ARTICLE III. DANGEROUS STRUCTURES
  • Sec. 29-28. - Dangerous structures defined.

    All buildings or other structures which have any of the following defects shall be deemed "dangerous structures", provided that such conditions or defects exist to the extent that the life, health, property or safety of the public or its occupants are endangered:

    (1) Whenever any door, aisle, passageway, stairway or other means of exit is not of sufficient width or size or is not so arranged as to provide safe and adequate means of exit in case of fire or panic.

    (2) Whenever the walking surface of any aisle, passageway, stairway or other means of exit is so warped, worn, loose, torn or otherwise unsafe as to not provide safe and adequate means of exit in case of fire or panic.

    (3) Whenever the stress in any materials, member or portion thereof, due to all dead and live loads, is more than one and one-half (1½) times the working stress or stresses allowed in the appropriate building code for new buildings of similar structure, purpose or location.

    (4) Whenever any portion thereof has been damaged by fire, earthquake, wind, flood or by any other cause, to such an extent that the structural strength or stability thereof is materially less than it was before such catastrophe and is less than the minimum requirements of the appropriate building code for new buildings of similar structure, purpose or location.

    (5) Whenever any portion or member or appurtenance thereof is likely to fail, or to become detached or dislodged or to collapse and thereby injure persons or damage property.

    (6) Whenever any portion of a building, or any member, appurtenance or ornamentation on the exterior thereof is not of sufficient strength or stability, or is not so anchored, attached or fastened in place so as to be capable of resisting a wind pressure of one-half (½) of that specified in the appropriate building code for new buildings of similar structure, purpose or location without exceeding the working stresses permitted in the appropriate building code for such buildings.

    (7) Whenever any portion thereof has wracked, warped, buckled or settled to such an extent that walls or other structural portions have materially less resistance to winds or earthquakes than is required in the case of similar new construction.

    (8) Whenever the building or structure, or any portion thereof, is likely to partially or completely collapse, because of:

    a. Dilapidation, deterioration or decay;

    b. Faulty construction;

    c. The removal, movement or instability of any portion of the ground necessary for the purpose of removing such building;

    d. The deterioration, decay or inadequacy of its foundation; or

    e. Any other cause.

    (9) Whenever, for any reason, the building or structure, or any portion thereof, is manifestly unsafe for the purpose for which it is being used.

    (10) Whenever the exterior walls or other vertical structural members list, lean, or buckle to such an extent that a plumb line passing through the center of gravity falls outside of the middle one-third (1/3) of its base.

    (11) Whenever a building or structure, exclusive of the foundation, shows thirty-three (33) per cent or more damage or deterioration of its supporting member or members, or fifty (50) per cent damage or deterioration of the nonsupporting members, enclosing or outside walls or covering.

    (12) Whenever the building or structure has been so damaged by fire, wind, earthquake or flood, or has become so dilapidated or deteriorated as to become:

    a. An attractive nuisance to children;

    b. A harbor for vagrants, criminals or immoral persons; or as to

    c. Enable persons to resort thereto for the purpose of committing unlawful or immoral acts.

    (13) Whenever any building or structure has been constructed, exists, or is maintained in violation of any specific requirement or prohibition applicable to such building or structure provided by the building regulations of this jurisdiction, as specified in the appropriate building code or housing code or of any law or ordinance of this state or jurisdiction relating to the condition, location or structure of buildings.

    (14) Whenever any building or structure which, whether or not erected in accordance with all applicable laws and ordinances, has in any nonsupporting part, member, or portion less than fifty (50) per cent, or in any supporting part, member, or portion less than sixty-six (66) per cent of the: (i) strength; (ii) fire-resisting qualities or characteristics; or (iii) weather-resisting qualities or characteristics required by law in the case of a newly constructed building of like area, height and occupancy in the same location.

    (15) Whenever a building or structure, used or intended to be used for dwelling purposes, because of inadequate maintenance, dilapidation, decay, damage, faulty construction or arrangement, inadequate light, air or sanitation facilities or otherwise, is determined by the appropriate city officer to be unsanitary, unfit for human habitation, or in such condition that it is likely to cause sickness or disease.

