Chapter 1.17
ADMINISTRATIVE ENFORCEMENT

Sections:

Article I. General

1.17.010    Purpose.

1.17.020    Definitions.

1.17.030    Administrative enforcement authority.

1.17.040    Cooperation of other officials and officers.

1.17.050    Authority to inspect.

1.17.060    Interference with enforcement procedures prohibited.

1.17.070    Timing.

1.17.080    Notices.

1.17.090    Method of service.

Article II. Notices of Violation, Administrative Citations and Code Enforcement Procedures

1.17.100    Applicability.

1.17.110    Notice of violation.

1.17.120    Issuance of administrative citation.

1.17.130    Notice of compliance and satisfaction.

Article III. Fines, Penalties, Costs and Property Liens

1.17.140    Amount of administrative fines.

1.17.150    Payment of fines.

1.17.160    Late payment charges and interest.

1.17.170    Failure to pay administrative fine or costs.

1.17.180    Recovery of administrative citation fines and costs.

1.17.190    Transfer of ownership interest in real property which is subject to a notice of violation or administrative citation.

1.17.200    Authority to withhold municipal permits.

1.17.210    Lien or special assessment against real property authorized.

1.17.220    Lien procedure.

1.17.230    Recording of lien and foreclosure, alternative collection as special assessment.

1.17.240    Appeal process.

1.17.250    Correction of violations and satisfaction of lien or assessment.

Article IV. Administrative Citation Review, Administrative Hearing and Appeals Process

1.17.260    Purpose.

1.17.270    Administrative citation review generally.

1.17.280    Request for administrative citation Review.

1.17.290    Advance deposit hardship waiver.

1.17.300    Administrative citation review procedures.

1.17.310    Administrative hearings generally.

1.17.320    Administrative hearing request.

1.17.330    Notice of hearing.

1.17.340    Hearing procedure.

1.17.350    Legal representation.

1.17.360    Hearing officer’s decision.

1.17.370    Hearing – Findings and order.

1.17.380    Administrative costs.

1.17.390    Failure to comply with administrative order.

1.17.400    Right to judicial review.

Article V. Hearing Officers

1.17.410    Hearing officer generally.

1.17.420    Powers of hearing officer.

1.17.430    Disqualification of hearing officer.

1.17.440    Parties’ right to object to appointment of hearing officer.

Article VI. Nuisance Abatement by City

1.17.450    Purpose and findings.

1.17.460    Applicability.

1.17.470    Authority.

1.17.480    Public nuisance prohibited.

1.17.490    Public nuisance defined.

1.17.500    Declaration of nuisance.

1.17.510    Issuance of nuisance cease and desist notice.

1.17.520    Method of service.

1.17.530    Appeals process.

1.17.540    Notice of unlawful detainer proceeding.

1.17.550    Hearing.

1.17.560    Findings and order.

1.17.570    Nuisance abatement order.

1.17.580    Abatement of a public nuisance by the city.

1.17.590    Treble damages for second or subsequent abatement by city.

1.17.600    Demolition restrictions.

1.17.610    Notice of intent to demolish.

1.17.620    Immediate (summary) abatement.

1.17.630    Authority.

1.17.640    Summary abatement procedures.

1.17.650    Enforcement and recovery of summary abatement costs.

Article VII. Relocation Benefits for Displaced Tenants

1.17.660    Findings.

1.17.670    Relocation benefits owed by owner.

1.17.680    Relocation benefits amount.

1.17.690    Emergency relocation benefits.

1.17.700    Payment of relocation benefits by city.

Article I. General

1.17.010 Purpose.

The city council finds and determines as follows:

A. In adopting the ordinances codified in this chapter, one of the primary intents is to enforce the provisions of the municipal code and applicable state codes within the city.

B. The city has an important interest in setting standards and procedures to enforce the municipal code and applicable state codes in order to protect public health, safety, and welfare.

C. It is appropriate to develop policies and procedures to provide a comprehensive, uniform, and efficient system of code enforcement, including the use of administrative hearings and adjudicative procedures to resolve code enforcement issues.

D. The policies and procedures established in this part shall be in addition to any criminal, civil, or other legal remedies established by law which may be pursued to address violations of this code and/or applicable state codes, including, but not limited to, the provisions of California Civil Code Section 2929.3, as it is now or may be amended, relative to foreclosed properties.

E. It is the purpose and intent of the city council to afford due process of law to any person who is directly affected by an administrative action by the city. Due process of law affords an affected party adequate notice of the code provisions that he or she has violated, provides the affected individual opportunity to participate in the administrative hearing regarding those violations, and provides the affected individual with an explanation of the reasons justifying the administrative action.

F. The procedures set forth in this chapter are intended to establish a means to efficiently, expeditiously and fairly resolve issues raised in administrative enforcement actions brought pursuant to the provisions of the Hughson Municipal Code, the state codes and/or applicable uniform codes. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006)

1.17.020 Definitions.

A. “Abatement” means any action the city may take to remove or alleviate a nuisance, including, but not limited to, demolition, removal, repair, cleaning, boarding, and securing or replacement of property.

B. “Administrative citation” means a citation issued by a city official in response to any code violation which imposes fines or penalties associated with the code violation.

C. “Administrative order” means an order issued by hearing officer after a hearing, which requires a responsible party to correct violations; abate a public nuisance or to pay administrative fines, civil penalties and/or administrative costs; authorizes the city to abate a public nuisance, assess a code enforcement lien, or to take any other action as authorized or required by this code, the state codes and/or applicable uniform codes.

D. “Assessment lien” or “code enforcement lien” means a lien recorded with the Stanislaus County recorder’s office for the purposes of collecting outstanding administrative citation fines, civil penalties, and administrative costs imposed as part of a cost recovery for an administrative or judicial code enforcement action.

E. “Building” means any structure having a roof supported by columns or walls used or intended to be used for the shelter or enclosure of persons, animals, or property.

F. “Building inspector” means that person hired or appointed by the city to determine compliance with all adopted building codes.

G. “City” means the area within the territorial city limits of the city of Hughson and such territory outside this city, over which the city has jurisdiction or control by virtue of any constitutional or general law provisions, by contract, or any law. “City” shall also mean the city council, the city manager, or any city official, department, or employee authorized to act on behalf of the city.

H. “City manager” means the appointed official of the city of Hughson who occupies the position of chief administrative officer of the city.

I. “Code” means the city of Hughson Municipal Code, unless otherwise specified.

J. “Code enforcement official” means a specially designated city code enforcement officer or any city employee authorized to enforce any provision of this code, state codes, or applicable uniform codes within the city.

K. “Council” means the city council of the city of Hughson.

L. “County” means the county of Stanislaus.

M. “Department” means any department of the city, including, but not limited to, public works, parks and recreation, administration, planning and building, finance, or any subsequently established city department.

N. “Department head” shall include each of the directors or heads of the city departments and shall also include the police chief, the city engineer and their designated agents or representatives within those respective jurisdictions who are charged with the responsibility of enforcing any provision of this code.

O. “Hearing officer” means any person appointed by the city manager or interim or acting city manager/administrator to preside over administrative hearings conducted under this code.

P. “Imminent and substantial endangerment” means any condition which creates a present and immediate danger to life, property, health or public safety.

