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E) Chapters 50 through 57 – Nuisances and Animal Control

CHAPTER 50

NUISANCE ABATEMENT PROCEDURE

50.01 Definition of Nuisance and Other Terms 50.05 Nuisance Abatement
50.02 Nuisances Enumerated 50.06 Abatement of Nuisance by Written Notice
50.03 Other Conditions 50.07 Municipal Infraction Abatement Procedure
50.04 Nuisances Prohibited  

50.01    DEFINITION OF NUISANCE AND OTHER TERMS.  Whatever is injurious to health, indecent, or unreasonably offensive to the senses, or an obstruction to the free use of property so as essentially to interfere unreasonably with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property is a nuisance.  The following terms are also defined for use in this chapter:

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 657.1)

  1. “All weather surface” means asphalt, Portland cement concrete, turf blocks, brick pavers, and gravel, all of sufficient thickness to adequately support motor vehicles.
  2. “Front yard area” means all that area between the front property line and a line drawn along the front face or faces of the principal structure on the property and extended to the side property lines.
  3. “Noisome” means offensive.
  4. “Offal” means decomposing animal flesh, refuse or water material, entrails and internal organs used as food.
  5. “Outside” means to be outside of an enclosed storage facility and visible from any other property or the public right-of-way.
  6. “Side yard corner lots” means the yard area adjacent to the street right-of-way on a corner lot extending from the front yard along the side of the structure to the rear property line.
  7. “Weeds” means, noxious or otherwise, untended vines, brush and scrub bushes, grass, and other similar vegetation.

50.02    NUISANCES ENUMERATED.  The following subsections include, but do not limit, the conditions that are deemed to be nuisances in the City:

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 657.2)

  1. Offensive Smells. Erecting, continuing, or using any building or other place for the exercise of any trade, employment, or manufacture that, by occasioning noxious exhalations, unreasonably offensive smells, or other annoyances, becomes injurious and dangerous to the health, comfort, or property of individuals or the public.
  2. Filth or Noisome Substance. Causing or suffering any offal, filth, or noisome substance to be collected or to remain in any place to the prejudice of others.
  3. Impeding Passage of Navigable River. Obstructing or impeding without legal authority the passage of any navigable river, harbor, or collection of water.
  4. Water Pollution. Corrupting or rendering unwholesome or impure the water of any river, stream, or pond, or unlawfully diverting the same from its natural course or state, to the injury or prejudice of others.
  5. Blocking Public and Private Ways. Obstructing or encumbering, by fences, buildings or otherwise, the public roads, private ways, streets, alleys, commons, landing places, or burying grounds.
  6. Billboards, signboards, and advertising signs, whether erected and constructed on public or private property, that so obstruct and impair the view of any portion or part of a public street, avenue, highway, boulevard or alley or of a railroad or street railway track as to render dangerous the use thereof. (See also Section 62.06)
  7. Storing of Flammable Junk. Depositing or storing of flammable junk, such as old rags, rope, cordage, rubber, bones and paper, by dealers in such articles within the fire limits of the City, unless in a building of fireproof construction. (See also Chapter 51)
  8. Air Pollution. Emission of dense smoke, noxious fumes, or fly ash.
  9. Weeds, Brush. Dense growth of all weeds, vines, brush, or other vegetation in the City so as to constitute a health, safety, or fire hazard.
  10. All vegetation growing on lots and parcels of ground within the City limits during the period from April 15 to October 15 shall be cut below the maximum vegetation height requirements described below.  In cases of a second or third growth of said vegetation during said period, the owners or occupants shall again cut or otherwise destroy the growth.

 

Maximum Vegetation Height Land Use
6 inches Developed residential, commercial, and industrial zoned areas
12 inches Underdeveloped residential, commercial, and industrial zoned areas and railroad right-of-way
18 inches Unplatted property and agriculture zoned property unplanted for farm crop purposes

The property owner and occupant shall also be jointly and severally responsible for the cutting of such growth on the abutting space between the lot line and the curb line or edge of the traveled way within the street right-of-way whether in front of or along the side of the lot or parcel of ground, and one-half of an alley abutting the property. The City Council, by the Police Department, shall notify the property owner and occupant when the vegetation is no longer within the limits set out in this subsection.  If the vegetation is not cut within 72 hours after the notice, the City may do so, then assess the cost in accordance with this chapter.  Any property owner who violates the provisions of this subsection will be given one notice per summer, and the City will be authorized to respond to additional violations without additional written notice being given.  The cost for mowing residential lots shall be $100.00 for the first mowing and $200.00 for each additional mowing during any one calendar year.  The costs for mowing commercial or industrial lots shall be at the rate of $75.00 per hour per person with a minimum charge of $100.00.

  1. The property owner or occupant may allow grass to extend beyond the maximum vegetation heights set out in paragraph A if the adjacent or abutting property owners or occupants waive all complaints pursuant to the height of the grass.

(1)        The property owners or occupants of tracts land of three or more acres under single ownership within the City may allow vegetation to extend beyond the maximum vegetation heights set out in paragraph A so long as all of the conditions specified below are certified as fulfilled by the owner or occupant in a written application form, and a written waiver form is issued by the City Administrator, filled out in full, presented to the Fire Chief for investigation, and submitted to the City Administrator for final approval.

