Chapter 6.18


6.18.010    Definitions.

6.18.020    Recordation of transfer of loan/deed of trust/assignment of rents.

6.18.030    Registration.

6.18.040    Compliance required.

6.18.050    Public nuisance.

6.18.060    Structural and building standards.

6.18.070    Fire safety.

6.18.080    Security standards.

6.18.090    Appearance.

6.18.100    Summary abatement (immediate or emergency need).

6.18.110    Abatement (nonemergency).

6.18.120    Notice to abate.

6.18.130    Service of notice.

6.18.140    Fees.

6.18.150    Fines.

6.18.160    Sunset date.

6.18.010 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:

A.    “Neglected vacant structure” is a structure which is vacant and is not maintained in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

B.    “Vacant” means a residential or commercial building which is not legally occupied for a period of more than thirty days. The definition includes manufactured housing or mobile homes located in a mobile home park.

1.    A structure is deemed to be not vacant for purposes of this chapter if any of the following circumstances exist:

a.    Any unit or portion of the structure is legally occupied;

b.    Any other structure on the same lot is legally occupied;

c.    Construction or alteration is in progress pursuant to a valid, unexpired building permit.

C.    “Director” means the community development director or other person designated by the community development director. Except as otherwise provided herein, the director shall have the authority to enforce the provisions of this chapter.

D.    “Assignment of rents” means an instrument that transfers the beneficial interest under a deed of trust from one lender/entity to another.

E.    “Beneficiary” means a lender under a note secured by a deed of trust.

F.    “Deed of trust” means an instrument by which title to real estate is transferred to a third party trustee as security for a real estate loan.

G.    “Deed in lieu of foreclosure/sale” means a recorded document that transfers ownership of a property from the trustor to the holder of a deed of trust upon consent of the beneficiary of the deed of trust.

H.    “Evidence of vacancy” means any condition that on its own, or combined with other conditions present, would lead a reasonable person to believe that the property is vacant. Such condition include but are not limited to overgrown and/or dead vegetation, accumulation of newspapers, circulars, flyers and/or mail, past-due utility notices and/or disconnected utilities, accumulation of trash, junk, and/or debris, the absence of window coverings, such as curtains, blinds and/or shutters, the absence of furnishings and/or personal items consistent with residential habitation, and statements by neighbors, passersby, delivery agents, and/or government employees that the property is vacant.

I.    “Neighborhood standard” means those conditions that are present on a simple majority of properties within a three-hundred-foot radius of an individual property. A property that is the subject of a neighborhood comparison, or any other abandoned property within the three-hundred-foot radius, shall not be counted toward the simple majority.

J.    “Notice of default” means a recorded notice that a default has occurred under a deed of trust and that the beneficiary intends to proceed with a trustee’s sale.

K.    “Owner of record” means the person having recorded title to the property at any given point in time the record is provided by the Stanislaus County recorder’s office.

L.    “Securing” means such measures as may be required by the director or his designee that assist in rendering the property inaccessible to unauthorized persons, including but not limited to the repairing of fences and walls, chaining/padlocking of gates, the repair or boarding of door, window, and/or other openings. Boarding shall be completed to a minimum of the current city standards at the time the boarding is completed or required.

M.    “Trustee” means the person, firm, corporation, or other entity holding a deed of trust on a property.

N.    “Trustor” means a borrower under a deed of trust, who deeds property to a trustee as security for the payment of a debt. (Ord. 704 § 1 (part), 2008).

6.18.020 Recordation of transfer of loan/deed of trust/assignment of rents.

Within ten days of the purchase and/or transfer of a loan/deed of trust secured by residential property, the beneficiary/trustee shall record, with the Stanislaus County recorder’s office, an assignment of rents, or similar document, that lists the name of the corporation, partnership, and/or individual, the mailing address and contact phone number of the beneficiary/trustee responsible for receiving payments associated with the loan/deed of trust. (Ord. 704 § 1 (part), 2008).

