HOUSE BILL NO. 220
AN ACT AMENDING TITLE 17 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE MAINTENANCE OF UNUSED OR UNOCCUPIED AUTOMOTIVE SERVICE STATIONS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (Two-thirds of all members elected to each House thereof concurring therein):
Section 1. Amend Title 17 of the Delaware Code, by adding a new Chapter thereto to read as follows:
"CHAPTER 19. REGULATION OF UNUSED OR UNOCCUPIED AUTOMOTIVE
§1901. Unused or Unoccupied Automotive Service Stations
(a) All automotive service stations within the State shall be maintained as though such property were being used or occupied. The maintenance shall include, but shall not be limited to
(1) Replacing or boarding-up of areas having broken glass.
(2) Trimming of shrubbery.
(3) Replacing of deteriorated roofing or siding.
(4) Repairing or removing of any accessory building and/or equipment the level of maintenance of which is not less than would be expected if the property were in active use.
(5) Providing reasonable security measures to prohibit the unauthorized and/or illegal use of any buildings or equipment.
(6) Removing or correcting any condition detrimental to the safety of the general public.
(b) Upon discovery that a parcel is not being maintained properly, the Department shall notify the owner or possessor of such land or improved premises. If within fifteen (15) days of the above notice by the Department to the owner or possessor of land or improved premises, maintenance to correct the violation has not been undertaken, the Department may cause such violations to be corrected and may incur any expense in the removal thereof.
Any expense incurred by the Department under this section shall be paid by the owner or possessor of the land or improved premises with ten (10) days after notice thereof by registered mail. If such amount is not paid within such time, such amount, together with a penalty of ten (10) percent of such expense and interest on such expense of six (6) percent per annum shall be assessed against the land or improved premises and shall, until paid, constitute a lien against such land or Improved premises in favor of the Department, upon the filing by the Secretary of the Department In the office of the recorder of deeds for the county where the property is located, of a certificate of lien setting forth the amount of such expense including penalty and interest.
In addition to any other remedy, the county may maintain an action for the recovery of such expense and the penalty and interest against the owner or possessor and shall be awarded reasonable attorney's fees.
Any contractor or employee engaged by the Department in carrying out the provisions of this section, shall be immune from civil liability in any action brought by the owner or possessor of the subject premises.
The Department may adopt rules and regulations in order to enforce this Chapter.
The Department may apply to the Court of Chancery for an injunction to restrain any violation or threatened violation of this Chapter.
Whoever violates this Chapter or any regulation lawfully adopted pursuant to this Chapter shall be fined not less than $25 nor more than $200.
Approved May 22, 1984.