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Code Enforcement | 201 NW 2nd Street, #150 | Grand Prairie, TX 75050
Phone 972-237-8049 or 237-8296  | 
Fax 972-237-8187 | E-Mail

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":

(1) Those of which interior 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 third of its base.

(2) Those which, exclusive of the foundation, show thirty-three (33) per cent or more, of damage or deterioration of the supporting member or members, or fifty (50) per cent of damage or deterioration of the nonsupporting enclosing or outside walls or covering.

(3) Those which have improperly distributed loads upon the floors or roofs or in which the same are overloaded, or which have insufficient strength to be reasonably safe for the purpose used.

(4) Those which have been damaged by fire, wind or other causes so as to have become dangerous to life, safety, morals or the general health and welfare of the occupants or the people of the city.

(5) Those which have become or are so dilapidated, decayed, unsafe, unsanitary or which so utterly fail to provide the amenities essential to decent living that they are unfit for human habitation, or are likely to cause sickness or disease, so as to work injury to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of those living therein.

(6) Those having light, air and sanitation facilities which are inadequate to protect the health, morals, safety or general welfare of human beings who live or may live therein.

(7) Those having inadequate facilities for egress in case of fire or panic or those having insufficient stairways, elevators, fire escapes, or other means of communication.

(8) Those which have parts thereof which are so attached that they may fall and injure members of the public or property.

(9) Those which because of their condition are unsafe, unsanitary, or dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of the people of this city.

(10) Those existing in violation of any provision of the building, fire, gas, mechanical and electrical provisions of this Code.

Sec. 29-29. Standards for repair, vacation or demolition. The following standards shall be followed in substance by the code compliance manager 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 dangerous structure is fifty (50) per cent damaged or decayed, or deteriorated from its original value or structure, it shall be demolished, and 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, 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)

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)

Sec. 29-31. Duties of code compliance manager or his authorized representative. The code compliance manager or his authorized representative 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 board, 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 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 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, a description of the building or structure deemed unsafe, a statement of the particulars which made the building or structure a dangerous structure and an order requiring the same to be put in such condition as to comply with the terms of this article within such length of time, not exceeding thirty (30) days, as is reasonable.
(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 code compliance manager or his 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)

Sec. 29-32. Duties of fire department. The employees of the fire department shall make a report in writing to the code compliance manager 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 code compliance manager 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)

Sec. 29-33. Duties of police department. All employees of the police department shall make a report in writing to the code compliance manager 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 code compliance manager 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)

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 code compliance manager 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 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 statement of particulars set forth in the code compliance manager's or his authorized designee's notice provided for herein.

(2) Hold a hearing and hear such testimony as the code compliance manager or his authorized designee, or the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee or any other person having an interest in said building structure as shown by the land records of the county clerk 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 as shown by the land records of the county clerk, 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 as shown by the land records of the county clerk 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 ten (10) days, 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 in section 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)

Sec. 29-35. Duties of city attorney. The city attorney shall:

(1) Prosecute all persons failing to comply with the terms of the notices provided for in this article, section 29-31(5) and (6), and the order provided for in section 29-34(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)

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 code compliance manager 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 section 29-34(5). (Ord. No. 5059, § 1, 12-15-92)

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 certified 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)

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)

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 in section 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 in section 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 section 29-31(9) shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction, shall be fined as provided in section 1-8 for each offense. (Ord. No. 5059, § 1, 12-15-92) Secs. 29-40--29-44. Reserved.
Last updated: 6/17/2009 6:03:45 PM