The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota

02-01 Nuisances




Section 1         Public Nuisance Defined.     Whoever by his or her act of failure to perform a legal duty or intentionally does any of the following is guilty of maintaining a public nuisance, which is a misdemeanor:

Subd. 1.           Maintains or permits a condition which unreasonably annoys, injures, or endangers the safety, health, morals, comfort, or repose of any considerable number of members of the public; or

Subd.  2.          Interferes with, obstructs, or renders dangerous for passage, any public highway or right of way, or waters used by the public; or

Subd.  3.          Is guilty of any other act or omission declared by law or this Ordinance to be   public nuisance and for which no sentence is specifically provided.

Section 2         Blighting Factors

Subd. 1.           Causes of Blight or Blighting Factors.  It is hereby determined that the uses, structures, and activities and cause of blight or blighting factors described herein, if allowed to exist, will tend to result in blighted and undesirable neighborhoods so as to be harmful to the public welfare, health, and safety.  The purpose of this Ordinance is to protect the character and stability of the properties within the City of Mountain Iron and to avoid blight and blight conditions.  The owner and occupant shall comply with the regulations contained herein.

Subd. 2.           Exterior Property Areas; Vacant Properties.


  1. All exterior property areas and vacant areas shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition, safe and free from any hazard of dangerous condition, and free from any accumulation of refuse or garbage.
  2. All exterior property areas and vacant areas located within an Urban Residential-Sewered and Urban Residential-Unsewered zoning district, shall be kept free species of weeds or plant growth, rodents, vermin, or other pests, which are noxious or detrimental to the public health. Any weeds or grasses growing upon any lot or parcel of land, or boulevard abutting such land; within an area of the City of Mountain Iron in which the weeds or grasses grow to a height greater than twelve (12) inches, or which have gone or about to go to seed, are a nuisance.  The owner or occupant shall abate or prevent such nuisance on such property, or on the boulevard abutting such property.  (Excluded from grass height limits are all lake and river lots and any lots that are more than 50% forested throughout the entire lot.)
  3. Junk automobiles and equipment. In any area not zoned for junkyards or salvage yards, the storage of junk automobiles is prohibited.  For the purpose of this Ordinance, the term “junk automobiles” shall include any motor vehicle, part of a motor vehicle, or former motor vehicle, stored in the open, which is currently unlicensed, unregistered or inoperable.  As long as above-mentioned vehicles are covered that is accepted, covered meaning not observable.  The term “junk equipment” shall include equipment such as farm equipment and other machinery, all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, motorcycles, lawnmowers, snow blowers, appliances, boats, and all other machinery or equipment powered by a motor and shall include any part of machinery or equipment, stored in the open, which is not currently licensed for use upon the highways of the State of Minnesota or is not required to be so licensed, and is either: (1) unusable or inoperable because of lack of or defects in component parts; (2) unusable or inoperable because of damage from collision, deterioration, or having been cannibalized; or (3) beyond repair and therefore not intended for future use as a motor vehicle; or (4) being retained on the property for possible use of salvageable parts.  These regulations are in addition to any zoning regulations.

Subd. 3.           Exterior of Structures.

  1. The exterior of all structures and accessory structures including detached garages shall be maintained in a workman-like state of maintenance and repair.
  2. Every exterior wall shall be free of holes, breaks, loose or rotting boards or timbers, falling or loose stucco.
  3. All doors and windows shall be maintained in good repair, fit reasonably well within their frames, and be free of open breaks or holes.

Subd. 4.           Interior Areas of Structures, Including Residential Dwellings.

  1. The interior of every structure shall be maintained in clean and sanitary conditions, free of accumulations of garbage and refuse.
  2. The interior of every structure shall be maintained free from infestation of noxious insects, rodents or other pests.
  3. All plumbing systems shall be properly installed, connected, and maintained in good working order, and must be kept free from obstructions, leaks and defects.
  4. The storage of excessive or unreasonable amounts of hazardous, flammable liquids shall be prohibited in areas not zones for such use.

Section 3         Public Nuisances Affecting Health. The following are hereby declared to be nuisances affecting health:

Subd. 1.           Exposed accumulation of decayed or unwholesome food or vegetable matter;

Subd. 2.           All diseased animals running at large;

Subd. 3.           All ponds or pools of stagnant water;

Subd. 4.           Carcasses of animals not buried or destroyed within 24 hours after death;

Subd. 5.           Accumulations of manure, refuse or other debris.

