City ordinance defines ?nuisances? and trash

With city?s recent decision to crack down on nuisances and trash in local yards, homeowners may be wondering what kind of situations are actually in violation of city codes.

According to the ordinance, the city will be watching for any junked, wrecked, dismantled or abandoned vehicle, or junk and trash located upon real property affecting the health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of Hillsboro.

Such vehicles could be serving as breeding ground for flies, mosquitoes, rats and other insects and rodents. If a vehicle is dangerous because of broken objects on it, or insecure mounting on blocks or jacks, it also will be considered dangerous.

Vehicles may also be tagged if they encourage pilfering and theft, cause a loss in property value to surrounding property, or constitute a fire hazard.

Junk and trash can also be deemed to create a breeding ground, pose a danger to persons, or constitutes a blighting influence on the area.

The following definitions are included in the ordinance:

— ?Vehicles?: any automobile, truck, tractor or motorcycle which, as originally built, contained an engine, regardless of whether it contains an engine at any other time.

— ?Dismantled vehicles?: vehicles being and remaining without engine or wheels or tires; with a broken windshield or glass, on blocks, jacks, chains or supports; with hood, fends, door panels or truck assemblies missing; with torn, severed or damaged exterior surfaces to the extent shard or irregular edges are exposed; open to access of interior for a human or animal entrance or unlocked; or any condition of disrepair exposing the public to injury.

— ?Abandoned vehicles?: vehicles left without permission on private premises.

— ?Junk:? disassembled parts of machinery, vehicles or salvage material; items of property in disarray and open to public view; or items of personal property appearing to be discarded or abandoned property.

— ?Trash:? materials or litter of no worth or in a crumbled or broken condition, debris scattered in a haphazard manner in public view, and impairing reasonable access for mowing and maintenance.

In addition, the following presumptions also are included:

— A vehicle is dismantled if there is absence of effective plate, absence of one or more parts of the vehicle necessary for lawful operation on streets and highways, report of human injury and weeds or overgrowth surrounding the vehicle.

— Property is considered junk if the general appearance of the premises shows lack of order and lack of exterior maintenance, there are dangerous conditions to children upon the premises, conditions are conducive to breeding and occupation by insects, rodents, cats or other animals or exhibits conditions of fire hazard.

If materials considered junk or trash are stored within an enclosed building, the premises are granted a variance or are in compliance with the city?s zoning ordinance it will not be considered a violation.

In addition to trash, the city also addresses weeds and rank grass. This ordinance is based on the city weed control law.

Unsafe structures also are discussed in the ordinances. The ordinance allows the governing body of the city to have owners make repairs or remove unsafe or dangerous structures within a set amount of days, depending on the type of violation.

The definitions in the ordinances will be used when determining nuisances and health hazards on properties. To look into complaints, the standards board has the authority to enter the premises at reasonable hours for inspection, photographing and gathering of relevant evidence.

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