§ 40.06. Suspension, revocation and denial  


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  • (a) Grounds for revocation. The fire code official may, in writing, issue a notice to the owner(s) and known interested parties of the city's suspension or revocation of a fire certificate of occupancy issued under the provisions of this code, or deny an application therefor:

    (1) Whenever the certificate was issued in error, or on the basis of incorrect information supplied;

    (2) When the owner(s) has submitted a false, incomplete or inaccurate statement as a part of the application for certificate;

    (3) If it is found upon inspection of the fire code official that the building or occupancy is in violation of provisions of this or other applicable safety codes, ordinances, rules and regulations;

    (4) If the owner, in a material matter, fails to comply with the regulations in section 40.09 of this chapter; or in situations where the fire code official after a good faith effort cannot identify an owner or interested party;

    (5) If the nonresidential building becomes unoccupied or a vacant building as defined in section 43.02 of the Saint Paul Legislative Code;

    (6) If a residential building becomes unoccupied or is a vacant building as defined in section 43.02 of the Saint Paul Legislative Code;

    (7) Evidence of nuisance activity which shall follow the procedures stated in subsection (b)(2) below; or

    (8) If a tenant, leaseholder, or third party payer files a written request for revocation following an owner's violation of Saint Paul Legislative Code chapter 53 which requires that owners notify tenants of pending mortgage foreclosure or cancellation of contract for deed involving the property.

    (b) Notice of suspension, revocation or denial.

    (1) When the fire code official revokes, suspends or denies a fire certificate of occupancy for safety code violations, the notice shall state:

    a. The specific reason(s) for the city's suspension, revocation or denial of the fire certificate of occupancy;

    b. The effective date of the revocation, suspension or denial of the fire certificate of occupancy;

    c. A statement indicating that the commercial building or residential occupancy, or portion thereof, shall not again be used or occupied until such time as the said certificate is issued or renewed or suspension lifted following inspection and a determination by the fire code official that the commercial building or residential occupancy, or portion thereof, is in compliance with applicable safety codes; and

    d. A statement indicating that the suspension, revocation, or denial may be appealed to the legislative hearing officer within ten (10) days of issuance.

    (2) When the fire code official determines in consultation with the city attorney that he or she has evidence of nuisance activity as described in Minnesota Statues § 617.81, subdivision 2, or other violations of nuisance provisions of the Saint Paul Legislative Code are maintained or permitted in the jurisdiction he or she serves, the fire code official shall provide the written notice as described in paragraph a), by personal service or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner and interested parties.

    a. The notice must:

    1. State that a nuisance as defined in Minnesota Statute § 617.81 Subdivision 2, or other violations of the nuisance provisions of the Saint Paul Legislative Code, is maintained or permitted in the building and must specify the kind or kinds of nuisance being maintained or permitted;

    2. Summarize the evidence that a nuisance is being maintained or permitted in the building, including the date or dates on which the nuisance-related activity or activities are alleged to have occurred;

    3. Inform the recipient that failure to abate the conduct constituting the nuisance or to otherwise resolve the matter with the fire code official by entering into an agreed upon abatement plan within thirty (30) days of service of the notice will result in recommending the suspension or revocation of the fire certificate of occupancy to the city council, and/or referring the matter to the prosecuting attorney who serves in the jurisdiction for remedies in accordance with Minnesota Statute § 617.80 et seq., which could result in enjoining the use of the building for any purpose for one (1) year, or in the case of a tenant, could result in cancellation of the lease; and

    4. Inform the owner of the options available under Minnesota Statute § 617.85, which provides that the owner of the building which is subject to a district court abatement proceeding may file a motion before the court that has jurisdiction over the abatement proceeding to cancel the lease or otherwise secure restitution of the premises from the tenant or lessee who has maintained or conducted the nuisance. The owner may assign to the prosecuting attorney the right to file this motion.

    b. If the recipient of a notice under this section either abates the conduct constituting a nuisance or enters into an agreed upon abatement plan within thirty (30) days of service of the notice and complies within the stipulated time period, the fire code official may not take action to suspend or revoke the fire certificate of occupancy on the specified property regarding the nuisance activity described in the notice.

    c. If the recipient fails to abate the nuisance within 30 days of service of the notice, or fails to comply with the agreed upon abatement plan, the fire code official will refer the matter to the city council recommending suspension or revocation of the fire certificate of occupancy or refer the matter to the prosecuting attorney in accordance with Minnesota Statute § 617.80 et seq.

    (3) The notice of intent to suspend or revoke the fire certificate of occupancy for nuisance activity shall be served by personal service or by certified mail, return receipt requested. The notice shall state:

    a. The specific reason(s) the fire code official recommends suspension or revocation of the fire certificate of occupancy; and

    b. The date, time and place of the legislative hearing and public hearing.

    (c) Appeals and stays of enforcement for revocations, suspensions and denials of fire certificates of occupancy.

    (1) Stay pending appeal. Enforcement proceedings on the suspension, revocation or denial of the fire certificate of occupancy, or orders to correct violations, shall be held in abeyance if the owner shall file an appeal to the legislative hearing officer within ten (10) days of receiving the written order issued by the enforcement officer, except in the case of an order to vacate a structure which is deemed to be in an unsafe condition and dangerous to life or limb, the enforcement officer shall proceed to order the building vacated until it is made safe or a final determination is made by the legislative hearing officer allowing re-occupancy of the building. This decision shall be presented to the city council for ratification at its next available public hearing. Abeyance of enforcement proceedings shall continue until such time as the hearing officer shall have issued a final determination or in the event the owner should not prosecute the appeal in a timely fashion.

    (d) Reinstatement following suspension or revocation. If a fire certificate of occupancy is suspended or revoked for a building, or portion thereof, that building or portion thereof, shall not be occupied until such time as the fire certificate of occupancy is reinstated.

    (e) Reinstatement following second suspension or revocation. If a fire certificate of occupancy is suspended or revoked for a second time within a two-year time period under the same ownership, the building for which it was issued shall not again be occupied until such time as the following has occurred:

    (1) The fire code official has determined that the building is in compliance with applicable safety codes; and

    (2) A five thousand dollar ($5,000.00) performance deposit or bond has been posted with the city; the purpose of said bond shall be to off-set potential city expenses associated with abating nuisance conditions at this property and shall be returned to owner upon completion of two (2) years with no legislative code violations requiring city abatement.

    (f) Reinstatement following third suspension or revocation. If a fire certificate of occupancy is suspended or revoked for a third time within a three-year time period under the same ownership, the building for which it was issued shall not again be occupied until a nuisance abatement plan is developed by the owner, reviewed by the legislative hearing officer and approved by the city council. If a nuisance abatement plan is not developed and approved, the premise for which the fire certificate of occupancy was issued shall not again be used or occupied for a period of six (6) months.

(C.F. No. 06-1129, § 1, 1-24-07; C.F. No. 07-214, § 2, 3-28-07; C.F. No. 97-853, 10-10-07; C.F. No. 08-1277, § 1, 12-23-08; C.F. No. 09-122, § 5, 2-25-09; Ord 13-52, § 1, 12-4-13)