CHAPTER VIII. HEALTH AND WELFARECHAPTER VIII. HEALTH AND WELFARE\ARTICLE 6. MINIMUM HOUSING STANDARDS

This article shall be known as The Minimum Standards Code for Structures, both residential and non-residential for the City of Bucklin. It is the purpose of this article to establish minimum standards for all structures, facility requirements and structural adequacy for all structures residential and non-residential within the City of Bucklin: to provide for administration and enforcement of the ordinance and to specify authority and procedure to be followed in executing the powers established in this article.

(Ord. 709; Code 2017)

The following terms wherever used or referred to in this code shall have the following meanings for the purpose of this article:

(a)   "City" is the City of Bucklin, Ford County, Kansas.

(b)   "Governing Body" is the governing body of the City of Bucklin.

(c)   "Public Officer" is the person designated or appointed by the City Manager to exercise the powers prescribed by this article.

(d)   A "residential" structure or "dwelling" shall mean any structure, or part thereof, used or occupied by person or persons intended to be used, and includes any appurtenances belonging thereto or usually enjoyed therewith and the premises on which such structures are situated.

(e)   A "non-residential" structure shall mean any structure which is used for other than residential purposes, or a part of such structure to a structure a part of which is used for other than non-residential purposes and the premises on which such structures are situated.

(f)   "Dilapidation" shall mean a state of disrepair, structural decay, or conspicuous lack of maintenance of exterior painting of a structure as to constitute a blighting influence on properties in the neighborhood.

(g)   "Owner" is the holder of the record legal title to any structure with or without actual possession thereof.

(h)   "Parties in interest" shall mean all persons, associations or corporations who have interests of record in a structure and any who are in, or known to the public officer to be entitled to possession thereof.

(i)    "Habitable room" means a room or enclosed floor space arranged for living, eating or sleeping purposes, not including bath or toilet rooms, laundries, pantries, foyers or communication corridors.

(j)    "Rooming House" is a hotel or motel structure containing rooms rented either by the day, week or month and similar structures with similar rooms designed for individual or non-family use and not containing cooking facilities.

(Ord. 709; Code 2017)

It is found as a fact that there exists in Bucklin structures which are unfit for human use or habitation due to dilapidation, defects increasing the hazards of fire, accidents, or other calamities, lack of ventilation, light or sanitary facilities, or due to other conditions including the following without limitation:

(a)   Defects therein increasing the hazards of fire, accident or other calamities.

(b)   Lack of adequate ventilation which shall be a mm1mum of an openable window equal to 10% of the floor area of each habitable room.

(c)   Air pollution by offensive, disagreeable or harmful airborne matter.

(d)   Inadequate light or sanitary facilities as defined in section 8-609.

(e)   Dilapidation and disrepair which shall include leaking roofs and improper surface water drainage.

(f)   Structural defects which tend to buckle, lean or sway to cause a possibility of collapse.

(g)   Overcrowding as defined section 8-609(g)

(h)   Uncleanliness and unhealthful conditions which may harbor or spread disease.

(i)    Inadequate ingress and egress as defined by the building code, which shall be properly maintained without obstructions.

(j)    Dead and dying trees, limbs or other unsightly natural growth.

(k)   Unsightly appearances that constitute a blight to adjoining property, the neighborhood or the city.

(l)    Walls, siding or exteriors of a quality and appearance not commensurate with the character of the properties in the neighborhood.

(m)  Unsightly stored or parked material, equipment, supplies, machinery, trucks or automobiles or parts thereof.

(n)   Vermin infestation.

(o)   Inadequate drainage or any violation of health, fire, building or zoning regulations, or any other laws or regulations relating to the use of land and the use of occupancy of buildings and improvements rendering such structures unsafe or unsanitary or dangerous or detrimental to the health, safety or morals or otherwise inimical to the welfare of the residents of such city.

(p)   Any structure remaining uncompleted more than one year after issuance of a building permit.