(2)        The owners of at least 51 percent of the frontage feet of property abutting such tract must consent in writing attached to the application form; if the application is submitted by the occupant other than the owner of the tract upon which the extended growth is requested, the written consent of the owner shall also be shown.

(3)        A firebreak 30 feet in width on all sides of such tract shall be mowed to the height required in paragraph A.

(4)        The tract shall contain no “noxious weeds” as defined in Section 317.1A, Code of Iowa.

(5)        The Belle Plaine Fire Chief will certify in writing that the growths permitted hereunder on such tract will not violate the State Fire Code.

(6)        Subsequent failure of any one or more of the foregoing conditions shall void the waiver issued hereunder and immediately subject the property owners to the remedies provided for the abatement of nuisances under this chapter.

  1. Dutch Elm Disease. Trees infected with Dutch elm disease. (See also Chapter 151)
  2. Airport Air Space. Any object or structure hereafter erected within 1,000 feet of the limits of any municipal or regularly established airport or landing place, which may endanger or obstruct aerial navigation including take-off and landing, unless such object or structure constitutes a proper use or enjoyment of the land on which the same is located.
  3. Houses of Ill Fame. Houses of ill fame, kept for the purpose of prostitution and lewdness; gambling houses; places resorted to by persons participating in criminal gang activity prohibited by Chapter 723A of the Code of Iowa or places resorted to by persons using controlled substances, as defined in Section 124.101 of the Code of Iowa, in violation of law, or houses where drunkenness, quarreling, fighting or breaches of the peace are carried on or permitted to the disturbance of others.
  4. Lumber, Construction Materials. The outside storage of pipes, lumber, piles of dirt, sand and sod, forms, machinery, or other construction materials upon property other than the place of intended use in the front yard or side yard corner lot in any residential district for more than 45 days.  The outside storage of any construction materials for more than 60 days after construction has been completed or occupancy by consent of the owner or a certificate of occupancy has been issued, whichever comes first.  The placement, storage, or allowing the placement or storage of pipe, lumber, forms, steel, machinery or similar materials including all materials used in connection with a business, outside on property used for residential purposes, and/or residentially zoned property.
  5. Property Not Seeded or Sodded. Property in a residential district not seeded, sodded, or otherwise planted with a ground cover more than 240 days after any disturbance in the front, rear, or side yard corner lots caused by construction, grading, or other activity, excluding gardens; or at any time prior to the 240 days if the property is causing erosion or drainage problems on the same or nearby properties, including public streets.
  6. Wood Piles. Tree branches, logs, or any accumulation of firewood in any front yard or side corner lot for a period of more than 10 days and the accumulation of any piles of wood which are not stacked or secured in a stable manner to avoid collapse.
  7. Exterior of Residential Structures. Any structure or portion thereof in a residential district, which exterior is not completed in accordance with City-approved construction plans within 360 days after construction commences.
  8. Mail and Newsprint Receptacles. The placement of mail boxes and other newsprint receptacles on public right-of-way, except those which are in compliance with the United States Postal Services requirement for location and type and on a common post.
  9. Parking and Storage of Vehicles. The causing, undertaking, permitting, or allowing the outside parking and storage of vehicles on property within the City limits unless it complies with the following requirements:
  10. Vehicles that are parked or stored outside in the front yard area or side yard corner lots must be on an all-weather surface driveway which shall not exceed 30 percent of the front yard or side yard corner lot. Driveways exceeding 30 percent of the front yard or side yard corner lot which existed prior to the adoption of the ordinance codified in this section are exempt providing no additional surface area is added.
  11. Parking or storing of watercraft or trailers is prohibited within the front yard areas, side yard corner lots, and public streets or rights-of-way. Exception: watercraft or trailer parking is permitted on side yard corner lots where the rear yard is not accessible as long as the trailer is parked upon an all-weather driveway surface.

The prohibitions of this subsection do not apply to the following: (i) any motor truck, pickup, or similar vehicle being used by a public utility, moving company, or similar company, which is actually being used to serve a residence not belonging to or occupied by the operator of the vehicle; (ii) any vehicle which is actually making a pickup or delivery at the location where it is parked, for the period of time reasonably necessary to make such pickup or delivery; (iii) lawful and nonconforming and permitted uses; and (iv) parking on all-weather surfaces in front yard areas in place at the date of the adoption of the ordinance codified in this subsection..

50.03    OTHER CONDITIONS.  The following chapters of this Code of Ordinances contain regulations prohibiting or restricting other conditions that are deemed to be nuisances:

  1. Junk and Junk Vehicles (See Chapter 51)
  2. Dangerous Buildings (See Chapter 145)
  3. Storage and Disposal of Solid Waste (See Chapter 105)
  4. Trees (See Chapter 151)

50.04    NUISANCES PROHIBITED.  The creation or maintenance of a nuisance is prohibited, and a nuisance, public or private, may be abated in the manner provided for in this chapter or State law.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 657.3)

50.05    NUISANCE ABATEMENT.  Whenever any authorized municipal officer finds that a nuisance exists, such officer has the authority to determine on a case-by-case basis whether to utilize the nuisance abatement procedure described in Section 50.06 of this chapter or the municipal infraction procedure referred to in Section 50.07.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12[3h])

50.06    ABATEMENT OF NUISANCE BY WRITTEN NOTICE.  Any nuisance, public or private, may be abated in the manner provided for in this section:

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12[3h])

