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Chapter 22A

Chapter 22A (Nuisance Ordinance) passed into law yesterday.

For a .pdf version click link below.

https://landlordsoflinncounty.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Chapter-22.pdf

 

Make sure you come to the meeting tomorrow at the Clarion to meet with the administrators of this new Ordinance for a question and answer session.

Here is the text of the Ordinance:
Plan

22A.07 Notice of Violation—Contents

22A.08 Founded Calls for Service Charged to Nuisance Property

22A.09 Emergency Abatement

22A.10 Corrective Action by the City; Collection of Costs

22A.11 Appeals of Administrative Decisions or Actions

22A.12 Alternative Means of Enforcement

22A.13 Service of Notice

22A.01 Statement of Public Policy.

The City of Cedar Rapids has an interest in ensuring a higher quality of life for its citizens, the

preserving property values and controlling the costs of taxpayer funded services such as police,

fire and property code enforcement. In furtherance of that interest, the City seeks to ensure that

properties within the City limits are well maintained and are not resorted to for purposes of

unlawful conduct or conduct which disturbs the peaceable use of surrounding properties.

Accordingly, it is the policy of the City that properties which are shown to be Nuisance

Properties as defined by this Chapter shall be subject to the abatement process and charges

set forth herein.

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22A.02 Definitions.

As used in this Chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

a. “Abate” means to prevent and/or eliminate.

b. “City Manager” means that person employed by the City as its City Manager or designee

of that person.

c. “Call for Service” means any occasion on which the City goes to a Property for purposes

of suspected Nuisance Activity, regardless of which City Department or Departments

respond to the incident.

d. “Corrective Action” means any action taken with respect to a Nuisance Property for the

purpose of Abating Nuisance Activity.

e. “Health, Environmental or Solid Waste violation” means a violation of Chapter 21,

Chapter 24, Chapter 25, or Chapter 29 of the Cedar Rapids Municipal Code.

f. “Founded Nuisance Activity” means an incident or incidents of Nuisance Activity which

the City finds probable cause to have occurred. Incidents of domestic violence, as

defined by Iowa Code Chapter 562A, may be categorized as Founded, but they shall not

be a factor when determining whether a property meets the criteria for a Nuisance

Property designation, or whether a penalty shall be imposed for failing to take Corrective

Action.

g. “Interested Party” means a Property Owner, resident, tenant, occupant or person in

possession or control of a property.

h. “Nuisance Activity” means conduct giving rise to the conditions, events, and/or situations

described in section 22A.03.

i. “Nuisance Property” means a Property which meets the criteria set forth in section

22A.03.

j. “Nuisance Property Abatement Plan” means that written plan which is developed by a

Property Owner, whether or not it is developed in consultation with the Nuisance

Property Abatement Coordinator, pursuant to which the Property Owner undertakes

Corrective Action at a Nuisance Property.

k. “Nuisance Property Abatement Coordinator (“NPAC”) ” is the City official charged with

the administration and enforcement of this Chapter, or any duly authorized

representative thereof.

l. “Permittee” means a person present on a particular property where an Interested Party

has allowed, consented to, or otherwise acquiesced in that person’s presence, and shall

include a person whose presence the Interested Party has failed to prevent or remove.

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m.. “Property” means any real estate, including land, and that which is affixed, incidental, or

appurtenant to the real estate. For Property consisting of more than one dwelling unit,

the term Property may refer to a particular unit or to the portion of the Property on which

Nuisance Activity has occurred or is occurring. Property may also include areas used in

common by all units of the Property, including without limitation, other structures erected

on the Property and areas used for parking, loading, and landscaping.

n. “Property Owner” means the legal titleholder as shown by the records of the Linn County

Auditor, unless there is a recorded contract for sale of the Property, in which case it

means the contract purchaser.

o. The phrase “within one thousand feet of the Property” means the distance measured

from the central point of any Nuisance Activity to the nearest point along the parcel line

for the Property with which the Interested Party or Permittee is associated. For

purposes of this Chapter, the Property of an Interested Party or Permittee who is not

responsible for the Founded Nuisance Activity shall not be subject to Section 22A.03.