Q. “Notice of compliance and satisfaction” means a document issued by a code enforcement official which represents that a property has been brought into compliance with the criteria set forth under this code and all outstanding civil penalties and costs have either been paid in full or that the city has negotiated an agreed amount and that amount has been paid in full, or that a subsequent administrative or judicial decision has resolved the outstanding debt. This document may be recorded with the county recorder’s office.

R. “Notice of violation” means a written notice issued by a code enforcement official which informs a responsible party that a code violation has occurred or is ongoing, and lists the required compliance actions the responsible party must undertake to remedy the code violation. This document may be recorded with the county recorder’s office.

S. “Nuisance abatement order” means a written order issued by a hearing officer ordering a property owner or responsible party to abate a nuisance within a certain time, and if compliance is not achieved within the time allotted, authorizing the city to abate the nuisance at the property owner’s or responsible party’s expense, including administrative costs.

T. “Nuisance cease and desist notice” means a written order issued by the city or code enforcement official, ordering the property owner or responsible party to cease engaging in activities that constitute a nuisance, and take the necessary remedial steps to abate the nuisance. Failure to comply with a nuisance cease and desist order can result in a nuisance abatement hearing, the issuance of a nuisance abatement order, and abatement of the nuisance conditions by the city at the property owner’s or responsible party’s expense.

U. “Oath” includes sworn affirmation.

V. “Office” means the use of the title of any office, officer, or employee and shall mean such office, officer, or employee of the city of Hughson.

W. “Operate” or “engage in” includes to carry on, keep, conduct, maintain, or cause or allow to be kept or maintained.

X. “Owner,” applied to a building or land, shall include any part owner, joint owner, tenant in common, or joint tenant, of the whole or a part of such building or land.

Y. “Person,” unless it otherwise appears from the context as used, includes any person, firm, association, organization, partnership, business trust, company, corporation, public agency, school district or other special district, the state of California, its political subdivisions and/or instrumentalities thereof, or any other entity which is recognized by law as the subject of rights or duties.

Z. “Premises” means any building, lot, parcel, real estate, or land or portion of land whether improved or unimproved, including adjacent street areas.

AA. “Property owner” means the record owner of real property, as listed on the last equalized assessment roll maintained by the Stanislaus County assessor’s office.

BB. “Public nuisance” means any condition caused, maintained, or permitted to exist which constitutes a threat to the health, safety or welfare of the public or a considerable number of persons, or one which affects at the same time an entire community or neighborhood, or any considerable number of persons, although the extent of the annoyance or damage inflicted upon individuals may be unequal. A public nuisance shall also have the same meaning as set forth in the California Civil Code.

CC. “Responsible party” means any person, and the parent or legal guardian of any natural person under the age of 18 years, who has done any act for which a notice of violation or administrative citation may be issued, or any other enforcement procedure may be imposed.

DD. “State” is the state of California.

EE. “State codes” shall mean any statute, code, or regulation of the state of California including, but not limited to, the Health and Safety Code, the Streets and Highways Code, and the California Code of Regulations.

FF. “Street” includes all streets, highways, avenues, lanes, alleys, courts, places, squares, curbs, sidewalks, parkways or other public ways in this city which have been or may hereafter be dedicated and open to public use, or such other public property so designated in any law of this state.

GG. “Tenant” or “occupant,” as applied to a building or land, shall include any person who occupies the whole or part of such building or land, whether alone or with others.

HH. “Uniform codes” shall mean any of the uniform codes adopted by the city or effective by operation of California State law. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006)

1.17.030 Administrative enforcement authority.

Code enforcement officials and/or their designated agents have the authority and powers necessary to determine whether a code violation exists, and have the authority to take appropriate action against the responsible party to gain compliance with the provisions of this code, state codes, and applicable uniform codes. These powers include the power to issue notices of violation, administrative citations, notices and orders, as well as impose civil penalties and administrative fines; and use any and all of the administrative remedies available under this code, the state codes, and applicable uniform codes. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006)

1.17.040 Cooperation of other officials and officers.

A code enforcement official may request, and shall receive, the assistance and cooperation of other officials of this jurisdiction so far as such cooperation is required in assisting the code enforcement official in carrying out his or her duties under this code and ensuring compliance with this code, the state codes, and any applicable uniform codes. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006)

1.17.050 Authority to inspect.

A. Code enforcement officials and/or their authorized agents have the authority to enter upon any public or private property or premises to ascertain whether the provisions of this code, state codes, or applicable uniform codes are being obeyed, and to make any examinations and surveys as may be necessary in the performance of their code enforcement duties. These examinations and surveys may include the taking of photographs, samples, or using instruments to collect other physical evidence including, but not limited to, using sound level measurement devices to measure noise disturbances.

B. All inspections, entries, examinations and surveys shall be done in a reasonable manner, with reasonable notice to the owner, occupant, or agent thereof, if warranted under the circumstances. If an owner, occupant or agent or other responsible party refuses a code enforcement official permission to enter or inspect, the code enforcement official or authorized agent may seek an administrative inspection warrant pursuant to the procedures provided for in Section 1822.50 et seq. of California Code of Civil Procedure. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.040)

1.17.060 Interference with enforcement procedures prohibited.

A. It is unlawful for any person to:

1. Either orally or in writing give information to a code enforcement official which the person knows to be false; or

2. Remove or violate a notice or order posted as required by any provision of this code, for the purpose of interfering with or preventing the enforcement thereof; or

3. Obstruct, impede or interfere with the lawful activities of any code enforcement official or their authorized agents, including entry onto property, and inspections, examinations or surveys thereof.

B. When an assault or a battery is committed against the person of a code enforcement official engaged in the performance of his or her duties, whether on or off duty, and the person knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a code enforcement official engaged in his or her duties, the assault or battery shall constitute a misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine not exceeding $2,000, or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by both fine and imprisonment. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.050)

1.17.070 Timing.

Under this title, the term “days” shall mean calendar days, unless otherwise specified. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.060)

1.17.080 Notices.

A. Administrative citations and all notices required to be given by this chapter shall be served on the responsible party in accordance with the provisions of HMC 1.17.090.

B. Failure to receive any notice specified in this chapter does not affect the validity of proceedings conducted hereunder. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.090)

1.17.090 Method of service.

A. Administrative citations and/or any notices required under this chapter shall be given to the responsible party and/or property owner either by personal service or by deposit in the United States mail, in a sealed envelope, postage prepaid, addressed to such person to be notified at his or her last known business or residence address as the same appears in the public records or other records pertaining to the matter to which such notice is directed. Service by mail shall be deemed to have been completed at the time of deposit in the post office.

B. Where real property is involved, administrative citations and/or notices shall be mailed to the property owner at the address as shown on the last equalized county assessment roll.

C. Where personal service or service by mail upon the property owner is unsuccessful, a copy of the administrative citation or notice shall be conspicuously posted at the property which is the subject of the code violation.

D. In the event the city chooses to impose a lien or special assessment on real property that is the subject of code violations in order to recover unpaid fines, fees or charges associated with the code violation, any such notice shall also be served on each of the following, if known to the city or disclosed from official public records:

1. The holder of any mortgage or deed of trust or lien or encumbrance of record;

2. The owner or holder of any lease of record.

E. The failure of any person to receive any notice required under this chapter shall not affect the validity of any proceedings taken under this chapter. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.100)

Article II. Notices of Violation, Administrative Citations and Code Enforcement Procedures

1.17.100 Applicability.

A. This article provides for the issuance of notices of violation, administrative citations, and other enforcement procedures available to the city, which are in addition to all other legal remedies, civil or criminal, which may be pursued by the city to address any violation of this code, the state codes, and any applicable uniform codes.