  1. Contents of Notice to Property Owner. The notice to abate shall contain:
  2. Description of Nuisance. A description of what constitutes the nuisance.
  3. Location of Nuisance. The location of the nuisance.
  4. Acts Necessary to Abate. A statement of the act or acts necessary to abate the nuisance.
  5. Reasonable Time. A reasonable time within which to complete the abatement.
  6. Assessment of City Costs. A statement that if the nuisance or condition is not abated as directed and no request for hearing is made within the time prescribed, the City will abate it and assess the costs against the property owner.
  7. Method of Service. The notice may be in the form of an ordinance or sent by certified mail to the property owner.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12[3h])

  1. Request for Hearing. Any person ordered to abate a nuisance may have a hearing with the Council as to whether a nuisance exists.  A request for a hearing must be made in writing and delivered to the Clerk within the time stated in the notice, or it will be conclusively presumed that a nuisance exists and it must be abated as ordered.  The hearing will be before the Council at a time and place fixed by the Council.  The findings of the Council shall be conclusive and, if a nuisance is found to exist, it shall be ordered abated within a reasonable time under the circumstances.
  2. Abatement in Emergency. If it is determined that an emergency exists by reason of the continuing maintenance of the nuisance or condition, the City may perform any action that may be required under this chapter without prior notice.  The City shall assess the costs as provided in subsection 6 of this section after notice to the property owner under the applicable provisions of subsection 1 and 2, and the hearing as provided in subsection 3.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12[3h])

  1. Abatement by City. If the person notified to abate a nuisance or condition neglects or fails to abate as directed, the City may perform the required action to abate, keeping an accurate account of the expense incurred.  The itemized expense account shall be filed with the Clerk, who shall pay such expenses on behalf of the City.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12[3h])

  1. Collection of Costs. The Clerk shall send a statement of the total expense incurred by certified mail to the property owner who has failed to abide by the notice to abate, and if the amount shown by the statement has not been paid within one month, the Clerk shall certify the costs to the County Treasurer and such costs shall then be collected with, and in the same manner as, general property taxes.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12[3h])

  1. Installment Payment of Cost of Abatement. If the amount expended to abate the nuisance or condition exceeds $500.00, the City may permit the assessment to be paid in up to 10 annual installments, to be paid in the same manner and with the same interest rates provided for assessments against benefited property under State law.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.13)

  1. Failure to Abate. Any person causing or maintaining a nuisance who shall fail or refuse to abate or remove the same within the reasonable time required and specified in the notice to abate is in violation of this Code of Ordinances.

50.07    MUNICIPAL INFRACTION ABATEMENT PROCEDURE.  In lieu of the abatement procedures set forth in Section 50.06, the requirements of this chapter may be enforced under the procedures applicable to municipal infractions as set forth in Chapter 4 of this Code of Ordinances.

[The next page is 263]

 

CHAPTER 51

JUNK AND JUNK VEHICLES

51.01 Definitions 51.04 Exceptions
51.02 Junk and Junk Vehicles Prohibited 51.05 Notice to Abate
51.03 Junk and Junk Vehicles a Nuisance  

51.01    DEFINITIONS.  For use in this chapter, the following terms are defined:

  1. “Junk” means all old or scrap copper, brass, lead, or any other non-ferrous metal; old or discarded rope, rags, batteries, paper, trash, rubber, debris, waste or used lumber, or salvaged wood; dismantled vehicles, machinery and appliances or parts of such vehicles, machinery or appliances; iron, steel or other old or scrap ferrous materials; old or discarded glass, tinware, plastic or old or discarded household goods or hardware. Neatly stacked firewood located on a side yard or a rear yard is not considered junk.
  2. “Junk vehicle” means any vehicle legally placed in storage with the County Treasurer or unlicensed and having any of the following characteristics:
  3. Broken Glass. Any vehicle with a broken or cracked windshield, window, headlight or tail light, or any other cracked or broken glass.
  4. Broken, Loose, or Missing Part. Any vehicle with a broken, loose, or missing fender, door, bumper, hood, steering wheel or trunk lid.
  5. Habitat for Nuisance Animals or Insects. Any vehicle that has become the habitat for rats, mice, snakes, or any other vermin or insects.
  6. Flammable Fuel. Any vehicle that contains gasoline or any other flammable fuel.
  7. Any motor vehicle that lacks an engine or two or more wheels or other structural parts, rendering said motor vehicle totally inoperable, or that cannot be moved under its own power or has not been used as an operating vehicle for a period of 30 days or more.
  8. Defective or Obsolete Condition. Any other vehicle that, because of its defective or obsolete condition, in any other way constitutes a threat to the public health and safety.

Mere licensing of such vehicle shall not constitute a defense to the finding that the vehicle is a junk vehicle.

  1. “Vehicle” means every device in, upon, or by which a person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway or street, except devices moved by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks, and includes without limitation a motor vehicle, automobile, truck, motorcycle, tractor, buggy, wagon, farm machinery, or any combination thereof.

51.02    JUNK AND JUNK VEHICLES PROHIBITED.  It is unlawful for any person to store, accumulate, or allow to remain on any private property within the corporate limits of the City any junk or junk vehicle.

