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§ 10-803. Excavations And Obstructions.

(1) The owner of any real estate abutting any street shall enclose the real estate with a suitable fence where:

(a) a building is being erected or an excavation is being made for building purposes or for purposes of repairing or maintaining buildings or other structures or facilities;

(b) it is unimproved and otherwise dangerous;

(c) it is of a higher grade than the adjoining land and is in such condition that dirt therefrom is washed down upon the sidewalk by the action of the elements.

(2) In the case of § 10-803(1)(c), the owner shall also grade back such real estate.

(3) No one shall make any excavation on any property which excavation extends below the surface of the adjoining property or below the existing grade or the City Plan grade for that area without first submitting to the Department of Licenses and Inspections plans setting forth the purpose of the proposed excavation and the manner in which the public will be protected from it and obtaining from the Department a permit to make such excavation.

(a) The Department of Licenses and Inspections shall refuse to grant a permit if it determines that the proposed excavation or the plan of protection is contrary to the public welfare or safety.

(b) Nothing in § 10-803(3) shall apply to an excavation made for the purpose of construction, repairing or maintaining buildings or other structures or facilities on the land excavated.

(4) The owner of any land upon which there exists any excavation, quarry, or other depression in which water has accumulated to a depth dangerous to children, and to which children have access with or without permission of the owner, shall immediately submit a plan for the abatement of such condition to the Department of Licenses and Inspections. The Department shall forthwith approve or amend the plan and shall issue a written order to such owner setting forth the manner in which and the time within which such condition shall be abated. The Department shall also issue such a written order in the event that a person fails to file a plan of abatement as required by this subsection.

(5) The creation or continuance of any condition described in § 10-803(1), (3) or (4) is a public nuisance.

(6) The Department of Licenses and Inspections shall order any person violating § 10-803(1), (3) or (4) to comply with such subsections by fencing his land, abating the unlawful conditions thereon, or otherwise safeguarding the public as may be required, from such condition within such reasonable time as the Department shall determine.

(7) Upon failure of the owner of any real estate to comply with an order of the Department of Licenses and Inspections issued pursuant to § 10-803(4), (5) or (6) the Department may itself or by contract abate the condition and charge the cost to the owner of such property, and the Law Department may take such action for the collection of such costs by lien or otherwise as may be authorized by law.

(8) Any person lawfully placing any building material or any other obstruction or excavation on or across the street or sidewalk shall guard all approaches thereto by means of timber placed on trestles or in other sufficient manner, and shall place and keep thereon from sunset to sunrise a lighted lantern of red glass. Whenever such obstruction or excavation exceeds 10 feet in length or breadth one such lantern shall be placed at each end. The penalty for the violation of the provisions of this subsection (8) is a fine of $10.

(9) Each day any violation of the provisions of this Section occurs or continues shall be considered a separate offense.

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