Chapter 8.20
ABANDONED VEHICLES

Sections:

8.20.010    Findings of fact—Nuisance declared.

8.20.020    Definitions.

8.20.030    Regulations not exclusive.

8.20.040    Authority of public safety director to abate and remove.

8.20.050    Exemptions.

8.20.060    Notice of intention to abate and remove.

8.20.070    Public hearing upon request of owner of land or vehicle—Notice.

8.20.080    Disposal of personal property found in vehicle.

8.20.090    Conduct of hearing.

8.20.100    Appeals to city manager and council.

8.20.110    Abatement—Authorized.

8.20.120    Abatement—Notice to Department of Motor Vehicles.

8.20.130    Abatement—Penalty for refusal.

8.20.140    Assessment of costs.

8.20.150    Council to fix administrative costs.

8.20.160    Enforcement—Right of entry of enforcing officer.

8.20.170    Right of entry of those franchised to abate nuisance.

8.20.180    Authority of franchisee to remove abandoned vehicles.

8.20.190    Authority to immediately remove from highway vehicles which lack necessary equipment.

8.20.200    Removal—Notice to Department of Justice.

8.20.210    Costs of removal and disposition.

8.20.010 Findings of fact—Nuisance declared.

In addition to and in accordance with the determination made and the authority granted by the state under Section 22660 of the Vehicle Code to remove abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicles or parts thereof as public nuisances, the city council makes the following findings and declarations:

The accumulation and storage of abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicles, or parts thereof, on private or public property including highways is found to create a condition tending to reduce the value of private property, to promote blight and deterioration, to invite plundering, to create fire hazards, to constitute an attractive nuisance creating a hazard to the health and safety of minors, to create a harborage for rodents and insects and to be injurious to the health, safety and general welfare. Therefore, the presence of an abandoned, wrecked, dismantled, or inoperative vehicle, or parts thereof, on private or public property including highways, except as expressly permitted in this chapter is declared to constitute a public nuisance which may be abated as such in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 93-3 § 1(A), 1993; Ord. 84-6 § 1 (part), 1984)

8.20.020 Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

“Director of public safety” includes any officer or employee of the city designated by the director to enforce this chapter, including the execution of notices, holding of hearings and making of findings.

“Highway” means a way or place of whatever nature, publicly maintained and open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel. Highway includes street.

“Owner of land” means the owner of the land on which the vehicle, or parts thereof, is located, as shown on the last equalized assessment roll.

“Owner of the vehicle” means the last registered owner and legal owner of record.

“Public property” does not include highway.

“Vehicle” means a device by which any person or property may be propelled, moved, or drawn upon a highway, except a device moved by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks. (Ord. 84-6 § 1 (part), 1984)

8.20.030 Regulations not exclusive.

This chapter is not the exclusive regulation of abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicles within the city. It shall supplement and be in addition to the other regulatory codes, statutes and ordinances heretofore or hereafter enacted by the city, the state, or any other legal entity or agency having jurisdiction. (Ord. 84-6 § 1 (part), 1984)

8.20.040 Authority of public safety director to abate and remove.

Upon discovering the existence of an abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicle, or parts thereof, on private property or public property within the city, the public safety director shall have the authority to cause the abatement and removal thereof in accordance with the procedure prescribed in this chapter. (Ord. 84-6 § 1 (part), 1984)

8.20.050 Exemptions.

A.    This chapter shall not apply to:

1.    A vehicle or part thereof in an enclosed building or outside an enclosed building in an area of private property not visible from the street or other public or private property; provided, however, that this exclusion shall not apply to abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicles on private property without the permission of the person having lawful custody or control of such property;

2.    A vehicle or part thereof which is stored or parked in a lawful manner on private property in connection with the business of a licensed dismantler, licensed vehicle dealer, a junk dealer, or when such storage or parking is necessary to the operation of a lawfully conducted business or commercial enterprise.

B.    Nothing in this chapter shall authorize the maintenance of a public or private nuisance as defined under provisions of law other than Chapter 10, commencing with Section 22650, of Division II of the Vehicle Code and this chapter. (Ord. 84-6 § 1 (part), 1984)

8.20.060 Notice of intention to abate and remove.

A ten-day notice of intention to abate and remove the vehicle, or parts thereof, as a public nuisance shall be mailed by certified mail to the owner of the land and to the owner of the vehicle, unless the vehicle is in such condition that identification numbers are not available to determine ownership. The notices of intention shall be in substantially the following forms:

NOTICE OF INTENTION TO ABATE AND REMOVE AN ABANDONED, WRECKED, DISMANTLED, OR INOPERATIVE VEHICLE OR PARTS THEREOF AS A PUBLIC NUISANCE

(Name and address of owner of the land)

As owner shown on the last equalized assessment roll of the land located at ______________________________________________________________________________________, you are hereby notified that the undersigned, pursuant to Marina Municipal Code Section 8.20.010 et seq., has determined that there exists upon said land an abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicle, or parts thereof, registered to ________, license number ________, which constitutes a public nuisance pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 8.20 of the Marina Municipal Code.