51.03    JUNK AND JUNK VEHICLES A NUISANCE.  It is hereby declared that any junk or junk vehicle located upon private property, unless excepted by Section 51.04, constitutes a threat to the health and safety of the citizens and is a nuisance within the meaning of Section 657.1 of the Code of Iowa.  If any junk or junk vehicle is kept upon private property in violation hereof, the owner of or person occupying the property upon which it is located shall be prima facie liable for said violation.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12[3a])

51.04    EXCEPTIONS.  The provisions of this chapter do not apply to any junk or a junk vehicle stored within:

  1. A garage or other enclosed structure; or
  2. Salvage Yard. An auto salvage yard or junk yard lawfully operated within the City.

51.05    NOTICE TO ABATE.  Upon discovery of any junk or junk vehicle located upon private property in violation of Section 51.03, the City shall within five days initiate abatement procedures as outlined in Chapter 50 of this Code of Ordinances.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12[3a])

[The next page is 281]

 

CHAPTER 55

ANIMAL PROTECTION AND CONTROL

55.01 Definitions 55.12 Confinement
55.02 Animal Neglect 55.13 At Large: Impoundment
55.03 Livestock Neglect 55.14 Disposition of Animals
55.04 Abandonment of Cats and Dogs 55.15 Pet Awards Prohibited
55.05 Livestock 55.16 Horses to Be Kept on Streets and Not Private
55.06 At Large Prohibited Property
55.07 Damage or Interference 55.17 Prohibiting Pasturing or Harboring of Horses
55.08 Annoyance or Disturbance Within Certain Districts
55.09 Number Restricted 55.18 Prohibiting Killing or Injuring Birds and Squirrels
55.10 Rabies Vaccination 55.19 Permit to Destroy Pests
55.11 Owner’s Duty 55.20 Violations and Penalties

55.01    DEFINITIONS.  The following terms are defined for use in this chapter.

  1. “Advertise” means to present a commercial message in any medium including but not limited to print, radio, television, sign, display, label, tag or articulation.
  2. “Animal” means a nonhuman vertebrate.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 717B.1)

  1. “At large” means off the premises of the owner and not under the control of a competent person, restrained within a motor vehicle, or housed in a veterinary hospital or kennel.
  2. “Birds” means parakeets, pigeons, birds of prey, pheasants, quail, and other similar birds that are kept as pets or for hobby purposes. Chickens, geese and ducks are considered farm animals and shall not be kept as household pets.
  3. “Business” means any enterprise relating to any of the following:
  4. The sale or offer for sale of goods or services.
  5. A recruitment for employment or membership in an organization.
  6. A solicitation to make an investment.
  7. An amusement or entertainment activity.
  8. “Fair” means any of the following:
  9. The annual fair and exposition held by the Iowa State Fair Board pursuant to Chapter 173 of the Code of Iowa or any fair event conducted by a fair under the provisions of Chapter 174 of the Code of Iowa.
  10. An exhibition of agricultural or manufactured products.
  11. An event for operation of amusement rides or devices or concession booths.
  12. “Fish and amphibians” includes frogs, toads, and aquatic animals that are kept as pets or for hobby purposes.
  13. “Household pets and hobby animals” means mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, arachnids, insects, and reptiles as specifically defined in this section.
  14. “Game” means a “game of chance” or “game of skill” as defined in Section 99B.1 of the Code of Iowa.
  15. “Livestock” means an animal belonging to the bovine, caprine, equine, ovine or porcine species, ostriches, rheas and emus; farm deer as defined in Section 170.1 of the Code of Iowa; or poultry.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 717.1)

  1. “Mammals” means rabbits, ferrets, mongoose and mink that are kept as pets or for hobby purposes.
  2. “Owner” means any person owning, keeping, sheltering or harboring an animal.
  3. “Pet” means a living dog, cat, or an animal normally maintained in a small tank or cage in or near a residence, including but not limited to a rabbit, gerbil, hamster, mouse, parrot, canary, mynah, finch, tropical fish, goldfish, snake, turtle, gecko, or iguana.
  4. “Reptiles” means non-constrictor and non-venomous snakes, lizards, geckos, salamanders, chameleons, iguanas, alligators or crocodiles less than 30 inches in length and similar reptiles that are kept as pets or for hobby purposes and which are not prohibited in this chapter.

55.02    ANIMAL NEGLECT.  It is unlawful for a person who impounds or confines, in any place, an animal, excluding livestock, to fail to supply the animal during confinement with a sufficient quantity of food or water, or to fail to provide a confined dog or cat with adequate shelter, or to torture, deprive of necessary sustenance, mutilate, beat, or kill such animal by any means that causes unjustified pain, distress or suffering.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 717B.3)

55.03    LIVESTOCK NEGLECT.  It is unlawful for a person who impounds or confines livestock in any place to fail to provide the livestock with care consistent with customary animal husbandry practices or to deprive the livestock of necessary sustenance or to injure or destroy livestock by any means that causes pain or suffering in a manner inconsistent with customary animal husbandry practices.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 717.2)

55.04    ABANDONMENT OF CATS AND DOGS.  A person who has ownership or custody of a cat or dog shall not abandon the cat or dog, except the person may deliver the cat or dog to another person who will accept ownership and custody or the person may deliver the cat or dog to an animal shelter or pound.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 717B.8)

55.05    LIVESTOCK.  It is unlawful for a person to keep livestock within the City except by written consent of the Council.  This restriction is not applicable to persons legally keeping or raising livestock within the corporate limits as of September 22, 1977.

55.06    AT LARGE PROHIBITED.  It is unlawful for any owner to allow an animal to run at large within the corporate limits of the City.

