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BULLET St. Louis City Revised Code Chapter 11.04 Weeds

St. Louis City Revised Code (annotated) has been converted to electronic format by the staff of the St. Louis Public Library. This electronic version has been done for the interest and convenience of the user. These are unofficial versions and should be used as unofficial copies.

Official printed copies of St. Louis City Revised Code may be obtained from the Register's Office at the St. Louis City Hall.



Chapter 11.04
Weeds

Sections:

11.04.010 Findings.
11.04.020 Definitions.
11.04.030 Provision to govern abatement proceedings.
11.04.040 Public nuisance--Vegetation designation.
11.04.050 Public nuisance--Danger to public health.
11.04.060 Public nuisance--Debris and materials.
11.04.070 Notice to property owner.
11.04.080 Abatement procedure--Authority.
11.04.090 Abatement procedure--Designated.
11.04.100 Abatement procedure--Record required.
11.04.110 Abatement--Billing for costs.
11.04.120 Notification of Alderman of ward.
11.04.130 Enforcement.
11.04.140 Penalty for violation.

Prior Ordinance history:

Ords. 47844, 48337, 49773, 55662, 57628: 1948 C. Ch. 27 35--38, 1960 C. Ch. 245.

V.A.M.S.:

263.190--263.250 Destruction of weeds

263.255--263.267 Johnson grass

City Counselor Ops.: 8275, 8591, 9861, 9957, 9969

11.04.010 Findings.

The Board of Aldermen of the City finds and declares as follows:

A. Growths of weeds and other vegetation and the presence of debris on land in the City of St. Louis are detrimental to and endanger the public health, safety and welfare.

B. Such growths of weeds and other vegetation and presence of debris are of increasing concern to citizens of the City despite extensive efforts by the City to prevent and correct such conditions.

C. Prevention and correction of such conditions are properly the duties and responsibilities of property owners.

D. The present ordinance provisions concerning such conditions do not provide an effective system for requiring prevention and correction of such conditions by property owners.
(Ord. 59860 1, 1986.)

11.04.020 Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

A. "Forestry Commissioner" means the Forestry Commissioner of the City of St. Louis or his designated employee. The Forestry Commissioner's designated employee, for purposes of this chapter, also includes neighborhood stabilization officer/neighborhood improvement specialist.

B. "Health Commissioner" means the Health Commissioner of the City of St. Louis or his designated employee.

C. "Occupied" means improved with a structure which is being used for any purpose.

D. "Substantial value" means having an apparent resale value of one hundred dollars ($100.00) or more.
(Ord. 67886 1, 2008; prior: Ord. 59860 2, 1986.)

11.04.030 Provisions to govern abatement proceedings.

Any ordinance or City Code provision to the contrary notwithstanding this chapter shall govern proceedings for the abatement of nuisance conditions as defined in this chapter.
(Ord. 59860 4, 1986.)

11.04.040 Public nuisance--Vegetation designation.

Russian, Canadian, or common thistle, wild lettuce, wild mustard, wild parsley, ragweed, milkweed, ironweed, poisonous plants or shrubs, and all other unattended vegetation and noxious weeds which have attained a height of seven (7) inches or more growing or being upon any lot or lands within the City, and unattended growths of shrubs, trees, and seedlings, which in the opinion of the Commissioner of Forestry, are unsightly and which may impede the clearing of any lot or lands within the City contrary to the general purpose of this chapter, are hereby declared a public nuisance. Every owner, occupant, or person in control of any lot or land within the City shall cause such lot or lands to be kept free from such noxious weeds and vegetation by destroying them, by cutting or spraying with a chemical compound approved by the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Environmental Protection Agency for the destruction of weeds, or by digging under, or by any other method approved by the Commissioner of Forestry.
(Ord. 59860 5, 1986.)

Charter:

Art. I 1 (25) Nuisances

Cases:

A charter provision giving the city the power to declare, prevent and abate nuisance on private property gives the city the power to pass an ordinance forbidding the owner of the premises from permitting a growth of weeds. City of St. Louis v. Gait, 77 S.W. 876,179 Mo. 8 (1903).

McQuillin:

24.90 Weeds as nuisances

11.04.050 Public nuisance--Danger to public health.

Any public nuisance described in Section 11.04.040 is hereby found and declared to be a nuisance the existence of which is plain and the continuance of which is a danger to public health.
(Ord. 59860 6, 1986.)

