Property Maintenance Standards

CITY OF MARGATE, FLORIDA

ORDINANCE NO. 1500.470

Appendix A - Zoning Code

ARTICLE XXIII. PROPERTY MAINTENANCE STANDARDS

Section 23.1. Purpose and scope.

There is hereby promulgated and established a set of minimum exterior building and property standards relating to the maintenance of residential and nonresidential buildings and property within the City of Margate.

These provisions shall apply to the exterior portion of every building or structure and its accessory structures, as well as any and all adjoining grounds, areas or other premises or undeveloped property in the City. In all situations where a provision of this article conflicts with other building, health, safety or zoning regulations, the more restrictive standard shall prevail.

Section 23.2. Definitions.

The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article shall have the meaning ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning.

Alteration shall mean any change in size, shape, character, occupancy or use of a building or structure.

Approved shall mean authorized as provided by law.

Blemish shall mean a noticeable imperfection that impairs appearance.

Blighting influence shall mean any physical condition of building or property, which directly or indirectly causes a reduction in the value of surrounding properties.

Brush shall mean any dense growth or bushes, shrubs or weeds, or any accumulation of, but not limited to: Grass clippings, hedge and tree trimmings, palm fronds, leaves, and other such debris.

Code Compliance Officer shall mean any employee or agent of the City of Margate duly authorized by the City Manager to enforce City ordinances.

Deficiency shall mean a condition of deterioration that is not in violation of this article; however, such condition can be expected to become a violation within a short period of time.

Deterioration shall mean the condition or appearance of any structure or grounds, or parts thereof, characterized by holes, breaks, rot, crumbling, cracking, peeling, rusting or other evidence of physical decay, neglect or lack of maintenance.

Dilapidated shall mean a condition of structural disrepair or deterioration to the extent requiring rehabilitation, reconstruction or demolition.

Dwelling shall mean any building which is wholly or partly used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking and eating, providing that temporary housing as hereinafter defined shall not be regarded as a dwelling.

Electrical shall mean all work, materials and/or system of electrical wiring for use of light, heat or power, and all appurtenances, apparatus or equipment used in connection therewith, inside of or attached to any building or structure, lot or premises.

Fire hazard shall mean anything or any act which violates the prevailing fire codes of the City.

Garbage shall mean the animal and/or vegetable waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking, and/or consumption of food; and wastepaper, plastic or related materials used in the packaging and preparation of foods.

Good state of repair shall mean that a building, structure or parcel of land is safe and habitable for its ordinary and intended use, and that the materials used in any structure or fixture are sound, stable and conform to its original purpose and performing the function for which intended and not in need of maintenance.

Non-residentially zoned parcel shall mean any parcel of land whose zoning designation is B-1, B-2, B-2A, B-3, M-1, M-1A, CF-1, CF-2, S-1, S-2 or any business areas of a PUD.

Nuisance shall mean anything that violates the standards provided herein, or any other City, County, State or Federal law.

Occupant shall mean any person living, sleeping or having actual possession of a dwelling.

Operator shall mean any person who has charge, care or control of a building, structure or parcel of land, or part thereof.

Owner shall mean any person who, alone or jointly has legal, equitable or beneficial title to any building or structure, or part thereof, which is subject to this article.

Person shall mean and include any individual, firm, corporation, association or partnership.

Rubbish shall mean all combustible and noncombustible waste materials except garbage, including but not limited to nonoperative toys, bicycles, motorcycles, automobiles, mechanical equipment and machines or parts thereof.

Structurally sound shall mean free of imperfections which affect the intended use of the structure so as not to endanger the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants or neighbors.

Supplied shall mean paid for, furnished or provided by or under control of the owner or operator.

NOTE: This entire ordinance recites new language and therefore the City Attorney’s Office has not underscored the entire ordinance.

Swale shall mean all unpaved portions of right-of-way located between the edge of pavement and the property line or an easement located on property adjacent to the right-of-way line.

Trash shall mean all small discarded materials from around a premises which can be deposited in an approved trash receptacle for collection and can be burned or otherwise properly handled at an incinerator.

Vermin shall mean all common harmful or objectionable animals or insects that are difficult to control.

