§ 12-231. Emergency measures  

Effective on Tuesday, June 21, 2016
  • Sec. 12-231.1 Emergency closing.  When,

    a. in the opinion of the Building Official, there is imminent danger of failure or collapse of a building or structure which endangers life, or

    b. any structure or part of a structure has fallen and life is endangered by the occupation of the structure, or

    c. in the opinion of either the Code Official or Building Official, there is actual or potential danger to the building occupants or those in proximity of any structure because of explosives, explosive fumes, or vapors or the presence of toxic fumes, gases or materials or operation of defective or dangerous equipment; both the Code Official and the Building Official are authorized and empowered to order and require the occupants to vacate the premises forthwith. The official ordering the vacation of the premises shall immediately thereafter post, at each entrance to the structure, a notice in substantially the following form:


    This structure is unsafe and has been closed by Order of the City of Lake Wales pursuant to Sec. 12-231.1 of the Lake Wales Code of Ordinances.

    For information, please call the Code Enforcement Division at (863) 678-4182 X714 or the Building Official at (863) 678-4182 X714".

    Any person ordered to take emergency measures shall comply with such order forthwith. It shall be unlawful for a person to enter a posted structure except for the purpose of securing the structure, making the required inspections and repairs, removing the hazardous condition, or to demolish the structure. Any such person in violation of this provision is subject to the penalty found in Sec.12-225, Lake Wales Code of Ordinances and may be immediately removed from the structure by City personnel.

    Sec. 12-231.2 Safeguards.  Whenever, in the opinion of the Code Official or Building Official as the situation may require, there is an emergency situation warranting an emergency closing of a structure pursuant to Sec. 12-230.6 (1), (2), or (3) of this code, the City and the official ordering the closing of the structure is authorized to order that work be done in an attempt to secure the structure such that it may be rendered temporarily safe. Neither the City nor the official ordering the closing of the structure however is under any obligation under this Section to perform any work to ensure that the structure is rendered safe. Further, should the City or the official ordering the closing of the structure choose to order that work be done in an attempt to secure the structure, neither the City nor the official ordering the closing of the structure shall be liable for any damage done to the structure during the performance of such safeguard work.

    Sec. 12-231.3 Closing streets.  When necessary for public safety, the code official shall temporarily close structures and close, or order the authority having jurisdiction to close, sidewalks, streets, public ways and places adjacent to unsafe structures, and prohibit the same from being utilized.

    Sec. 12-231.4 Notification of Emergency Closing to City Commission.  The City Manager shall provide the City Commission notice of any emergency closing actions taken by the City pursuant to this Code. The failure to provide such notice shall have no effect on the validity of enforcement actions taken hereunder.

    Sec. 12-231.5 Costs of safeguard work.  Costs incurred in the performance of safeguard work shall be paid by the City of Lake Wales, but shall be assessed against the owner of the structure, as a special assessment on the real property underlying the structure, upon a showing at the mandatory hearing described in § 109.6 of this code, by competent substantial evidence, that the safeguard work was required by exigencies of the situation, given the totality of the circumstances.

    Sec. 12-231.6 Mandatory Hearing; appeal.  Immediately after closing a structure pursuant to Section 12-231.1 of this code, the official closing the structure shall request a hearing as soon as possible before the Code Enforcement Board for the purpose of reviewing the decision of the official to determine whether it was reasonable under the totality of the circumstances. Such hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 162, Florida Statutes, and any decision rendered by the Code Enforcement Board as to the propriety of the closure must be based on competent substantial evidence. Any appeal from the decision of the Code Enforcement Board under this provision shall be taken by filing a petition for certiorari with the appropriate court under the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure. The nature of such an appeal shall be from a final administrative order of the City.

(Ord. No. 2016-02, § 1, 1-19-16; Ord. No. 2016-08, § 6, 06-21-16)