11.04.060 Public nuisance--Debris and materials.

The presence upon any lot or lands, other than properly licensed and operated salvage yards, within the City of debris of any and all kinds and varieties, including but not limited to weed cuttings, cut and fallen trees and shrubs, rubbish and trash of all kinds, lumber of all kinds not piled or stacked twelve (12) inches off the ground, rocks or bricks of all kinds not piled or stacked twelve inches off the ground, tin, steel, parts of derelict cars or trucks, broken furniture, any flammable material which may endanger the public safety or any material which is unhealthy, unsanitary or unsafe is hereby declared a public nuisance. It is the duty of every owner, occupant or person in control of any lot or land within the City to remove debris from such lot or land forthwith.
(Ord. 59860 7, 1986.)

McQuillin:

32.27 Compelling weed removal

11.04.070 Notice to property owner.

A. The Forestry Commissioner shall prepare each year a written notice which shall:

1. Summarize the provisions of this chapter;

2. Be accompanied by a copy of this ordinance;

3. Advise the property owners of the average length of time in which untended weeds attain the height of seven inches, and the approximate dates between which such growth occurs;

4. Advise the property owners of the methods the City will use during the year to abate weed and debris nuisances and of the best available figures on the costs of such methods on a per square foot basis;

5. Contain such other information as the Forestry Commissioner deems necessary and appropriate.

B. The Forestry Commissioner may mail the notice described in this section by first class mail to any owner of property in the City between February 1 and March 31 of each year. The Forestry Commissioner shall mail a copy of such a notice to any property owner with respect to whose property abatement proceedings hereunder are initiated, and to each purchaser of property in the City of St. Louis as soon as possible after the purchase is reported in the St. Louis Daily Record. If the owner or person in control of such property is a nonresident of the City and has no business address in the City, such notice shall be deemed served at the end of such period after the mailing thereof as in the ordinary course of delivery of mail would be required for delivery of such notice.

C. The Forestry Commissioner may cause a summary of the provisions of this chapter to be published in each daily newspaper of general circulation with its principal office in the City of St. Louis at least two (2) times between February 1 and March 31 of any year.
(Ord. 59860 8, 1986.)

V.A.M.S.:

71.285 Weeds--destruction and removal

11.04.080 Abatement procedure--Authority.

Weed or debris nuisances may be abated immediately as follows:

A. Nuisances described in Section 11.04.040 on properties whose owners have been served with notice under Section 11.04.070B shall be abated by the Forestry Commissioner without further notice.

B. When debris as described in subsection B of 11.04.070 is found, which in the judgment of the Forestry Commissioner may constitute an immediate danger to the public health and safety, he shall notify the Health Commissioner who shall inspect the property. Pursuant to Article XIII Section 14-C(c) of the City Charter, if the Health Commissioner, on such inspection, finds that the existence of a nuisance is plain and that its continuance is a danger to the public health and safety, he may order the Forestry Commissioner to abate such nuisance as soon as practicable.
(Ord. 59860 9, 1986.)

11.04.090 Abatement procedure--Designated.

Except as provided in Section 11.04.080, weed and debris nuisances shall be proceeded against as follows:

A. If the Forestry Commissioner finds a weed nuisance, he shall give notice to the property owner as provided in subsection D of this section. If the condition has not been abated within the time provided in that subsection, the Forestry Commissioner shall abate it.

B. If debris, not of substantial value, is found on vacant property, the Forestry Commissioner shall give notice to the property owner as provided in subsection D of this section. If the condition has not been abated within the time provided in that subsection, the Forestry Commissioner shall abate it.

C. If debris is found on improved property, or if debris which appears to be of substantial value is found on any property, the Forestry Commissioner, if the condition is not abated within seven (7) days, shall notify the Health Commissioner, who shall inspect said property and notify the owner and occupant if different from the owner that he will conduct a hearing on the condition on the seventh day following the date of the notice (or, if such seventh day be a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, on the next day after such seventh day which is not a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday). Such hearing shall be informal and shall not be postponed or continued. The property owner or occupant may testify. Immediately upon the conclusion of such hearing, the Health Commissioner shall determine whether the condition is a public nuisance as defined in Section 11.04.060. If he so determines he shall order the condition abated within seven (7) days. If the condition is not abated within such seven (7) days, the Forestry Commissioner or such other City department or division as may be directed by the Health Commissioner shall abate it.