22A.03 Nuisance Property. Property shall be deemed Nuisance Property upon a determination

by the NPAC that any one or more of the following subsections is true with respect to the

Property:

a. One or more of the following Founded Nuisance Activities have occurred upon the

Property or within one thousand feet of the Property within a period of twelve consecutive

months, whether committed by an Interested Party or Permittee(s) of an Interested Party

1. Manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in violation of Iowa Code

Chapter 124;

2. Kidnapping as defined in Iowa Code Chapter 710;

3. Arson as defined in Iowa Code Chapter 712;

4. Burglary as defined in Iowa Code Chapter 713;

5. Robbery as defined in Iowa Code Chapter 711;

6. Sex abuse as defined in Iowa Code Chapter 709;

7. Intimidation with a Dangerous Weapon as defined in Iowa Code Section 708.6;

8. Willful injury as defined in Iowa Code Section 708.4;

9. Sexual exploitation of a minor in violation of Iowa Code Section 728.12;

10. Felony gambling in violation of Iowa Code Chapter 725;

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11. Felony criminal mischief as defined in Iowa Code Chapter 716;

12. Animal contests in violation of Iowa Code Chapter 717D; and

13. Violation of Cedar Rapids Municipal Code section 22.01(a)(2), concerning certain

nuisances.

14. Violation of Cedar Rapids Municipal Code section 23.21 concerning Dangerous

Animals.

b. Two or more of the following Founded Nuisance Activities have occurred upon the Property

or within one thousand feet of the Property within a period of twelve consecutive months,

whether committed by an Interested Party or Permittee(s) of an Interested Party:

1. Possession of a controlled substance in violation of Iowa Code Chapter 124;

2. Possessing or carrying a dangerous weapon as defined in Iowa Code Section

724;

3. Riot as defined in Iowa Code Section 723.1;

4. Serious or aggravated misdemeanor criminal mischief as defined in Iowa Code

Chapter 716;

5. Prostitution as defined in Iowa Code Section 725.1;

6. Serious or aggravated misdemeanor assault as defined in Iowa Code Chapter

708;

7. Serious or aggravated misdemeanor theft as defined in Iowa Code Chapter 714;

8. Misdemeanor gambling as defined in Iowa Code Chapter 725;

9. False imprisonment as defined in Iowa Code Section 710.7;

10. Failing to secure or keep secure a structure in accordance with Chapter 29 of the

Cedar Rapids Municipal Code and this code;

11. An unpermitted or illegal use under Chapter 32 of the Cedar Rapids Municipal

Code;

12. Unlawful discharge of any device in violation of Section 63.10A (c), of the Cedar

Rapids Municipal Code;

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13. A violation of Section 62.33 of the Cedar Rapids Municipal Code concerning

Disorderly Houses;

.

14. Failure to disperse from an unlawful assembly as defined in Iowa Code Section

723.3.

c. Three or more of the following Founded Nuisance Activities have occurred upon the Property

or within one thousand feet of the Property within a period of twelve consecutive months,

whether committed by an Interested Party or Permittee(s) of an Interested Party:

1. A Health, Environmental, or Solid Waste violation as defined herein;

2. Unlawful assembly in violation of Iowa Code Section 723.2;

3. Defacing City Property and Graffiti as prohibited by Section 64.01, and/or Section

64.14, and/or Chapter 29 of the Cedar Rapids Municipal Code;

4. Simple misdemeanor assault in violation of Iowa Code Chapter 708;

5. Violation of Section 23.06, of the Cedar Rapids Municipal Code regarding Animal

Noise.

d. When any of the following occur upon the Property or within one thousand feet of the

Property within a period of twelve consecutive months, except as otherwise specified, whether

caused by an Interested Party or Permittee(s) of an Interested Party:

1. The property is placarded pursuant to Chapter 29 Housing Code of the Cedar

Rapids Municipal Code, except when such placard is due solely to utility

discontinuance for nonpayment of utility bill(s) by a tenant.

2. A second “no show” trip charge has been imposed in accordance with Chapter 29

Housing Code of the Cedar Rapids Municipal Code.

3. The City mows the property two or more times in a calendar year for an owner in

violation of Chapter 21 and / or Chapter 29 of the Cedar Rapids Municipal Code.

4. The City removes snow from the sidewalk two or more times in a six month period

for an owner in violation of Chapter 9 of the Cedar Rapids Municipal Code.

5. The City removes junk, debris, and/or solid waste from the property two or more

times in a twelve month period for an owner in violation of Chapter 22 and/or

Chapter 29 of the Cedar Rapids Municipal Code.

6. A violation of Chapter 29 of the Cedar Rapids Municipal Code(s) is prosecuted in

Court and the Court rules in favor of the City.

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7. A violation of Cedar Rapids Municipal Code Chapter 22 is prosecuted in Court and

the Court rules in favor of the City.