B. Use of this article shall be at the sole discretion of the city. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.070)

1.17.110 Notice of violation.

A. A notice of violation is a warning issued to a responsible party, informing the responsible party that a code violation has occurred.

B. A notice of violation shall include the following information:

1. The name of the responsible party, if known;

2. The physical address containing the code violation, if the code violation relates to real property;

3. The code section(s) violated or in violation;

4. A time frame in which the responsible party must correct the violation to avoid issuance of an administrative citation if the violation is ongoing in nature, or a warning that successive violations will result in the issuance of an administrative citation if the violation is temporary in nature.

C. Use of the notice of violation procedure under this section is at the discretion of the code enforcement official. For code violations that constitute a likely threat to the public health, safety, or welfare, or those that are willfully committed, or are egregious in nature, the code official may immediately issue an administrative citation and impose fines or penalties, and a separate notice of violation need not first be issued.

D. A notice of violation may be recorded against the real property upon which the code violation(s) occurred, and which are ongoing. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006)

1.17.120 Issuance of administrative citation.

A. An administrative citation is a written citation issued by the city to a responsible party in response to a code violation that either: (1) has not been corrected, or occurs again after a notice of violation has been issued for the violation at issue; or (2) is of a nature described in HMC 1.17.110(C); and which imposes fines or penalties associated with the code violation.

B. Whenever a code enforcement official determines that a code violation has occurred, the code enforcement official shall have the authority to issue an administrative citation to any responsible party.

C. Each administrative citation shall contain the following information:

1. The date the violation occurred, or if the date of the violation is unknown, then the date the violation is identified or observed;

2. The physical address or a definite description of the location where the violation occurred;

3. The code section which has been violated and a description of the nature of the violation;

4. The amount of the fine for the code violation;

5. A description of the fine payment process, including a description of the time within which, and the place where, the fine shall be paid;

6. An order prohibiting the continuation or repeated occurrence of the code violation described in the administrative citation;

7. A description of the administrative citation review process, including the time within which the administrative citation may be contested and the place from which forms required to contest the administrative citation may be obtained; and

8. The name and signature of the code enforcement official. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.080)

1.17.130 Notice of compliance and satisfaction.

A. A notice of compliance and satisfaction is a written notice provided by the city that a code violation for which an administrative citation has been issued has been corrected by the responsible party, and all attendant fines or fees have been paid. The notice of compliance shall contain the information included in the administrative citation set forth in HMC 1.17.120(C)(1) through (4).

B. If recorded, the notice of compliance and satisfaction shall cancel a previously recorded notice of violation and/or a code enforcement assessment or code enforcement lien regarding the same code violation(s).

C. On the date set forth in the notice of violation or administrative citation, the city shall reinspect the property or area that is the subject of the notice of violation or administrative citation. The reinspection shall be conducted to determine whether the code violations have been corrected and whether all necessary permits have been issued and final inspections have been performed, as well as to determine whether all fines and/or fees have been paid in full.

D. If, upon reinspection, the city determines that the violation(s) listed in a notice of violation or administrative citation have been completely corrected and all attendant fines or penalties have been paid in full, the city shall issue the responsible party a written notice of compliance and satisfaction.

E. If the city declines to issue a notice of compliance and satisfaction due to failure by the responsible party to correct the code violation(s) and pay related fines and fees in full, the city shall serve the responsible party with a written explanation within 15 days after determining that compliance has not been achieved, setting forth the reasons for the denial. The written explanation shall be served pursuant to HMC 1.17.090. This written explanation may be in the form of a subsequent administrative citation for failure to comply with the prior notice of violation or administrative citation.

F. Per-day fines for noncompliance imposed pursuant to HMC 1.17.140(C) shall not be levied for the time period commencing on the date of reinspection and terminating on the date of service of the determination of compliance or the denial of the determination of compliance. Per-day fines for noncompliance may thereafter be imposed for each day of noncompliance occurring after the denial of the determination of compliance, commencing on the first full day after the determination of compliance is denied. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006)

Article III. Fines, Penalties, Costs and Property Liens

1.17.140 Amount of administrative fines.

A. The amounts of the fines for code violations imposed pursuant to this chapter shall be set forth in the schedule of fines established by resolution of the city council and available at the city clerk’s office.

B. The amount of fines set forth in the schedule of fines shall be in accordance with the limits set forth in California Government Code Section 3901.

C. The amount of the code violation fine(s) shall be determined based on the category of violation:

1. Level A violations are violations that present a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm to person(s) of the public at large would result therefrom.

2. Level B violations are violations that either: (a) present the threat, but not substantial probability, that serious physical harm to persons or the public at large would result therefrom; or (b) present circumstances that are likely to cause and/or do cause serious harm to public or private property; or (c) present a conscious and willful disregard of (i) notice(s) of violation or administrative citation(s) issued by the city, or (ii) other orders or notices of violation issued by any agency or commission authorized to issue such orders or notices.

3. Level C violations are violations that present circumstances that either:

a. Are likely to cause, and/or do cause, harm to public or private property; or

b. Show repeated or continuous noncompliance with:

i. Notices of violation or administrative citations issued by the city; or

ii. Orders or notices of violation issued by any agency or commission authorized to issue such orders or notices.

4. Level D violations are violations other than Level A, B or C violations.

D. The code enforcement official may impose fines for the violation of any code provision in accordance with the schedule of fines, in an amount not to exceed a maximum of $1,000 per day for each ongoing violation, except that the total administrative fine shall not exceed $100,000, exclusive of administrative costs, interest and restitution for compliance reinspection, for any related series of violations. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.110)

1.17.150 Payment of fines.

A. The fine shall be paid to the city within 30 days from the date of the administrative citation.

B. Payment of a fine under this article shall not excuse or discharge any continuation or repeated occurrence of the code violation that is the subject of the administrative citation. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.120)

1.17.160 Late payment charges and interest.

Any person who fails to pay to the city any fine imposed pursuant to the provisions of this chapter on or before the date that fine is due also shall be liable for the payment of any applicable late payment charges and interest rates set forth in the schedule of fines. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.260)

1.17.170 Failure to pay administrative fine or costs.

The failure to pay an administrative fine or related costs is an infraction punishable in accordance with Chapter 1.12 HMC. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.250)

1.17.180 Recovery of administrative citation fines and costs.

A. The city may collect any past due administrative citation fines or late payment charges by use of all available legal means. The city also may recover its collection costs pursuant to subsection C of this section.

B. The city may collect the costs incurred for the additional work that is undertaken by city staff when a responsible party fails to voluntarily correct a code violation in a timely manner. The assessment and collection of these costs shall be in addition to, and shall not preclude, the imposition of any other fines and fees allowed by this code, the state codes, or applicable uniform codes.

C. Any person who fails to pay any obligation required by this chapter shall also be liable in any action brought by the city for all the city’s costs incurred in securing payment of the delinquent amount including, but not limited to, administrative costs. Additionally, attorneys’ fees may be recovered by the prevailing party in any such action. Collection costs imposed under this provision shall be added to and become a part of the underlying obligation. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.270)

1.17.190 Transfer of ownership interest in real property which is subject to a notice of violation or administrative citation.