D. Any notice provided for by this section shall specify the address of the property and the weed or debris condition existing on the property. Such notice shall be served:

1. By causing such notice to be delivered to the owner or other person in control; or

2. By mailing such notice, first class postage prepaid, to the property owner or other person in control of the property, either at his place of business or residence address in the City or elsewhere. Such notice shall be deemed served twenty-four (24) hours after the mailing of such notice if it is directed to a business or residence address in the City of St. Louis. If the owner or person in control of such property is a nonresident of the City and has no business address in the City, such notice shall be deemed served at the end of such period after the mailing thereof as in the ordinary course of delivery of mail would be required for delivery of such notice.

3. If no mailing address can be determined for the owner or person in control of such property, a copy of such notice shall be posted upon the lot or land in question; such posted notice shall be deemed served at the end of twenty-four (24) hours after the posting thereof.

4. In giving any notice under this chapter, any City official or employee shall proceed in a manner which is both consistent with this chapter and which is reasonably calculated to cause actual notice to reach the property owner or person in control of the property.

5. Such notice if given pursuant to subsection A or B of this section shall state that the weeds or debris must be removed, and that such removal must begin within two (2) days after such notice is served and be completed within five (5) days after such notice is served. If given pursuant to subsection C of this section, the notice shall state time, place, and purpose of the hearing.
(Ord. 64164 1, 1997: prior: Ord. 59860 10, 1986.)

V.A.M.S.:

71.285 Weeds--destruction and removal.

11.04.100 Abatement procedure--Record required.

After abating any nuisance hereunder, the Forestry Commissioner or other City department or division which conducted such abatement shall record the following: date and location of abatement, condition abated, equipment, material and personnel used, the length of use of personnel and equipment, quantity of material used, such other data as is appropriate to document the actual cost of the abatement, including clerical costs, and the method and dates of service of notice hereunder.
(Ord. 59860 11, 1986.)

11.04.110 Abatement--Billing for costs.

The Forestry Commissioner shall bill the owners of any property on which the City abates a nuisance under this chapter for the cost of such abatement. Any such bill for the abatement of a nuisance under the provisions of Section 11.04.080 which is unpaid ninety (90) days after it is mailed may be referred to the City Counselor or to a collection agency for collection and shall bear interest at the highest rate allowed by law. Any such bill for the abatement of a nuisance under the provisions of Section 11.04.090 which the Forestry Commissioner has been unable to collect shall be certified to the comptroller who shall prepare a special tax bill for the amount of the cost certified and shall immediately send the special tax bill to the Collector of Revenue for collection as provided in Section 5.08.010, et. seq. of the Revised Code of the City of St. Louis, and the certified cost shall be collected in the same manner and procedure for collecting real estate taxes. If the certified cost is not paid, the tax bill shall be considered delinquent, and the collection of the delinquent bill shall be governed by the laws governing delinquent and back taxes. The tax bill from the date of its issuance shall be deemed a personal debt against the owner and shall also be a lien on the property until paid.
(Ord. 65812 1, 2003: Ord. 64164 2, 1997: prior: Ord. 60457 1, 1987: prior Ord. 59860 12, 1986.)

11.04.120 Notification of Alderman of ward.

The Forestry Commissioner shall notify the Alderman of the ward in which any property is located on which the Forestry Commissioner or Health Commissioner abates any nuisance hereunder three (3) times within a twelve (12) month period.
(Ord. 59860 13, 1986.)

11.04.130 Enforcement.

Enforcement of this chapter shall be the joint responsibility of the Forestry Commissioner, Health Commissioner, and police department; provided, however, that the Forestry Commissioner or Health Commissioner may refer properties subject to this chapter to the Building Division if they believe building code violations also exist on such property.
(Ord. 59860 15, 1986.)

11.04.140 Penalty for violation.

Any person who shall violate provisions of this chapter shall upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine of not less than fifty dollars ($50.00) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) or imprisonment for a term not to exceed ninety (90) days, or both, at the discretion of the Court. Each day a nuisance described in Section 11.04.040 is unabated, or debris as described in Section 11.04.060 remains on property, after notice has been served pursuant to Sections 11.04.070 or 11.04.090, is a separate violation.
(Ord. 60149 2, 1986: Ord. 59860 14, 1986.)

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