ORDINANCE NO. 1357

March 23, 2013

ORDINANCE NO. 1357
AN ORDINANCE REPEALING AND REPLACING CHAPTER 8.12 OF THE MUNICIPAL CODE OF THE CITY OF BLUFFTON, INDIANA
WHEREAS, the Common Council of the City of Bluffton has authority under the Acts of the Indiana General Assembly to make all necessary regulations for the preservation of the rights, property, health, safety and welfare of its citizens and the Council finds that the interests of the citizens of the City of Bluffton would be best served by amending, repealing, and/or replacing certain ordinances of the Municipal Code of the City of Bluffton, Indiana.
THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COMMON COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BLUFFTON, INDIANA AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1: Chapter 8.12 of the Municipal Code of Bluffton, Indiana shall be completely repealed and replaced with the Chapter 8.12 attached hereto as Exhibit A which shall be enforced as an ordinance of the City of Bluffton, Indiana.
Section 2:  If any part of this Ordinance shall be found by any competent court of proper jurisdiction to be unconstitutional or otherwise unenforceable, said unenforceable provision shall be deemed severed from the remainder of the ordinance and the remaining provisions of this Ordinance shall remain in full force and effect.
Section 3:  This Ordinance shall take effect and be in force upon adoption and publication as required by law.
Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Bluffton, Indiana, this 19th day of March, 2013, by the following vote:
AYES    5   , to-wit: NAYS    0    , to-wit: ABSENT    0    , to-wit:
Bette Erxleben
Melanie Durr
James Phillabaum
Mike Morrissey
Carl Perry
Mayor Ted Ellis
ATTEST:
Tamara D. Runyon, IAMC, MMC
Municipal Clerk-Treasurer
Presented by me to the Mayor of the City of Bluffton, Indiana, this 20th day of March, 2013.
Tamara D. Runyon, IAMC, MMC
Municipal Clerk-Treasurer
Approved by me this 20th day of March, 2013.
Mayor Ted Ellis
CHAPTER 8.12
WEED CONTROL
Sections:
8.12.010 Definitions
8.12.020 Notice to Remove
8.12.030 Penalty
8.12.040 Removal Costs
8.12.050 Enforcement
8.12.060  Appeal Procedure
8.12.070  Continuous Abatement Notice
8.12.010 Definitions
A. “Property Owner” shall mean any person, entity, or organization who is responsible for the payment of real estate taxes on a particular tract of real estate as reflected by the most current records in the office of the Auditor of Wells County.
B. “Nuisance Vegetation” shall not include agricultural crops such as hay and/or pasture, but shall include the following:
1. Grasses or weeds that have reached a height of eight inches (8”) or higher;
2. Any growth of vegetation (even if it has died) which is neglected or disregarded; which is detrimental to health; or which acts as a haven for mosquitoes, flies, bees, mice, snakes, rats, or other insects or animals that pose a hazard to the public health; and
3. Any vegetation that obscures the visual clearance at a street intersection.
8.12.020  Notice to Remove 
Any property owner determined by the City to have Nuisance Vegetation on his property shall receive written notice from the City that said vegetation must be removed within five (5) days of the date of the notice.  The City shall cause the notice to be served upon the property owner by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the property owner as reflected by the most current records in the office of the Auditor of Wells County and shall be posted in a prominent place on the premises where the violation is occurring.
8.12.030  Penalty
Any property owner who fails to remove nuisance vegetation after notice as required by this Chapter shall be subject to a fine as permitted by Indiana Law.  Each day that an owner fails to remove nuisance vegetation shall be considered a separate violation of this Chapter.
8.12.040  Removal Costs
If a property owner fails to remove the nuisance vegetation within the time set forth in the notice, in addition to a fine, the City may remove the nuisance vegetation by hiring independent labor or by employing its own agents. The Clerk-Treasurer shall make a certified statement of the actual cost incurred by the City in the removal of said vegetation.  The statement of costs shall be delivered to the property owner by registered mail addressed to the property owner as reflected by the most current records in the office of the Auditor of Wells County and said property owner shall pay the amount to the Clerk-Treasurer within thirty (30) days after receiving said statement.   In the event of the failure of the property owner to pay the amount within the prescribed time, a certified copy of the statement of costs shall be filed in the office of the Auditor of Wells County.   The Auditor of Wells County shall then place the amount claimed by the City on the tax duplicate against the property affected by the work and said amount shall be collected as taxes and shall be disbursed to the general fund of the City.
8.12.050  Enforcement
It shall be the duty of the Board of Public Works and Safety to establish policies and regulations concerning the enforcement of this ordinance, including but not limited to the methods and rates of pay to be allowed to those individuals who perform services on behalf of the City under the terms of this ordinance.
8.12.060  Appeal Procedure
Any owner who has received a bill for vegetation removal through the provisions of this ordinance may appeal such bill to the Board of Public Works and Safety by filing a written notice of such appeal with Clerk Treasurer of the City within thirty (30) days of the date of bill.  Upon the filing of such appeal, the Municipal Clerk-Treasurer shall schedule the owner to appear before the Board at a meeting to occur within thirty (30) days after the filing of the appeal.  No statement of costs shall be filed with the County Auditor until such appeal has been resolved.
8.12.070 Continuous Abatement Notice
If an initial notice of the violation of this Chapter was provided by certified mail as provided for herein, a continuous abatement notice may be posted at the property at the time of abatement instead of by certified mail.  A continuous abatement notice serves as notice to the property owner that each subsequent violation during the year for which the initial notice of the violation was provided may be abated by the City as set forth herein.
nb 3/23
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