A. It shall be unlawful for the owner of any dwelling unit, structure, or premises that is subject to a notice of violation or an administrative citation to sell, transfer, mortgage, lease or otherwise dispose of the subject property until:

1. The provisions of the notice of violation or administrative citation have been complied with; or

2. Until such owner first furnishes the grantee, transferee, mortgagee or lessee with a true copy of any such notice of violation or administrative citation; and

a. Furnishes to the city clerk a signed and notarized statement from the grantee, transferee, mortgagee or lessee:

i. Acknowledging the receipt of such notice of violation or administrative citation, and fully accepting the responsibility without condition for making the corrections or repairs required by the citation; or

ii. Stating that the grantee, transferee, mortgagee or lessee intends to timely challenge the notice of violation or administrative citation.

B. The transfer of ownership in violation of this section shall not abrogate the transfer. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.290)

1.17.200 Authority to withhold municipal permits.

For properties where a notice of violation, an administrative citation, or administrative order has been issued, the city may withhold permits for repair, construction and/or alteration on the affected property until a notice of compliance has been issued by the city. The city may not withhold permits which are necessary to obtain a notice of compliance or which are necessary to correct serious health and safety violations. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.440)

1.17.210 Lien or special assessment against real property authorized.

Whenever the amount of any administrative penalty and/or administrative cost imposed in connection with real property pursuant to this chapter has not been satisfied in full within 90 days after the issuance of an order by an administrative hearing officer ordering the payment of those fines, or an order, notice, citation or other official directive to pay such fines issued by a code enforcement official has been disregarded by the responsible party or has not been challenged by a timely writ of mandate, this obligation may constitute a special assessment against the real property on which the violation occurred and, upon confirmation and recordation with the office of the county recorder as a notice of lien, shall constitute a lien on said property in the amount of the assessment. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006)

1.17.220 Lien procedure.

A. The appropriate department head shall prepare and file with the city clerk a report stating the amounts due and owing by the responsible party.

B. The city clerk or city attorney shall then schedule a hearing before a hearing officer, and issue a notice of hearing pursuant to HMC 1.17.330 not less than 15 days prior to the time set for the hearing. Parties served with the notice of hearing must respond to the notice of hearing, indicating their intent to appear at the hearing, no less than five days prior to the time set for the hearing.

C. Hearing procedures for the lien hearing shall generally follow the administrative hearing procedures set forth in HMC 1.17.340 et seq.

D. If any party indicates that it intends to appear at the hearing, the hearing will take place on the date and time scheduled. Any person whose real property is the subject of this lien procedure may file a written protest, or appear at the hearing and make objections, or both, to the imposition of such lien. Parties are entitled to have legal counsel present at the hearing, pursuant to HMC 1.17.350.

E. If no party responds to the notice of hearing indicating an intent to appear, no hearing shall be scheduled and the city may proceed with recording the lien, or if the hearing takes place as scheduled, and no party appears to oppose the lien, the city may impose and record the lien in accordance with HMC 1.17.230.

F. If a hearing is held under this section, the hearing officer, after the hearing, shall issue an Order authorizing or modifying the lien and directing the recording thereof, or dismissing the lien.

G. The owner of such property shall be given notice prior to the recordation of the lien. The notice shall be served in the manner required under Section 38773.1 of the California Government Code.

H. Interest shall accrue on the principal amount of the judgment remaining unsatisfied pursuant to HMC 1.17.160. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.500)

1.17.230 Recording of lien and foreclosure, alternative collection as special assessment.

A. Thirty days following the issuance of the administrative order imposing a lien pursuant to HMC 1.17.220, or if no hearing was required then 30 days after the date of default judgment against the responsible party, the city clerk shall file the same as a judgment lien in the office of the county recorder of Stanislaus County, California. The lien may carry such additional administrative charges as set forth in the city’s schedule of fines.

B. The lien shall specify the amount of the lien, the name of the city on whose behalf the lien is imposed, the date of the administrative order imposing the lien, the street address of the affected property, the legal description and assessor’s parcel number of the parcel on which the lien is imposed, and the name and address of the recorded owner of the parcel.

C. The lien may be foreclosed by an action brought by the city for a money judgment.

D. In the alternative, the city may collect administrative fines, fees, and costs of abatement as a special assessment in accordance with the procedures set forth in California Government Code Section 38773.5. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.520)

1.17.240 Appeal process.

Any person directly aggrieved by an administrative decision of a hearing officer regarding the imposition of a lien or special assessment may obtain review of the administrative decision by filing a petition for review with the superior court of Stanislaus County. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006)

1.17.250 Correction of violations and satisfaction of lien or assessment.

Once all cited violations have been corrected and payment in full is received by the city for outstanding penalties and costs and thereby satisfying the lien or assessment, the finance director or department head shall record a notice of compliance and satisfaction with the office of the county recorder. Such notice of satisfaction shall cancel the city’s lien. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006)

Article IV. Administrative Citation Review, Administrative Hearing and Appeals Process

1.17.260 Purpose.

The purpose of this article is to provide persons who have received an administrative citation due process of law. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006)

1.17.270 Administrative citation review generally.

A. An administrative citation review is the initial appeal process for a recipient of an administrative citation who believes that he or she received an administrative citation in error because either: (1) he or she is not the responsible party; or (2) no code violation occurred.

B. Administrative citation reviews are conducted by city personnel who are qualified, by either experience or training, to conduct the review. The administrative citation review may be conducted by any city employee who is not the code enforcement official that issued the administrative citation. In the event that there is no qualified city employee, a hearing officer or another qualified individual appointed by the city manager or city attorney may conduct the review.

C. The administrative citation review shall consist of a review of the administrative citation and any supporting evidence supplied by the city, and supporting evidence provided by the recipient of the administrative citation. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006)

1.17.280 Request for administrative citation review.

A. Any recipient of an administrative citation who believes he or she received the administrative citation in error may contest the citation by completing a request for administrative citation review form and returning it to the city clerk’s office within 30 days from the date of the administrative citation, together with an advance deposit of the total fine imposed by the administrative citation or notice that a request for an advance deposit hardship waiver has been filed pursuant to HMC 1.17.290.

B. A request for review form may be obtained from the city clerk’s office or the city department specified on the administrative citation.

C. The recipient of an administrative citation may waive the right to a formal, in-person review and elect instead to have the administrative citation review be based exclusively on written materials submitted to the city in advance. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.130)

1.17.290 Advance deposit hardship waiver.

A. Any party who intends to request a review of the administrative citation to contest the citation and who is financially unable to make the advance deposit of the imposed fine(s) as required in HMC 1.17.280 may file a request for an advance deposit hardship waiver.

B. The request shall be filed with the finance department on an advance deposit hardship waiver application form, available from the finance department, along with the request for administrative citation review request form.

C. The requirement of depositing the full amount of the fine as described in HMC 1.17.280 shall be stayed unless or until the finance department makes a determination not to issue the advance deposit hardship waiver.

D. The finance director, or his or her designee, may waive the requirement of an advance deposit required by HMC 1.17.280 and issue the advance deposit hardship waiver only if the cited party submits to the finance director a sworn statement, together with any supporting documents or materials, demonstrating to the satisfaction of the finance director the party’s actual financial inability to deposit with the city the full amount of the fine in advance of the review.

E. If the finance director declines to issue an advance deposit hardship waiver, the party shall remit the deposit to the city within 15 days of the date of that decision or 30 days from the date of the administrative citation, whichever is later.

F. The finance director shall issue a written determination listing the reasons for his or her determination to issue or not issue the advance deposit hardship waiver. The written determination of the finance director shall be final.