Subd. 6.           Privy vaults and garbage cans which are not rodent free or fly-tight or which are so maintained as to constitute a health hazard or to emit foul and disagreeable odors;

Subd. 7.           The pollution of any public well or cistern, stream or lake, canal or body of water by sewage, industrial waste or other substances;

Subd. 8.           All noxious weeds or other rank growth of vegetation upon public or private property;

Subd. 9.           Dense smoke, noxious fumes, gas or soot, or cinders in unreasonable quantities;

Subd. 10.         Any offensive trade or business as defined by statute not operating under local license.


Section 4         Public Nuisance Affecting Peace And Safety.        The following are declared to be nuisances affecting public peace and safety:

Subd. 1.           All trees, hedges, billboards, or other obstructions, which prevent people from having a clear view of all traffic approaching an intersection;

Subd. 2.           All wires and limbs of trees which are so close to the surface of a sidewalk or street as to constitute a danger to pedestrians or vehicles;

Subd.  3.          All excessive noises and/or annoying vibrations;

Subd. 4.           Obstruction and excavations affecting the ordinary public use of streets, alleys, sidewalks, or public grounds except under such conditions as are permitted by this code or other applicable law;

Subd. 5.           Radio aerials or television antennae erected or maintained in a dangerous manner.

Subd. 6.           Any use of property abutting on a public street or sidewalk of any use of a public street or sidewalk which causes large crowds of people to gather, obstructing traffic and the free use of the street or sidewalk;

Subd. 7.           All hanging signs, awnings, and other similar structures over streets and sidewalks, or such situation so as to endanger public safety or not constructed and maintained as provided by ordinance;

Subd. 8.           The allowing of rainwater, ice or snow to fall from any building or structure upon any street or sidewalk or to flow across any sidewalk

Subd. 9.           Any barbed wire fence less than six feet above ground and within three feet of a public sidewalk or way;

Subd. 10.         All dangerous, unguarded machinery in any public place, or so situated or operated on private property as to attract the public;

Subd. 11.         Water waste cast upon or permitted to flow upon streets or other public properties;

Subd. 12.         Accumulations of discarded or disused machinery, household appliances, automobile bodies or other material, in a manner conducive to the harboring of rats, mice, snakes, or vermin, or the rank growth of vegetation among the items so accumulated or in a manner creating fire, health, or safety hazards from such accumulation;

Subd. 13.         Any well, hole, or similar excavation which is left uncovered or such other conditions as to constitute a hazard to any child or other person coming on to the premises where it is located.

Subd. 14.         Obstruction to the free flow of water in a natural waterway or a public street drain, gutter, or ditch with trash or other materials;

Subd. 15.         The placing or throwing on any street, sidewalk, or other public property of any glass, tacks, nails, bottles, or other substances which may injure any person or animal or damage any pneumatic tires when passing over such a substance;

Subd. 16.         The depositing of garbage or refuse on a public right of way or an adjacent private property of anyone.

Section 5         Duties Of City Officers.       Any persons designated by the City Council Resolution shall constitute the enforcement officer, and it is the enforcement officer’s duty to enforce the provisions of this Ordinance.  Law Enforcement shall assist the enforcement officer, when requested, in the enforcement of provisions related to blight and nuisance.  Such Officers shall have the power to inspect private premises and take all reasonable precautions to prevent the commission and maintenance of public nuisance.

Section 6         Abatement.

Subd. 1.           Notice.  Written notice of violation; notice of the time, date, place and subject of any hearing before the City Council, notice of City Council order, and notice of motion for summary enforcement hearing shall be given as set for in this subdivision.

