The Governing Body finds that junked, wrecked, dismantled, inoperative or abandoned vehicles affect the health, safety and general welfare of citizens of the city because they:

(a)      Serve as a breeding ground for flies, mosquitoes, rats and other insects and rodents;

(b)     Are a danger to persons, particularly children, because of broken glass, sharp metal protrusions, insecure mounting on blocks, jacks or other supports;

(c)      Are a ready source of fire and explosion;

(d)     Encourage pilfering and theft;

(e)      Constitute a blighting influence upon the area in which they are located;

(f)      Constitute a fire hazard because they frequently block access for fire equipment to adjacent buildings and structures.

(Code 2001)

As used in this article, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(a)      Inoperable means a condition of being junked, wrecked, wholly or partially dismantled, discarded, abandoned or unable to perform the function or purpose for which it was originally constructed; .

(b)     Vehicle means, without limitation, any automobile, truck, tractor or motorcycle which as originally built contained an engine, regardless of whether it contains an engine at any other time.

(Code 2001)

It shall be unlawful for any person to maintain or permit any motor vehicle nuisance within the city.

(a)      A motor vehicle nuisance is any motor vehicle which is not currently registered or tagged pursuant to K.S.A. 8-126 to 8-149 inclusive, as amended; or parked in violation of city ordinance; or incapable of moving under its own power; or in a junked, wrecked or inoperable condition. Anyone of the following conditions shall raise the presumption that a vehicle is junked, wrecked or inoperable;

(1)          Absence of a current registration plate upon the vehicle;

(2)          Placement of the vehicle or parts thereof upon jacks, blocks, or other supports;

(3)          Absence of one or more parts of the vehicle necessary for the lawful operation of the vehicle upon street or highway.

(b)     The provisions of this section shall not apply to:

(1)          Any motor vehicle which is enclosed in a garage or other building;

(2)          To the parking or storage of a vehicle inoperable for a period of 30 consecutive days or less; or

(3)          To any person conducting a business enterprise in compliance with existing zoning regulations or who places such vehicles behind screening of sufficient size, strength and density to screen such vehicles from the view of the public and to prohibit ready access to stored vehicles by children. However, nothing in this subsection shall be construed to authorize the maintenance of a public nuisance.

(Code 2001)

The Mayor with the consent of the council shall designate a public officer to be charged with the administration and enforcement of this article.

(Code 2001)

The public officer shall make inquiry and inspection of premises upon receiving a complaint or complaints in writing signed by two or more persons stating that a nuisance exists and describing the same and where located or is informed that a nuisance may exist by the Chief of Police or a member of the Sedgwick County Fire Department. The public officer may make such inquiry and inspection when he or she observes conditions which appear to constitute a nuisance. Upon making any inquiry and inspection the public officer shall make a written report of findings.

(Code 2001)

It shall be a violation of this article to deny the public officer the right of access and entry upon private property at any reasonable time for the purpose of making inquiry and inspection to determine if a nuisance exists.

(Code 2001)

Any person, corporation, partnership or association found by the public officer to be in violation of section 8-403 shall be served a notice of such violation.

(a)      The notice shall be served on the owner or agent of such property by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by personal service, or if the property is unoccupied and the owner is a nonresident, then by mailing a notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of the owner.

(b)     Notice shall be considered given upon mailing said notice under this subsection to the last known address of said owner or agent, or by leaving a copy of the notice at the usual place of residence of the owner or agent, with a person of suitable age and discretion residing therein or in a conspicuous place.

(c)      In the event the whereabouts of such person are unknown and the same cannot be ascertained in the exercise of reasonable diligence, an affidavit to that effect shall be made by the public officer and filed with the City Clerk, and the serving of the notice shall be made by publishing the same once each week for two consecutive weeks in the official city newspaper and by posting a copy of the resolution on the premises where such condition exists.

(d)     In the case of service by publication, notice shall be considered complete upon said second publication.

(K.S.A. 12-1617e; Code 2001)

The notice shall state the condition(s) which is (are) in violation of section 8-403. The notice shall also inform the person, corporation, partnership or association that:

(a)      He, she or they must by a particular date, which is not more than 10 days from the date of the notice:

(1)          Abate the condition(s} in violation of section 8-403; or

(2)          Request a hearing before the Governing Body of the matter as provided by section 8-412.

(b)     Failure to abate the condition(s) or to request a hearing within the time allowed may result in prosecution as provided by section 8-409 and/or abatement of the condition(s) by the city as provided by section 8-410.

(Code 2001)

Should the person, corporation, partnership or association fail, by the date specified in the notice, to comply with the notice to abate the nuisance or request a hearing, the public officer may file a complaint in the municipal court of the city against such person, corporation, partnership or association. Provided that no prosecution shall be commenced until and unless the owner or agent has received notice by either personal or residential service, or by certified mail.

(a)      Upon conviction of any violation of provisions of section 8-403, be fined in an amount not to exceed $100 or be imprisoned not to exceed 30 days or be both fined and imprisoned.

(1)          Each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues after notice has been served shall constitute an additional or separate offense.

(Code 2001)

In addition to, or as an alternative to prosecution as provided in section 8-409, regardless of whether service is personal, residential or constructive, the public officer may seek to remedy violations of this section in the following manner:

(a)      If the owner or agent fails to comply with the requirement of the notice or request a hearing before the Governing Body for a period longer than that named in the notice, the city shall proceed to have the things described in the notice removed and abated from the lot or parcel of ground.

(b)     Within 30 days of the completion of said removal or abatement, the city shall give notice to the owner or agent by certified mail, return receipt requested, of the total cost of such abatement or removal incurred by the city. Such notice also shall state that payment of such cost is due and payable within 30 days following receipt of such notice.

(1)          Notice shall be considered given upon mailing said notice under this subsection to the last known address of said owner or agent.

(c)      The city also may recover the cost of providing notice, including any postage, required by this section. If the cost of such removal or abatement and notice is not paid within the thirty-day period, the cost shall be collected in the manner provided by K.S.A. 12-1,115, and amendments thereto, or shall be assessed and charged against the lot or parcel of ground on which the nuisance was located. If the cost is to be assessed, the City Clerk, at the time of certifying other city taxes to the county clerk, shall certify such costs, and the county clerk shall extend the same on the tax roll of the county against the lot or parcel of ground, and it shall be collected by the county treasurer and paid to the city as other city taxes are collected and paid. The city may pursue collection both by levying a special assessment and in the manner provided by K.S.A. 12-1,115, and amendments thereto, but only until the full cost and any applicable interest has been paid in full.

If a hearing is requested within the 10 day period as provided in section 8-408, such request shall be made in writing to the Governing Body.

(a)      Failure to make a timely request for a hearing shall constitute a waiver of the person’s right to contest the findings of the public officer before the Governing Body.

(b)     The hearing shall be held by the Governing Body as soon as possible after the filing of the request therefore, and the person shall be advised by the city of the time and place of the hearing at least five days in advance thereof.

(c)      At any such hearing, the person may be represented by counsel, and the person and the city may introduce such witnesses and evidence as is deemed necessary and proper by the Governing Body.

(d)     The hearing need not be conducted according to the formal rules of evidence.

(e)      Upon conclusion of the hearing, the Governing Body shall record its determination of the matter by means of adopting a resolution and serving the resolution upon the person by certified mail, return receipt requested.

(Code 2001)

Disposition of any motor vehicle removed and abated from private property pursuant to this article shall be as provided by K.S.A. 8-1102, as amended.

(Code 2001)