Benson City Ordinance - PART 1

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The City of Benson does ordain:
 Title XI is amended to add the following chapter:
98.01     Findings
98.02     Requirements for Structures
98.03     Nuisance Declared
98.04     Abatement
98.05     Citation
98.06     Notice
§ 98.01  FINDINGS
 The City Council finds that there exist in the City structures used for human habitation which are now or may become in the future substandard with respect to structure, equipment or maintenance, and such conditions, together with inadequate provisions for light and air, insufficient protection against fire hazards, lack of proper heating, unsanitary conditions and overcrowding, constitute a danger to public health, safety and welfare of its citizens.  Additionally, such conditions, factors or characteristics adversely affect public health and safety and lead to the extension and aggravation of urban blight.  It is in the best interest of the public health, safety and welfare of the people of the City to establish and enforce minimum standards for such structures.
(A)  Maintenance. All structures which are intended to be occupied or let to another for occupancy,  and all dwellings or apartments existing for the purpose of living therein, whether occupied or vacant, must comply with the requirements of this section.
(B) Foundations, Exterior Walls and Surfaces, Roofs. Every foundation, chimney, exterior wall and surface, and roof shall be weathertight, watertight, rodent-proof and insect proof, and shall be kept in a workmanlike state of maintenance and repair.
(1)  The foundation elements shall support the building at all points.
(2)  Every exterior wall shall be free of holes, breaks, loose or rotten boards or timbers, and any other condition which might admit rodents, rain or dampness to the interior portions of the walls or to the interior space of the dwelling.
(3)  The roof shall be tight and have no defects which admit rain or other forms of moisture. Roof drainage shall be such that it prevents rainwater from causing dampness in the walls.
(4)  All exterior surfaces shall be of a material manufactured and processed specifically for use in a weather-exposed location, including roofing, exterior painted wood, masonry, exposed redwood and other naturally suitable materials. Exterior walls shall be maintained and kept free from dilapidation, including those conditions caused by extensive cracks, tears or breaks and by extensively deteriorated plaster, stucco, brick, wood or other materials or combinations of materials.
(5)  The exposed surface of exterior walls on a building above ground level shall be maintained in good repair so as to provide both sufficient covering and sufficient protection of the surface underneath against its deterioration. Without limiting the generality of this section, an exposed surface of a building shall be deemed not to be in a workmanlike state of maintenance and not to be in good repair if either or both of the following conditions exist:
(a)  The painted surface area is blistered, cracked, flaked, scaled or chalked away, and such condition(s) extends over more than twenty-five percent (25%) of the surface area of any plane or wall or other area, including window trim, cornice members, porch railings and other such areas;
(b)  More than ten percent (10%) of the pointing of any masonry chimney or more than twenty-five percent (25%) of the pointing of any masonry wall is loose, has fallen out, or otherwise does not exist.
(6)  Any exterior surface or plane required to be repaired under the provisions of this section shall be repaired in its entirety to make it weathertight, watertight, and rodent-proof.
(C)  Windows, Exterior Doors, Basement Hatchways. Every window, exterior door and basement hatchway shall be weather-tight and rodent-proof and shall be kept in working condition and in a workmanlike state of maintenance and repair.
(1)  Every window shall be fully supplied with window panes which are without open cracks or holes.
(2)  Every window sash shall be in good condition and fit tight within its frame.
(3)  Every window other than a fixed window shall be capable of being easily opened and shall be held in an open position by window hardware.
(4)  Every exterior door, door hinge and door latch shall be in good condition.
(5)  Every exterior door when closed shall fit in a workmanlike condition within its frame.
(6)  Every window, door and frame shall be constructed and maintained in such relation to the adjacent wall construction as completely to exclude rain and substantially to exclude wind from entering the structure.
(7)  Every basement hatchway shall be so constructed and maintained as to prevent the entrance of rodents, rain and surface drainage water into the dwelling.
(8)  Every door available as an exit shall be capable of being opened from the inside, easily and without the use of a key.
(9)  Every entrance door to an apartment or rooming unit within a dwelling shall be equipped with a suitable lock in good working condition to provide security for the occupants.

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