  1. Notice of Violation. Written notice of violation shall be served by the officer charged with enforcement on the owner of record or occupant of the premises either in person or by certified or registered mail. If the premise is not occupied, the owner of record or occupant refuses to accept notice of violations, notice of violation shall be served by posting it on the premises.
  2. Notice of Council Hearing. Written notice of any City Council hearing to determine or abate nuisances shall be served on the owner of record and occupant of the premises either in person or by certified or registered mail.  If the premise is not occupied, the owner of record is unknown, or the owner of record or occupant refuses to accept notice of Council hearing, notice of Council hearing shall be served by posting it on the premises.
  3. Notice of City Council Order. Except for those cases determined by the City to require summary enforcement, written notice of any City Council order shall be made as provided in Minn. Stat. 463.17 (Hazardous and Substandard Building Act).
  4. Notice of Motion for Summary Enforcement. Written notice of any motion for summary enforcement shall be made as provided for in Minn. Stat. 463.17 (Hazardous and Substandard Building Act).

Subd. 2.           Procedure.  Whenever the officer charged with enforcement determines that a public nuisance is being maintained or exists on premises in the City, the officer shall notify, in writing, the owner of record or occupant of the premises of such fact and order that such nuisance be terminated or abated.  The notice of violation shall specify the steps to be taken to abate the nuisance and the time within which the nuisance is to be abated.  If the notice of violation is not complied with within the time specified, the enforcing officer shall report the fact forthwith to the Council.  Thereafter, the Council may, after notice to the owner or occupant and an opportunity to be heard, determine that the condition identified in the notice of violation is a nuisance and further order that the nuisance is not abated within the time prescribed by the Council, the City may seek injunctive relief by serving a copy of the City Council order and notice of motion for summary enforcement.

Subd. 3.           Emergency Procedure; Summary Enforcement.  In cases of emergency, where delay in abatement required to complete the notice and procedure requirements set forth in Subdivision 1 and 2 above will permit a continuing nuisance to unreasonably endanger public health, safety or welfare, the City Council may order summary enforcement and abate the nuisance.  To proceed with summary enforcement, the officer charged with enforcement shall determine that a public nuisance exists or is being maintained on premises in the City and that delay in abatement of the nuisance will unreasonably endanger public health, safety or welfare.  The enforcement officer shall notify in wring the occupant or owner of the premises of the nature of the nuisance and of the City’s intention to seek summary enforcement and the time and place of the Council meeting to consider the question of summary enforcement. The City Council shall determine whether or not the condition identified in the notice to the owner or occupant is a nuisance, whether public health, safety, or welfare will be unreasonably endangered by delay in abatement required to complete the procedures set forth in subdivision 1 above, and may order that such nuisance be immediately terminated or abated.  If the nuisance is not immediately terminated or abated, the City Council may order summary enforcement and abate the nuisance.

Subd. 4.           Immediate Abatement.  Nothing in Section 6 of this Ordinance shall prevent the City without notice or other process, from immediately abating any condition that poses an imminent and serious hazard to human life or safety.

Section 7         Recovery Of Cost.

Subd. 1.           Personal liability.  The owner of premises on which a nuisance has been abated by the City shall be personally liable for the cost to the City of the abatement, including administrative costs.  As soon as the work has been completed and the cost determined, the City Administrator or other official designated by the Council shall prepare a bill for the cost and mail it to the owner.  Thereupon the amount shall be immediately due and payable at the office of the City Administrator.

Subd. 2.           Assessment.  If the nuisance is a public health or safety hazard on private property, the accumulation of snow and ice on public sidewalks, the growth of weeds on private property or outside the traveled portion of streets or unsound, or insect infected trees, the City Administrator shall on or before September 1, next following abatement of the nuisance, list the total unpaid charges along with all other such charges as well as other charges for current services to be assessed under Minn. Stat. 429-101 against each separate lot or parcel to which the charges against such property under that statute and other pertinent statutes for certification to the County Auditor and collection along with current taxes the following year or in an annual installment not exceeding, 10, as the Council may determine in each case.

Section 8         Penalty.          Any person convicted of violating any provision of this Ordinance is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $500 or imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both, plus the costs of prosecution in either case.

Section 9 REPEAL.   Chapter 52 of the Mountain Iron City Code and all Ordinances or Sections thereof inconsistent with this Ordinance are hereby repealed and replaced with the provisions of this Ordinance.

Section 10 INCORPORATEDThis Ordinance shall be incorporated in the Mountain Iron City Code as Chapter 52.

Section 11  ADOPTIONThis Ordinance shall be effective upon its adoption by the Mountain Iron City Council and publication according to law.






Mayor Mitchell Brunfelt






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