§107.3. Criminal blighting of property
A. The terms used in this Section shall have the following meanings:
(1) "Blighted property" means those commercial or residential premises, including lots, which have been declared vacant, uninhabitable, and hazardous by an administrative hearing officer acting pursuant to R.S. 13:2575 or 2576 or other applicable law. Such premises may include premises which, because of their physical condition, are considered hazardous to persons or property, have been declared or certified blighted, and have been declared to be a public nuisance by an administrative hearing officer acting pursuant to R.S. 13:2575 or 2576, or any other applicable law.
(2) "Housing violations" means only those conditions in privately owned structures which are determined to constitute a threat or danger to the public health, safety, and welfare or to the environment.
(3) "Public nuisance" means any garage, shed, barn, house, building, or structure, that by reason of the condition in which it is permitted to remain, may endanger the health, life, limb, or property of any person, or cause any hurt, harm, damages, injury, or loss to any person in any one or more of the following conditions:
(a) The property is dilapidated, decayed, unsafe, or unsanitary, is detrimental to health, morals, safety, public welfare, and the well-being of the community, endangers life or property, or is conducive to ill health, delinquency, and crime.
(b) The property is a fire hazard.
(c) The conditions present on the property and its surrounding grounds are not reasonably or adequately maintained, thereby causing deterioration and creating a blighting influence or condition on nearby properties and thereby depreciating the value, use, and enjoyment to such an extent that it is harmful to the public health, welfare, morals, safety, and the economic stability of the area, community, or neighborhood in which such public nuisance is located.
B. Criminal blighting of property is the intentional or criminally negligent permitting of the existence of a condition of deterioration of property by the owner, which is deemed to have occurred when the property has been declared or certified as blighted after an administrative hearing, pursuant to R.S. 13:2575 or 2576, and after all reviews or appeals have occurred.
C.(1) On the first conviction, the offender shall be punished by a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars. Imposition of a fine may be suspended and in lieu thereof, the court may require the offender to correct all existing housing violations on the blighted property.
(2) On a second conviction, the offender shall be punished by a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars and ordered to perform not more than forty hours of community service. Additionally, the court shall require that the offender correct all existing housing violations on the blighted property.
(3) On any third or subsequent conviction, the offender shall be punished by a fine not to exceed two thousand dollars, and ordered to perform not more than eighty hours of community service, or both. Additionally, the court shall require that the offender correct all existing housing violations on the blighted property.
D. On any conviction under Paragraph (C)(2) or (3) of this Section, the court may order the offender to occupy the blighted property for a designated period of time not to exceed sixty days.
E. Any offense committed more than five years prior to the commission of the crime for which the defendant is being tried shall not be considered in the assessment of penalties hereunder.
F. The satisfactory performance of correction of housing violations on the blighted property provided for in this Section shall include inspections by a municipal entity responsible for inspecting property and enforcing health, housing, fire, historic district, and environment codes, or any other entity designated by the local governing authority, whose representatives shall report to the court on the successful or otherwise, correction of housing violations on the blighted property.
G. Community service activities as used in this Section may include clearing properties that have been declared or certified as blighted or a public nuisance as set forth herein, of debris, cutting grass, performing repairs, and otherwise correcting any situations giving rise to housing violations. Correction of housing violations on the offender's own property will not be considered as fulfillment of the offender's community service hours requirement. All community service activities assessed under this Section will be under the direct supervision of a municipal entity responsible for inspecting property and enforcing health, housing, fire, historic district, and environmental codes, or any other entity designated by the local governing authority.
Acts 1999, No. 1229, §1; Acts 2001, No. 232, §1.