6.18.030 Registration.

Any beneficiary/trustee, who holds a deed of trust on a property located within the city of Patterson, shall perform an inspection of the property that is the security of the deed of trust, upon default by the trustor, prior to recording a notice of default with the Stanislaus County recorder’s office. If the property is found to be vacant or shows evidence of vacancy, it is, by this chapter, deemed abandoned and the beneficiary/trustee shall, within ten days of the inspection, register the property with the community development director or his designee on forms provided by the city.

If the property is occupied but remains in default it shall be inspected by the beneficiary/trustee, or his designee, monthly until (1) the trustor or other party remedies the default, or (2) it is found to be vacant or shows evidence of vacancy, at which time it is deemed abandoned, and the trustee shall, within ten days of that inspection, register the property with the community development director or his designee on forms provided by the city.

Registration shall contain the name of the beneficiary/trustee (corporation, partnership, or individual), the direct street/office mailing address of the beneficiary/trustee, a direct contact name and phone number for the beneficiary/trustee and, in the case of a corporation or out-of-area beneficiary/trustee, the local property management company(ies) responsible for the security, maintenance, and marketing of the property.

An annual registration fee shall accompany the registration form. The fee and registration shall be valid for the calendar year, or remaining portion of the calendar year in which the registration was initially required. Subsequent registrations and fees are due January 1st of each year and must be received no later than January 31st of the year due.

This section shall also apply to properties that have been the subject of a foreclosure sale where the title was transferred to the beneficiary of a deed of trust involved in the foreclosure and any properties transferred under a deed in lieu of foreclosure/sale.

Properties subject to this chapter shall remain under the annual registration requirement, security and maintenance standards of this section as long as they remain vacant.

Any person, firm, corporation, or other entity that has registered a property under this chapter must report any change of information contained in the registration within ten days of the change.

All vacant structures registered under the requirements of this chapter shall be posted with the name and twenty-four-hour contact phone number of the local property management company. The posting shall be no less than eighteen inches by twenty-four inches and shall be of a font that is legible from a distance of forty-five feet and shall contain, along with the name and twenty-four-hour contact number, the words, “THIS PROPERTY MANAGED BY” and “TO REPORT PROBLEMS OR CONCERNS CALL.” The posting shall be placed on the interior of a window facing the street toward the front of the property so it is visible from the street. (Ord. 704 § 1 (part), 2008).

6.18.040 Compliance required.

It shall be unlawful and a misdemeanor for any person who owns, controls, or is the responsible agent of a vacant structure to maintain, cause or permit the maintenance of the vacant structure in a neglected condition. (Ord. 704 § 1 (part), 2008).

6.18.050 Public nuisance.

A neglected vacant structure shall constitute a public nuisance. (Ord. 704 § 1 (part), 2008).

6.18.060 Structural and building standards.

A.    All vacant structures shall be maintained in a structurally sound condition.

B.    All electrical, natural gas, sanitary and plumbing facilities shall be maintained in a condition which does not create a hazard to public health or safety.

C.    All fences, walls, arbors or other, similar structures, whether of masonry, wood, metal, vinyl or other material, shall be either maintained in a structurally sound and visually presentable condition or completely removed, except as otherwise required by this title or Title 18 of this code. (Ord. 704 § 1 (part), 2008).

6.18.070 Fire safety.

A.    All vacant structures shall be maintained in a manner which does not create an unreasonable risk of fire, including the removal of weeds which may constitute a fire hazard.

B.    No vacant structure or portion thereof shall be used for the storage of flammable liquids or other materials which would constitute a safety or fire hazard.

C.    Heating facilities or heating equipment in vacant structures shall either be removed or maintained in accordance with applicable codes or ordinances. If heating equipment is removed, any fuel supply shall be removed or terminated in accordance with applicable codes and ordinances. (Ord. 704 § 1 (part), 2008).