You are hereby notified to abate said nuisance by removal of said vehicle, or said parts of a vehicle within ten (10) days from the date of mailing of this notice, and upon your failure to do so the same will be abated and removed by the city and the costs thereof, together with administrative costs, assessed to you as owner of the land on which said vehicle, or said parts thereof, is located.

As owner of the land on which said vehicle, or said parts thereof, is located, you are hereby notified that you may, within ten (10) days after the mailing of this notice of intention, request a public hearing and if such a request is not received by the public safety director within such (10) day period, the public safety director shall have the authority to abate and remove said vehicle, or said parts thereof, as a public nuisance and assess the costs as aforesaid without a public hearing. You may submit a sworn written statement within such ten (10) day period denying responsibility for the presence of such vehicle, or said parts thereof, on said land, with your reasons for denial, and such statement shall be construed as a request for hearing, which does not require the presence of the owner submitting such request. You may appear in person at any hearing requested by you or the owner of the vehicle or, in lieu thereof, may present a sworn written statement as aforesaid in time for consideration at such hearing.

Notice mailed:

(date)

NOTICE OF INTENTION TO ABATE AND REMOVE AN ABANDONED, WRECKED, DISMANTLED OR INOPERATIVE VEHICLE OR PARTS THEREOF AS A PUBLIC NUISANCE

(Name and address of last registered and/or legal owner of record of vehicle-notice should be given to both if different)

As last registered (and/or legal) owner of record of (description of vehicle-make, model, license, etc.), you are hereby notified that the undersigned, pursuant to Marina Municipal Code Section 8.20.010 et seq., has determined that said vehicle, or said parts thereof, exists as an abandoned, wrecked, dismantled, or inoperative vehicle at (describe location on public or private property) and constitutes a public nuisance pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 8.20 of the Marina Municipal Code.

You are hereby notified to abate said nuisance by the removal of said vehicle, or said parts thereof, within ten (10) days from the date of mailing of this notice.

As registered (and/or legal) owner of record of said vehicle, or said parts thereof, you are hereby notified that you may within ten (10) days after the mailing of this notice of intention, request a public hearing and if such a request is not received by the public safety director within such ten (10) day period, the public safety director shall have the authority to abate and remove said vehicle, or said parts thereof, without a hearing.

Notice mailed:

(date)

(Ord. 84-6 § 1 (part), 1984)

8.20.070 Public hearing upon request of owner of land or vehicle—Notice.

A.    Upon request by the owner of the vehicle or owner of the land, received by the public safety director within ten days after the mailing of the notices of intention to abate and remove, a public hearing shall be held by the public safety director on the question of abatement and removal of the vehicle, or parts thereof, as an abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicle, and the assessment of the administrative costs and the cost of removal of the vehicle, or parts thereof, against the property on which it is located.

B.    If the owner of the land submits a sworn written statement denying responsibility for the presence of the vehicle on his land within such ten-day period, such statement shall be construed as a request for a hearing which does not require the presence of the owner submitting the request. Notice of the hearing shall be mailed by certified mail at least ten days before the hearing to the owner of the land and to the owner of the vehicle, unless the vehicle is in such condition that identification numbers are not available to determine ownership. If such a request for hearing is not received within such ten days after mailing of the notice of intention to abate and remove, the city shall have the authority to abate and remove the vehicle, or parts thereof, as a public nuisance without holding a public hearing. (Ord. 84-6 § 1 (part), 1984)

8.20.080 Disposal of personal property found in vehicle.

A.    Personal property, including boats, found within or upon an abandoned vehicle may be disposed of as part of the proceedings for abatement and removal of the vehicle in which the personal property is found.

B.    Notices to property owners and vehicle owners required in this chapter shall contain a description of such property. In the case of a boat bearing California registration numbers, the department of harbors and watercraft shall be notified in the same manner as notice to the department of motor vehicles.

