609 amending Chapter 157-Property Maintenance Code
Updated: Nov 9, 2021
ORDINANCE NO. ____________
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF
CLARION, IOWA, 2009, BY ADDING CHAPTER 157 PERTAINING TO PROPERTY
BE IT ENACTED by the City Council of the City of Clarion, Iowa:
SECTION 1. NEW CHAPTER. The Code of Ordinances of the City of Clarion, Iowa, 2009 is
amended by adding Chapter 157 entitled Property Maintenance Code, which is hereby adopted to
read as follows:
PROPERTY MAINTENANCE CODE
157.01 Property Maintenance Standards Enumerated 157.08 Extermination
157.02 Definitions 157.09 Light and Ventilation Requirements
157.03 Exterior Property Areas 157.10 Plumbing Facilities and Fixture Requirements
157.04 Exterior Structures 157.11 Mechanical and Electrical Requirements
157.05 Interior Structures and Property Areas 157.12 Fire Safety Requirements
157.06 Handrails and Guardrails 157.13 Carbon Monoxide Detectors Required
157.07 Accumulation of Rubbish, Garbage 157.14 Notice
to Abate and Yard Waste
157.01 PROPERTY MAINTENANCE STANDARDS ENUMERATED. These minimum
conditions and responsibilities of persons for maintenance of structures, equipment and exterior
property shall govern.
1. Responsibility. Owners shall be responsible for maintaining structures and exterior
property in compliance with these requirements while the occupants shall be responsible
for keeping in a clean, sanitary and safe condition which they occupy and control, except
as may be provided otherwise herein or in Chapter 156 of this Code of Ordinances.
2. Vacant Structures and Land. Shall be maintained in a clean, safe, secure and
sanitary condition as provided herein so as not to constitute a violation of any other
applicable chapter of the Clarion Code of Ordinances adversely affecting the public health
1. “Habitable Space” means space in a structure for living, sleeping, eating or
cooking. Bathrooms, toilet rooms, closets, halls, storage or utility spaces, and similar areas
are not considered habitable spaces.
2. “Stagnant Water” means ponding of standing water for unusual amounts of time,
with no current or flow for drainage purposes, often with an unpleasant smell or harboring
of mosquitoes as a result.
157.03 EXTERIOR PROPERTY AREAS.
1. Grading and Drainage. Exterior areas must be maintained to prevent erosion and
accumulation of stagnant water.
2. Rodent Infestation. Proper precautions must be taken to prevent or eliminate
3. Exhaust Vents. Vents shall not be discharged directly upon abutting public or
4. Accessory Structures. Must be maintained, structurally sound and in good repair.
5. Retaining Walls. Must be maintained, structurally sound and in good repair.
157.04 EXTERIOR STRUCTURES.
1. General. The exterior structure shall be maintained in good repair, structurally
sound and sanitary so as not to pose a threat to the public health, safety or welfare.
2. Premises Identification. Properties must comply with Chapter 150 of this Code of
3. Structural Members. Shall be maintained free from deterioration and capable of
safely supporting the imposed loads.
4. Exterior Walls. Shall be free from holes, breaks and loose or rotting materials, and
otherwise properly maintained. All exterior wood surfaces of a dwelling and its accessory
structures, fences, porches and similar appurtenances shall be reasonably protected from
the elements and against decay by non-lead based paint or other approved protective
Exception: Where it can be demonstrated that the exterior wood surface is comprised of a
type or species of wood or has been treated in such a way as to cause it to be especially
resistant to decay or infestation, the wood surface in question, if approved by the inspector,
shall be exempt from the requirements listed in this subsection.
5. Roofs and Drainage. Shall not have defects that admit rain with drainage to prevent
leaking into structure or deterioration. Drains, gutters and downspouts, where present, must
be maintained and not discharged in a manner to create a nuisance.
6. Decorative Features. Shall be maintained in good repair with proper anchorage and
in a safe condition.
