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City of Burlington 

Published December 21, 2022 at 10:00 a.m.

In the Year Two Thousand Twenty-Two An Ordinance in Relation to BURLINGTON CODE OF ORDINANCES-Abatement and Rehabilitation of Vacant Buildings and Dangerous StructuresCity of Burlington In the Year Two Thousand Twenty-Two An Ordinance In Relation to Chapter 9, Cemeteries—Section 50, Updating Charges for Perpetual Care

ORDINANCE 7.05

Sponsor: Councilor Paul, Ordinance Committee

Public Hearing Dates:

First reading: 08/15/22

Referred to: Ordinance Committee

Rules suspended and placed in all

stages of passage:

Second reading: 12/12/22

Action: adopted

Date: 12/12/22

Signed by Mayor: 12/14/22

Published: 12/21/22

Effective: 01/11/23

It is hereby Ordained by the City Council of the City of Burlington as follows:

That the Code of Ordinances of the City of Burlington be and hereby is amended by amending Chapter 8, Article III, Abatement and Rehabilitation of Vacant Buildings and Dangerous Structures, Sections 8-44, Enforcement authority; 8- 45, Obligations of owner of dangerous structures and buildings; 8-46, Obligations of owners of vacant and abandoned buildings or structures; 8-47, Vacant building permit; inspection; maintenance standards; fees; 8-49, Enforcement and penalties; thereof to read as follows:

8-42 Statement of findings and purpose.

As written.

8-43 Definitions.

As written.

8-44 Enforcement authority.

The director of the department of permitting and inspectionsublic works is authorized to administer and enforce the provisions of this article. The director may take such measures as are necessary for the proper administration of the article, including, but not limited to, maintaining lists on the status of vacant buildings or structures. The director may delegate his/hertheir powers and duties under this chapter to an appropriate administrator or any inspector so designated.

8-45 Obligations of owner of dangerous structures and buildings.

(a) A building or structure or part thereof that is or becomes dangerous or unsafe shall be made safe and secure within 24 hours of such danger being declared by a duly authorized official of the city. If the director or their designee determines the building cannot be made safe or secure, the owner shall take down and remove the building within 60 days after such determination. An owner of such a dangerous or unsafe building or structure who would make safe or would take down and remove a such building or structure pursuant to this section shall comply with all applicable building, fire prevention, zoning ordinances and codes, including Article 159 of the zoning ordinance, the Housing Replacement Ordinance, and any other applicable code or ordinance. No change of use or occupancy shall be compelled by reason of such reconstruction or restoration.

(b) The director shall inspect a building or structure upon receiving information that the building or structure or anything attached or connected therewith is in violation of the specifications of all applicable building, fire prevention, and public safety ordinances and codes adopted herein or is otherwise in such unsafe condition that the public safety is endangered in the first 48 hours upon receiving such notice. If the director has reason to believe that an emergency situation exists tending to create an immediate danger to the health, welfare, or safety of the general public, the director shall enter and inspect the premises. Absent an emergency situation, if the owner of the vacant building or structure fails or refuses to consent to an inspection, the director shall seek a search warrant from the Vermont District Court for the purpose of determining and ensuring the structural integrity of the building, the repairs necessary to ensure its structural integrity, that it will be safe for entry by police officers and firefighters in time of exigent circumstances or emergency, that the building and its contents will not present a hazard to the public.

(c) If, in the director's judgment, the structure or building appears to endanger the public safety, the director shall in his/hertheir discretion elect to commence action to abate as herein provided. To commence an abatement action, the director shall make a careful survey report based on his/hertheir inspection of the premises, or if necessary based on an additional inspection and forthwith notify the owner to remove the condition or building or make the building or condition safe and secure in the time specified for in the notice. If it appears to the director that such structure would be especially dangerous, the director may affix a notice of dangerousness in a conspicuous space upon the structure's exterior walls which shall not be removed or defaced without the director's authority.

(d) Any person notified as provided in subsection (c) shall within the time specified commence to secure or remove such structure. If the public safety so requires, the director shall enter upon the premises and cause the structure to be made safe and secure and that passers-by are protected at the expense of the owner or person interested. Such costs charged to the owner or person interested shall be payable to the city upon receipt.

