Welcome to the Nuisance Abatement Program of the Neighborhood Services Department.
As part of the Code Compliance Division, the Nuisance Abatement staff work to enforce property maintenance, safety, and zoning codes that affect the quality of life in Port St. Lucie. The Nuisance Abatement Program, which is described under Section 40.05 of the City’s Code of Ordinances, is a supplemental means of enforcing city codes and ordinances. Code compliance proceedings are punitive and involve fines levied against the subject property, which may be collected pursuant to Florida State Section 162.09. In contrast, nuisance abatement is remedial in nature and specifically designed to immediately, or as soon as practicable, bring the property into compliance.
Examples of Public Nuisances
Section 40.05 of Port St. Lucie’s Code of Ordinances provides some examples of “nuisances":
- Any accumulation of rubbish, trash, refuse, junk, and other abandoned materials, metals, lumber, or other things, which based upon the facts and circumstances of the accumulation has become a public nuisance in fact;
- The existence of excessive accumulation or untended growth of weeds, grass, undergrowth, brush, or other dead or living plant life upon an improved lot, tract or parcel of land, within one-hundred (100) feet of any improved property within the City of Port St. Lucie to the extent and in the manner that such improved lot, tract or parcel of land is or may reasonably become infested or inhabited with rodents, vermin, wild animals, or snakes; or may become a breeding place for mosquitoes; may pose a fire hazard; threaten or endanger the public health and welfare; pose an attractive nuisance for children; may reasonably cause disease; or adversely affect and impair the economic welfare of any adjacent property;
- Any "attractive nuisance" or condition which may prove detrimental to the health and safety of children, whether on an improved or unimproved lot, tract or parcel of land including, but not limited to, abandoned wells, shafts, excavations, abandoned appliances, abandoned or inoperable motor vehicles, and any structurally unsound fences or structure, lumber, trash, debris, or vegetation such as poison ivy, oak, or sumac, which may prove a hazard for inquisitive minors;
The Nuisance Abatement Process
- Identify problem property
- Determine existence of health, safety, hazard, welfare or public nuisance violation(s)
- Notify owner(s) of property and allow time to correct
- Schedule property to go before City Council for Resolution declaring property a threat
- Once declared a threat, schedule for order to show cause
- After the show cause, schedule property for Resolution declaring public nuisance and issuance of order of abatement
- City corrects the violations
- Cost of abatement added to property tax bill as a special assessment
Powers and Duties of the Nuisance Abatement Coordinator
The Nuisance Abatement Coordinator and his or her designee(s) performs the following duties:
- administers the applicable standards and reports non-compliance with the program;
- makes inspections, compiles facts and evidence, prepares reports and forwards findings, evidence and reports to the city attorney's office for review.
- is authorized to enter upon private property in order to enforce the provisions of the city’s nuisance abatement program.
- may post "No Trespassing" sign(s) in to warn third parties who might be exposed to the risk of danger created by an unsafe condition.
Whenever, in the opinion of the city council, any nuisance is an immediate threat to life, limb, health, welfare, or property, the city council may issue an emergency order and immediately terminate or abate the nuisance.
Assessment of Cost
The City Council assesses the entire cost of city abatement action upon the affected property as a special assessment which constitutes a lien upon the property by the city. The amount of the lien includes the abatement cost for the vacating or removal of the facility, all administrative, legal, postal and public expenses, as well as all other direct or indirect costs associated with the abatement action. The lien upon the property shall be superior to all others except taxes as previously set forth herein.