Article II. Housing and Building Standards  

Sec. 29-4. - Definitions.

For the purpose of this article, certain abbreviations, terms, phrases, words and their derivatives shall be construed as specified in this section. Terms, words and phrases and their derivatives used, but not specifically defined in this article, shall have the meaning ascribed in any currently adopted building code, International Building Code, and/or Unified Development Code.

Approved: As to materials and types of construction, refers to approval by the code compliance manager, or his authorized representative, as the result of investigation and tests conducted by the code compliance manager, or his authorized representative, or by reason of accepted principles or tests by national authorities, technical or scientific organizations.

Basement: That portion of a building between floor and ceiling, which is partly below and partly above grade (as defined in this article), but so located that the vertical distance from grade to the floor is less than the vertical distance from grade to ceiling. (See definition of "Story". )

Boarding house: A lodging house in which meals are provided.

Building, existing: A building erected or one for which a legal building permit has been issued prior to the adoption of this article originally.

Ceiling height: The clear vertical distance from the finished floor to the finished ceiling.

Cellar: That portion of a building between floor and ceiling which is wholly or partly below grade (as defined in this article) and so located that the vertical distance from grade to the floor below is equal to or greater than the vertical distance from grade to ceiling. (See definition of "Story". )

Dormitory: A room occupied by more than two (2) guests.

Guest: Any person hiring or occupying a room for living or sleeping purposes.

Guest room: Any room or rooms used or intended to be used by a guest for sleeping purposes. Every one hundred (100) square feet of superficial floor area in a dormitory is a guest room.

Lodging house: Any building or portion thereof containing not more than five (5) guest rooms which are used by not more than five (5) guests where rent is paid in money, goods, labor or otherwise. A lodging house shall comply with all of the requirements of this article for dwellings.

Mobile home: Any currently licensed vehicle or structure designed and capable of travel on the highways of the state.

Nuisance shall be defined as follows:

(1) Any public nuisance known at common law or equity.

(2) Any attractive nuisance which may prove detrimental to children whether in a building, on the premises of a building or upon an unoccupied lot. This includes any abandoned wells, shafts, basements, septic tanks or excavations; abandoned refrigerators or motor vehicles; or any structurally unsound fences or structures; or any lumber, trash, fences, debris or vegetation which may prove a hazard for inquisitive minors.

(3) Whatever is dangerous to human life or is detrimental to health, safety and welfare.

(4) Overcrowding a room with occupants, as defined by the International Building Code or other applicable law.

(5) Insufficient ventilation or illumination.

(6) Inadequate or unsanitary sewerage or plumbing facilities.

(7) Uncleanliness.

(8) Whatever renders air, food or drink unwholesome or detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of human beings.

(9) An abandoned structure, basin chamber, pool or tank located indoors or outdoors containing an artificial body of water intended to be used for swimming, diving or recreational bathing, including spas or hot tubs, which becomes unfit to be used for the purpose intended.

(10) Any public nuisance enumerated in this chapter or chapter 13 of the Code of Ordinances.
Rooming house: See "Lodging house".

(Ord. No. 5059, § 1, 12-15-92; Ord. No. 5619, § 1, 7-2-96; Ord. No. 7746, § 1, 3-4-08; Ord. No. 9452-2012, § 1, 11-6-12; Ord. No. 10097-2016, § 3, 7-12-16)

Sec. 29-5. - Purpose.

The purpose of this article is to provide minimum requirements for the protection of life, limb, health, property, safety and welfare of the general public and the owners and occupants of residential buildings.

(Ord. No. 5059, § 1, 12-15-92; Ord. No. 7746, § 1, 3-4-08)

Sec. 29-6. - Applicability of article.

(a) General. The provisions of this article shall apply to all buildings or portions thereof, used or designed or intended to be used for human habitation. Such occupancies in existing buildings may be continued as provided in the applicable currently adopted building code, except such structures as are found to be substandard, as defined in this article. Where any building or portion thereof is used or intended to be used as a combination dwelling unit, apartment house or hotel, the provisions of this article shall apply to the separate portions as if they were separate buildings.

(b) Alteration. Existing buildings which are altered or enlarged shall be made to conform to this article insofar as the new work is concerned.

(c) Relocation. Existing buildings which are moved or relocated shall be considered as new buildings and shall comply with all the requirements of this article and the ordinances of the city.
(Ord. No. 5059, § 1, 12-15-92; Ord. No. 7746, § 1, 3-4-08)

Sec. 29-7. - Article cumulative.

