Sparks City Council Meeting 4/9/2018 2:00:00 PMMonday, April 9, 2018 2:00 PM
Council Chambers, Legislative Bldg., 745 4th St. , Sparks, NV
General Business: 9.5
Total Costs: $13,000.00
Fund: General Fund Account: 603242
Program: Code Enforcement (130205)
Amount: $13,000.00 Budget Status: Budget Exists
A Business Impact Statement is not required because this is not a rule.
The property located at 555 Dermody Way in Sparks, Nevada has been abandoned for a number of years. Over the last two years the City has cited the owner of the property for both building code violations and fire code violations numerous times. The owner is also facing criminal charges in Sparks Municipal Court relating to the code violations and the failure to secure and maintain the property. Due to the owner's failure to secure and maintain the property illegal dumping, vandalism and other illegal activities have been and are taking place on the property. The City has sent certified letters noticing the responsible party, Ronnie Shemesh, numerous times to inform him of the various violations and criminal charges. Mr. Shemesh accepted service of the notices but has not returned phone calls or responded to notices that have been sent to him. Because of the dumping taking place at the property and the owner's failure to secure the buildings, a dangerous condition now exists. This dangerous situation is evident in the occurrence of three fires that have taken place in the last three weeks. The latest fire occurred on March 29, 2018. The condition of the property puts City personnel and others in danger.
This item provides an opportunity to direct the City Attorney's Office to seek injunctive and declaratory relief and to proceed with abatement including but not limiting securing the perimeter and the open buildings.
The property located at 555 Dermody Way Sparks, Nevada covers an area of approximately 4 acres with many buildings on the property including the “Icehouse,” which is a large cement structure, a large metal building and numerous dilapidated wood storage sheds. The property is not fenced and the buildings are unsecured. To the best of the City’s knowledge, the property has been abandoned for approximately two years. Washoe County Assessor’s Office shows Kody Jet Corp. as the owner of the building with Ronnie Shemesh as the listed party. Kody Jet Corp. is a permanently revoked Nevada Corporation.
The City has noticed Mr. Shemesh of the building code violations approximately 17 times through certified mail which were received and signed for at the address listed for Mr. Shemesh in Connecticut. Due to Mr. Shemesh’s failure to take action to secure the property and take other necessary steps to abate the nuisance, criminal charges were brought against Mr. Shemesh in Sparks Municipal Court. Those charges are still pending and a trial date has been set.
Mr. Shemesh did cause some of the trash and garbage to be removed from the property and covered some of the graffiti in early January of 2018. However, no action was taken to secure the perimeter of the property. The illegal dumping and graffiti resumed shortly thereafter. Additionally, the once locked buildings were once again opened and left accessible.
Due to the buildings and property being unsecured, illegal dumping, graffiti and other illegal activity are ongoing and the City has received complaints from the neighboring property owners. The City once again on January 30, 2018 sent Mr. Shemesh a certified letter noticing him of the code violations and requesting remediation of the conditions on the property. This certified letter was signed for at the address in Connecticut. No response to the January 30 notice has been received from Mr. Shemesh.
Besides the ongoing code violations, three fires have occurred inside the buildings over the course of the last three weeks with the last fire occurring on March 29, 2018. These fires put City personnel and others in danger and jeopardize the surrounding businesses.
The City may choose to abate nuisances when a nuisance has not been timely abated by the property owner after notice of the violation. Sparks Municipal Code 7.16.050 requires the City to serve by certified mail a notice of violation to abate a nuisance. In this regard staff has sent approximately 17 notices to Mr. Shemesh including a notice that was sent on January 30, 2018. This notice identified code infractions and corrective measures identifying the City’s intent to seek injunctive relief or to abate the nuisance if the code violations were not corrected. Another letter was sent to Mr. Shemesh on March 26, 2018 outlining the ongoing issues with the property. At the time of this report staff has received no communication from the property owner nor has any progress been made at the site toward correcting the violations.
Due to the lack of response, the ongoing nuisances, and the dangerous situation, City Council may direct the City Attorney’s Office to petition the appropriate court for injunctive relief, abate the nuisance or both. The abatement process is described in Title 7 of the Sparks Municipal Code and Chapter 268 of the Nevada Revised Statutes. SMC 7.16.080 provides that if a property owner fails to remove a public nuisance after notice, “an authorized public official may petition the appropriate court for the injunctive relief to abate the nuisance or may cause such public nuisance to be abated or both.”
The primary consideration for the City Council in respect to this item is determining whether or not to direct the City Attorney’s Office to petition to the appropriate court for injunctive and declaratory relief to abate the nuisance. If Council chooses to cause the nuisance to be abated, it is believed that securing the perimeter of the property is the most effective solution.
Staff has conducted an inspection of the site and estimates that the approximately 2,950 feet of fencing would be necessary. Staff would recommend the installation of temporary fencing which is estimated to cost approximately $3.30 per foot to install and rent for six months. Also necessary would be the installation of two gates at $1,500 for each gate. Therefore, the estimated costs for six months would be approximately $13,000. This amount does not include maintenance nor monitoring of the property. Further, this amount could change depending on the final order of the court.
Abatement of the site would mean the City of Sparks would initiate and complete the work to the extent desired by City Council. After abatement was complete, the report to City Council on the abatement proceeding would be completed. City Council would then decide whether the costs of the abatement should be made a personal obligation of the property owner, a lien against the property, or a special assessment against the property that would be collected in the same manner a general property taxes pursuant to SMC 7.16.100(A).
The Council may choose to direct the City Attorney’s Office to seek the appropriate court for injunctive and declaratory relief as recommended by staff.
The Council may choose not to direct the City Attorney’s Office to seek the appropriate court for injunctive and declaratory relief and provide the City Manager with alternative direction.
I move to direct the City Attorney’s Office to petition the appropriate court for injunctive and declaratory relief to abate the nuisance at 555 Dermody Way, Sparks, Nevada.