G. The written determination of the finance director shall be served upon the person who applied for the advance deposit hardship waiver in the manner prescribed by HMC 1.17.090. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.140)

1.17.300 Administrative citation review procedures.

A. Parties requesting a formal in-person review (the “requesting party”) shall be notified of the date, time, and place set for the review at least five business days prior to the date of the review. Parties requesting a review based on submitted materials only, pursuant to HMC 1.17.280(C), shall not be notified of the time and place set for the review.

B. At the in-person review, the requesting party must provide the individual conducting the review with all information and evidence supporting the requesting party’s position that the administrative citation was improperly issued.

C. If city staff submits an additional written report concerning the administrative citation to the director for consideration at the review, then a copy of this report shall also be provided to the party requesting the review at least three days prior to the date of the review.

D. The individual conducting the review shall examine the administrative citation, any supporting materials provided by the city and materials provided by the requesting party, and based on the sum of the evidence presented shall render a decision to either uphold the administrative citation as issued, modify and reissue the administrative citation, or dismiss the administrative citation.

E. The requesting party shall be informed of the determination of the administrative citation Review in writing within five business days of the review.

F. Parties who have scheduled an in-person review but who fail to appear at the stated time and place shall have a decision rendered against them automatically, and the administrative citation will be upheld as issued.

G. If after a requested review it is determined that the party charged in the administrative citation was not responsible for the violation or that no such violation occurred, any administrative citation fine deposited with the city shall be refunded in its entirety within 30 days of the determination. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006)

1.17.310 Administrative hearings generally.

A. An administrative hearing is a formal hearing where the city and a responsible party present their respective cases and have matters in controversy that relate to code violations decided by a hearing officer.

B. A hearing officer is an impartial third party with the training or expertise to conduct an administrative hearing. Qualifications and requirements pertaining to hearing officers are set forth in HMC 1.17.410 et seq.

C. An administrative hearing is the second level of review of a matter in controversy. An individual named as a responsible party who believes he or she has received an administrative citation in error must first request and undergo an administrative citation review. If the party named as a responsible party receives an adverse decision in the administrative citation review, and still maintains that he or she received the administrative citation in error, he or she may request an administrative hearing for a third-party review of the matter. The city may request an administrative hearing at any time.

D. At the conclusion of the administrative hearing, the hearing officer will consider all relevant evidence presented at the hearing by the city and responsible party, and will render a decision on the matter in controversy. The hearing officer’s decision is final, and may only be appealed in a court of law. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006)

1.17.320 Administrative hearing request.

A. Any recipient of an administrative citation may contest the findings or decision made in the administrative citation review by completing a request for administrative hearing form and returning it to the city clerk’s office within 15 days of the issuance of the decision in the administrative citation review.

B. A request for hearing form may be obtained from the city clerk’s office or the city department specified on the administrative citation.

C. If city staff submits an additional written report concerning the administrative citation to the hearing officer for consideration at the review, then a copy of this report shall also be provided to the party requesting the hearing at least three business days prior to the date of the hearing.

D. The recipient of an administrative citation may, at the time that he or she files the request for administrative hearing form, waive the right to a formal hearing and elect instead to have the administrative hearing be based exclusively on written materials submitted to the hearing officer. The recipient must submit all written materials within 15 days after he or she makes this election.

E. Requests made by applicants/respondents for rescheduling of a formal hearing will be accommodated by the city; provided, that they are made at least five days before the scheduled hearing, and for good cause. Requests for rescheduling after this time frame may be considered by the city if for good cause which is independently substantiated (illness, or emergency situations). Requests for rescheduling made within 24 hours of the scheduled hearing will be denied and referred to the hearing officer at the scheduled hearing. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.160)

1.17.330 Notice of hearing.

A. The responsible party shall be served with notice of the administrative hearing at least five business days prior to the date of the scheduled hearing.

B. The notice shall contain the date, time and place at which the hearing shall be conducted by the hearing officer.

C. Each hearing shall be set for a date not less than five business days nor more than 30 calendar days from the date of the notice of hearing unless the city official determines that the matter is urgent or that good cause exists for an extension of time. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.380)

1.17.340 Hearing procedure.

A. No hearing to contest an administrative citation before a hearing officer shall be held unless the fine has been deposited in advance or an advance deposit hardship waiver has been obtained in accordance with HMC 1.17.290.

B. A hearing before the hearing officer shall be set for a date that is not less than five business days and not more than 30 calendar days from the date that the request for hearing is filed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

C. At the hearing, the party contesting the administrative citation and the city shall be given the opportunity to present sworn testimony and/or written evidence on the matter to the hearing officer.

D. The administrative citation and any additional report submitted by city staff shall constitute prima facie evidence of the respective facts contained in those documents.

E. The hearing officer has the authority to compel the attendance of property owners, responsible parties, and/or other witnesses at the hearing, to examine them under oath, and to compel them to produce all relevant evidence relating to the matter.

F. The hearing need not be conducted according to the technical rules of local, state or federal law relating to evidence and witnesses, except as provided in this section. Any relevant evidence shall be admitted if it is the sort of evidence on which reasonable persons are accustomed to rely in the conduct of serious affairs, regardless of the existence of any common law or statutory rule which might make improper the admission of the evidence over objections in civil actions. Hearsay evidence may be used for the purpose of supplementing or explaining other evidence but shall not be sufficient in itself to support a finding, unless it would be admissible over objection in civil actions or no objection was made to this use of hearsay evidence prior to the close of the hearing before the hearing officer.

G. The hearing officer may continue the hearing and request additional information from the city official or the recipient of the administrative citation prior to issuing a written decision.

H. The hearing proceedings shall be recorded. A record of the proceedings shall be governed by California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1094.6.

I. Unless the recipient of an administrative citation formally requested a paper review pursuant to HMC 1.17.280(C), the failure of the recipient to appear at the hearing shall constitute a forfeiture of the fine and a failure to exhaust his or her administrative remedies, resulting in a default judgment against the responsible party.

J. The failure of any party subject to an administrative citation to appear at the administrative hearing shall constitute a failure by that party to exhaust the administrative remedies and will result in a default judgment entered against that party. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.210)

1.17.350 Legal representation.

Both the city and the citation recipient are entitled to representation at the administrative hearing by legal counsel. If the responsible party is to be represented by an attorney, written notification of the attorney’s name, address and phone number must be supplied immediately to the city department which is holding the hearing. Upon notification by the other party of legal representation, the city department may contact the city attorney’s office to request representation at the hearing. Thereafter, all contact or communication between the city and the citation recipient should be made by the attorneys. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.220)

1.17.360 Hearing officer’s decision.

A. After considering all of the testimony and evidence submitted at the hearing, the hearing officer shall issue a written decision to uphold, modify, or cancel the administrative citation and shall list in the decision the reasons for that decision. The decision of the hearing officer shall be issued within 30 days after the conclusion of the hearing, or the submission of all written materials if no hearing is requested, and the hearing officer’s decision shall be final.

B. If the hearing officer determines that the administrative citation should be upheld, then the fine amount on deposit with the city shall be retained by the city.

C. If the hearing officer determines that the administrative citation should be upheld and the fine has not been deposited pursuant to an advance deposit hardship waiver, the hearing officer shall set forth in the decision a schedule on which the fine must be paid.

