Nuisance Complaint Policy and Procedure
The County Board of Health is empowered through Chapters 137 and 657 of the Iowa Code to investigate and order abatement of public health nuisances within Grundy County. Please see the county's nuisance policy below for protocol. Nuisances are investigated once a formal written complaint is filed (click here for nuisance complaint form). The Sanitarian and Board of Health will determine whether the nuisance constitutes an actual health threat to the general public and take appropriate action thereafter.
Grundy County, Iowa Nuisance Complaint Policy and Procedure
Policy purpose: To maintain consistent practices when dealing with nuisance complaints or Board of Health violations. To exercise power given to the Board of Health by Iowa Code Chapter 137 “Local Health Act.” To enforce Iowa Code Chapter 657 “Nuisances.” To equitably enforce all restrictions in the Iowa Administrative Code pertinent to local Boards of Health.
A nuisance is defined by Iowa Code as “Whatever is injurious to health, indecent, or unreasonably offensive to the senses, or an obstruction to the free use of property, so as essentially to unreasonably interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property, is a nuisance, and a civil action by ordinary proceedings may be brought to enjoin and abate the same and to recover damages sustained on account thereof.”
- Upon complaint to or visual coincidence by a Grundy County Board of Health representative the following procedure will be followed:
- Fill out “complaint form” in order to get specific details down from the source of the complaint.
- On site investigation by the County Sanitarian (with Sheriff deputy if needed) to take pictures and notes on the complaint.
- County Sanitarian will determine if complaint requires further action or merely a phone call to the landowner.
- If violation is confirmed as being in process, the County Sanitarian will send a return receipt letter to the landowner to abate the nuisance and give a time frame in which it needs to be completed.
- County Sanitarian will report all complaints or visual coincidences at the next scheduled Board of Health meeting (or request a special meeting if needed) to receive input and guidance.
- County Sanitarian (with Sheriff deputy if needed) will return to the site of the complaint and follow up to confirm the nuisance has been abated.
- Follow up will be reported to the Board of Health and the source of the complaint.
- In a case where the nuisance is not abated by the given time frame, the matter will be turned over to the County Attorney’s office for further action.
- County Sanitarian will continue to keep the Board of Health informed of progress.