55.07    DAMAGE OR INTERFERENCE.  It is unlawful for the owner of an animal to allow or permit such animal to pass upon the premises of another thereby causing damage to, or interference with, the premises.

55.08    ANNOYANCE OR DISTURBANCE.  It is unlawful for the owner of a dog to allow or permit such dog to cause serious annoyance or disturbance to any person by frequent and habitual howling, yelping, barking, or otherwise, or by running after or chasing persons, bicycles, automobiles or other vehicles.

55.09    NUMBER RESTRICTED.  Limitations are placed on the number of dogs and cats that can be kept on the same premises, homestead, or residence in order to provide safety, to prevent disturbances, and to avoid sanitary and health problems within residential areas.  The limit for dogs and cats at any one premises, homestead, or residence in the City is five animals total, with not more than three of those being dogs.  Any person keeping more than three dogs, and two cats, for a total of five dogs and cats combined as of May 1, 2006, licensed as required by this Code of Ordinances, may continue to keep such animals.  Once any such animal is removed from the premises by reason of sale, trade, gifting or the death of the animal, it cannot be replaced if such replacement would make the total number of animals greater than five, with not more than three of those being dogs.  Any person served notice regarding the number of animals owned, kept or harbored will have 48 hours from service of such notice to comply with this section or the City shall have the authority to remove the animals as provided by this chapter.

  1. The young produced by any pets permitted herein may be maintained at or in a residential dwelling with the parent animal for a period of approximately eight weeks but in no case longer than 10 weeks.
  2. Household pets and hobby animals, as defined in this chapter, may be kept within the City only in compliance with the following provisions:
  3. There shall be no numerical limitation on the number of animals described in subsection 2 which are kept and maintained exclusively within the residential dwelling structure of the owner.
  4. The following animals may be kept on the residential premises outside the residence of the owner, but shall be subject to the following limitations, which shall be the maximum number permitted at any single location at any one time.

(1)        Mammals, no more than 10.

(2)        Birds, no more than 30.

55.10    RABIES VACCINATION.  Every owner of a dog or cat shall obtain a rabies vaccination for such animal.  It is unlawful for any person to own or have a dog in said person’s possession, six months of age or over, which has not been vaccinated against rabies.  Dogs kept in State or federally licensed kennels and not allowed to run at large are not subject to these vaccination requirements.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 351.33)

55.11    OWNER’S DUTY.  It is the duty of the owner of any dog, cat, or other animal that has bitten or attacked a person or any person having knowledge of such bite or attack to report this act to a local health or law enforcement officer.  It is the duty of physicians and veterinarians to report to the local board of health the existence of any animal known or suspected to be suffering from rabies.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 351.38)

55.12    CONFINEMENT.  If a local board of health receives information that an animal has bitten a person or that a dog or animal is suspected of having rabies, the board shall order the owner to confine such animal in the manner it directs.  If the owner fails to confine such animal in the manner directed, the animal shall be apprehended and impounded by such board, and after 10 days the board may humanely destroy the animal.  If such animal is returned to its owner, the owner shall pay the cost of impoundment.  This section does not apply if a police service dog or a horse used by a law enforcement agency and acting in the performance of its duties has bitten a person.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 351.39)

55.13    AT LARGE: IMPOUNDMENT.  Animals found at large in violation of this chapter shall be seized and impounded, or at the discretion of the peace officer, the owner may be served a summons to appear before a proper court to answer charges made thereunder.

55.14    DISPOSITION OF ANIMALS.  When an animal has been apprehended and impounded, written notice shall be provided to the owner within two days after impoundment, if the owner’s name and current address can reasonably be determined by accessing a tag or other device that is on or part of the animal.  Impounded animals may be recovered by the owner upon payment of impounding costs, and if an unvaccinated dog, by having it immediately vaccinated.  If the owner fails to redeem the animal within seven days from the date that the notice is mailed, or if the owner cannot be located within seven days, the animal shall be disposed of in accordance with law or destroyed by euthanasia.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 351.37, 351.41)

55.15    PET AWARDS PROHIBITED.

(Code of Iowa, Ch. 717E)

  1. It is unlawful for any person to award a pet or advertise that a pet may be awarded as any of the following:
  2. A prize for participating in a game.
  3. A prize for participating in a fair.
  4. An inducement or condition for visiting a place of business or attending an event sponsored by a business.
  5. An inducement or condition for executing a contract that includes provisions unrelated to the ownership, care or disposition of the pet.
  6. This section does not apply to any of the following:
  7. A pet shop licensed pursuant to Section 162.5 of the Code of Iowa if the award of a pet is provided in connection with the sale of a pet on the premises of the pet shop.
  8. Youth programs associated with 4-H Clubs; Future Farmers of America; the Izaak Walton League of America; or organizations associated with outdoor recreation, hunting or fishing, including but not limited to the Iowa Sportsmen’s Federation.

55.16    HORSES TO BE KEPT ON STREETS AND NOT PRIVATE PROPERTY.  It is unlawful to drive, lead, or ride a horse within the limits of this City except on the surfaced portions of public streets and in alleyways.  No horses shall be driven, led, or ridden over or across privately owned or non-public property except with the consent of the owner thereof or said owner’s representative.