C.    At the time of the hearing, the public safety director shall order any personal property found in or upon an abandoned vehicle, destroyed, junked, sold or other property disposition considering its nature and value. (Ord. 84-6 § 1 (part), 1984)

8.20.090 Conduct of hearing.

A.    All hearings under this chapter shall be held before the public safety director who shall hear all facts and testimony he deems pertinent. Such facts and testimony may include testimony on the condition of the vehicle, or part thereof, and the circumstances concerning its location on the private property or public property. The public safety director shall not be limited by the technical rules of evidence. The owner of the land on which the vehicle is located may appear in person at the hearing, and deny responsibility for the presence of the vehicle on the land, with his reasons for such denial.

B.    The public safety director may impose such conditions and take such other action as he deems appropriate under the circumstances to carry out the purposes of this chapter. He may delay the time for removal of the vehicle, or part thereof, if, in his opinion, the circumstances justify it. At the conclusion of the public hearing, the public safety director may find that a vehicle, or part thereof, has been abandoned, wrecked, dismantled, or is inoperative on private or public property and order the same removed from the property as a public nuisance disposed of as provided in this chapter and determine the administrative costs and the cost of removal to be charged against the owner of the parcel of land on which the vehicle, or part thereof, is located. The order requiring removal shall include a description of the vehicle, or part thereof, and the correct identification number and license number of the vehicle, if available at the site.

C.    If it is determined at the hearing that the vehicle was placed on the land without the consent of the land owner and that he has not subsequently acquiesced in its presence, the public safety director shall not assess costs of administration or removal of the vehicle against the property upon which the vehicle is located or otherwise attempt to collect such costs from such land owner.

D.    If the land owner submits a sworn written statement denying responsibility for the presence of the vehicle on his land but does not appear, or if an interested party makes a written presentation to the public safety director but does not appear, he shall be notified in writing of the decision. (Ord. 84-6 § 1 (part), 1984)

8.20.100 Appeals to city manager and council.

A.    Any interested party may appeal the decision of the public safety director by filing a written notice of appeal with the city manager within five days after his decision.

B.    Such appeal shall be heard by the city manager, who may affirm, amend or reverse the order to take other action deemed appropriate.

C.    The city manager shall give written notice of the time and place of the hearing to the appellant and those persons specified in Section 8.20.090.

D.    In conducting the hearing, the city manager shall not be limited by the rules of evidence.

E.    Any interested party may further appeal the decision of the city manager to the city council, under the same rules and procedures set forth hereinabove regarding an appeal to the city manager. (Ord. 84-6 § 1 (part), 1984)

8.20.110 Abatement—Authorized.

Five days after adoption of the order declaring the vehicle, or parts thereof, to be a public nuisance, five days from the date of mailing of notice of the decision if such notice is required by Section 8.20.090, or fifteen days after such action of the governing body authorizing removal following appeal, the vehicle, or parts thereof, may be disposed of by removal to a scrapyard or automobile dismantler’s yard. After a vehicle has been removed, it shall not thereafter be reconstructed or made operable unless it is a vehicle which qualifies for either horseless carriage license plates pursuant to Section 5004 of the Vehicle Code, in which case the vehicle may be reconstructed or made operable. (Ord. 84-6 § 1 (part), 1984)

8.20.120 Abatement—Notice to Department of Motor Vehicles.

Within five days after the date of removal of the vehicle, or parts thereof, notice shall be given to the Department of Motor Vehicles identifying the vehicle, or parts thereof, removed. At the same time, there shall be transmitted to the Department of Motor Vehicles any evidence of registration available, including registration certificates, certificates of title and license plates. (Ord. 84-6 § 1 (part), 1984)

8.20.130 Abatement—Penalty for refusal.

It is unlawful and an infraction for any person to fail or refuse to remove an abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicle, or parts thereof, or refuse to abate such nuisance when ordered to do so in accordance with the abatement provisions of this chapter or state law where such state law is applicable. (Ord. 84-6 § 1 (part), 1984)

8.20.140 Assessment of costs.

If the administrative costs and the cost of removal which are charged against the owner of a parcel of land pursuant to Section 8.20.090 are not paid within thirty days of the date of the order, or the final disposition of an appeal therefrom, such costs shall be assessed against the parcel of land pursuant to Section 38773.5 of the Government Code and shall be transmitted to the tax collector for collection. Such assessment shall have the same priority as other city taxes. (Ord. 84-6 § 1 (part), 1984)