    (16) Whenever any building or structure, because of obsolescence, dilapidated condition, deterioration, damage, inadequate exits, lack of sufficient fire-resistive construction, faulty electric wiring, gas connections or heating apparatus, or other cause, is determined by the appropriate city officer to be a fire hazard.

    (17) Whenever any building or structure is in such a condition as to constitute a public nuisance known to the common law or in equity jurisprudence.

    (18) Whenever any portion of a building or structure remains on a site after the demolition or destruction of the building or structure or whenever any building or structure is abandoned for a period in excess of six (6) months so as to constitute such building or portion thereof an attractive nuisance or hazard to the public.

     

    (Ord. No. 7746, § 1, 3-4-08; Ord. No. 8002, § 3, 9-15-09)

  • Sec. 29-29. - Standards for repair, vacation or demolition.

    The following standards shall be followed in substance by the appropriate city officer or his authorized designee, and the building advisory and appeals board in ordering repair, vacation or demolition:

    (1) If the dangerous structure can reasonably be repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this article, it shall be ordered repaired.

    (2) If the dangerous structure is in such condition as to make it dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of its occupants, it shall be ordered to be vacated.

    (3) In any case where a structure is dangerous, and where it is fifty (50) per cent damaged or decayed, or deteriorated from its value as determined by the appropriate appraisal district; where it has deteriorated, from lack of maintenance or repair to a figure that is fifty (50) per cent or less from the appraisal district value of such structure; or where the cost of repair would be more than fifty (50) per cent of the appraisal district value of the structure, the appropriate city official may make a determination that it shall be demolished. In all cases where a building or structure cannot be repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this article, or the building cannot be repaired so that it is no longer dangerous, it shall be demolished. In all cases where a dangerous structure is a fire hazard existing or erected in violation of the terms of this Code or any ordinance of the city or statute of the state, it shall be demolished.

     

    (Ord. No. 5059, § 1, 12-15-92; Ord. No. 7746, § 1, 3-4-08)

  • Sec. 29-30. - Dangerous structures constitute nuisances.

    All dangerous structures, within the terms of this article, are hereby declared to be public nuisances, and shall be repaired, vacated or demolished as hereinabove and hereinafter provided.

    (Ord. No. 5059, § 1, 12-15-92; Ord. No. 7746, § 1, 3-4-08)

  • Sec. 29-31. - Duties of appropriate city officials or their authorized representatives.

    The appropriate city official or his authorized representatives shall:

    (1) Inspect, or cause to be inspected at their discretion, all public buildings, schools, halls, churches, theaters, hotels, tenements, commercial, manufacturing or loft buildings for the purpose of determining whether any conditions exist which render such places a dangerous structure within this article.

    (2) Inspect any building, wall or structure about which complaints are filed by any person to the effect that a building, wall or structure is or may be existing in violation of this article.

    (3) Inspect any building, wall or structure reported (as hereinafter provided for) by the fire or police departments of this city as probably existing in violation of the terms of this article.

    (4) Inspect buildings and structures in the city to determine whether they are dangerous structures within the terms of article III, herein.

    (5) Report all buildings or structures found by them to be dangerous structures to the building advisory and appeals board, and upon authorization of the BAAB, notify in writing the owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee, agent and all other persons having an interest in said building as shown by the land records of the county clerk or the appropriate appraisal district of any building found by such inspector to be a dangerous structure within the standards set forth in this article, that:

    a. The owner must vacate, or repair or demolish said building or structure in accordance with the terms of the notice and this Code;

    b. The occupant or lessee must vacate said building or structure or may have it repaired in accordance with the notice and remain in possession;

    c. The mortgagee, agent or other persons having an interest in said building or structure, as shown by the land records of the county clerk or the records of the appropriate appraisal district, may, at such person's own risk, repair, vacate or demolish said building or have such work or act done; provided, that any person notified under this section to repair, vacate or demolish any building shall be given such reasonable time, not exceeding thirty (30) days, as may be necessary to do, or have done, the work required by said notice.

    (6) Set forth in the notice provided for in this section, the time and place of such board meeting, and a notice that such person should appear and explain to the board why such requested action of the appropriate city official is not necessary, or should not be done.