55.17    PROHIBITING PASTURING OR HARBORING OF HORSES WITHIN CERTAIN DISTRICTS. No owner or person in possession of real estate within the limits of the City shall pasture or harbor any horse or horses in areas zoned R-1, R-2, or R-3 unless the lot, lots, or parcels of land on which such horse or horses are pastured or harbored contain an area of not less than 15,000 square feet; where such area consists of more than one lot or parcel, such lot or parcel must constitute one contiguous tract.  As used in this section, the term “owner” means the person, persons, or organizations who are the record titleholders of said real estate as shown by the record of the County Auditor.

55.18    PROHIBITING KILLING OR INJURING BIRDS AND SQUIRRELS.  It is unlawful for any person, within the City of Belle Plaine, to kill or attempt to kill, injure, or destroy any bird or any timber squirrel, by shooting, stunning, trapping, poisoning, or in any other manner whatever.  It is unlawful for any person, within the City to molest, injure, or destroy, or attempt to molest, injure, or destroy, any bird at any time between March 1 and October 1 in any year.

55.19    PERMIT TO DETROY PESTS.  Upon the petition of any resident householder of the City, showing that certain birds, rabbits, gophers, rats or certain squirrels have become pests, the Mayor may, in his or her discretion, issue a permit for the destruction of a certain number of such birds, rabbits, gophers, rats or squirrels on the premises of the petitioner.

55.20    VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES.  Commission of any act named or defined in this chapter or Chapter 56 by a person shall be a misdemeanor, punishable by a scheduled fine as follows:

  1. Allow or permit such animal to run at large – $30.00.
  2. Allow or permit such animal to defecate on private property without the express consent of the owner of such property. Fail to pick up and dispose of any feces deposited by such animal on private property without the express consent of the owner thereof – $30.00.
  3. Allow or permit such animal to defecate on public property, including, but not limited to, public property located between curb lines of public streets, parking, adjacent property lines and public property located within parks. Fail to pick up and deposit of any feces deposited by such animal on public property – $30.00.
  4. Allow or permit such animal to pass upon public or private property thereby causing damages to or interference with such property – $200.00.
  5. Allow or permit a dog to cause annoyance or disturbance to any person by frequent and habitual barking, howling or yelping – $30.00.
  6. Allow or permit a dog to run after, chase, or attack any person or vehicle or place any person in reasonable fear of attack or injury – $200.00.
  7. Keep, shelter or harbor any unlicensed dog or cat – $200.00.
  8. Keep, shelter or harbor any dog or cat without a license tag attached to its collar or harness when outside of its normal confinement or on a chain as required by Chapter 56 – $30.00.
  9. Keep, shelter or harbor any dog or cat with an expired license tag attached to its collar or harness – $30.00.
  10. Keep, shelter or harbor any unvaccinated dog or cat – $200.00.
  11. Keep, shelter or harbor any dog or cat with an expired vaccination tag attached to its collar or harness – $200.00.
  12. Allow or permit such animal to destroy or damage property other than the property of the owner of such animal – $200.00.
  13. Abandon any animal within the corporate limits of the City – $200.00.

[The next page is 291]

 

CHAPTER 56

DOG AND CAT LICENSES REQUIRED

56.01 Annual License Required 56.06 License Tags
56.02 License Fees 56.07 License Records
56.03 Delinquency 56.08 Immunization
56.04 Delinquent Fee List 56.09 Duplicate Tags
56.05 Public Hearing Delinquent Fee List 56.10 Exception to License Requirements

56.01    ANNUAL LICENSE REQUIRED.

  1. Every owner of a dog or cat over the age of six months shall procure for each pet a dog or cat license from the Clerk on or before January 1 of each year. Guide dogs for blind persons are exempt for the licensing requirement.
  2. Such license may be procured after January 1 and at any time for a dog or cat that has come into the possession or ownership of the applicant or that has reached the age of six months after said date.
  3. The owner of a dog or cat for which a license is required shall apply to the Clerk on forms provided by the City.
  4. The form of the application shall state the breed, sex, age, color, markings, and name, if any, of the dog or cat, and the address of the owner and shall be signed by the owner. The application shall also state the date of the most recent rabies vaccination, the type of vaccine administered, and the date the animal shall be revaccinated.
  5. All licenses shall expire on January 1 of the year following the date of issuance.

56.02    LICENSE FEES.  The annual license fee shall be as established by resolution of the Council.

56.03    DELINQUENCY.  All license fees shall become delinquent on February 1 of the year in which they are due and a delinquent penalty shall be added to each unpaid license on and after said date in an amount set by resolution of the Council.

56.04    DELINQUENT FEE LIST.  The City Clerk may, in the Clerk’s discretion or at the request of the City Council, prepare and submit to the Council a delinquent fee list which shall show the following:

  1. The name and residence address of each person within the City who is the owner of a dog or cat which is not licensed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter for the current year and the amount of fees, including delinquency fees, due from such owner.
  2. The name and residence address of each person within the City who licensed a dog or cat in accordance with the provisions of this chapter in the previous year which is not licensed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter for the current year and the amount of fees, including delinquency fees, due from such owner.

The foregoing list shall not include the owner of any dog or cat who, upon the death, transfer of ownership or disappearance for more than 60 days of said animal, within the 10 days of such event, notifies the City Clerk of such event and surrenders the license and license tag, if available, issued to the owner.

