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Ballwin approves ordinance on damaged structures

By: Jim Erickson

The Ballwin Board of Aldermen has approved an ordinance detailing procedures the city can use to deal with damaged and dangerous structures. The measure updates an existing law so that local provisions are similar to those in recently adopted state statutes.

“We have no active cases in which the ordinance applies and have had only a very small number in earlier years,” said Eric Hanson, Ballwin’s city administrator.

The measure typically comes into play when houses are damaged by fire or windstorm and then sit vacant and unrepaired, he observed. But the ordinance covers a variety of things ranging from fences and signs, to water towers and fire escapes, and other types of buildings and structures affected by deterioration, decay and other unsafe conditions, Hanson added.

Provisions call for notifying the owner and anyone else with an interest in the property that it has been declared a public nuisance, and give city officials authority to order the repair, vacation or demolition of the structure.

Costs incurred by the city in dealing with the damaged building or structure become a lien against the property. The measure also calls for the city to receive 25 percent of insurance proceeds in certain cases to help cover the expense of enforcing the ordinance’s requirements.

The revised ordinance goes into effect immediately.

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