D. If the hearing officer determines that the administrative citation should not be upheld or should be modified, and the fine was deposited with the city, then the city shall promptly refund the amount of the deposited fine or the amount due if the citation is modified. Unless the city returns the fine within 30 days after it was deposited, this refund shall also include interest at the average rate earned on the city’s portfolio for the period of time that the fine amount was held by the city.

E. The recipient of the administrative citation shall be served with a copy of the hearing officer’s written decision in the manner provided in HMC 1.17.090. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.230)

1.17.370 Hearing – Findings and order.

A. The hearing officer shall issue written findings on each code violation set forth in the administrative citation. The findings shall be supported by evidence received at the hearing.

B. If the hearing officer finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that a code violation has occurred and that the violation was not corrected within the time period specified in the administrative citation, the hearing officer shall issue an administrative order compelling the responsible party to correct the violation and pay all related fines, costs, or penalties.

C. If the hearing officer finds that no violation has occurred or that the violation was corrected within the time period specified in the administrative citation, the hearing officer shall issue a finding of those facts. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.410)

1.17.380 Administrative costs.

A. The hearing officer may assess administrative costs against the responsible party when the hearing officer determines that a code violation has occurred and that compliance was not achieved.

B. Administrative costs may include any and all costs incurred by the city (both direct and indirect costs) in investigating and commencing administrative proceedings for the violation as well as any and all costs incurred by the city in connection with the hearing before the hearing officer, including but not limited to costs the city incurred in preparation for the hearing and for participating in the hearing itself and the costs of the city to conduct the hearing. Failure to pay administrative costs in the amount specified in the hearing officer’s administrative order, on or before the date specified in that order, shall constitute a violation of this code punishable as an infraction and shall further be subject to collection and late charges as otherwise provided for administrative penalties herein. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.240)

1.17.390 Failure to comply with administrative order.

Failure to comply with the administrative order, including failure to pay the assessed administrative penalties and pay administrative costs specified in the administrative order of the hearing officer may be enforced as:

A. A personal obligation of the violator; and/or

B. A lien or special assessment upon the real property, if the violation is in connection with real property. The lien or special assessment shall remain in effect until all of the administrative penalties, interest and administrative costs are paid in full.

Failure to comply with an administrative order may also be punished as a misdemeanor pursuant to Chapter 1.12 HMC. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.460)

1.17.400 Right to judicial review.

Any person directly aggrieved by an administrative decision of a hearing officer regarding an administrative citation or a code violation issue, or the imposition of a lien may obtain review of the administrative decision by filing a petition for review with the superior court of Stanislaus County. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.280)

Article V. Hearing Officers

1.17.410 Hearing officer generally.

A. The city manager or city attorney shall appoint the hearing officer for the administrative hearing. The hearing officer shall be qualified by experience or training to conduct the hearing, and shall be selected in accordance with the city’s policies and procedures for administrative hearings.

B. The employment, performance evaluation, compensation and benefits of the hearing officer shall not be directly or indirectly conditioned upon the amount of administrative citation fines upheld by the hearing officer. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.170)

1.17.420 Powers of hearing officer.

The hearing officer has the authority to conduct and direct administrative hearings and to make findings, and issue administrative orders which are legally binding on both the city and the appellant/respondent.

The hearing officer may:

A. Maintain authority over the case as necessary to ensure resolution and due process;

B. Require the posting of a performance bond or some other equivalent means of guarantee that compliance will occur, if necessary;

C. Administer oaths;

D. Conduct prehearing conferences to deal with such matters as exploration of a settlement, preparation of stipulations, clarification of issues, and other issues; and

E. Upon the request of a party to the hearing, subpoena both witnesses and documents. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.180)

1.17.430 Disqualification of hearing officer.

Any person designated to serve as a hearing officer is subject to disqualification for bias, prejudice, interest, or for any other reasons for which a judge may be disqualified from presiding in a court of law. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.190)

1.17.440 Parties’ right to object to appointment of hearing officer.

A. Any party may petition the city to disqualify a designated hearing officer after receipt of a notice indicating the identity of the hearing officer or discovering facts which establish grounds for a disqualification. The petition must be filed immediately with the city clerk upon discovery of such facts.

B. The city manager or city attorney shall determine whether to grant the petition for disqualification. A written statement of the facts and reasons for the determination shall be incorporated into the administrative record for the hearing.

C. If a substitute is required for a hearing officer due to disqualification or unavailability, a substitute shall be appointed by the city manager or city attorney in accordance with these rules and regulations. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.200)

Article VI. Nuisance Abatement by City

1.17.450 Purpose and findings.

A. The city council finds and declares that the regulations in this article are necessary in order to:

1. Control or eliminate conditions which are detrimental to health, safety and/or welfare;

2. Preserve the quality of life and alleviate certain socioeconomic problems created by physical deterioration of property; and

3. Protect property values and further certain aesthetic considerations for the general welfare of all residents of the city of Hughson.

B. This article is not intended to repeal, amend or in any way impair other laws or regulations applicable to property in the city, as they now exist or may later be amended, nor to affect or modify any deed restriction or covenant running with the land which is more restrictive. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.580)

1.17.460 Applicability.

This article provides for the administrative abatement of public nuisances, which is in addition to all other legal remedies, civil or criminal, which the city may pursue to address any public nuisance.

A. The use of this article shall be at the sole discretion of the city.

B. The city may proceed to abate a public nuisance under this chapter against any or all persons responsible for creating or fostering the creation of the public nuisance, without regard to whether or not the person owns the property upon which the public nuisance is occurring. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.590)

1.17.470 Authority.

Any condition caused, maintained, or permitted to exist in violation of any provisions of this code, the state codes, or applicable uniform codes which constitutes a public nuisance, may be abated by the city pursuant to the procedures set forth herein. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.600)

1.17.480 Public nuisance prohibited.

It is unlawful and an infraction for any person owning, leasing, renting, occupying or having charge or possession of any property within the city to maintain or allow to be maintained such property in any such manner defined as a nuisance by this code, the state codes, or applicable uniform code, except as may be allowed by any other provision of law. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.610)

1.17.490 Public nuisance defined.

A. For purposes of this article, a public nuisance includes, but is not limited to:

1. The maintenance or use of property in the city in a manner that jeopardizes or endangers the health, safety or welfare of persons on the premises or in the surrounding area, or property on the premises or in the surrounding area, including, but not limited to:

a. Accumulations of dirt, litter or debris;

b. Clothes lines or clothes hanging in front yards, or from porches, balconies or windows; provided, however, that clothes lines and clothes hanging in rear yards shall be permitted;

c. Accumulations of packing boxes, lumber, salvaged materials, fire wood, or similar materials in the front yard or visible from a public right-of-way;

d. Attractive nuisances dangerous to children including abandoned, broken, or neglected equipment, machinery, refrigerators and freezers, hazardous or unmaintained pools, ponds, and excavations;

e. Broken, discarded or dilapidated furniture, household equipment, or furnishings, or shopping carts on the exterior of the front or side yards;

f. Overgrown vegetation likely to harbor rats, vermin or other nuisances dangerous to public health, safety, and welfare, or obstructing a necessary view of drivers on public streets or private driveways;

g. Dead, diseased, decayed or hazardous trees, weeds or other vegetation constituting unsightly appearance, which is either dangerous to public health or safety, or detrimental to neighboring properties or property values;

h. Vehicle parts or other articles of personal property which are abandoned or left in a state of partial construction or repair;

i. Buildings which are abandoned; boarded up; partially destroyed; built or modified without the requisite permits; built, modified, or maintained in a manner inconsistent with applicable codes (e.g., applicable building, electrical, plumbing, fire, or health and safety codes); those that are left in a state of partial construction for an unreasonable period of time; and buildings which are unpainted or where the paint on the exterior of the building is mostly worn off; and/or

j. Fences in a dilapidated, partially destroyed or deteriorated condition.