7. Overhang Extensions. All overhang extensions including, but not limited to,
canopies, marquees, signs, metal awnings, fire escapes, standpipes and exhaust ducts shall
be maintained in good repair and be properly anchored so as to be kept in a safe and sound
condition. When required, all exposed surfaces of metal or wood shall be protected from
the elements and against decay or rust by periodic application of weather- coating
materials, such as paint or similar surface treatment.
8. Stairways, Decks, Porches and Balconies. Shall be maintained structurally sound,
in good repair, with proper anchorage and capable of supporting imposed loads.
9. Chimneys and Towers. Shall be maintained structurally safe and sound and in good
repair with exposed surfaces protected from the elements and against decay or rust.
10. Handrails and Guards. Shall be firmly fastened, capable of supporting normally
imposed loads and maintained.
11. Windows, Skylights and Door Frames. Shall be kept in sound condition, good
repair and weather-tight, easily openable if required for emergency egress, and capable of
being held in position by window hardware.
12. Insect Screens. From April 1st to October 31st, outside openings required for
ventilation shall be supplied with tightly fitting screens. Every storm door shall have a self closing device in good working condition. Screens shall not be required where other
approved means such as air curtains or insect repellent fans are employed.
13. Doors. Shall be maintained in good condition with locks at unit entrances being
tightly secured. Doors that are equipped with a deadbolt shall be operated from the inside
only by the turning of a knob and shall have a lock-throw of not less than one inch. A
sliding bolt shall not be acceptable, and the lock shall be operable without the use of a key,
tool, special knowledge or effort.
14. Basement Hatchways. Shall be maintained to prevent the entrance of rodents, rain
and surface drainage water. If the hatchway provides access to a unit, it shall be equipped
with devices that secure the unit(s) from unauthorized entry.
15. Building Security. Doors, windows or hatchways for units shall be provided with
devices designed to provide security for the occupants and property within.
16. Windows. A unit’s operable windows located in whole or part within six feet of
ground level shall be equipped with sash-locking devices.
17. Cisterns. All cisterns or similar water storage facilities shall be fenced, safely
covered or filled in such a way as not to create a hazard to life or limb.
157.05 INTERIOR STRUCTURES AND PROPERTY AREAS.
1. General. Shall be maintained in good repair, structurally sound and in a clean,
sanitary condition. Occupants shall keep that part of the structure which they occupy in a clean and sanitary condition. The owner of multi-family unit(s) shall maintain the shared or
public areas of the structure(s) and exterior in a clean and sanitary condition. No owner
shall permit occupancy of a vacant dwelling unit or rooming unit unless it is clean, sanitary
and fit for human occupancy.
2. Structural Members. Shall be maintained structurally sound and capable of
supporting the imposed loads.
3. Stairs and Walking Surfaces. Shall be maintained in sound condition and good
4. Handrails and Guards. Shall be firmly fastened and capable of supporting normally
imposed loads and maintained.
5. Interior Surfaces. Every interior partition, wall, floor, ceiling and other interior
surface shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition.
157.06 HANDRAILS AND GUARDRAILS. General. Every exterior and interior flight of
stairs having more than four risers shall have a handrail on one side of the stair and every open
portion of a stair, landing, balcony, porch, deck, ramp or other walking surface which is more
than 30 inches above the floor or grade below shall have guards. Handrails shall not be less than
30 inches high or more than 42 inches high measured vertically above the nosing of the tread or
above the finished floor of the landing or walking surface. Guards shall not be less than 30 inches
high above the floor of the landing, balcony, porch, deck, ramp or other walking surface. For
new installations in a residential setting, guards(spindles) on the open side of stairs shall not have
openings which allow passage of a sphere 4- 3/8” in diameter.