(e) If the owner continues such refusal or neglects to remove or make the building safe, the director shall cause it to be taken down or otherwise made safe, and the costs and charges incurred shall constitute a lien upon the real estate upon which such building is situated and shall be enforced within the time and in the manner provided for the collection of taxes on land, pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 5061, so long as the lien is recorded in the office where the land records are kept. In addition, for every day's continuance of such refusal or neglect, the owner or person interested shall forfeit to the city fifty dollars ($50.00) one hundred dollars ($100.00), to be recovered in a civil action on this article.

Any violation of this section is declared to be a nuisance and subject to removal or abatement upon a finding of violation by the superior court. The court shall restrain the construction, alteration, maintenance or use of a building or structure in violation of this section and shall restrain the further construction, alteration or repair of a building or structure reported to be unsafe under a survey authorized by this section.

An abatement action under this section is a remedy cumulative to other remedies at law and equity, and in no way pre- empts, supersedes, or bars civil or criminal prosecution for violation of this article, the model building or Life Safety Code or any applicable building, fire prevention, or public safety ordinance, nor is the commencement of an abatement action a condition precedent to the initiation of criminal prosecution or any other remedy. Failure to adhere to the procedure prescribed in this section shall not bar relief or remedy if such failure does not prejudice a person interested and merely constitutes harmless error.

(f) An owner or person interested who is aggrieved by an order issued pursuant to this section may appeal to the board of appeals as constituted in section 8-8. An owner or person interested who is aggrieved by an order of the board of appeals may appeal by instituting relief in the Chittenden Superior Court under V.R.C.P. 74.

8-46 Obligations of owners of vacant and abandoned buildings or structures.

(a) The owner of a vacant building or structure shall obtain a vacant building permit for the period during which it is vacant. When a building or structure becomes vacant, as defined by section 8-43, the owner of the building shall apply for and obtain a vacant building permit and pay the fee, as set forth in section 8-47.

Upon the expiration of a vacant building permit, if the building or structure is still vacant, the owner shall arrange for an inspection of the building and premises with the director and appropriate police and fire officials. A permit is not automatically renewable. It is within the purview of the appropriate city officials whether to renew said permit, taking into account the owner's responsiveness to neighborhood concerns, record of the owner in responding to city directives, history as a property owner, as well as the number of times the owner has expired a permit. It is the city's policy not to allow vacant buildings to remain as such for prolonged periods of time. Once a building is vacant, it is the responsibility of the owner to make plans for the building, be it to rehabilitate, demolish or sell the property. Should be decision be to sell, active efforts must be underway and all obligations will transfer to the new owner.

Should a permit be renewed, it will be under the conditions that a plan is in place. , pursuant to section 8-47(b) and renew the permit within ten (10) days of expiration in the same manner as the expired permit.

All renewed permits shall be subject to all conditions and obligations imposed by this article or the initial permit unless expressly exempted therefrom.

(b) The owner of a vacant building or structure shall comply with all building, fire, life safety, zoning, and other applicable codes or ordinances and shall apply for all necessary building, fire prevention, and zoning permits upon application for a vacant building maintenance permit.

(c) The owner of a vacant building or structure shall immediately, within the first week of vacancy, remove all combustible waste and refuse therefrom in compliance with the applicable fire prevention code and shall remove any waste, rubbish or debris from the interior of the structure. The owner of a vacant building or structure shall also immediately remove any waste, rubbish, debris or excessive vegetation from the yards surrounding the vacant building or structure in accordance with the vacant building maintenance standards of this article.

(d) The owner of a vacant building or structure shall immediately lock, barricade or secure all doors, windows and other openings in the building or structure to prohibit entry by unauthorized persons, in accordance with the vacant building maintenance standards of this article. The owner of a vacant building or structure shall provide the police department with a list of persons authorized to be present in the building and shall provide notices of trespass to the police authorizing the arrest for trespass of individuals not on the list. The owner shall update the authorized person list as needed.

(e) The obligations of owners of a vacant building or structure are continuing obligations which are effective throughout the time of vacancy, as that term is defined in this article. The director shall have continuing abatement authority throughout the time of vacancy.

8-47 Vacant building permit; inspection; maintenance standards; fees.