Section 22.3. Jurisdiction; enforcement.

The City of Margate shall have jurisdiction to issue citations in which violations of this article are alleged pursuant to Section 1-8 of the City of Margate Code of Ordinances; provided, however, allegations regarding unsafe buildings and structures shall be administered in accordance with the procedures set forth in the City of Margate Code of Ordinances and/or the South Florida Building Code, Broward County Edition, as amended.

Section 23.4. Exterior maintenance of structure and premises.

(a) All exterior surfaces of buildings or sheds, excluding roofs, shall be properly maintained and protected from the elements by paint or other protective coating applied in a workmanlike fashion. Painted or protective coatings shall be uniform in color without blemishes throughout the exterior and shall be in accordance with the color palette of the City of Margate adopted by resolution. Trim paint shall be uniform in color and in accordance with the adopted color palette of the City of Margate without blemishes.

(b) Every foundation, exterior wall, window, roof and all other exterior surfaces shall be free of holes, cracks, breaks, loose or rotted wood and any condition which might allow rain or moisture, vermin, pests or insects to enter the interior portions of the walls or to the occupied spaces of any dwelling, commercial building or structure.

(c) Roofs shall be structurally sound, watertight and shall prevent rainwater or moisture from entering the walls, ceilings or any other portion of the dwelling, commercial building or structure. All building roofs and gutters shall be kept free of faded or chipped paint and shall be maintained in good repair and in good condition to prevent deterioration, and must be cleaned (pressure and/or chemical), repainted or recovered with like material(s) when twenty-five (25) percent or more of any exposed roof surface becomes discolored or is scaling. In the event a roof shingle or tile is replaced, the replacement shingle or tile shall be of the closest possible color and shade to the existing roofing shingles or tiles.

(d) Fences, exterior walls, exterior doors, exterior windows, dumpster enclosures, decorative walls, perimeter hedges, playground equipment, trellis, swimming pools, screen enclosures, modular storage structures, and similar utility enclosures shall be maintained in a good state of repair.

(e) Each exterior wall surface of buildings and structures shall be kept free of faded or chipped paint, and shall be maintained in a good state of repair and good condition to prevent deterioration, and must be cleaned (pressure and/or chemical), repainted or recovered with like material(s) when twenty-five (25) percent or more any exposed surface becomes discolored or is peeling.

(f) Any awning or marquee and its supporting structural members shall be maintained in a good state of repair. Awnings or marquees made of cloth, plastic or of a similar material shall not show evidence of excessive weathering, discoloration, ripping, tearing or other damage.

(g) All signage shall be maintained in the originally permitted and constructed condition as required by Article 22 of Appendix A-Zoning of the City of Margate Code of Ordinances.

(h) Rubbish, brush, weeds, broken glass, stumps, roots, obnoxious growths, filth, garbage, trash and debris shall not be permitted on any premises. This subsection shall not apply to garbage, trash and debris, which is containerized in approved receptacles for appropriate collection and removal.

(i) Dead and/or dying trees and limbs or other natural growth which constitute a health or safety hazard to persons or property shall be removed and replaced if required by City code requirements or site plan approval. Trees shall be kept pruned and trimmed to prevent the occurrence of a health or safety hazard as provided by Section 12˝ - 17 of the City of Margate Code of Ordinances.

(j) Loose or overhanging objects which constitute a danger of falling on persons or property shall be removed.

(k) Ground surface hazards such as holes, excavations, breaks, projections, obstructions and excretion of pets and other animals on paths, walks, driveways, parking lots and parking areas, and other portions of the premises shall be repaired or removed.

(l) Premises and adjacent swales shall be kept landscaped, irrigated with rust free systems, mowed and maintained in good repair. All landscaping on non-residential property shall be in compliance with the approved site plan. Any person who increases the area of a primary structure by more than twenty (20) percent shall comply with all landscaping requirements in effect at the time of alteration unless said person applies for and is granted an adjustment of standards from the City of Margate Beautification Committee.

(m) All off-street parking spaces shall be paved asphalt or constructed of concrete or block and shall have smooth surfaces in good repair and be in compliance with Article 18 of Appendix A-Zoning of the City of Margate Code of Ordinances.