Except where otherwise specified, the references in this section 22A.03 to provisions of the

Iowa Code or the Cedar Rapids Municipal Code shall not be construed to mean that prosecution

of the specific charge is required to proceed under this Chapter, nor shall it be construed to

mean the Nuisance Activity must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Rather, in determining

whether a Property is a Nuisance Property, the Nuisance Property Abatement Coordinator shall

apply the criteria of this section using a preponderance of evidence as the standard of proof.

Any determination pursuant to this section shall be subject to administrative appeal and judicial

review as set forth in this Chapter.

22A.04 Prohibitions

The following are hereby prohibited by this Chapter:

a. The creation or maintenance of or the failure to Abate a Nuisance Property.

b. Interference, delay or hindrance of enforcement of this Chapter except to pursue appeal

and/or review of administrative actions by the City Manager or NPAC.

c. The termination of a lease agreement with a tenant or other retaliation against a tenant

because that tenant notified or otherwise complained to law enforcement or other city officials

that Nuisance Activity was occurring at the Property.

22A.05 Inspection of premises.

The City Manager is authorized to enter and remain upon private property to the extent

reasonably necessary for the purpose of locating, identifying, investigating and documenting

any Nuisance Activity as defined by this Chapter and, further, for the purpose of administering

this Chapter, subject in any event to the limitations on that authority under other applicable law.

22A.06 Finding of Violation; Nuisance Property Abatement Plan

a. Upon a threshold determination by the NPAC that a Property meets the criteria of

section 22A.03 herein, the City shall cause a Notice of Violation to be served upon the

Property Owner in the manner provided by this Chapter.

b. Upon the issuance of a Notice of Violation, the Property Owner may submit a Nuisance

Property Abatement Plan specifying the Corrective Action the Owner will take, including

dates by which each Corrective Action shall be completed.

c. The NPAC shall meet with any Property Owner who has submitted a Nuisance Property

Abatement Plan to review the facts of the case and Corrective Action contemplated by

the Plan.

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d. The submission of a Nuisance Property Abatement Plan may be the basis in for the

NPAC, pursuant to section 22A.07, to postpone by 15 days the imposition of charges

otherwise due under section 22A.08.

22A.07 Notice of Violation—Contents.

The Notice of Violation required by this Chapter shall contain:

a. The location of the Nuisance Property in question;

b. A description of what constitutes the violation of this Chapter;

c. A statement that within 15 days following service of the Notice of Violation, the Property

Owner shall be charged for future Founded Calls for Service to the Nuisance Property;

provided, however, that if the Property Owner submits a Nuisance Property Abatement

Plan, then the NPAC may postpone by 15 days the date that Founded Calls for Service

will be billed to the Property Owner.

d. A statement that pursuant to section 22A.11 of this Chapter, the Property Owner may

seek administrative appeal and/or judicial review of the NPAC’s determinations that the

Property is a Nuisance Property and the Notice of Violation.

22A.08 Founded Calls for Service Charged to Nuisance Property

With respect to a Property for which a Notice of Violation has been duly served, the NPAC shall

cause to be charged to the Property Owner all costs associated with Founded Calls for Service

to the Property, beginning on the date specified in the Notice of Violation and continuing

thereafter until the expiration of one year from the date on the Notice of Violation. This provision

shall not be construed so as to preclude an additional determination under section 22A.03 that

the Property is a Nuisance Property due to additional Nuisance Activity. In the event of such an

additional finding under section 22A.03, the twelve month period shall run from date of the most

recent Notice of Violation.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the charges otherwise due under this section may be postponed

by the NPAC in accordance with 22A.06(d) and 22A.07(c).

22A.09 Emergency Abatement.

If it is determined by the City Manager that an emergency exists by reason of the continuing

presence or repeated occurrence of Nuisance Activity, the City may perform any action required

under this Chapter to the extent reasonably necessary to Abate the Nuisance Activity

constituting the emergency. This provision shall not be construed so as to impose any duty

upon the City to take such action. Emergency action pursuant to this section may be taken

without prior notice or hearing. Notice of emergency action shall be provided to the Property

Owner, along with an opportunity for hearing as provided in this Chapter. Subject to the

provisions of this Chapter concerning Appeals of Administrative Actions or Decisions, if the

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amount shown by the statement has not been paid by the person within thirty days, it shall then

be collected with, and in the same manner, as special taxes.

Section 22A.10 Corrective Action by the City; Collection of Costs.

a. If a Property Owner who has been served with a Notice of Violation fails or refuses to

prevent the recurrence of Nuisance Activity, and the City is capable of correcting or

eliminating the Nuisance Activity, the City may take such lawful steps as are necessary

and proper to Abate the Nuisance Activity upon 30 days’ notice to the Property Owner.

