CHAPTER VIII. HEALTH AND WELFARECHAPTER VIII. HEALTH AND WELFARE\ARTICLE 4. WEEDS

It shall be unlawful for any owner, agent, lessee, tenant, or other person occupying or having charge or control of any premises to permit weeds to remain upon said premises or any area between the property lines of said premises and the centerline of any adjacent street or alley, including but not specifically limited to sidewalks, streets, alleys, easements, rights-of-way and all other areas, public or private. All weeds as hereinafter defined are hereby declared a nuisance and are subject to abatement as hereinafter provided.

(Code 2006)

(a)   Calendar Year as used herein, means that period of time beginning January 1st and ending December 31st of the same year.

(b)   Weeds as used herein, means any of the following:

(1)   Brush and woody vines shall be classified as weeds;

(2)   Weeds and grasses which may attain such large growth as to become, when dry, a fire menace to adjacent improved property;

(3)   Weeds which bear or may bear seeds of a downy or wingy nature.

(4)   Weeds which are located in an area which harbors rats, insects, animals, reptiles, or any other creature which either mayor does constitute a menace to health, public safety or welfare;

(5)   Weeds and grasses on or about residential property which, because of its height, has a blighting influence on the neighborhood. Any such weeds and indigenous grasses shall be presumed to be blighting if they exceed 12 inches in height.

(Code 2006)

The City Manager shall hereby designate a public officer to be charged with the administration and enforcement of this Article.

(Code 2006; Ord. 1455, Sec. 1)

The public officer or his or her authorized representative shall make inquiry and inspection of premises upon receiving a complaint or complaints in writing signed by two or more persons stating that a weed-related violation exists and describing the same and the location. The public officer may also make inquiry after being informed that a weed-related violation may exist by the fire chief. The public officer may make such inquiry and inspection when he or she observes conditions which appear to constitute a weed-related violation. Upon making any inquiry and inspection, the public officer or designee shall make a written report of findings. These written reports may include photographs of the premise.

(Code 2006; Ord. 1455, Sec. 1)

The public officer or designee shall have the right of access and entry upon private property for the purpose of making inquiry and inspection to determine if a weed-related violation exists.

(Code 2006; Ord. 1455, Sec. 1)

Any person, corporation, partnership, or association found by the public officer to be in violation of this Article shall be served a notice of such violation. This notice shall be served upon the person, corporation, partnership, or association in violation in one of the following ways:

(a)   Personal service upon the person, corporation, partnership, or association in violation;

(b)   Service by restricted mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested;

(c)   Service by registered mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested; or

(d)   In the event the whereabouts of such person, corporation, partnership, or association are unknown and the same cannot be ascertained in the exercise of reasonable diligence, an affidavit to that effect shall be made by the public officer. The notice shall be filed with the City Clerk. In such event, the notice shall be served by publishing the resolution once each week for two consecutive weeks in the official City newspaper and by posting a copy of the notice on the premises where such condition exists.

(e)   If the owner or agent of the owner of the property has failed to accept delivery or otherwise failed to effectuate receipt of a notice or order sent pursuant to this section during the preceding twenty-four month period, the governing body of the City may provide notice of the issuance of any further orders to abate or remove a nuisance from such property or provide notice of the order by such methods including, but not limited to, door hangers, conspicuously posting notice of such order on the property, personal notification, telephone communication or first class mail. If the property is unoccupied and the owner is a nonresident, notice provided by this section shall be given by telephone communication or first class mail.

Such notice shall only be given once per calendar year.

(Code 2006; Ord. 1455, Sec. 1)

The notice shall state the condition(s) which is (are) in violation of this Article. The notice shall also inform the person, corporation, partnership or association that:

(a)   He, she or they shall have 10 days from the date of serving the notice to abate the condition(s) in violation of this Article; or

(b)   He, she or they shall have ten (10) days from the date of serving the notice to request a hearing before the governing body as provided by this Article.

(c)   Failure to abate the condition(s) or to request a hearing within the time allowed may result in prosecution as provided by this Article and/or abatement of the condition(s) by the City.

(Code 2006; Ord. 1455, Sec. 1)

Should the person, corporation, partnership or association fail to comply with the notice to abate the weed-related violation or request a hearing, the public officer may file a complaint in the municipal court of the City against such person, corporation, partnership or association and upon conviction of any violation of provisions of this Article, such person, corporation, partnership, or association shall be fined in an amount of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 or be imprisoned for a period not to exceed 30 days or be both fined and imprisoned. Each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues after notice has been served shall constitute an additional or separate offense.