Section 23.5. Exterior building or structure color.

(a) Standards. The exterior of all new structures or any existing structure within a non-residentially zoned parcel, which is to be painted or repainted, shall be compatible with the official color palette of the City of Margate, adopted by resolution, which is on record in the Building Department.

(b) Amortization Period. All buildings or structures within a non-residentially zoned parcel whose exterior color does not conform to the official color palette at the time of the adoption of this article shall be removed or altered so as to conform to the provisions of this article within a period of time not to exceed three (3) years from the effective date of this ordinance.

Section 23.6. Trash container areas.

(a) All trash container areas shall be maintained in a manner which prevents the accumulation of trash, debris, rubbish and litter by providing sufficient dumpsters and sufficient frequency of trash pickups. In the case of single family residences, trash containers shall be set out no earlier than 5:00 p.m. the day before the designated pick-up and left out no longer than 8:00 p.m. the designated day of pick-up

(b) All new dumpsters, existing dumpsters and other containers shall be constructed and shall be located and maintained in such a manner so as to provide screening from public view as required by Section 12 ˝-9, City of Margate Code of Ordinances.

Section 23.7. Accumulation of stagnant water.

No person owning, operating or having possession of any property within the city shall allow the accumulation of stagnant water in excess of two (2) inches for a period of exceeding 24 hours following the cessation of the most recent measurable rainfall. Roofs or other structures or improvements designed for the retention of water are exempt from this section but shall be subject to the design capabilities of said roof, structure or improvement or other governing codes.

Section 23.8. Parking and paved areas.

It shall be the responsibility of all persons to maintain all parking and paved areas including curbs and wheel stops in a neat and clean condition. In addition, all parking and paved areas shall be maintained in a good state of repair, which shall include proper drainage and the routine cleaning/clearing of french drains to prevent the accumulation of pools of water and the correction and removal of all ruts, potholes, and broken pavement. In parking areas, the parking spaces shall be maintained in a manner which clearly delineates said spaces and shall include maintenance of parking space striping, directional markings, stop bars, or other indicators. Wheel stops, curbing and any other paved surfaces shall be free of breaks, cracks and other deficiencies. Additionally, all parking areas shall be maintained in the original constructed condition as required by Article XVIII of Appendix-A Zoning of the City of Margate Code of Ordinances. This section shall apply to all paved area, including but not limited to parking areas and ingress or egress driveways. Additionally, a Building Permit shall be required for all resurfacing, resealing, restriping, replacement of parking areas.

Section 23.9. Landscaping maintenance requirements.

All owners of land shall be responsible for the maintenance of all landscaping. This includes mowing and maintaining abutting rights-of-way, swales, lake and canal banks. Landscaping shall be maintained in a good condition so as to present a healthy, neat and orderly appearance at least equal to the original installation and shall be mowed or trimmed in a manner and at a frequency so as not to detract from the appearance of the general area. Landscaping shall be maintained such that it will not cause property damage and public safety hazards, including removal of living, dead or decaying plant material, removal of low hanging branches below twelve (12) feet above grade and those obstructing street lighting. Landscaping shall be maintained in accordance with the following standards:

(a) Insects, disease, etc.: Landscaping shall be kept free of visible signs of insects and disease and appropriately irrigated and fertilized to enable landscaping to be in a healthy condition.

(b) Mulching: Three (3) inches of clean, weed-free, appropriately sterilized organic mulch shall be maintained over all areas originally mulched at all times until landscaped area matures to one hundred percent (100%) coverage.

(c) Turf edge trimming: All roadways, curbs and sidewalks shall be edged to prevent encroachment from the adjacent turfed areas.

(d) Maintenance of irrigation systems: Irrigation systems shall be maintained to eliminate water loss due to damaged, missing or improperly operating sprinkler heads, emitters, pipes and all other portions of the irrigation system and shall not be installed or operated to place water on roads.

(e) Replacement requirements: An owner is responsible to ensure that living material are replaced with like material if such living material or trees die, or are abused.

(f) Removal of root systems: Removal of root systems which show evidence of destroying public or private property is required.