157.07 ACCUMULATION OF RUBBISH, GARBAGE AND YARD WASTE.
1. Accumulation. All exterior property and premises, in compliance with Chapter 105
of the Clarion Code of Ordinances, and the interior of every structure shall be free from any
accumulation of rubbish or garbage. Exterior property and premises shall additionally be
free from any accumulation of yard waste in compliance with Chapter 105.
2. Disposal of Rubbish and Garbage. Rubbish and garbage shall not be stored outside
for more than 48 hours except in a covered, leak-proof container.
1. Infestation. Structures shall be kept free from insect and rodent infestation.
2. The owner shall be responsible for extermination prior to renting or leasing and in
the public or shared areas of the structure.
3. Occupants shall be responsible for extermination during their occupancy of said
dwelling structure or unit.
157.09 LIGHT AND VENTILATION REQUIREMENTS.
1. General. These provisions shall govern the minimum conditions and standards for
light, ventilation and space for occupying a structure.
2. Responsibility. Owner shall provide and maintain light, ventilation and space
conditions in compliance with these requirements and no person shall occupy any premises
that do not comply with this code.
A. Habitable Spaces with exterior-facing walls shall have at least one window
of approved size facing directly to the outdoors or to a court with a minimum
glazed area of five percent of the floor area.
B. Common Halls and Stairways. Multi-family occupancies shall be lighted
at all times with at least a 60 watt incandescent bulb or equivalent energy saving
bulb, for each 200 square feet of floor area with a spacing not greater than 30 feet.
C. Other Spaces. Shall be provided with natural or artificial light sufficient
to the maintenance of sanitary conditions and the safe occupancy of the space and
utilization of the appliances, equipment and fixtures.
D. Alternative Devices. In lieu of the means for natural light prescribed,
artificial light complying with the applicable International Building Code
guidelines is permitted.
A. Habitable Spaces with exterior-facing walls shall have at least one
openable window equal to 50% of the minimum required glazed area.
B. Bathrooms and Toilet Rooms. Shall comply with ventilation requirements
for a habitable space, except that a window shall not be required in such spaces
equipped with a mechanical ventilation system discharged to the outdoors or to a
properly vented attic.
C. Clothes Dryer Exhaust. Shall be independent of all other systems by
exhausting in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.
D. Alternative Devices. In lieu of the means for ventilation prescribed,
artificial mechanical ventilation complying with the applicable International
Mechanical Code guidelines is permitted.
157.10 PLUMBING FACILITIES AND FIXTURE REQUIREMENTS.
1. General. This section shall govern the minimum plumbing systems, facilities and
plumbing fixtures to be provided.
2. Responsibility. The owner shall provide and maintain such plumbing facilities and
plumbing fixtures in compliance with these requirements.
3. Required Facilities.
A. Dwelling Units. Shall contain its own tub or shower, lavatory, toilet and
kitchen sink, which shall be maintained in a sanitary and safe working condition.
The lavatory shall be placed in the same room as the toilet or in close proximity.
A kitchen sink shall not be used as a substitute for the required lavatory.
B. Rooming Houses. At least one toilet, lavatory and tub or shower shall be
supplied for each four rooming units.
C. Hotels. Where private toilets, lavatories and baths are not provided, then
one toilet, lavatory and tub or shower having access from a public hallway shall be
provided for each 10 occupants.
4. Toilet Rooms.
A. Privacy. Bathrooms shall provide privacy and shall not constitute the only
passage to a hall or other space or exterior. A door and interior locking device shall
be provided for all common or shared bathrooms in a multiple dwelling.
B. Location. Bathrooms serving hotel units, rooming units or dorm units shall
have access by traversing not more than one flight of stairs and shall have access
from a common hall or passageway.
5. Plumbing Systems and Fixtures.
A. General. All plumbing fixtures shall be properly installed and maintained
in working order, kept free from obstructions, leaks, defects and capable of
performing its function.
B. Fixture Clearances. Plumbing fixtures shall have adequate clearance for
usage and cleaning.