56.05    PUBLIC HEARING-DELINQUENT FEE LIST.  Upon submission of the delinquent fee list to the Council, the Council may by resolution fix a date, time and place for a public hearing thereon.  The Clerk shall mail a written notice of such public hearing to the owner of each dog or cat which appears on such list by ordinary mail at least 10 days prior to the date fixed for such public hearing.  The notice shall state the date, time and place of such public hearing and shall advise the owner of each dog or cat which appears on the list that he or she may appear at such hearing and show cause why the delinquent fees shown thereon for each such dog or cat should not be paid.  After such public hearing, the Council shall enforce such fees by any legal means permitted under this Code of Ordinances or release obligation for payment of fees if sufficient cause is shown for nonpayment.

56.06    LICENSE TAGS.  Upon receipt of the application and fee, the Clerk shall deliver or mail to the owner a license that shall be in the form of a metal tag stamped with the serial number of the license as shown on the record book of the Clerk, the year in which it is issued, and the name of the City.  The license tag shall be securely fastened by the owner to a collar or harness that shall be worn at all times by the dog or cat for which issued.  A license issued for one animal shall not be transferable to another.  Upon the expiration of the license, the owner shall remove said tag from the dog or cat.

56.07    LICENSE RECORDS.  The Clerk shall keep a book to be known as the record of licenses; such record shall show:

  1. The description of the dog or cat as specified in the application, together with the name of the owner of the animal, the name of the animal, and the address.
  2. The date when each license tag is issued and the serial number of each tag, the date of the most recent rabies vaccination, and the date the dog or cat shall be revaccinated.

56.08    IMMUNIZATION.  Before a license is issued, the owner shall furnish a veterinarian’s certificate showing that the dog or cat for which the license is sought has been vaccinated against rabies, and that the vaccination does not expire within six months from the effective date of the license.  A tag showing evidence of proper vaccination shall at all times be attached to the collar of the dog or cat.

56.09    DUPLICATE TAGS.  Upon the filing of an affidavit that the license tag has been lost or destroyed, the owner may obtain another tag on the payment of $1.00 and the Clerk shall enter in the license record the new number assigned.

56.10    EXCEPTION TO LICENSE REQUIREMENTS.  The requirements for licensing dogs and cats shall not apply to such animals if one or more of the following situations apply:

  1. In transit through the City only.
  2. First 30 days of residency by owner.
  3. Housed in veterinary hospital
  4. Housed temporarily in an animal grooming shop.
  5. Housed in a State or federally licensed kennel.
  6. Housed in an accredited institution for research purposes only.
  7. Animal sitting for a period of 14 days or more with prior notification to City Hall.

[The next page is 299]

 

CHAPTER 57

DANGEROUS AND VICIOUS ANIMALS

57.01 Purpose 57.07 Notice to Remove Dangerous or Vicious Animal
57.02 Definitions 57.08 Method of Service
57.03 Keeping of Dangerous Animals Prohibited 57.09 Request for Hearing
57.04 Keeping of Vicious Animals Restricted 57.10 Abatement by City
57.05 Seizure, Impoundment, and Disposition of 57.11 Collection of Costs
Dangerous or Vicious Animals 57.12 Failure to Remove
57.06 Removal of Dangerous or Vicious Animal  

57.01    PURPOSE.  The purpose of this chapter is to provide for the public safety by prohibiting the keeping of dangerous animals and imposing restriction on the keeping of vicious animals.

57.02    DEFINITIONS.  For the purpose of this chapter, the following words and phrases when used in this chapter shall have the following meaning:

  1. “At large” means off the premises of the owner, or upon the public streets, alleys, sidewalks, public grounds, school grounds or parks within the City. An animal shall not be deemed to be at large if:
  2. The animal is on the premises of the owner or the premises of a person given charge of the animal by the owner and is either:

(1)        Accompanied by and obedient to the commands of the owner or the person given such charge; or

(2)        Restrained on those premises by an adequate protective fence or leash, cord, chain, or other similar restraint of sufficient strength to restrain the animal and does not allow the animal to go beyond the owner’s real property line or onto the sidewalk.

  1. On a public sidewalk or street but restrained by a leash held by a person capable of restraining the animal as set out by subsection 6 below.
  2. “Confined” means securely confined in a dwelling house or an enclosed locked building, enclosed fence, pen, or other structure having a height of at least six feet with locked gates and with secure sides and at all points embedded into the ground, or, if such enclosed fence is less than six feet in height, it must have a secure and complete top securely fastened to the sides.
  3. “Dangerous animal” means: (i) any animal that is not naturally tame or gentle, and which is of a wild nature or disposition, and which is capable of killing, inflicting serious injury upon, or causing disease among, human beings or domestic animals and having known tendencies as a species to do so; (ii) any animals declared to be dangerous by the County Board of Health; (iii) any animal which has bitten or clawed a person on two or more occasions; (iv) the following animals, which are deemed to be dangerous per se:
  4. Lions, tigers, jaguars, leopards, cougars, lynx and bobcats.
  5. Wolves, coyotes and foxes.
  6. Badgers, wolverines, weasels, skunk and mink.
  7. Monkey and chimpanzees.
  8. Alligators and crocodiles.
  9. Snakes that are venomous or constrictors.
  10. Gila monsters.
  11. Pit bull terriers.
  12. “Leash” or “leashed” means on a cord or chain or other similar restraint not more than six feet in length and of sufficient strength to restrain the animal and at all times in control of a person competent to restrain or control said animal.
  13. “Pit bull terrier” means any dog of that breed known variously as American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, or pit bull terrier, or any dog of mixed breed which has similar characteristics to the animals specified above.
  14. “Vicious animal” means any animal that: (i) has bitten or clawed a person or persons on one prior occasion; or (ii) could not be controlled or restrained by the owner at the time of the attack to prevent the occurrence; or (iii) has attacked any domestic animal or fowl on three separate occasions within a 12-month period.