In any case when a provision of this article is found to be in conflict with any other section of this Code of Ordinances, any applicable building code, any regulation adopted pursuant thereto, or any other ordinance or regulation of the city, the provision which established the higher standard for the promotion of the health, safety and general welfare of the people shall govern.

(Ord. No. 5059, § 1, 12-15-92; Ord. No. 7746, § 1, 3-4-08)

Sec. 29-8. - Reserved.

Editor's note— Ord. No. 9452-2012, § 1, adopted Nov. 6, 2012, deleted § 29-8, entitled, "Enforcement", which derived from: Ord. No. 5059, § 1, adopted Dec. 15, 1992; Ord. No. 7746, § 1, adopted Mar. 4, 2008.

(Ord. No. 5059, § 1, 12-15-92; Ord. No. 7746, § 1, 3-4-08)

Sec. 29-9. - Interpretation by building advisory and appeals board.

The building advisory and appeals board (BAAB) shall hear and investigate all appeals in accordance with any applicable building code, and shall render its decisions and findings as provided in the applicable building code or as otherwise provided in this Code of Ordinances.

(Ord. No. 5059, § 1, 12-15-92; Ord. No. 7746, § 1, 3-4-08)

Sec. 29-10. - Substandard buildings declared nuisances.

All buildings or portions thereof, which are determined to be substandard as defined in this article, are hereby declared to be public nuisances and shall be abated by repair, rehabilitation, demolition or removal in accordance with the procedure specified in the applicable building code or in this Code of Ordinances.

(Ord. No. 5059, § 1, 12-15-92; Ord. No. 7746, § 1, 3-4-08)

Sec. 29-11. - Penalty.

Any person who shall violate a provision of this article, or fail to comply therewith, or with any of the requirements thereof, or who shall erect, construct, alter, demolish or move any structure, or has erected, constructed, altered, repaired, moved or demolished a building or structure in violation of a detailed statement or drawing submitted and approved thereunder, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Each such person shall be deemed guilty of a separate offense for each day or portion thereof during which any violation of any of the provisions of this article is committed, continued or permitted, and upon conviction of any such violation, such person shall be punished by a fine as provided in section 1-8 of the Code of Ordinances.

(Ord. No. 5059, § 1, 12-15-92; Ord. No. 7746, § 1, 3-4-08)

Sec. 29-12. - 2015 International Property Maintenance Code adopted by reference.

(a) The 2015 Edition of the International Property Maintenance Code, excluding Sections 106.2, 106.3, and incorporated herein as if set out in full, as hereinafter amended is, from the effective date hereof, hereby adopted as the Property Maintenance Code for the City of Grand Prairie. One (1) copy of such International Property Maintenance Code is incorporated herein by reference and shall have been filed for permanent record and inspection in the code compliance office.

(b) Any person, firm or corporation that violates the provisions or terms of the Code that is adopted by reference in subsection (a) above, shall be subject to a fine for each offense in accordance with section 1-8 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Grand Prairie.

(c) If a conflict arises between the requirements of two (2) ordinances or codes, the more specific law shall govern.
(Ord. No. 5059, § 1, 12-15-92; Ord. No. 5603, § 1, 6-18-96; Ord. No. 6624, § 5, 5-21-02; Ord. No. 7746, § 1, 3-4-08; Ord. No. 10097-2016, § 4, 7-12-16)

State Law reference— Authority to adopt technical codes adopted by reference, V.T.C.A., Local Government Code § 53.001 et seq.

Sec. 29-13. - Reserved.

Editor's note— Ord. No. 10097-2016, § 21, adopted July 12, 2016, deleted § 29-13 entitled "Space and occupancy standards", which derived from: Ord. No. 5059, § 1, adopted Dec. 15, 1992; and Ord. No. 7746, § 1, adopted Mar. 4, 2008.

Sec. 29-14. - Reserved.

Editor's note— Ord. No. 10097-2016, § 21, adopted July 12, 2016, deleted § 29-14 entitled "Structural requirements", which derived from: Ord. No. 5059, § 1, adopted Dec. 15, 1992; and Ord. No. 7746, § 1, adopted Mar. 4, 2008.

Sec. 29-15. - Reserved.