(a) Application by the owner of a vacant building or structure for a vacant building permit shall be made on a form provided by the director. Applicants shall provide a maintenance plan covering the permit period which shall disclose all measures to be taken to ensure that the building or structure will be kept weather-tight and secure from trespassers, safe for entry by police officers and firefighters in times of exigent circumstances or emergency, compliant with the obligations set forth in Section 8-46 and subsection (e) of this section and together with its premises be free from nuisance and in good order in conformance with the vacant building maintenance standards. Applicants shall disclose the expected period of vacancy (including the date of vacancy), and state the plan and timeline for the lawful occupancy, rehabilitation or removal or demolition of the structure.

(b) Vacant buildings shall be inspected at or around the beginning of the permit period to determine that they comply with this article. The owner shall cooperate with and attend the inspection and there will be a cost to the inspection that is the responsibility of the owner.

If the director has reason to believe that an emergency situation exists tending to create an immediate danger to the health, welfare, or safety of the general public, no notification or warrant is necessary and the director shall enter and inspect the premises pursuant to Section 8-45.

If the owner of the vacant building or structure does not cooperate with and or attend an inspection, the director may seek a search warrant from the Vermont District Court for the purpose of determining compliance with this article.

(c) The director, upon inspection, shall issue any order for work needed to:

(1) Comply with this article and adequately protect the building from intrusion by trespassers and from deterioration by the weather in accordance with the vacant building maintenance standards set forth in this article; and

(2) Ensure that allowing the building to remain will not be detrimental to the public health, safety and welfare, will not unreasonably interfere with the reasonable and lawful use and enjoyment of other premises within the neighborhood, and will not pose an extraordinary hazard to police officers or firefighters entering the premises in times of emergency.

When issuing such orders, the director shall specify the time for completion of the work. The order shall act as an interim vacant building permit, the duration of which shall be for the time set forth in the director's order. No interim permit shall be effective for a period of more than three (3) months. All work done pursuant to this article shall be done in compliance with the applicable building, fire prevention, and zoning codes and ordinances.

(d) The director shall issue a vacant building permit upon being satisfied that the building has been inspected and is in compliance with this article. This permit shall be effective for a period of up to three (3) months during which time it is the responsibility of the owner to notify the city of their plans to rehabilitate, demolish or sell the property.

(e) As written.

(f) (1) A fee of five hundred dollars ($500.00) seven hundred and fifty ($750.00) shall be charged for a vacant building permit or renewal of such permits. The fee is to be paid at the time of application or renewal. No permit shall be issued prior to payment of the permit or renewal fee.

(2) All but seventy-five dollars ($75.00) two hundred dollar ($200.00) of this fee shall be waived upon a showing that the building or structure is being actively marketed for sale or lease and maintained pursuant to the requirements of this article and its vacant building permit or renewal thereof. An owner shall be eligible for the waiver of the fee for no more than eight (8) two (2) permit periods, not including any interim permit period that occurs within a permit period. The full fee shall be tendered with the request for a waiver and shall be refunded if the waiver is granted but for the seventy-five dollars ($75.00) two hundred dollars ($200.00). A person who purchases a vacant building shall have this fee waived for the remainder of the permit period and the permit period immediately following.

(3) All but seventy-five dollars ($75.00) of this fee shall be waived when a building is being rehabilitated pursuant to applicable building, fire, and zoning permits and the owner has spent at least five (5) percent of the assessed valuation of the building or structure on rehabilitation, not including the cost of permits, in the prior three (3) month period. The full fee shall be tendered with the request for a waiver and shall be refunded if the waiver is granted but for the seventy-five dollars ($75.00).

(4) All but seventy-five dollars ($75.00) of this fee shall be waived if an owner has secured all the duly required state and local permits to demolish the building or structure. The full fee shall be tendered with the request for a waiver and shall be refunded if the waiver is granted but for the seventy-five dollars ($75.00). The owner shall demolish the building or structure within three (3) one (1) months of securing said permits; this waiver shall be void and the vacant building permit fee shall be owed if the owner fails to demolish within this time. The time to demolish may be extended upon a showing of good cause.

(5) Once the permit has expired and the city deems the property no longer eligible for renewal of said permit, the city shall notify the owner. The owner shall either show proof of active marketing for sale or lease, a plan for rehabilitation including proof of construction under contract or proof of immediate demolition. Should none of the above be presented to the city within 5 days of the expiration of the permit, the owner shall be fined $100.00 per day until such proof is presented.