C. Plumbing System Hazards. If a hazard is found, the Code Official shall
require the defects to be corrected to eliminate the hazard promptly.
6. Water System.
A. General. Every fixture shall be properly connected to an approved water
system and shall be supplied with hot or tempered and cold running water as per the
B. Contamination. The water supply shall be maintained free from
contamination and all water outlets for plumbing fixtures shall be located above the
flood-level rim of the fixture.
C. Supply. Shall be installed and maintained to provide a supply of water to
fixtures in sufficient volume and pressures adequate to enable the fixtures to
function properly, safely and free from defects and leaks.
D. Water Heating Facilities. Shall be properly installed, maintained and
capable of providing an adequate amount of water to be drawn at every required
fixture at a temperature of not less than 110° Fahrenheit. A gas-burning water
heater shall not be located in any bathroom, bedroom or other occupied room
normally kept closed unless the plumbing code requirements are met. An
approved combination temperature and pressure-relief valve discharge pipe shall
be properly installed and maintained on water heaters.
7. Sanitary Drainage System.
A. General. All plumbing fixtures shall be properly connected to either a
public sewer system or to an approved private sewage disposal system.
B. Maintenance. Every plumbing stack, vent, waste and sewer line shall
function properly and be kept free from obstructions, leaks and defects.
157.11 MECHANICAL AND ELECTRICAL REQUIREMENTS.
1. General. The provisions of this chapter shall govern the minimum mechanical and
electrical facilities and equipment to be provided.
2. Responsibility. The owner of the structure shall provide and maintain mechanical
and electrical facilities and equipment in compliance with these requirements.
3. Heating Facilities.
A. Facilities Required. Heating facilities shall be provided in structures as
required by this section.
B. Heat Supply. Dwellings shall be provided with heating facilities in good
working order and capable of maintaining a room temperature of 65° Fahrenheit in
all habitable rooms and bathrooms. Cooking appliances or portable heating units
shall not be used to provide space heating to meet the requirement.
C. Room Temperature Measurement. Shall be measured three feet above the
floor near the center of the room and two feet inward from the center of each
4. Mechanical Equipment.
A. Mechanical Appliances. Shall be properly installed and maintained in a
safe working condition.
B. Removal of Combustion Products. All fuel-burning equipment and
appliances shall be connected to an approved chimney or vent (exception for
labeled and unvented).
C. Clearances. All required clearances to combustible materials shall be
D. SafetyControls. Shall be maintained in effective operation.
E. Combustion. A supply of air for complete combustion of the fuel and for
ventilation of the space containing the fuel-burning equipment shall be provided.
F. Energy Conservation Devices. Shall not be installed unless labeled for
such purpose and the installation is specifically approved.
G. Duct Systems. Shall be maintained free of obstructions and shall be
capable of performing the required function.
5. Electrical Facilities.
A. Facilities Required. Every occupied building shall be provided with an
electrical system in compliance with the requirements of this section.
B. Service. The size and usage of appliances and equipment shall serve as a
basis for determining the need for additional facilities in accordance with the
Electrical Code. Dwellings shall be served by a three-wire, 120/240 volt, single phased electrical service having a rating of not less than 100 amps.
C. Electrical System Hazards. Where a hazard is found to the occupants or
the structure by reason of inadequate service, improper fusing, insufficient
receptacle and lighting outlets, improper wiring or installation, deterioration or
damage, or for similar reasons, the Code Official shall require the defects to be
corrected immediately to eliminate the hazard.
6. Electrical Equipment.
A. Installation. All electrical equipment, wiring and appliances shall be
properly installed and maintained in a safe and approved manner.
B. Receptacles. Every habitable space in a dwelling unit shall contain at least
one separate and remote receptacle outlet. Every laundry area shall contain at least
one grounded-type receptacle or a receptacle with a ground-fault circuit
interrupter. Every bathroom shall contain at least one receptacle. Any new
bathroom outlet shall have ground-fault circuit interrupter protection.