Editor's note— Ord. No. 10097-2016, § 21, adopted July 12, 2016, deleted § 29-15 entitled "Mechanical requirements", which derived from: Ord. No. 5059, § 1, adopted Dec. 15, 1992; and Ord. No. 7746, § 1, adopted Mar. 4, 2008.

Sec. 29-16. - Reserved.

Editor's note— Ord. No. 10097-2016, § 21, adopted July 12, 2016, deleted § 29-16 entitled "Exits", which derived from: Ord. No. 5059, § 1, adopted Dec. 15, 1992; and Ord. No. 7746, § 1, adopted Mar. 4, 2008.

Sec. 29-17. - Reserved.

Editor's note— Ord. No. 10097-2016, § 21, adopted July 12, 2016, deleted § 29-17 entitled "Fire protection", which derived from: Ord. No. 5059, § 1, adopted Dec. 15, 1992; and Ord. No. 7746, § 1, adopted Mar. 4, 2008.

Sec. 29-18. - Substandard buildings.

Any building or portion thereof, including any dwelling unit, guest room or suites of rooms, or the premises on which the same is located, in which there exists any of the following listed conditions to an extent that endangers the life, limb, health, property, safety or welfare of the public or the occupant thereof shall be deemed and hereby is declared to be a substandard building:

(1) Inadequate sanitation, which shall include, but not be limited to the following:

a. Lack of or improper water closets, lavatory, bathtub or shower in a dwelling unit.

b. Lack of or improper water closets, lavatories and bathtubs or showers per number of guests in a hotel.

c. Lack of or improper kitchen sink.

d. Lack of hot and cold running water to plumbing fixtures in a hotel.

e. Lack of hot and cold running water to plumbing fixtures in a dwelling unit.

f. Lack of adequate heating facilities.

g. Lack of or improper operation of required ventilating equipment.

h. Lack of minimum amounts of natural light and ventilation required by this article.

i. Room and space dimensions less than required by article.

j. Lack of required electrical lighting.

k. Infestation of insects, vermin or rodents.

l. General dilapidation or improper maintenance.

m. Lack of connection to required sewage disposal system. 

n. Lack of adequate garbage and rubbish storage and removal facilities.

(2) Structural hazards, which shall include, but not be limited to the following:

a. Deteriorated or inadequate foundations.

b. Defective or deteriorated flooring or floor supports. 

c. Flooring or floor supports of insufficient size to carry imposed loads with safety.

d. Members of walls, partitions or other vertical supports that split, lean, list or buckle due to defective material or deterioration. 

e. Members of walls, partitions or other vertical supports that are of insufficient size to carry imposed loads with safety.

f. Members of ceilings, roofs, ceiling and roof supports or other horizontal members which sag, split or buckle due to defective material or deterioration. 

g. Members of ceilings, roofs, ceiling and roof supports or other horizontal members that are of insufficient size to carry imposed loads with safety.

h. Fireplaces or chimneys which list, bulge or settle due to defective material or deterioration.

i. Fireplaces or chimneys which are of insufficient size or strength to carry imposed loads with safety.

(3) Nuisance, which shall include, but not be limited to any nuisance as defined in this article or in this Code.

(4) Hazardous wiring, which shall include all wiring except that which conformed with all applicable laws in effect at the time of installation and which has been maintained in good condition and is being used in a safe manner. 

(5) Hazardous plumbing, which shall include all plumbing except that which conformed with all applicable laws in effect at the time of installation and which has been maintained in good condition and which is free of cross connections and siphon age between fixtures.

(6) Hazardous mechanical equipment, which shall include all mechanical equipment, including vents, except that which conformed with all applicable laws in effect at the time of installation and which has been maintained in good and safe condition.

(7) Faulty weather protection, which shall include, but not be limited to the following:

a. Deteriorated, crumbling or loose plaster.

b. Deteriorated or ineffective waterproofing of exterior walls, roofs, foundations or floors, including broken windows or doors.

c. Defective or lack of weather protection for exterior wall coverings, including lack of paint, or weathering due to lack of paint or other approved protective covering.

d. Broken, rotted, split or buckled exterior wall coverings or roof covering.

(8) Fire hazard, which shall include, but not be limited to, any building [or] portion thereof, device, apparatus, equipment, combustible waste, or vegetation which, in the opinion of the chief of the fire department or the chief's deputy, is in such a condition as to cause a fire or explosion arising from any cause.

(9) Faulty materials of construction, which shall include all materials of construction except those which are specifically allowed or approved by this chapter and which have been adequately maintained in good and safe condition. 