(g) Signs/Markings – When required pursuant to this section, signs or markings on the buildings determined to be especially unsafe in case of fire shall be applied on the front of the property, and elsewhere as the fire chief may require, at or above the second floor level and shall not be placed over doors, windows or other openings. All signs/markings shall be visible from the street and, when requested by the fire chief, shall be placed on the sides and the rear of the property. Signs/markings shall be 2 square feet with lines of 2 inch width, and shall have a reflective background, or be painted with reflective paint, in contrasting colors as approved by the fire chief. Signs/Markings shall be applied directly on the surface of the property and shall state the date of posting and the most recent date of inspection by the fire chief and director.

8-48 Appeals and variances.

As written.

8-49 Enforcement and penalties.

(a) Penalty:

(1) A person shall be subject to a civil penalty of two hundred dollars ($200.00) five hundred dollars ($500.00) with a waiver penalty of one hundred fifty dollars ($150.00) for the following offenses:

a. Failure to apply for a vacant building permit or the filing of an incomplete application;

b. Failure to pay the vacant building fee;

c. Failure to schedule an inspection or to show up for an inspection for which notice has been given;

d. Failure to comply with the obligations set forth in Sections 8-46(c) and (d); and

e. Failure to comply with an order of the enforcement officer in the time required, with each separate deficiency ordered to be corrected being deemed a separate order.

(2) A person who repeats the same offenses three (3) times within a twelve (12) month period shall be deemed to have committed a criminal offense for the third offense subject to a fine of five hundred dollars ($500.00).

(3) Prosecution under this section is a remedy cumulative to any and all other remedies at law and equity, and in no way preempts, supersedes, or bars prosecution for violation of this article under subsection (b) of this section.

(b) Any violation of this article is also declared to be a public nuisance and subject to removal or abatement upon a finding of violation by the superior court. An abatement action as contemplated by Section 8-45 is discretionary and is not a precondition to criminal prosecution under this section, nor is a survey report by the director pursuant to Section 8-45 a prerequisite for prosecution under this section.

(c) Any order issued pursuant to this article shall be recorded in the office where the land records are kept, thereby becoming effective against any purchaser, mortgagee, attaching creditor, lienholder or other person whose claim or interest in the property arises subsequent to the recording of the order. Once the violation(s) is certified to be corrected, such orders shall be removed from the record. All fees, costs, or charges assessed pursuant to this article shall be a tax lien upon the real property pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 5061, so long as the lien is recorded in the office where the land records are kept.

** Material stricken out deleted.

*** Material underlined added.

tm/KS: Ordinances 2022/Abatement and Rehabilitation of Vacant Buildings, Chapter 8, Article III.

12/8/22

ORDINANCE 6.27

Sponsor: PARKS, ARTS & CULTURE Committee (PACC) - Barlow, Dieng, Shannon

Public Hearing Dates:

First reading:

Referred to:

Rules suspended and placed in all stages of passage: 12/12/22

Second reading:

Action:

Date: 12/12/22

Signed by Mayor: 12/14/22

Published: 12/21/22

Effective: 01/11/23

It is hereby Ordained by the City Council of the City of Burlington as follows:

That Chapter 9, Cemeteries, of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Burlington be and hereby is amended by amending Sec. 50, Charges for perpetual care, thereof to read as follows:

9-50 Charges for perpetual care.

(a) Lot owners will secure a bond from the City of Burlington, through the superintendent, for the perpetual care of their lot. The money paid for perpetual care shall be placed with the city treasurer to be invested and the income therefrom shall be used as set forth in 18 V.S.A. § 5306, to include for the maintenance of a lot. This shall include keeping the grass cut, maintaining a greensward, leveling the depressed areas and other work of similar nature. purpose of building, repairing, maintaining, adorning, and beautifying buildings or parts thereof, fences, graves, vaults, mausoleums, monuments, walks, cemetery lots, grounds, drives, or avenues, as the interests of the lot owners and cemetery shall appear.

(b) As written.

* Material stricken out deleted.

** Material underlined added.

TM/CW/Ordinances 2022/CHAPTER 9, CEMETARIES—SECTION 50, UPDATING CHARGES FOR PERPETUAL CARE

December 12, 2022

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