2. Real property that has been the situs for nuisance activity including, but not limited to:

a. Disturbing the peace; or

b. Illegal drug activity; or

c. Public drunkenness; or

d. Drinking alcoholic beverages in public; or

e. Harassment of passersby; or

f. Illegal gambling; or

g. Prostitution; or

h. The sale of stolen goods; or

i. Acts of violence; or

j. Public urination; or

k. Acts of vandalism; or

l. Acts of lewd conduct; or

m. Unreasonably loud noise; or

n. Loitering; or

o. Excessive littering.

3. The maintenance or use of property in the city in a manner that violates, or real property that has been the situs of a violation of, any provision of this code or any other city, state or federal law or regulation.

B. Nothing contained in this article shall prohibit persons from participating in activity which the city may not proscribe under the United States Constitution or the California Constitution. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.620)

1.17.500 Declaration of nuisance.

Any property found to be maintained in violation of the foregoing section is hereby declared to be a public nuisance and shall be abated by rehabilitation, removal, demolition, or repair pursuant to the procedures set forth herein. The procedures for abatement herein shall not be exclusive and shall not in any manner limit or restrict the city from enforcing other city ordinances or regulations or abating public nuisances in any other manner provided by law. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.630)

1.17.510 Issuance of nuisance cease and desist notice.

A. A nuisance cease and desist notice is a written notice provided by the city to a responsible party or property owner informing them that a condition on the property constitutes a public nuisance and requires the responsible party, property owner, or both, to cease and desist those actions that create a nuisance condition on the property, and to abate the existing nuisance by making the required repairs, obtaining the appropriate permits, or other remedial action required in the notice within the time allotted.

B. Whenever the city determines that public or private property, or any portion of public or private property, is a public nuisance as generally defined in HMC 1.17.490 or as declared in any other specific section of the code, the state code, or applicable uniform codes, a nuisance cease and desist notice may be issued to the responsible party to abate the public nuisance.

C. The nuisance cease and desist notice shall:

1. Contain a description of the property in general terms reasonably sufficient to identify the location of the property;

2. Describe the nature of the public nuisance being created, maintained, or fostered by or on the subject property;

3. Refer to specific sections of the code or applicable state code or uniform code violations which render the property a public nuisance;

4. Describe the action required to abate the public nuisance which may include, but is not limited to: corrections, repairs, demolition, removal, obtaining the necessary permits, vacation of tenants or occupants or other appropriate action;

5. Establish time frames by which each action must occur;

6. Explain the consequences should the responsible party fail to comply with the terms of the notice; and

7. Identify all applicable hearing and appeal rights.

D. The nuisance cease and desist notice may be accompanied by, or issued in conjunction with, an administrative citation imposing fines associated with the nuisance at issue. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.640)

1.17.520 Method of service.

The nuisance cease and desist notice shall be served by any of the methods of service listed in HMC 1.17.090. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.650)

1.17.530 Appeals process.

The recipient of a nuisance cease and desist notice that believes he or she was issued the nuisance cease and desist notice in error because either: (A) he or she is not the responsible party or property owner; or (B) no nuisance condition exists, may appeal the issuance of the nuisance cease and desist notice by requesting an administrative hearing in the same manner as set forth in HMC 1.17.320 et seq. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006)

1.17.540 Notice of unlawful detainer proceeding.

The property owner of real property that is the subject of a nuisance cease and desist notice and who has received a copy of the nuisance cease and desist notice shall notify the city attorney if the property owner initiates or causes to be initiated unlawful detainer proceedings:

A. As a part of the property owner’s efforts to comply with or address the nuisance abatement and cease and desist notice; or

B. Related to the situations, conditions or behaviors described in the nuisance cease and desist notice. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.660)

1.17.550 Hearing.

A. If the city determines that the public nuisance has not ceased or been abated on or before the compliance date specified in the nuisance cease and desist notice, or that the public nuisance has recurred prior to the compliance date, the city attorney shall advise the city clerk’s office to set the matter for a nuisance abatement hearing before a hearing officer.

B. The nuisance abatement hearing serves to provide a person subject to a nuisance cease and desist notice a full opportunity to object to the determination that a nuisance has occurred, that the nuisance has continued to exist or has recurred and/or that the person is responsible for creating, maintaining or fostering the nuisance. The failure of any person subject to a nuisance cease and desist notice pursuant to this chapter to appear at the nuisance abatement hearing shall constitute a failure to exhaust all administrative remedies.

C. The procedures for the nuisance abatement hearing shall be the same as those set forth for administrative hearings set forth in HMC 1.17.340 et seq., except as modified under this chapter. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.670)

1.17.560 Findings and order.

A. Within a reasonable period of time following the conclusion of the nuisance abatement hearing, the hearing officer shall make findings and issue its written determination in connection with the nuisance cease and desist order.

B. The findings made by the hearing officer shall be supported by the evidence received at the hearing or otherwise submitted to the hearing officer.

C. If the hearing officer finds by a preponderance of the evidence that both of the following exist, then the hearing officer shall issue a nuisance abatement order, directing the responsible party or property owner to abate the nuisance within the time allotted (“compliance date”), and authorizing the city to abate the nuisance at the responsible party or property owner’s expense if the nuisance is not abated by the compliance date:

1. The public nuisance occurred or recurred at or on the subject property after the compliance date specified in the nuisance abatement cease and desist order; and

2. The party subject to that nuisance abatement cease and desist order did not take all objectively reasonable steps to comply with that order prior to the compliance date, or there was no situation or condition beyond the control of the party subject to the nuisance cease and desist notice that prevented compliance by the compliance date.

D. If the hearing officer finds that compliance was achieved by the compliance date, or that no nuisance condition existed, no further action will be taken, and the nuisance cease and desist notice issued by the city will be dismissed. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.710)

1.17.570 Nuisance abatement order.

A. If the hearing officer determines that both of the elements set forth in HMC 1.17.560(C) exist, then the hearing officer shall issue a nuisance abatement order, which may impose any or all of the following:

1. An order to abate the nuisance within a set frame of time (“compliance date”) and if the nuisance is not abated by the compliance date, authorization for the city to abate the nuisance at the responsible party or property owner’s expense, including all fines and administrative costs associated with the nuisance abatement;

2. An order to discontinue the use of or certain activity at the subject property, temporarily or permanently, as needed to protect the health, safety or welfare of persons or property on or near the subject property or to eliminate, lessen or prevent the continuation, exacerbation or reoccurrence of the detrimental impacts created by the public nuisance;

3. An order imposing conditions on the continued use of or certain activity at the subject property, as needed to protect the health, safety or welfare of persons or property on or near the subject property or to eliminate, lessen or prevent the continuation, exacerbation or recurrence of the detrimental impacts created by the nuisance;

4. Where the implementation of conditions requires a development permit or an amendment to an existing development permit, an order conditioned upon the property owner applying for and obtaining the development permit or modification of an existing development permit applicable to the subject property;

5. An order to pay penalties of a certain amount to the city pursuant to HMC 1.17.140; and

6. An order to pay reimbursement to the city for the city’s administrative costs incurred as a result of the public nuisance and/or the public nuisance abatement procedure pursuant to HMC 1.17.180.