    (7) Report to the chairman of the building advisory and appeals board any noncompliance with the "notice" provided for herein.

    (8) Appear at all hearings conducted by the building advisory and appeals board, and testify as to the condition of dangerous structures.

    (9) Upon authorization of the building advisory and appeals board as hereinabove set out, place a notice on all dangerous structures reading as follows:

    "This building has been found to be a dangerous structure by the City of Grand Prairie enforcement officials or their authorized representative. This notice is to remain on this building or structure until it is repaired, vacated or demolished in accordance with the notice which has been given the owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee, or agent of this building or structure, and all other persons having an interest in said building or structure, as shown by the land records of the County Clerk of Dallas or Tarrant Counties. It is unlawful to remove this notice until such notice is complied with.

     

    (Ord. No. 5059, § 1, 12-15-92; Ord. No. 7746, § 1, 3-4-08)

  • Sec. 29-32. - Duties of fire department.

    The employees of the fire department shall make a report in writing to the appropriate city official or his authorized designee, of all buildings or structures which are, may be, or are suspected to be dangerous structures within the terms of this article. Such reports must be delivered to the appropriate city official or his authorized representative, as soon as practicable after the discovery of such building by any employee of the fire department.

    (Ord. No. 5059, § 1, 12-15-92; Ord. No. 7746, § 1, 3-4-08)

  • Sec. 29-33. - Duties of police department.

    The employees of the police department shall make a report in writing to the appropriate city official or his authorized designee, of any buildings or structures which are, may be, or are suspected to be dangerous structures within the terms of this article. Such reports must be delivered to the appropriate city official or his authorized designee as soon as practicable after the discovery of such buildings by any employee of the police department.

    (Ord. No. 5059, § 1, 12-15-92; Ord. No. 7746, § 1, 3-4-08)

  • Sec. 29-34. - Duties of building advisory and appeals board.

    The building advisory and appeals board shall:

    (1) Upon receipt of a report of the appropriate city official or his authorized designee, as provided for in this article, give written notice to the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee, agent and all other persons having an interest in said building or structure, as shown by the land records of the county clerk or the appropriate appraisal district, to appear before the building advisory and appeals board on the date specified in the notice to show cause why the building or structure reported to be a dangerous structure should not be repaired, vacated, or demolished in accordance with the direction set forth in the appropriate city official's, or authorized designee's, notice provided for herein.

    (2) Hold a hearing and hear such testimony as the appropriate city official or his authorized designee, or the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee or any other person having an interest in said building structure, shall offer relative to the dangerous building.

    (3) Make written findings of fact from the testimony offered pursuant to subsection (2), as to whether or not the building or structure in question is a dangerous structure within the terms of this article.

    (4) Issue an order based upon findings of fact made pursuant to subsection (3) commanding the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee, agent and all other persons having an interest in said building or structure to repair, vacate, or demolish any building or structure found to be a dangerous structure within the terms of this article, and provided that any person having an interest in said building or structure may demolish said dangerous structure at such person's own risk to prevent the acquiring of a lien against the land upon which said dangerous structure stands by the city, as provided in subsection (5) hereof.

    (5) If the owner, occupant, mortgagee, or lessee fails to comply with the order provided for in subsection (4) hereof, within thirty (30) days or any other time specified by the BAAB, or if the owner or other person with interest has not filed a suit for review in a court of competent jurisdiction within that time period and notified the city that such suit has been filed, in accordance withsection 29-40, a city official, in compliance with the order of the building advisory and appeals board, shall cause such building or structure to be repaired, vacated, or demolished as the facts may warrant, under the standards hereinbefore provided for insection 29-29 and shall, with the assistance of the city attorney, cause the costs of such repair, vacation, or demolition to be charged against the land on which the building or structure existed as a municipal lien or cause such costs to be added to the tax roll as an assessment, or to be levied as a special tax against the land upon which the building or structure stands or did stand, as provided by this article, or to be recovered in a suit at law against the owner; provided, that in cases where such procedure is desirable and any delay thereby caused will not be dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of the people of this city, the building advisory and appeals board shall notify the city attorney to take legal action to force the owner to make all necessary repairs or demolish the building or structure.

