7.440 Notice and Abatement Proceedings

(1) Each year, the city manager may cause to be published in a newspaper of general circulation within the City of Medford, Oregon, a public notice that conditions prescribed in section 7.430(1) constitute a public nuisance, and directing that all growth which would constitute such a nuisance be cut or removed within 21 days from the date of publication of the notice.

(2) Whenever a condition prohibited by section 7.430(1) is found to exist, the officer designated by the city manager may give notice to the owners and occupants of the property by causing same to be sent by mail to such persons as are sought to be charged hereunder at their last known address, or, if the mailing address of any owner or occupant is not known to the City, it shall be sufficient for the charging of such person that the notice be addressed to him and sent in care of the person appearing as owner on the records of the county assessor of Jackson County, Oregon. The notice:

(a) shall be directed to all persons shown on the assessor's records or otherwise known to the City to be owners and occupants, whether corporate or otherwise;

(b) shall refer to the premises involved with convenient certainty, the street address, if any, being sufficient;

(c) shall notify the addressees to remove the unlawful growth within 15 days from the date of mailing; and

(d) shall instruct them to comply therewith within 15 days from the date of mailing. The notice shall further inform the owners and occupants that, if the condition is not corrected within the said period of time, the owners and occupants may be prosecuted for violation. If public notice has been published pursuant to subsection (1), the mailed notice shall further state that unless the unlawful growth is removed within 30 days after the publication of said notice or 15 days after date of the mailed notice, whichever is later, the City may cause the unlawful growth to be cut or removed from the premises and will charge the costs thereof to the property owner(s) and may make the same a lien against the property.

(3) Any owner or occupant may, at any time before he becomes in violation, or, if notice has been mailed to him under subsection (2) hereof, within 10 days after such notice is mailed, appeal for relief by filing a petition with the city recorder seeking a hearing as provided in Section 5.525 of this Code. The petition shall include the facts upon which the petitioner relies to relieve himself from the obligations of this section with relation to the property. If the City Recorder finds that it would work a real and unnecessary hardship upon the petitioner to comply with the terms of this section, then the City Recorder may relieve the petitioner of the obligations of this section in relation to the particular property, but nothing therein shall be construed as obligating the City to remove or abate the nuisance without charging the cost against the said property. The owner or owner's agent may appeal the City Recorder's findings to the City Council. A written notice of appeal shall be filed with the City Recorder within ten days after the City Recorder's decision is mailed. The City Recorder shall set the matter for public hearing at the next regular meeting of the City Council. If the City Council determines that a nuisance exists, the owner or owner's agent shall abate the nuisance within ten days of the Council's decision; or the nuisance shall be abated by the City in the manner provided in subsection (4).

(4) If the condition is not corrected within the time limited and no relief has been granted, such agent of the City as may be designated by the city manager may abate the nuisance by removing the grass, weeds, brush, bushes, or like vegetation from the property, or so much thereof as the city manager may determine to be necessary to remove the hazard to abutting property. The city manager shall maintain an accurate record of the expenses incurred by the City in removing the unlawful growth and shall include therein a charge of 30% of said expenses or $50, whichever is greater, for costs of administration. The total cost, including said overhead, shall thereafter be assessed against the property owner(s) and may be entered in the docket of City liens not less than 30 days after the mailing of the notice provided in subsection (2).

(5) If a lien is filed, the lien shall be enforced in the same manner as liens for street improvements, and shall bear interest at the rate specified in section 3.470(2), beginning 10 days after the entry of the lien in the lien docket.

(6) The said remedy shall not be exclusive and, in addition to proceedings by abatement hereunder, the city manager may proceed against the responsible owner in city court in the manner prescribed by law or, if the condition is permanent, substantial, or continuing, may proceed by suit in equity for mandatory injunction or such other relief as may be afforded by a court of equity.

[Amd. Ord. No. 6297, Feb. 16, 1989; Amd. Ord. No. 7345, March 18, 1993; Amd. Ord. No. 7851, Apr. 6, 1995; Amd. Ord. No. 2008-61, April 3, 2008; Amd. Sec. 11, Ord. No. 2009-91, May 7, 2009, Amd. Sec. 1, Ord. No. 2019-23, April 4, 2019]