(Ord. 1455, Sec. 1)

In addition to, or as an alternative to prosecution as provided in Section 8-408, the public officer may seek to remedy violations of this section in the following manner. If a person, corporation, partnership, or association to whom a notice has been sent pursuant to 8-406 has neither alleviated the conditions causing the alleged violation nor requested a hearing before the governing body within the time periods specified in Section 8-407, the public officer or other agents of the City may abate or remove the conditions causing the violation.

(Ord. 1455, Sec. 1)

If a hearing is requested within the ten (l0) day period as provided in Section 8-407, such request shall be made in writing to the governing body. Failure to make a timely request for a hearing shall constitute a waiver of the person, corporation, partnership, or association's right to contest the findings of the public officer before the governing body. The hearing shall be held by the governing body as soon as possible after the filing of the request therefore, and the person, corporation, partnership, or association shall be advised by the City of the time and place of the hearing at least five days in advance thereof. At any such hearing, the person, corporation, partnership, or association may be represented by counsel, and the person, corporation, partnership, or association and the City may introduce such witnesses and evidence as is deemed necessary and proper by the governing body. The hearing need not be conducted according to the formal rules of evidence. Upon conclusion of the hearing, the governing body shall record its determination of the matter by means of adopting a resolution and serving the resolution upon the person, corporation, partnership, or association in the matter provided in Section 8-406

(Ord. 1455, Sec. 1)

If the City abates the nuisance pursuant to Section 8-409, the cost will be assessed according to the following schedule:

(a)   Mowing or Weed Abatement Fee- $125 per person per hour (one hour minimum) or $0.60 per one hundred square feet, whichever is greater, plus an administrative fee of$150. All fees are charged once each mowing or abatement.

(b)   The above fees shall be doubled for rental properties and properties with more than one violation in a 12-month period. The fees to be doubled include all of the fees listed above and the administrative fees.

These fees are subject to change and will be reviewed at least once annually by a resolution titled "A RESOLUTION CONCERNING SERVICE, LICENSE AND PERMIT FEES WITHIN THE CORPORATE LIMITS AND SERVICE AREA OF THE CITY OF HOISINGTON."

The City shall give notice of the total cost assessed for the abatement or removal by the City to the person, corporation, partnership or association by one of the methods of service outlined in Section 8-406. The notice shall also state that the payment is due within 30 days following receipt of the notice. The City also may recover the cost of providing notice including any postage or publication, required by this section.

The notice shall also state that if the cost assessed for the removal or abatement is not paid within the 30-day period, the cost of the abatement or removal shall be collected in the manner provide by K.S.A. 12-1,115, and amendments thereto, or shall be assessed as special assessments and charged against the lot or parcel of land on which the nuisance was located and the city clerk at the time of certifying other taxes to the county clerk, shall certify the unpaid portion of the costs as provided in this section. The county clerk shall extend the same on the tax roll and it shall be collected by the county treasurer and paid to the City as other city taxes are collected and paid. The City may pursue collection both by levying a special assessment and in the manner provided by K.S.A. 12-1,115, and amendments thereto, but only until the full assessed cost and applicable interest and fees have been paid in full.

(Ord. 1455, Sec. 1)

It shall be unlawful for any person, corporation, partnership, or association to interfere with or to attempt to prevent the public officer or the public officer's authorized representative(s) from entering upon any such lot or piece of ground or from proceeding with correcting the weed-related violation. Such interference shall constitute a code violation subject to the same penalties outlined in Section 8-408.

(Ord. 1455, Sec. 1)

Nothing in this Article shall affect or impair the rights of the City under the provisions of Chapter 2, Article 13 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated, relating to the control and eradication of certain noxious weeds. For the purpose of this Article, the term noxious weeds shall mean the following:

(1)   Kudzu (Pueraria Lobata),

(2)   Field Bindweed (Convolvulus Arvensis),

(3)   Russian Knapweed (Centaurea Picris),

(4)   Hoary Cress (Lepidium Draba)

(5)   Canada Thistle (Cirsium Arvense),

(6)   Quackgrass (Agrophyron Repens),

(7)   Leafy Spurge (Euphorbia Esula),

(8)   Burragweed (Franseria Tomentosa and Discolor),

(9)   Pignut (Hoffmannseggia Densiflora),

(10) Musk (Nodding) Thistle (Carduus Nutans L.), and

(11) Johnson Grass (Sorghum Halepense)

(Ord. 1455, Sec. 1)