(Ord. 709; Code 2017)

A Public Officer shall be designated or appointed by the City Manager to exercise the powers prescribed by this article. Whenever a petition is filed with the Public Officer by at least five residents of the City charging that any structure is unfit for human use of habitation or whenever it appears that the Public Officer Con his own motion, and particularly on vacancy or change of occupancy of a structure) that any structure is unfit for human use or habitation, he shall, if his preliminary investigation discloses a basis of such charges, issue and cause to be served upon the owner, every mortgagee of record and all parties in interest in such structure (including persons in possession) a complaint stating the charges in that respect. Such complaint shall contain a notice that a hearing will be held before a Hearing Officer designated by the City Manager at a place therein filed not less than ten (10) days nor more than thirty (30) days after the service of said complaint: the owner mortgagee and parties in interest shall be given the right to file an answer to the complaint and to appear in person, or otherwise, and give testimony at the time and place filed in the complaint: and that the rules of evidence prevailing in courts of law or equity shall not be controlling in hearings before the Hearing Officer determines that the structure under consideration is unfit for human use or habitation he shall state in writing his findings of facts in support of such determination and shall issue and cause to be served upon the owner thereof, an order which:

(a)   if the repair, alteration or improvement of the said structure can be made at a reasonable cost in relation to the value of the structure, (which is hereby filed at not over 2003 of assessed valuation as reasonable for such purpose), requires the owner with the time specified in the order, to repair, alter, or improve such structure to render it fit for human use or habitation or to vacate and close the structure until conformance with ordinances established under this law:

(b)   if the repair, alteration or improvement of the said structure cannot be made at a reasonable cost in relation to the value of the structure, (which is hereby filed at not over 2003 of assessed valuation as reasonable for such purpose), requires the owner, within the time specified in the order, to remove or demolish such structure.

(c)   That, if the owner fails to comply with an order to repair, alter or improve the structure, within fifteen (15) days after service of the order, the Public Officer may either cause such structure to be repaired, altered or improved.

(d)   That, if the owners fails to comply with an order to removed or demolish the structure within fifteen (15) days after service of the order, the Public Officer may cause such structure to be removed or demolished.

(e)   That 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 a lien against the real property upon which such cost was incurred and such lien, including as part thereof allowance of his costs and the necessary attorney's fees, maybe foreclosed in judicial proceedings in the manner provided or authorized by law for loans secured by liens on real property or shall be assessed as a special assessment against the lot or parcel of land on which the structure was located and the City Clerk shall extend the same on the tax rolls of the County against said lot or parcel of Land. If the structure is removed or demolished by the Public Officer and there are any salvageable materials from the structure which can be sold, 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 if there be any balance remaining it shall be paid to the parties entitled thereto as determined by proper judicial proceedings, including his necessary attorney's fees therein as determined by the Court.

(f)   The Hearing Officer may determine that a structure or the premises is unfit for human use or habitation if he finds that conditions exist in such structure or on the premises which are dangerous or injurious to the health, safety or morals of the occupants of such buildings or other residents of such City or which have a blighting influence on properties in the area. Such conditions may include without limitation any of the conditions described and set out in section 8-603, or lack of minimum facilities prescribed in section 8-609.

(Ord. 709; Code 2017)

Complaints or orders issued by the Public: Officer or the Hearing Officer pursuant to this article shall be served upon persons either personally or by certified mail, if the whereabouts of such persons 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 person may be made by publishing the same once each week for two c:onsec:utiue weeks in a newspaper printed and published in the City. 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 with the Clerk of the District Court of Ford County Kansas, and such filing of the complaint or order shall have the same force and effect as other lis pendens notices provided by law.

(Ord. 709; Code 2017)

Any person affected by an order issued by the Hearing Officer may petition the District Court of Ford County, Kansas, for an injunction restraining the Public: Officer from carrying out the provisions of the order, and the Court may, upon such petition, issue a temporary injunction restraining the Public: Officer pending the final disposition of the cause: provided, however, that within thirty(30) days after the posting and service of the order by the Hearing Officer such person shall petition such Court. Hearing shall be had by the Court on such petition as soon thereafter as possible, and shall be given preference over other matters on the Court's calendar. The Court shall hear and determine the issues raised and shall enter a final order or decree in the proceedings. In all such proceedings the findings of the Hearing Officer as to facts, if supported by evidence, shall be conclusive. Costs shall be in the discretion of the Court. The remedies herein provided shall be exclusive remedies and no person affected by an order of the Hearing officer shall be entitled to recover any damages for action taken pursuant to any order of the Hearing officer or because of compliance by such person with any order of the Hearing Officer. All as provided and authorized by K.S.A. 1967 Supp. 17-4759 and 17-4759a.

