Independence City Code identifies seventeen (17) conditions which can cause a structure to be deemed dangerous. See the City of Independence web site to view the entire section of City Code which addresses dangerous buildings.
When a building in Independence is tagged dangerous, a DANGEROUS BUILDING NOTICE is recorded with the Jackson County Recorder. The purpose of this recording is to serve notice to the owner and/or prospective buyers of the structure that it is not suitable for occupancy and if conditions are not repaired may be demolished.
A building which has been tagged dangerous is to be repaired to current building, electrical, plumbing, and mechanical code requirements. In some cases, this may mean that a structure has to upgrade the entire electrical, plumbing, and mechanical components of the structure.
A building permit, electrical permit, plumbing permit, and mechanical permit is generally required before repairs can begin on dangerous buildings. Plans from an architect or structural engineer are generally required at the time application is made for repair permits.
Trades work (i.e. electrical, plumbing, mechanical) must be done by licensed trades people. These tradespeople must schedule rough-in inspections and final inspections and the work must be approved by a City of Independence inspector before a certificate of occupancy can be issued for the structure.
Structures which are in HISTORIC DISTRICTS or which otherwise have been determined to have historic significance may have some restrictions concerning repairs. Before commencing repairs, the owner should check with the HISTORIC PRESERVATION MANAGER, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT FOR THE CITY OF INDEPENDENCE.
After a structure has been repaired, a RELEASE of DANGEROUS BUILDING NOTICE is issued to the property owner. It is the property owner’s responsibility to record this release with the Jackson County Recorder. Failure to record this release will complicate the ability to sell or refinance a loan for the property.
With the exception of structures which present an immediate danger to the public and are required to be demolished as an emergency, any building to be demolished is reviewed by the city’s HISTORIC PRESERVATION MANAGER. Buildings which are in HISTORIC DISTRICTS or which otherwise have historic significance must be reviewed and approved for demolition by the city’s HERITAGE COMMISSION before a demolition permit can be issued.
A demolition permit is required before a dangerous building can be demolished. A plot plan which shows the location of the structure to be demolished in relationship to the property lines and neighboring structures is generally required when applying for a demolition permit.
In most cases, demolition is required to be done by contractors who are licensed and insured to work in Independence.
If the property owner demolishes a structure, a RELEASE of DANGEROUS BUILDING NOTICE will be issued to the owner. It is the owner’s responsibility to record this release with the Jackson County Recorder. Failure to record this document will complicate the ability to sell or refinance a loan for the property.
SEC. 4.01.003. DANGEROUS BUILDINGS
- All buildings or structures which have any of the following defects shall be deemed "dangerous buildings" provided that such conditions or defects exist to the extent that the life, property, or safety of the public or its occupants are endangered:
- Those whose exterior or interior walls or other vertical structural members list, lean or buckle to such an extent that a plumb line passing through the center of gravity of any such wall or vertical structure members fall outside of the middle third (3rd) of its base.
- Those which, exclusive of the foundation, show thirty-three percent (33%) or more, of damage or deterioration of the supporting member or members, or fifty percent (50%) of damage or deterioration of the non-supporting enclosing or outside walls or covering.
- Whenever the stress in any materials, member or portion thereof, due to all dead and live loads, is more than one and one-half (1-1/2) times the working stress or stresses allowed in the Building Code for new buildings of similar structure, purpose or location.
- Whenever any building or structure which whether or not erected in accordance with all applicable laws and ordinances, has in any non-supporting part, member or portion less than fifty percent (50%), or in any supporting part, member or portion less than sixty-six percent (66%), of the:
- Fire-resisting qualities or characteristics, or
- Weather-resisting qualities or characteristics required by law in the case of a newly constructed building of like area, height, and occupancy in the same locations.
- Whenever any portion or member or appurtenance thereof is likely to fail, or to become detached or dislodged or to collapse and thereby injure persons or damage property.
- Whenever any portion thereof has wracked, cracked, warped, buckled or settled to such an extent that walls or other structural portions have materially less resistance to winds or earthquake than is required in the case of similar new construction.
- Those, or any portion thereof which, because of:
- Dilapidation, deterioration or decay;
- Faulty construction;
- The removal, movement or instability of any portion of the ground necessary for the purpose of supporting such building;
- The deterioration, decay or inadequacy of its foundation is likely to partially or completely collapse.
- Those, as determined by any official law enforcement agency, that has been used for the illegal manufacture or storage of a controlled substance as defined by this Article.
- Those under construction, or a fire damaged structure upon which no current building permit is held and no substantial work shall have been performed for the immediately preceding thirty (30) days, and such conditions or defects exist to the extent that the life, property or safety of the public or its occupants are endangered.
- Whenever any portion of a building or structure remains on a site after the demolition or destruction of the building or structure.
- Those which are used or intended to be used for dwelling purposes, because inadequate maintenance, dilapidation, decay, damage, faulty construction or arrangement, inadequate light, air or sanitation facilities, or otherwise, is determined by the Building Inspector to be unsanitary, unfit for human habitation or in such a condition that is likely to cause sickness, disease or injury.
- Whenever any building or structure, because of obsolescence, dilapidated condition, deterioration, damage, inadequate exits, lack of sufficient fire-resistive construction, faulty electric wiring, gas connections or heating apparatus, or other cause, is determined by the Fire Inspector to be a fire hazard.
- Whenever any door, aisle, passageway, stairway or other means of exit is not of sufficient width or size or is not so arranged as to provide safe and adequate means of exit in case of fire or panic.
- Whenever the walking surface of any aisle, passageway, stairway or other means of exit is so warped, worn, loose, torn or otherwise unsafe as to not provide safe and adequate means of exit in case of fire or panic.
- Whenever any portion of a building, or any member, appurtenance or ornamentation on the exterior thereof is not of sufficient strength or stability, or is not so anchored, attached or fastened in place so as to be capable of resisting wind pressure of one half of that specified in the building code for new buildings of similar structure, purpose or location without exceeding the working stresses permitted in the building code for such buildings.
- Whenever any building or structure has been constructed, exists or is maintained in violation of any specific requirement or prohibition applicable to such building or structure provided by the building regulations of this City, as specified in the building code or housing code, or of any law or ordinance of this State or City relating to the condition, location or structure of buildings.
- Those buildings which are abandoned for a period in excess of 6 months so as to constitute such building or portion thereof as an attractive nuisance or hazard to the public, in which the electrical, plumbing, mechanical, or other systems are totally or partially damaged, destroyed, removed, or otherwise made inoperable, unsafe or unsanitary, or such conditions or defects exist to the extent that the life, property or safety of the public or its occupants are endangered.