    (6) Report to the city attorney the names of all persons not complying with the order provided for in subsection (4) of this section.

     

    (Ord. No. 5059, § 1, 12-15-92; Ord. No. 7746, § 1, 3-4-08; Ord. No. 9346-2012, § 1, 3-20-12)

  • Sec. 29-35. - Duties of city attorney.

    The city attorney, or an assistant city attorney, shall:

    (1) Prosecute all persons failing to comply with the terms of the notices provided for in this article, subsections29-31(5) and (6), and the order provided for in subsection29-34(4).

    (2) Appear at all hearings before the building advisory and appeals board in regard to dangerous structures.

    (3) Bring suit to collect all municipal liens, assessments or costs incurred by the building advisory and appeals board in repairing or causing to be vacated or demolished dangerous structures.

    (4) Take other such legal action as is necessary to carry out the terms and provisions of this article.

     

    (Ord. No. 5059, § 1, 12-15-92; Ord. No. 7746, § 1, 3-4-08)

  • Sec. 29-36. - Emergency cases.

    In cases where it reasonably appears that there is immediate danger to life or safety of any person unless a dangerous structure is immediately repaired, vacated or demolished, the appropriate city official or his authorized designee, shall report such facts to the building advisory and appeals board, and the board shall cause the immediate repair, vacation or demolition of such dangerous structures. The costs of such emergency repair, vacation or demolition of such dangerous structure shall be collected in the same manner as provided in subsection29-34(5). If such an emergency exists, the board may meet by telephone conference or by emergency meeting called by the appropriate city official.

    (Ord. No. 5059, § 1, 12-15-92; Ord. No. 7746, § 1, 3-4-08)

  • Sec. 29-37. - Service on owner absent from city.

    In cases, except emergency cases, where the owner, occupant, lessee or mortgagee is absent from the city, all notices or orders provided for herein shall be sent by mail to the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee and all other persons having an interest in said building or structure as shown by the land records of the county clerk or any other regularly relied upon municipal record to the last known address of each, and a copy of such notice shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the dangerous structure to which it relates. Such mailing and posting shall be deemed adequate service.

    (Ord. No. 5059, § 1, 12-15-92; Ord. No. 7746, § 1, 3-4-08)

  • Sec. 29-38. - Administrative liability.

    No officer, agent, or employee of the city shall be personally liable for any damage that may accrue to persons or property as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of such person's duties under this article. Any suit brought against any officer, agent or employee of the city as a result of any act required or permitted in this discharge of such duties under this article shall be defended by the city attorney until the final determination of the proceedings therein.

    (Ord. No. 5059, § 1, 12-15-92; Ord. No. 7746, § 1, 3-4-08)

  • Sec. 29-39. - Violations.

    (a) The owner of any dangerous structure who shall fail to comply with any notice of order to repair, vacate or demolish said building or structure given by any person authorized by this article to give such notice or order shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be fined as provided insection 1-8 for each offense and for each day such failure to comply continues beyond the date fixed for compliance.

    (b) The occupant or lessee in possession who fails to comply with any notice to vacate and who fails to repair said building or structure in accordance with any notice given as provided for in this article, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be fined as provided insection 1-8 for each offense and for each day such failure to comply continues beyond the date fixed for compliance.

    (c) Any person removing the notice provided for in subsection29-31(9), shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction, shall be fined as provided insection 1-8 for each offense.

    (Ord. No. 5059, § 1, 12-15-92; Ord. No. 7746, § 1, 3-4-08)

  • Sec. 29-40. - Right to review decision in a district court, and time to do so.

    If any property owner or person with an interest in a property is dissatisfied with the decision of the building advisory and appeals board or the municipal court that a structure on the property should be demolished, and/or if such person wants a review by a district court, then such person may file suit within thirty (30) days of the date of the hearing of the building advisory and appeals board or the municipal court, and to serve notice of such suit on the code enforcement supervisor, the planning director, the city attorney, or the city secretary within that thirty-day period, or before the action is taken by the city to vacate or demolish the structure to be demolished.

    (Ord. No. 9346-2012, § 2, 3-20-12)

  • Secs. 29-41—29-44. - Reserved.