(10) Hazardous or unsanitary premises, which shall include, but not be limited to, those premises on which an accumulation of weeds, vegetation, junk, dead organic matter, debris, garbage, offal, rat harborages, stagnant water, combustible materials and similar materials or conditions constitute fire, health or safety hazards. 

(11) Inadequate maintenance, which shall include, but not be limited to, any building or portion thereof which is determined to be an unsafe building in accordance with any applicable building code or article VI of this chapter.

(12) Inadequate exits, which shall include, but not be limited to, all buildings or portions thereof not provided with adequate exit facilities as required by this Code, except those buildings or portions thereof whose exit facilities conformed with all applicable laws at the time of their construction and which have been adequately maintained and increased in relation to any increase in occupant load, alteration or addition, or any change in occupancy. When an unsafe condition exists through lack of or improper location of exits, additional exits may be required to be installed.

(13) Inadequate fire protection or firefighting equipment, which shall include, but not be limited to, all buildings or portions thereof which are not provided with the fire-resistive construction or fire extinguishing systems or equipment required by this Code, except those buildings or portions thereof which conformed with all applicable laws at the time of their construction and whose fire-resistive integrity and fire extinguishing systems or equipment have been adequately maintained and improved in relation to any increase in occupant load, alteration or addition or any change in occupancy.

(14) Improper occupancy, which shall include all buildings or portions thereof occupied for living, sleeping, cooking or eating purposes which were not designed or intended to be used for such occupancies.

(15) Lack of storage space, which shall include all buildings or portions thereof not provided with the storage and storage space required by this article or which do not have the porch roof protection required hereunder.

(16) Accessory structures. Buildings or accessory structures of any type of construction, including carports, shed, detached and/or attached garages, patios, porches and exterior attachments permitted by the applicable building code, and all roofs, exterior walls and all other structural components of the buildings must be free of:

a. Peeling paint. If over fifty (50) per cent of the building has peeling paint, the entire building will be scraped and repainted. If less than fifty (50) per cent, then the affected areas will be scraped and repainted.

b. Broken windows. All broken glass will be replaced or the opening secured in an acceptable manner with plywood or another acceptable material.

c. Missing or deteriorated or rotted siding, panels, brick, etc., [which] will be repaired with comparable materials if damaged.

d. Nonfunctioning garage doors. All garage doors will be maintained in a secured manner, fully capable of opening and closing, and, if damaged, must be repaired with comparable materials.

e. Inadequate roofs. All roofs shall be maintained to be structurally sound and free of leaks.

f. Faulty or hazardous electrical wiring. All electrical wiring, fixtures and outlets must meet the minimum requirements of the applicable building code as adopted by the city at the time of construction, and be maintained in a manner to remain free of any electrical hazards.

g. Insufficient exterior attachments. All must be maintained in good repair and be properly anchored.
(Ord. No. 5059, § 1, 12-15-92; Ord. No. 5679, § 2, 10-15-96; Ord. No. 7746, § 1, 3-4-08)

Sec. 29-19. - Abatement of prohibited condition.

(a) General. Whenever the appropriate city official or his duly authorized representative, determines by inspection that any existing building or portion thereof is substandard or in violation of the International Property Maintenance Code standards, such inspector may order the building or portion thereof vacated and shall institute proceedings to effect the repair, or if rehabilitation is impractical, shall then order such building or portion thereof removed or demolished. The owner or other person affected shall then have the right to appeal to the building advisory and appeals board for investigation and review of the city official's or his representative's determination.

(b) Notice to owner. The appropriate city official or his authorized representative, shall give notice to the owner, or other responsible person, in accordance with the procedure specified in applicable building code, the International Property Maintenance Code, or as otherwise provided in this Code of Ordinances.

(c) Procedure. Any building or portion thereof found to be substandard or in violation of International Property Maintenance Code standards shall be repaired, rehabilitated, demolished or removed in accordance with the procedure specified in the applicable building code, the International Property Maintenance Code, or otherwise as provided in this Code of Ordinances.
(Ord. No. 5059, § 1, 12-15-92; Ord. No. 7746, § 1, 3-4-08; Ord. No. 10097-2016, § 5, 7-12-16)

Cross reference— Building code adopted, § 7-7.

Sec. 29-20. - Administrative seizure warrant.