B. Every party subject to a nuisance abatement order shall comply with that nuisance abatement order and with all applicable laws, permits or other approvals of the federal, state or local governments in any and all actions taken pursuant to or in order to comply with the nuisance abatement order, including, without limitation, the payment of all applicable permit fees.

C. A copy of the findings and nuisance abatement order shall be served on all owners of the subject property in accordance with HMC 1.17.090. In addition, a copy of the findings and nuisance abatement order shall be forthwith conspicuously posted on the subject property.

D. If the owner of record, after diligent search cannot be found, the notice may be served by posting a copy thereof in a conspicuous place upon the property for a period of 10 days and publication thereof in a newspaper of general circulation published in the county in which the property is located pursuant to Section 6062 of the Government Code. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.720)

1.17.580 Abatement of a public nuisance by the city.

Once the compliance date set forth in the nuisance abatement order has lapsed, if the violations remain, the nuisance conditions may be abated by the city or by a private contractor.

A. The city or a private contractor hired by the city has the express authority to enter upon private property in a reasonable manner as provided by law to abate the nuisance conditions as specified in the abatement notice or abatement order.

B. If the responsible party abates the nuisance conditions before the city performs the actual abatement pursuant to an abatement notice or abatement order, the city may still assess all costs incurred to that point by the city against the responsible party pursuant to the procedures set forth in this code.

C. When abatement is completed, a report describing the work performed and an itemized account of the total abatement costs shall be prepared by the city. The report shall contain the names and addresses of the responsible party for each parcel, the name and address of the property owner if different from the responsible party, the tax assessor’s parcel number and a legal description of the property if the responsible party is an owner.

D. The city shall schedule a confirmation of costs hearing before a hearing officer, unless waived in writing by all responsible parties. For the purposes of proceedings pursuant to this section, the city manager is designated as the hearing officer, or in the event the city manager is disqualified, the hearing officer shall be designated by the city manager, the city attorney, or the interim city attorney.

E. All administrative and actual costs incurred by the city in abating the violations may be assessed and recovered against the responsible party pursuant to the provisions set forth in this chapter. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.780)

1.17.590 Treble damages for second or subsequent abatement by city.

Pursuant to California Government Code Section 38773.7, upon the entry of a second or subsequent civil or criminal judgment within a two-year period that finds an owner of property responsible for a condition that may be abated in accordance with California Government Code Section 38773.5, a court may order the owner to pay treble the costs of the abatement. These costs shall not include conditions abated pursuant to Section 17980 of the California Health and Safety Code. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.790)

1.17.600 Demolition restrictions.

No property shall be found to be a public nuisance under this chapter and ordered demolished unless the nuisance abatement order is based on competent sworn testimony and it is found that in fairness and justice there is no way other than demolition to reasonably correct such nuisance. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.800)

1.17.610 Notice of intent to demolish.

A copy of any order requiring abatement by demolition shall be forthwith recorded with the Stanislaus County recorder. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.810)

1.17.620 Immediate (summary) abatement.

HMC 1.17.620 through 1.17.650 establish the procedures for summary abatement of conditions on real property constituting a public nuisance. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.830)

1.17.630 Authority.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, whenever the city determines that a condition on real property poses an imminent and substantial threat of life, limb, health, property, safety or welfare of anyone, the city may act to immediately notify the property owner or responsible party that the condition must be abated immediately. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.840)

1.17.640 Summary abatement procedures.

A. If, after making a good faith effort, the city is unable to contact the property owner or responsible party within a reasonable amount of time, or after contact is made and the property owner or responsible party fails to comply, the city may cause the abatement of the condition which poses an imminent and substantial endangerment to health, safety or welfare.

B. The city may exercise the following powers without prior notice to the property owner or responsible party:

1. Order the immediate vacation of any tenants and prohibit occupancy until all repairs are completed; or

2. Post the premises as unsafe, substandard or dangerous; or

3. Board, fence or secure the building or site; or

4. Raze and grade that portion of the building or site to prevent further collapse and remove any hazard to the general public; or

5. Make any minimal emergency repairs as necessary to eliminate any imminent health and safety hazard; or

6. Take any other action deemed as appropriate under the circumstances. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.850)

1.17.650 Enforcement and recovery of summary abatement costs.

A. The city shall pursue only the minimum level of correction or abatement as necessary to eliminate the immediacy of the hazard. Costs incurred by the city during the summary abatement process shall be assessed, collected and recovered against the responsible party through the procedures outlined in HMC 8.08.110.

B. The city may also pursue any other administrative or judicial remedy to abate any remaining public nuisance. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.860)

Article VII. Relocation Benefits for Displaced Tenants

1.17.660 Findings.

The city council of the city of Hughson finds and determines that:

A. Some residential rental units in the city may have severe code violations which threaten the life, health, and safety of tenants and require the units or rooms to be vacated to allow for extensive repairs. Such code violations are often caused by deferred maintenance, which may constitute a breach of the landlord’s implied warranty of habitability. Tenants of substandard residential units or structures suffer financial hardship when required to vacate their housing, because the owner fails to correct the substandard conditions.

B. It is appropriate to require the property owner to partially mitigate the tenant’s hardship, since the hardship arises from the owner’s failure to comply with the law and fulfill a landlord’s obligations to the tenants. Financial hardship arises, because the tenant generally needs a large sum of money to relocate, often including temporary housing, first and last month’s rent, deposits, moving expenses, storage expenses, and utility deposits for a new residence. Low-income tenants are generally unable to obtain such sums and, as a result, are at great risk of becoming homeless. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.870)

1.17.670 Relocation benefits owed by owner.

Any tenant who is displaced from any residential unit as a result of a notice and order to vacate due to unsafe or hazardous living conditions, issued by an authorized city official, shall be entitled to receive relocation benefits from the property as specified in this article. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.880)

1.17.680 Relocation benefits amount.

The relocation benefits shall be an amount equal to twice the established monthly rental rate paid by the tenant for the unit being vacated or the monthly amount paid by the tenant for the new unit where the tenant moves, whichever is less. The relocation benefits shall include an administrative fee per unit set by resolution of the city council. If the tenant is currently receiving general relief assistance from the county, the city may reimburse the county for its administrative expenses as determined by the county. This amount shall be added to the amount owed by the property owner. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.890)

1.17.690 Emergency relocation benefits.

If the notice and order to vacate requires the tenant to move out in 72 hours or less time, the tenant shall be entitled to the reasonable and actual cost for temporary housing (up to two weeks), moving expenses and the cost to store personal property (up to two weeks), while the tenant finds another place to live, in addition to the relocation benefits specified elsewhere in this article. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.900)

1.17.700 Payment of relocation benefits by city.

Any displaced tenant who needs relocation benefits may apply to the city planning and building department, or other department as designated from time to time by the city manager for benefits not later than 60 days after the date to vacate specified in the notice. In order for the tenant to be eligible for relocation benefits from the city, the tenant must have rented a new habitable unit within 60 days after the date to vacate. The city may recover from the property owner the amount the city pays in relocation benefits, emergency relocation benefits, and any amounts paid to the county plus the city’s administrative fee. (Ord. 08-08 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-11 § 1, 2006. Formerly 1.17.910)