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Property Maintenance

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Unkempt Property Code:
MuniCode: Part II – Code of Ordinances Chapter 102 – Buildings and Building Regulations
Article III. Dilapidated Structures and Premises Maintenance - Sec. 102

The purpose of this article is to establish certain minimum standards for the maintenance of premises and structures in order to promote and protect the public health, safety, convenience, order, and general welfare of the citizens of the city. The policy of the city is to prohibit dilapidated structures and to require adequate premises maintenance as set forth hereinafter.

This article shall apply to all existing structures and premises and shall constitute minimum standards for the maintenance of such structures and premises. This article shall be in addition to all other state and local minimum standards for construction.

Open storage

There shall be no open storage of appliances, building materials, rubbish, inoperable vehicles, junk, or garbage on any premises for any period of time in excess of ten days. Any such storage shall be closed to the public by screening, solid fencing or other material approved by the director that both prevents viewing from the street and prevents physical access by children or others who might walk onto the property. Open storage of building materials is allowed in excess of ten days if the owner has a current building permit and the storage is necessary for the renovation or addition to a structure on the same premises. No open storage of any kind shall be allowed that amounts to a public nuisance, or that presents a danger to the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the city.

Maintenance of structures

  • Exterior surfaces. All exterior surfaces and materials of structures, including doors, door and window frames, cornices, porches, and trim, shall be maintained in good order and repair. Exterior surfaces shall be protected from decay and water damage.
  • Exterior walls. Exterior walls shall be maintained free from holes, breaks, and loose or rotting materials in order to prevent deterioration and water damage.
  • Roofs. Roofs of structures shall be maintained so that they are structurally sound, in safe condition, and have no material defects that might contribute to substantial water damage. Roofs shall be complete with such materials and elements, such as trim, eaves, soffits, flashing or other materials, as are proper common building practices.
  • Exterior stairways, porches, decks and balconies. Exterior stairways, porches, decks, and balconies shall be maintained so that they are structurally sound, are in good order and repair and capable of supporting the applicable load capacities.


  • Nothing in this article shall preclude the city from determining that conditions of a structure or premises constitute a nuisance, nor preclude the city from taking any appropriate measures in accordance with the law to abate a nuisance.
  • The following conditions may be declared a nuisance when it is determined that any one of such conditions endangers the health, welfare, or good order of the community:
    • Stagnant water on premises;
    • Any dead or decaying matter, weeds, vegetation, or any fruit, vegetable, animal, or rodent upon premises which is odorous or capable of causing disease or annoyance to the inhabitants of the city;
    • The continuous generation of smoke or fumes in sufficient amounts for more than 24 hours to cause odor or annoyance to the inhabitants of the city;
    • The pollution of public water or injection of matter into the sewerage system which would be damaging thereto;
    • Maintaining a dangerous or diseased animal or fowl;
    • Obstruction of a public street, highway, or sidewalk without a permit;
    • All walls, trees, and buildings that may endanger persons or premises
    • Any business or building where illegal activities are habitually and commonly conducted in such a manner as to reasonably suggest that the owner or operator of the business or building was aware of the illegal activities and failed to take appropriate measures to prevent the activities;
    • Unused iceboxes, refrigerators, and the like, unless the doors, latches, or locks thereof are removed, as well as unused, abandoned, or discarded containers with a capacity of at least 12 cubic feet;
    • Use by the owner or occupant of a residential structure or premises for the open storage of any junked motor vehicle, glass, building material, building rubbish or similar items. For the purpose of this subsection, "junked motor vehicle" is defined as a motor vehicle that is in a state of disrepair and incapable of being moved under its own power;
  • Any one or more of the following conditions shall be and is hereby declared a nuisance:
    • Obstruction of any public watercourse or waterway;
    • Pollution of any public watercourse or waterway;
    • Uncovered piles of garbage or refuse of any kind;
    • Buried garbage or refuse of any kind;
    • Infestation by rats and vermin;
    • Accumulation on any premises of debris, objects, materials or a condition which may constitute a health, accident, or fire hazard, or which creates a blighting or deteriorating effect in the city; and
    • Any other condition constituting a nuisance under state law.