57.03    KEEPING OF DANGEROUS ANIMALS PROHIBITED.  No person shall keep, shelter or harbor any dangerous animal as a pet, or act as a temporary custodian for such an animal, or keep, shelter, or harbor such animal for any other purpose or in any other capacity within the City except that this section does not apply to the keeping of dangerous animals under the following circumstances:

  1. The keeping of a dangerous animal for exhibition to the public by a bona fide traveling circus, carnival, exhibit or show.
  2. The keeping of a dangerous animal in a bona fide licensed veterinary hospital for treatment.
  3. Any dangerous animals under the jurisdiction of and in the possession of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, pursuant to Chapters 481A or 481B of the Code of Iowa.

57.04    KEEPING OF VICIOUS ANIMALS RESTRICTED.  No person shall keep, shelter or harbor for any reason within the City a vicious animal, as defined herein, except under the following circumstances:

  1. Animals under the control of a law enforcement or military agency; or
  2. The keeping of guard dogs; however, guard dogs must be kept within a structure or fixed enclosure at all times, and any guard dog found at large may be processed as a dangerous animal pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. Any premises guarded by a guard dog shall be prominently posted with a sign containing the wording “Guard Dog,” “Vicious Dog,” or words of similar import, and the owner of such premises shall inform the Police Chief that a guard dog is on duty at said premises.
  3. Animals confined at all times as defined in Section 57.02(2).

57.05    SEIZURE, IMPOUNDMENT, AND DISPOSITION OF DANGEROUS OR VICIOUS ANIMALS.

  1. In the event that a dangerous animal or vicious animal is found at large and unattended upon public property, park property, public right-of-way, sidewalks, or the property of someone other than its owner, thereby creating a hazard to person or property, such animal may, in the discretion of the Mayor or the Police Chief, be destroyed if it cannot be confined or captured. The City shall be under no duty to attempt the confinement or capture of a dangerous or vicious animal found at large, nor shall it have a duty to notify the owner of such animal prior to it destruction.
  2. Upon the complaint of an individual that a person is keeping, sheltering, or harboring a dangerous animal or vicious animal on premises in the City and in a manner contrary to the provisions of this chapter, the Mayor and Police Chief shall cause the matter to be investigated, and if after investigation, the facts indicate that the person named in the complaint is keeping, sheltering or harboring a dangerous or vicious animal in the City in a manner contrary to provisions of this chapter, the officer shall order the person named in the complaint to safely remove such animal from the City, permanently place the animal with an organization or group allowed in Section 57.03 to possess dangerous or vicious animals, or destroy the animal.

57.06    REMOVAL OF DANGEROUS OR VICIOUS ANIMAL.  Whenever the Mayor or Police Chief finds that a dangerous or vicious animal is being kept within the City contrary to the provisions herein, such officer shall cause to be served upon the owner of the dangerous or vicious animal a written notice to remove the animal from the City within three days after notice.

57.07    NOTICE TO REMOVE DANGEROUS OR VICIOUS ANIMAL.  The notice to remove shall contain:

  1. Description of the dangerous or vicious animal.
  2. Location of the dangerous or vicious animal.
  3. Acts Necessary. Acts necessary to remove the dangerous or vicious animal.
  4. A three-day period within which to complete the removal.
  5. A two-day period within which to request a hearing with the City Council to determine whether to affirm or rescind the order for removal.
  6. Assessment of City Costs. A statement that if the removal is not completed as directed and no request for hearing is made in writing within the two-day period prescribed, the City will remove the animal and assess the costs against such person.
  7. Statement that a penalty may be incurred if the removal is not completed within three days from the notice.

57.08    METHOD OF SERVICE.  The notice must be in writing and personally served upon the person or sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner and/or the person in possession of the animal.

57.09    REQUEST FOR HEARING.  Any person ordered to remove a dangerous or vicious animal may request to have a hearing with the Council to determine if the removal order shall be affirmed or rescinded.  A request for a hearing must be made in writing and delivered to the Clerk within the time period stated in the notice, or it will be conclusively presumed that the removal order is valid.  The hearing will be before the Council at a time and place fixed by the Council.  The decisions of the City Council shall be final.

57.10    ABATEMENT BY CITY.  If the person notified to remove a dangerous or vicious animal fails to remove the animal as directed, the City may perform the required action to remove the animal and shall keep an accurate account of the expense incurred.  The itemized expense account shall be filed with the Clerk, who shall pay such expenses on behalf of the City.

57.11    COLLECTION OF COSTS.  The Clerk shall send a statement of the total expense incurred by certified mail to the owner who has failed to abide by the notice to remove, and if the amount shown by the statement has not been paid within 30 days, the Clerk shall certify the costs to the County Treasurer and such cost shall then be collected with, and in the same manner, as general property taxes.

57.12    FAILURE TO REMOVE.  Any person maintaining a dangerous or vicious animal whom shall fail or refuse to remove the animal within the time required and specified in the notice to abate is in violation of this Code of Ordinances.

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