 3-20-08)


Sec. 28-38.  Blighted property.
(a)   In determining whether an unoccupied property is blighted, pursuant to section 8 of Act No. 170 of the 1968 Regular Session of the Louisiana [Legislature], as amended by Act No. 135 of the 1994 Third Extraordinary Session, Act No. 375 of the 1995 Regular Session, and Act No. 101 of the 1997 Regular Session, the following factors establish a rebuttable presumption:
(1)   Any dwelling, structure or premise that is declared a public nuisance as defined in the Code of Ordinances for the City of New Orleans or any dwelling, structure, or premise that demonstrates chronic vacancy or unresolved code violations for unsafe, unsanitary, or unhealthy conditions; or
(2)   Any premises declared to be a fire hazard; or
(3)   Any premises declared to be vermin infested or lacking in facilities or equipment required by the housing code of the city.
(4)   Any dwelling, structure, premise, or vacant lot in such a state of deterioration that it creates a substantial adverse impact on neighboring properties, including but not limited to depreciating property values; substantial and unreasonable interference with the lawful use and enjoyment of other space within the neighborhood; or an increase in criminal activity stemming from illegal activities taking place on the Unoccupied Property; or
(5)   Any structure or dwelling damaged, rendered uninhabitable, or otherwise has become an unoccupied property as a result of an act of God or other natural or unnatural disaster that, upon inspection is deemed to pose a serious, imminent and continuing threat to the public health, safety and welfare by reason of being unremediated, ungutted, open to the public, unsafe, unsanitary or conducive to ill health.
(6)   Any structure or dwelling that is determined to be a “demolition by neglect” pursuant to section 84-108 or section 84-218 of the Code.
(7)   It is a vacant lot and: (a) the lot is abandoned property; or (b) the lot is owned by a person who has been found guilty of failing to maintain the lot in accordance with provisions of this Code, pursuant to an administrative enforcement hearing by an the municipal court of the city and/or by an administrative hearing officer; and the lot has either been adjudicated to the city for unpaid taxes, or has outstanding liens, privileges, or an assessment has been placed on the unoccupied property pursuant to this Code, or has other charges imposed pursuant to R.S. 33:1236.
(b)   The director shall develop procedures for the rehabilitation or maintenance of properties that are determined to constitute blight pursuant to this chapter, including but not limited to the initiation of further proceedings by the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority to acquire such properties if the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority finds that such acquisition is necessary and feasible.
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