7. Elevators, Escalators and Dumbwaiters.
A. General. Shall be maintained to sustain all imposed loads, to operate
properly and to be free from physical and fire hazards with current certificate of
inspection displayed and available for public inspection.
B. Elevators. In buildings equipped with more than one passenger elevator,
at least one elevator shall be maintained in operation at all times when the building
157.12 FIRE SAFETY REQUIREMENTS.
1. General. The provisions of this chapter shall govern the MINIMUM conditions
and standards for fire safety relating to structures and exterior premises, including fire
safety facilities and equipment to be provided. The State Fire Marshal may impose
2. Responsibility. The owner shall provide and maintain such fire safety facilities
and equipment in compliance with these requirements.
3. Means of Egress.
A. General. A safe, continuous and unobstructed path of travel shall be
provided from any point in a building or structure to the public way.
B. Aisles and Corridors. Aisles and corridors shall be unobstructed.
C. Locked Doors. All means of egress doors shall be readily openable from
the side from which egress is to be made without need for keys, special knowledge
D. Emergency Escape Openings. Required emergency escape and rescue
openings shall be operational from the inside of the room without the use of keys
or tools. Bars, grills, grates or similar devices are permitted to be placed over
emergency escape and rescue openings provided the minimum net clear opening
size complies with the Building Code and such devices shall be releasable or
removable from the inside without the use of a key, tool or force greater than which
is required for normal operation of the escape and rescue opening.
4. Fire-Resistance Ratings.
A. Fire-Resistance-Rated Assemblies. The fire resistance rating of the walls,
fire stops, shaft enclosures, partitions and floors shall be maintained.
B. Opening Protection. Required opening protectives shall be maintained in
an operative condition. All fire and smoke-stop doors shall be maintained in
operable condition. Fire doors and smoke barrier doors shall not be blocked or
obstructed or otherwise made inoperable.
5. Fire Protection Systems.
A. General. Existing residential rental units not already provided with single station smoke alarms shall be provided with approved single-station dual-sensor
B. Smoke Alarms. Approved single- or multi-station smoke alarms shallbe
installed and maintained in existing single- and multi-family dwelling units,
duplexes, congregate residences and hotel/lodging house guest rooms regardless of
occupant load in each sleeping room and immediately outside of sleeping areas
and on each story including the basement.
C. Fire Extinguishers. Multi-family dwellings shall have a 2A10BC-rated fire
extinguisher located within 75 feet of each dwelling unit’s main entrance, with a
minimum of one per floor. Extinguishers shall be checked and tagged by a
qualified service person annually.
157.13 CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS REQUIRED.
1. General. Approved carbon monoxide detectors are required to be installed and
maintained in each dwelling unit immediately outside sleeping areas. Dwelling units with
no potential source of carbon monoxide are exempted from this requirement.
2. Responsibility. The owner shall provide and maintain such detectors and
equipment in compliance with these requirements.
157.14 NOTICE TO ABATE. Upon discovery of violations of this Chapter, the City may
within seven days initiate abatement procedures as outlined in Chapter 50 of this Code of
Ordinances or exercise any other right or remedy it may have under this Code of Ordinances, at
law, or in equity.
SECTION 2. REPEALER. All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict with the provisions
of this ordinance are hereby repealed.
SECTION 3. SEVERABILITY CLAUSE. If any section, provision or part of this ordinance
shall be adjudged invalid or unconstitutional, such adjudication shall not affect the validity of the
ordinance as a whole or any section, provision or part thereof not adjudged invalid or
SECTION 4. WHEN EFFECTIVE. This ordinance shall be in effect after its final passage,
approval and publication as provided by law.
Passed and adopted this __________ day of ____________, 2021, and approved this __________
day of ____________, 2021.
CITY OF CLARION, IOWA
Duane Asbe, Mayor
Clint Middleton, City Administrator