(a) Substandard buildings and nuisance abatements. A magistrate shall have the power and is hereby authorized to issue a seizure warrant authorizing the code compliance manager or his authorized designee to take possession of any structure or property for the purpose of repairing, vacating or demolishing said structure or property or for nuisance abatement, upon presentation by the code compliance manager or his authorized designee to the magistrate of an order of the building advisory and appeals board that requires repairing, vacating or demolishing said structure or property or a nuisance abatement. A warrant shall not be issued unless it is supported by a sworn affidavit stating that:

(1) The city has complied with the procedures set forth in the Grand Prairie Code of Ordinances, state law, and/or any applicable building code.

(2) Repairing, vacating or demolishing the structure or property or nuisance abatement has been ordered by the building advisory and appeals board.

(3) The time for appeal of the order to district court has expired and no appeal has been taken or, in the alternative, the order was appealed to district court but the appeal has been finally resolved in a manner that does not prevent the city from proceeding with repairing, vacating or demolishing the structure or property or nuisance abatement.

(b) Junk/inoperable motor vehicles. A magistrate shall have the power and is hereby authorized to issue a seizure warrant and/or judicial order authorizing the code compliance manager or authorized designee to take possession of any vehicle declared to be a public nuisance for the purpose of removal and abatement. A warrant and/or judicial order shall not be issued unless it is supported by a sworn affidavit stating that:

(1) The city has complied with the procedures set forth in the Grand Prairie Code of Ordinances, state law, and/or any applicable city code.

(2) All notices required were provided pursuant to the Grand Prairie Code of Ordinances and the Texas Transportation Code.

(3) No request for a hearing was made within the time specified in the Grand Prairie Code of Ordinances and the Texas Transportation Code; or in the alternative, a hearing was held by the building advisory and appeals board, and the abatement of said nuisance was ordered by the building advisory and appeals board; or in the alternative, a person was convicted of maintaining a junked or inoperable vehicle public nuisance in the Grand Prairie Municipal Court.

(Ord. No. 10223-2017, § 2, 2-7-17)

Sec. 29-21. - Reserved.

Editor's note— Ord. No. 9452-2012, § 1, adopted Nov. 6, 2012, deleted § 29-21, entitled "Apartment houses", which derived from: Ord. No. 5059, § 1, adopted Dec. 15, 1992; Ord. No. 5139, § 1, adopted Sept. 7, 1993; Ord. No. 5443, § 1, adopted July 18, 1995; Ord. No. 7284, § 1, adopted Sept. 20, 2005; and Ord. No. 7746, § 1, adopted Mar. 4, 2008.

Sec. 29-22. - Reserved.

Editor's note— Ord. No. 9452-2012, § 1, adopted Nov. 6, 2012, deleted § 29-22, entitled "Apartment complexes generally", which derived from: Ord. No. 5059, § 1, adopted Dec. 15, 1992; Ord. No. 5987, §§ 1, 2, adopted Nov. 10, 1998; and Ord. No. 7746, § 1, adopted Mar. 4, 2008.

Sec. 29-23. - Reserved.

Editor's note— Ord. No. 9452-2012, § 1, adopted Nov. 6, 2012, deleted § 29-23, entitled "Unsecured vacant building", which derived from: Ord. No. 5059, § 1, adopted Dec. 15, 1992; and Ord. No. 7746, § 1, adopted Mar. 4, 2008.

Sec. 29-24. - Reserved.

Editor's note— Ord. No. 9452-2012, § 1, adopted Nov. 6, 2012, deleted § 29-24, entitled "Partially burned buildings", which derived from: Ord. No. 5059, § 1, adopted Dec. 15, 1992; and Ord. No. 7746, § 1, adopted Mar. 4, 2008.

Sec. 29-25. - Reserved.

Editor's note— Ord. No. 9111-2010, § 2, adopted Oct. 19, 2010, deleted § 29-25, entitled "Hotels and motels—Inspection fee" and derived from: Ord. No. 5619, § 2, adopted July 2, 1996; and Ord. No. 7746, § 1, adopted Mar. 4, 2008.

Sec. 29-26. - Reserved.

Editor's note— Ord. No. 9111-2010, § 2, adopted Oct. 19, 2010, deleted § 29-26, entitled "Hotels and motels—Standards for operation" and derived from: Ord. No. 5619, § 3, adopted July 2, 1996; and Ord. No. 7746, § 1, adopted Mar. 4, 2008.

Sec. 29-27. - Reserved.