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Chapter 37 – Razing and Demolition of Buildings and Structures





3-37-1     Purpose
3-37-2     Time Limit for Razing or Demolition
3-37-3     Fencing or Covering Excavation of Demolished or Razed Building or Structure
3-37-4     Liability of Owner
3-37-5     Right of City to Enter Upon Premises in the event of Noncompliance.
3-37-6     Permit Required
3-37-7     Plugging Sewers for Abandoned, Razed, Demolished or Destroyed Buildings
3-37-8     Penalty for Violation
  3-37-9     Assessment of Costs Against Property 


SECTION 3-37-1                  PURPOSEThe purpose of this ordinance is to provide for the regulation of the razing or demolition of buildings and structures within the corporate limits of the City of Belle Plaine, Iowa, in furtherance of public safety and welfare and to promote and preserve the appearance of the city.

SECTION 3-37-2                  TIME LIMIT FOR RAZING OR DEMOLITION.  The razing or demolition of any building or structure within the city limits shall be completed within ninety days after such demolition or razing first commences. Completion of razing or demolition shall include the removal of all debris resulting from such razing or demolition from the site where said building or structure was located.

SECTION 3-37-3                  FENCING OR COVERING EXCAVATION OF DEMOLISHED OR RAZED BUILDING OR STRUCTURE.  Before the demolition or razing of any building or structure has progressed to the point of six feet above ground level the building or structure undergoing such demolition or razing and all debris on the property site shall be fenced and closed off to access by unauthorized persons with a fence not less than four feet in height. When such demolition and razing has reduced the building or structure to ground level, the resulting excavation consisting of a basement, cellar or other underground excavation shall be promptly filled to ground level not less than thirty days after said building or structure has been lowered to ground level.

SECTION 3-37-4                  LIABILITY OF OWNER. The responsibility for compliance with the above provisions of this ordinance shall be that of the owner of said property as shown by the records of the County Auditor and any contract purchaser of said real estate.

SECTION 3-37-5                  RIGHT OF CITY TO ENTER UPON PREMISES IN THE EVENT OF NONCOMPLIANCE.  Authorized representatives of the City of Belle Plaine shall have the right to enter upon any premises where the razing or demolition of any building or structure is in progress for the purpose of constructing the fence as provided at Section 3-37-3 above or for the purpose of providing fill for the excavation also as provided at Section 3-37-3 above where the owner of said property has failed to do so as required by this ordinance.

SECTION 3-37-6                  PERMIT REQUIRED.  The owner or contract purchaser of any structure served by a sewer drain and sewer connections shall obtain a permit from the Director of Public Works before razing or demolishing such building or structure. Permits and applications for permits shall be available at the office of the City Clerk and shall include the applicant’s written promise to comply with all provisions of Chapter 37 of the Belle Plaine Municipal Code and to promptly seal, plug or cap the sewer drains and disconnect the water service line at the main.

SECTION 3-37-7                  PLUGGING SEWERS FOR ABANDONED, RAZED, DEMOLISHED OR DESTROYED BUILDINGS. From and after the effective date of this ordinance all sewer drains, sewer connections, and water service line serving any razed or demolished building or any building that has been destroyed by fire or other casualty shall be sealed, plugged or capped by concrete or a mechanical watertight device where such sewer line exits from the building.  Any plugs, caps or seals applied under the provisions of this ordinance shall be made between the sidewalk and the curb or such other point designated by the Director of Public Works and shall remain exposed until they have been viewed and approved by the Director of Public Works. Failure to obtain a permit as herein required or failure to seal, plug or cap a sewer drain or water service line within ten days after notice to do so by the Director of Public Works or failure to allow such plug, cap or seal to remain exposed until inspected by the Director of Public Works shall constitute a violation of this ordinance.

SECTION 3-37-8                  PENALTY FOR VIOLATION. Any owner who is convicted of violating the provisions of this ordinance shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and punished accordingly.

SECTION 3-37-9                  ASSESSMENT OF COSTS AGAINST PROPERTY. When the City Council finds that a dangerous condition exists because of the commencement of the demolition or razing of any building or structure within the corporate limits and the City performs any of the actions required by Section 3-37-3 above, the costs therefore may be assessed against the property where notice by certified mail has been sent not less than ten days in advance of the said action by the City to owner or contract purchaser of said premises, all as provided by Chapter 364.12, 2008 Code of Iowa

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