(g) Tree Abuse: Tree abuse is prohibited within the City in accordance with Section 12˝ - 16 of the City of Margate Code of Ordinances.

(h) Tree Pruning:

(1) All owners of land must prune trees in accordance with the National Arborist Association Standards. Any pruning performed without conformance to the National Arborist Association Standards shall be subject to enforcement by the City.

(2) All tree pruners or removers that provide services for a fee within the City of Margate shall hold a valid occupational license in either Broward, Palm Beach, or Miami-Dade Counties.

Section 23.10. Maintenance of swales.

(a) Maintenance Responsibility. It shall be the responsibility of the adjacent property owner to maintain the swale area to the following minimum standards:

(1) free of debris; and

(2) grass and or weeds cut no higher than six (6) inches and edged away from the sidewalk and roadway; and

(3) shrubs legally existing as of the date of this ordinance shall be kept trimmed to a height not to exceed four (4) feet and provide unrestricted visibility at driveways and street intersections; and

(4) overhanging branches of trees shall be pruned to a height of at least twelve (12) feet above grade; and

(5) the swale shall be kept free and clear of prohibited species, as set forth in Section 12˝ - 10 of the City of Margate Code of Ordinances.

Section 23.11. Maintenance of canal right of way or easements.

No owner of land or any persons in their employ or under their control shall deposit in any of the waters of the lakes, ponds, canals, ditches or waterways within the city, any rubbish, filth, construction debris, litter, garbage, grass cuttings or poisonous or deleterious substance or substances liable to affect the health, safety and welfare of persons or fish within the waterways.

It shall be the responsibility of the property owner to maintain the appearance of the canal right of way, easement or waterway area to the following minimum standards:

(1) free of debris; and

(2) grass and or weeds cut no higher than six (6) inches, and

(3) overhanging branches of trees shall be pruned to a height of at least twelve (12) feet and be free and clear of the waterway, and

(4) the canal right of way or easement area shall be kept free and clear of prohibited species, as defined in the Code of the City of Margate.

(5) All canals, lakes and other bodies of water shall be kept free of nuisance aquatic plants and in no instance shall any body of water have a surface covering of any type or species of aquatic plant.

Section 23.12. Boarded up buildings.

The City recognizes that from time to time it may be necessary to secure real property because of abandonment, disrepair, public hazard or natural disaster. Unsecured property can lead to vandalism problems, occupancy safety problems and appearance problems. The City feels it necessary to create certain criteria for securing structures.

Real property may be secured via boarding up windows, doors, or other openings upon the requirement of the Building Official, Fire Official, Code Officers or by a private party provided a permit is issued by the City prior to securing a property.

Any means of securing property including crime prevention devices shall be subject to review by the Building Official for safety and compliance with the building code. In no instance shall safety bars, grating, or other similar apparatus be allowed over any window, door, or other opening of any building.

If real property in any zoning district other than an R-3 or R-3A is secured for more than 30 days, except in the case of a natural disaster, the boards, panels or other means of securing structural openings shall be painted to match the exterior color of the building.

The owner of an occupied structure shall promptly repair any broken door or window so that a temporary boarded up condition is limited. Any such repair, other than in the case of a natural disaster, shall be made within 10 days.

Any device (including wood or approved hurricane shutters) used for the securing of a property during a declared hurricane or tropical storm shall be removed no later than ten (10) days after the lifting of any hurricane or tropical storm warning or watch. This provision may be suspended by the City Manager in the event that the posting of any other storm warnings or watches are imminent.

Section 23.13. Determination of need for correction.

Structures and properties failing to meet the standards for a nonblighting influence will be considered "deficient." A blighting influence on the surrounding neighborhood in violation of this article exists when a deficiency or combination of deficiencies represents more than twenty-five (25) percent of the area on any wall, exterior premises, structure, roof or paved surface as viewed from any single vantage point off the property.

Section 23.14. Repairs and installations.

Repairs and installation shall be made so as to comply with the Code of the City of Margate and the South Florida Building Code, the provisions contained herein and/or the approved site plan. All work shall proceed in a timely fashion and be done in workmanlike manner.

Section 23.15. Violation.

The City shall enforce this Article as set forth in Section 1-8 of the City of Margate Code of Ordinances.