Be it enacted by the Quorum Court of the County of Faulkner, State of Arkansas, an Ordinance to be entitled: An Ordinance that confers upon the County the authority to regulate unsanitary conditions.
WHEREAS, Arkansas Code Title 14, Chapter 14, Subchapter 8 was amended by Act 1984 of 2005 to add an additional section, 14-14-813, which confers upon counties the authority to regulate unsanitary conditions; and
WHEREAS, the Faulkner County Quorum Court desires to enact an Ordinance.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE QUORUM COURT OF FAULKNER COUNTY, ARKANSAS THAT:
Section 1: Definitions
1) Agriculture property – Real property used primarily for the raising of agriculture or horticulture commodities, and orchards and woodlands, including but not limited to raising, shearing, feeding, caring for, training, and management of animals; handling, drying, packing, grading, or storing on a farm any agricultural or horticultural commodity in its un-manufactured state; planting, cultivating, caring for or cutting of trees, or otherwise preparing of trees for market.
2) Illegal storage and handling – The possession of drums, polluted soils, other containment devices and/or the discharge, deposit, injection, dumping, spilling, leaking or placing of any waste into or on any land or water so that such substance or any constituent thereof may enter the environment or be emitted into the air or discharged into any water, including groundwater. All the preceding done without proper permits procured by, issued by the controlling agency, e.g. Environmental Protection Agency and/or the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality.
3) Person – A person means any one or more of the following: an owner, occupant or agent; an assignee or collector rents; a contract for deed vendee; a mortgagor in possession; a receiver, executor or trustee; a lessee; a mortgage in possession; other person, firm or corporation exercising apparent control over property.
4) Waste – A solid or liquid or combination thereof, which because of its quantity, concentration, or physical, chemical, or infectious characteristics may:
a. cause, or significantly contribute to an increase in mortality or an increase in serious irreversible, or incapacitating reversible illness; or
b. pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, or disposed of, or otherwise managed.
5) Rubbish – Refuse or garbage items or materials discarded or rejected as useless or worthless.
Section 2: That it should be unlawful for any person(s), firm, or corporation, partnership, association of persons, owners, agent, occupant, or anyone having supervision or control of any lot, tract, parcel of land or portion thereof, occupied or unoccupied, improved or unimproved, within the limits of Faulkner County, Arkansas, to maintain, use, place, deposit, leave, or permit to be, or remain on any public or private property, any items, conditions or actions, continuous violations of which are declared to be and constitute an unsanitary condition; provided, however, this enumeration shall not be deemed or construed to be conclusive, limiting, or restrictive.
1) Garbage, rubbish, and/or other unsightly, unsanitary articles, of whatever nature.
2) The storage of one or more junk or abandoned motor vehicles for a period of more than thirty (30) days unless reasonably out of public view. Junk or abandoned vehicles may not be stored for any length of time, unless all latches and locks are removed or made inoperative in a manner to ensure the safety of all persons.
3) Accumulation or storage of old tires in such a manner as to be a breeding area for mosquitoes or provide harborage for rats, mice, snakes or vermin of any kind.
4) Any building, or other structure, kept in such an unsanitary condition that it is a menace to the health and safety of people residing in the vicinity thereof, or presents a more than ordinary health hazard.
5) The open storage of ice boxes, refrigerators, and/or other appliances or furniture for a period of more than thirty (30) days unless reasonably out of public view. The same shall not be stored for any length of time unless all doors, latches and locks are removed or made inoperative in a manner to ensure the safety of all persons.
6) Illegal storage or handling of any solid, liquid, household, automotive, commercial, or demolition water, whether dumped, spilled, burned or abandoned.
7) The pollution of any well, cistern, stream, lake, canal or body of water by sewage, dead animals, crematory, industrial wastes or other substances.
Section 3: This Ordinance does not apply to:
1) Agricultural property that is being farmed or otherwise used for agricultural purposes; or
2) A parcel of land ten (10) acres or larger.
Section 4: Notice of Violation. Whenever the Sheriff or other law enforcement agent, or their authorized agent or representative, determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a violation of any provisions of this Ordinance, they shall give notice of such alleged violation to the personal responsible. Such notice shall:
1) Be put in writing.
2) Include a statement of the reasons why it is being issued, and a copy of this Ordinance shall be provided to the responsible persons(s).
3) Allow a period of thirty (30) days for any performance of any act it requires.
4) Further state, that is such alleged violations are not voluntarily corrected within the stated time as set forth in the notice, the Sheriff or other law enforcement agent, or their duly authorized agent or representative, shall institute legal proceedings, charging the person(s), firm, corporation or agent with a violation of this Ordinance.
5) The sheriff, or other law enforcement agent, or their duly authorized agent or representative, shall provide photographs and other documentation deemed appropriate to the Prosecuting Attorney in order to successfully prosecute any case in Court.
Section 5: Method of Notification. The following method shall notify the persons(s) responsible for the violation.
By posting upon the property and mailing to the last known address of the property owner by the Sheriff, or their duly authorized agent or representative or published in accordance with A.C.A. 14-14-104 if there is no last know address for the property owner.
Section 6: Grievance. Any person notified of a violation of this Ordinance who disagrees with said violation may file a sworn affidavit under penalty of perjury within fifteen (15) days from the citation. The affidavit should be mailed or hand-delivered to the Sheriff.
Section 7: Penalties. Any person(s), firm, corporation, partnership, association of persons, owner, occupant, agent or anyone having supervision or control, which shall violate a provision of this Ordinance, or fail to comply therewith, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Upon conviction of any such violation, such person(s) shall be punished by a fine of at least five hundred dollars ($500.00) and not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000.00). Any fines collected pursuant to this section, Section 7, of this Ordinance, shall be credited to the costs incurred by Faulkner County under Section 9 of this Ordinance.
Section 8: Violations. A law enforcement officer, as required by law, shall prosecute by the issuance of criminal information, or by the issuance of a citation, violations of the provisions of this Ordinance. Prosecutions under this section are supplemental to any other remedies available under state law, including the Litter Control Act, A.C.A. 8-6-401 thru 416.
Section 9: Abatement by the County. In addition to other penalties described herein, upon failure of the person upon whom notice to abate an unsanitary condition was served pursuant to the provisions of this Ordinance to abate the condition, an authorized agent or representative of the County, as designated by the Quorum Court, may proceed to abate such conditions and prepare a statement of costs incurred in the abatement thereof, and that person shall be responsible for all costs. The County may take necessary corrective actions, including repairs to structure ordered by the County to be removed or razed and charge for the costs of actions under (c)(1)(A) of Act 1984 of 2005 in addition to interest at the maximum legal rate. In all successful suits brought to enforce the liens granted under this section, the County shall be reimbursed for its costs, including title search fees and a reasonable attorney’s fee.
Section 10: Severance Clause. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase of this Ordinance is for any reason, held to be unconstitutional, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portion of this Ordinance.
Section 11: Effective Date. This Ordinance shall take effect on April 18, 2006 after its passage and approval.