8.20.150 Council to fix administrative costs.

The city council shall from time to time determine and fix by resolution an amount to be assessed as administrative costs, excluding the actual cost of removal of any vehicle, or parts thereof, under this chapter. Administrative costs shall include any administrative, hearing and appeal costs, the salary and overhead of a vehicle abatement officer and secretary, vehicle mileage, postage and any necessary photographs. These costs are independent of those costs which might be assessed pursuant to Section 22523(c) of the California Vehicle Code. (Ord. 93-3 § 1(B), 1993; Ord. 84-6 § 1 (part), 1984)

8.20.160 Enforcement—Right of entry of enforcing officer.

Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the provisions of this chapter shall be administered and enforced by the public safety director. In the enforcement of this chapter, such officer and his deputies may enter upon private or public property to examine a vehicle, or parts thereof, or obtain information as to the identity of a vehicle and to remove or cause the removal of a vehicle or part thereof declared to be a nuisance pursuant to this chapter. (Ord. 84-6 § 1 (part), 1984)

8.20.170 Right of entry of those franchised to abate nuisance.

When the city council has contracted with or granted a franchise to any person or persons, such person or persons shall be authorized to enter upon private property or public property to remove or cause the removal of a vehicle, or parts thereof, declared to be a nuisance pursuant to this chapter. (Ord. 84-6 § 1 (part), 1984)

8.20.180 Authority of franchisee to remove abandoned vehicles.

When the city council has contracted with or granted a franchise to any person or persons pursuant to subdivision (a) of Vehicle Code Section 22710, such person or persons may remove a vehicle or parts thereof from a highway or may enter upon private property or public property to remove or cause the removal of a vehicle or part thereof, after a determination and authorization by a peace officer or vehicle abatement officer that the vehicle is abandoned. (Ord. 93-3 § 1(C) (part), 1993)

8.20.190 Authority to immediately remove from highway vehicles which lack necessary equipment.

Motor vehicles which are abandoned, parked, resting or otherwise immobilized on any highway or public right-of-way and which lack an engine, or transmission, or wheels, or tires, or doors, or windshield, or any part or equipment necessary to operate safely on the highways of this state, are a public nuisance and may be removed immediately upon discovery by a peace officer or employee. (Ord. 93-3 § 1(C) (part), 1993)

8.20.200 Removal—Notice to Department of Justice.

A.    Whenever an officer or an employee removing a California registered vehicle from a highway or from public property for storage under this chapter does not know or is not able to ascertain the name of the owner or for any other reason is unable to give notice to the owner as required by Vehicle Code Section 22852, the officer or employee shall immediately notify, or cause to be notified, the Department of Justice, Stolen Vehicle System, of its removal. The officer or employee shall file a notice with the proprietor of any public garage in which the vehicle may be stored. The notice shall include a complete description of the vehicle, the date, time and place from which removed, the amount of mileage on the vehicle at the time of removal, and the name of the garage or place where the vehicle is stored.

B.    Whenever an officer or an employee removing a vehicle not registered in California from a highway or from public property for storage under this chapter does not know or is not able to ascertain the owner or for any other reason is unable to give the notice to the owner as required by Vehicle Code Section 22852, the officer or employee shall immediately send, or cause to be sent, a written report of the removal by mail to the Department of Justice in Sacramento and shall file a copy of the notice with the proprietor of any public garage in which the vehicle may be stored. The report shall be made on a form furnished by that department and shall include a complete description of the vehicle, the date, time and place from which the vehicle was removed, the amount of mileage on the vehicle at the time of removal, the grounds for removal and the name of the garage or place where the vehicle is stored.

C.    Whenever an officer or employee or private party removing a vehicle from private property for storage under this chapter does not know or is not able to ascertain the name of the owner or for any other reason is unable to give the notice to the owner as required by Vehicle Code Section 22852 and if the vehicle is not returned to the owner within a period of one hundred twenty hours, the officer or employee or private party shall immediately send, or cause to be sent, a written report of the removal by mail to the Department of Justice in Sacramento and shall file a copy of the notice with the proprietor of any public garage in which the vehicle may be stored. The report shall be made on a form furnished by that department and shall include a complete description of the vehicle, the date, time and place from which the vehicle was removed, the amount of mileage on the vehicle at the time of removal, the grounds for removal, and the name of the garage or place where the vehicle is stored. (Ord. 93-3 § 1(C) (part), 1993)

8.20.210 Costs of removal and disposition.

The costs required to be paid for the removal and disposition of any vehicle determined to be abandoned pursuant to this chapter shall not exceed those for towing and seven days of storage. This section shall not apply if the registered owner or legal owner has completed and returned to the lienholder a Declaration of Opposition form within the time specified in Vehicle Code Section 22851.8. (Ord. 93-3 § 1(C) (part), 1993)