This provision shall not be construed so as to impose any duty upon the City to take such

corrective action. In so doing, the City shall keep an accurate account of the costs

incurred in correcting or eliminating the Nuisance Activity. The NPAC shall keep an

itemized account of such costs. The salvage value, if any, of any item or items collected

in connection with such action by the City shall be retained by the City and shall be

applied as an offset against costs. In the event the salvage proceeds exceed the costs,

any such excess shall be paid promptly to the Property Owner.

b. In the event action is taken pursuant to this section, the NPAC shall mail to the Property

Owner an itemized statement of the expenses incurred, minus any salvage value, to the

Property Owner demanding payment of the expense. Subject to the provisions of this

Chapter concerning Appeals of Administrative Actions or Decisions, if the amount shown

by the statement has not been paid by the person within thirty days, it shall then be

collected with, and in the same manner, as special taxes.

.

22A.11 Appeals of Administrative Decisions or Actions.

a. Any person aggrieved by a decision or act of the City Manager or NPAC shall have the

opportunity for hearing before a duly appointed hearing officer. Any aggrieved party may

submit a request for a hearing which shall be in writing delivered to the NPAC. If said

request is received within the time stated in the notice of the action or decision in

question, the hearing shall be held pursuant to this section; any request for hearing

received thereafter shall not entitle the requesting party to a hearing.

b. Upon receipt of a timely request for hearing, the NPAC shall set a hearing to be held

within 30 days from said receipt and, further, shall give at least 10 days’ Notice to the

requesting party of the time, date and location of said hearing. The hearing may be

reset by agreement of the requesting party, the City and the hearing officer, as

confirmed in writing, but in no event shall the hearing be held any later than 60 days

after the date of the action or decision being appealed.

c. At the time of hearing, the requesting party and NPAC shall be afforded the opportunity

to present evidence and arguments. The formal rules of evidence and procedure shall

not apply. Legal counsel shall not be required but shall be permitted.

d. Within thirty days after the conclusion of an administrative hearing held pursuant to this

section, the hearing officer shall make the following written findings which shall be

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based on a preponderance of the evidence as the standard of proof, and the City shall

serve Notice thereof upon the appealing party:

i. Whether the determination under 22A.03 was correct; and

ii. Whether the action taken upon that determination was in accordance with all

applicable law.

e. Any decision rendered pursuant to this section shall be deemed a final agency action

and subject to judicial review in accordance with Iowa law.

f. Where there has been a request for an administrative hearing pursuant to this section or

a petition for judicial review as provided by Iowa law, charges for calls for service and

any other administrative fees imposed pursuant to this Chapter shall be recorded, but

the due date therefor and collection thereof shall be suspended pending the final

outcome of any administrative hearing and/or judicial review.

22A.12 Alternative Means of Enforcement.

Without negating, restricting or otherwise limiting any conditions or sanctions imposed

pursuant to this Chapter, this Chapter may also be enforced by any lawful means including

but not limited to the following:

a. Prosecution as a simple misdemeanor in accordance with Chapter 1 of the Cedar

Rapids Municipal Code and Chapter 364 of the Iowa Code.

b. The filing of a Municipal Infraction in accordance with Chapter 1 of the Cedar Rapids

Municipal and Chapter 364 of the Iowa Code.

22A.13 Service of Notice.

Except where expressly provided otherwise, the service of notice required under this Chapter

shall be deemed effective at such time as the Notice is:

a. Delivered personally to the Owner; or

b. Delivered personally to an individual residing at the same address as the Owner

provided that said individual is at least 18 years of age;

c. Sent by certified or first-class mail addressed to the last known address of the Owner;

or

d. Posted in a conspicuous place on the Property in question, but only in cases where

the notice is returned showing that the letter was not delivered.

Section 2. Severability

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If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase of this ordinance or chapter as codified is

for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a decision of any court of competent

jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this ordinance

or chapter. The City Council hereby declares that it would have passed the ordinance codified in

this chapter, and each and every section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase not declared

invalid or unconstitutional without regard to whether any portion hereof would be subsequently

declared invalid or unconstitutional

Section 3. Code on File.

An official copy of the Nuisance Code hereby adopted, including a certificate by the City Clerk as to

its adoption and the effective date thereof, is on file in the office of the City Clerk in City Hall, and

shall be kept there on file and copies shall be available for public inspection.

Section 4. Effective Date this ordinance shall take effect after passage and publication as

provided by law.

Introduced this 18th day of December, 2012.

Passed this ____ day of _________, 2013.

 

 

 

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