(Ord. 709; Code 2017)

The Public Officer is hereby authorized to exercise such powers as may be necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of this article including the following powers in addition to others herein granted:

(a)   to investigate the structure conditions in the municipality in order to determine which structures and dwellings therein are unfit for human use and habitation:

(b)   to enter upon premises for the purpose of making examinations, provided that such entry shall be made in such manner as to cause the least possible inconvenience to the persons in possession, and to obtain an order for this purpose for a Court of competent jurisdiction in the event entry is denied or resisted;

(c)   to delegate any of his functions and powers under this article to such officers, agents and employees as he may designate.

(Ord. 709; Code 2017)

The Hearing Officer is hereby authorized to exercise such powers as may be necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of this article including the following powers in addition to others herein granted:

(a)   to administer oaths, affirmations, examine witnesses and receive evidence.

(Ord. 709; Code 2017)

All dwellings shall have the following minimum facilities in satisfactory operating condition and in compliance with building, electric, plumbing and fire codes to-wit:

(a)   Inside running water and an installed kitchen sink;

(b)   Inside bathing facilities which shall consist of an installed tub or shower;

(c)   An installed water closet; if such is built on a porch it shall be running water and be connected to sewage disposal in accordance with other Codes of City.

(d)   Installed lighting facilities:

(e)   Installed heating facilities including arrangements by chimneys or flues in accordance with safety codes and practices.

(f)   Screens and other devices to effectively cover openings to the outside of the living and eating portions of such dwellings with mesh of such fineness as to prevent the entrance of flies, mosquitoes, and similar pests.

(g)   The gross area per occupant shall be as follows: one occupant-125 square feet: the next four occupants-100 square feet each: all additional occupants-70 square feet each.

(h)   such other facilities and standards as are required by ordinances and codes of the City. Rooming houses shall have the same m1mmum facilities in satisfactory operating conditions as dwellings except as follows:

(1)   Kitchen sink shall only be required in connection with cooking facilities.

(2)   Bathing facilities shall be provided in form of a tub or shower for each eight occupants. ·

(3)   A water closet shall be provided for each six occupants and shall be separated from bathing facilities if more than four occupants are served by each.

(Ord. 709; Code 2017)

If any order issued and served in accordance with this article is not complied with within the time specified therein, the structure with respect to which the order has been issued is hereby declared to be a public nuisance, and it shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation, that has knowledge of the issuance of said order to occupy it as a human habitation, or use said structure or any part thereof, or to suffer or permit same, or any part thereof, to be occupied as a human habitation or used therefore, and any person, firm or corporation violating this article or falling to comply therewith shall, upon conviction, be deemed guilty of an unclassified violation, and shall be punished by a fine of less than $50.00 for each and every offense, and each day that any such violation or a failure to comply continues or is allowed to continue shall constitute and be a separate and distinct offense.

(Ord. 709; Code 2017)

The Public Officer shall promptly report to the City Attorney the names and addresses of all persons, firms or corporations known to the Public Officer who have violated or failed to comply with this article, and it shall be the duty of the City Attorney to proceed against such persons, firms or corporations by civil or criminal action as shall be appropriate.

(Ord. 709; Code 2017)

The Public Officer shall promptly report structures or conditions which are suspected of being unfit for human habitation to the City Manager.

(Ord. 709; Code 2017)

The powers conferred upon the Public Officer by the provisions of this article shall be in addition and supplemental to the powers conferred upon the Public Officer by any other Ordinance. Nothing in this article shall be construed to impair or limit in any way the power of the City to define and declare nuisances and to cause their removal or abatement by summary proceedings or otherwise. The measures and procedures herein provided for do not supersede, and this article does not repeal any measures or procedures which are provided by ordinance or state law for elimination, repair or correction of the conditions herein defined an referred to as objectionable, but the measures and procedures herein provided for shall be in addition thereto.

(Ord. 709; Code 2017)