6.18.080 Security standards.

A.    All vacant structures shall be maintained in a way which secures it from any unauthorized entry.

B.    The owner or responsible agent of a vacant structure which has suffered an unauthorized entry must provide security which meets the following minimum standards:

1.    All windows and sliding doors shall provide either intact glazing or be boarded over as set forth in the specifications on file with the code enforcement division of the community development department;

2.    Doors and service openings with thresholds located ten feet or less above the grade, stairway, landing, ramp, porch, roof or similarly accessible area shall provide resistance to entry equivalent to or greater than that of a closed single panel or hollow core door one and three-eighths inches thick equipped with a half-inch throw deadbolt or boarded as set forth in the specifications on file with Patterson police services;

3.    Exterior doors, if openable, may be closed from the interior of the structure by toe nailing them to the door frame using 10D or 16D galvanized nails;

4.    There shall be at least one operable door into each structure and into each housing unit. If an existing door is operable, it may be used and secured with a suitable lock such as a hasp and padlock or a one-half inch deadbolt or deadlatch;

5.    All locks shall be kept locked. (Ord. 704 § 1 (part), 2008).

6.18.090 Appearance.

A.    All vacant structures shall be maintained in such manner that the conditions listed in Section 6.16.020(A) shall not exist on such property.

B.    All vacant structures must be maintained in a manner that minimizes the appearance of vacancy, including removal of graffiti.

C.    All exterior surfaces, including any boarded windows or doors, shall be applied with sufficient paint, siding, stucco or other finishes, in the same color or similar color as the adjoining areas, to weatherproof the vacant structure and to create a sufficient appearance of repair to deter unauthorized occupation.

D.    The exterior of the vacant structure property, including all landscaping, shall be kept in such condition as not to create the appearance of an unsecured, unoccupied structure or other hazard to public safety.

E.    Visible front and side yards shall be landscaped and maintained to the neighborhood standard at the time registration was required.

1.    Landscape includes, but is not limited to, grass ground covers, bushes, shrubs, hedges or similar plantings, decorative rock or bark, or artificial turf/sod designed specifically for residential installation.

2.    Landscape does not include weeds, gravel, broken concrete, asphalt, decomposed granite, plastic sheeting, mulch, indoor-outdoor carpet, or any similar material.

3.    Maintenance includes, but is not limited to, regular watering, irrigation, cutting, pruning, and mowing of required landscaping and removal of all trimmings.

F.    Swimming pools, hot tubs, and spas shall be emptied or maintained to prevent the accumulation of floating scum, algae, and debris. (Ord. 704 § 1 (part), 2008).

6.18.100 Summary abatement (immediate or emergency need).

A.    Summary abatement shall be executed when the enforcement official determines that the public nuisance constitutes a danger to the structure itself, nearby property or structures, or an immediate and/or imminent peril to public health, safety or general welfare.

B.    Summary abatement is the abatement of the nuisance by the city, or a contractor of the city, by removal, demolition, repair or other acts with or without notice to the owner, agent or occupant of the property. The abatement shall be at the expense of the person causing, committing or maintaining the nuisance or the owner of the property on which it is occurring and shall constitute a lien against the property. (Ord. 704 § 1 (part), 2008).

6.18.110 Abatement (nonemergency).

If the nuisance is of a nonemergency nature, and the majority of the city council concurs during open session of a noticed public meeting that the nuisance violates this chapter the nuisance may be abated as set forth in Section 6.16.060 et seq. (Ord. 704 § 1 (part), 2008).

6.18.120 Notice to abate.

Notice to abate any violation of this chapter shall occur as set forth in Section 6.16.030. The form of the notice to abate shall substantially follow the form outlined in Section 6.16.040. (Ord. 704 § 1 (part), 2008).

6.18.130 Service of notice.

Such notices shall be given in the manner set forth in this section:

A.    The director, or such other official as may be designated by the city council, shall cause a notice or notices to be posted in a conspicuous place on or in front of the property upon which or from which such nuisance exists, as follows:

1.    One notice shall be posted on or in front of each separately owned parcel;

2.    Not more than two notices shall be posted on or in front of any parcel having a frontage of more than fifty feet and not more than one hundred feet.

3.    If the frontage of any parcel is greater than one hundred feet, notices shall be placed at intervals of not more than one hundred feet.

B.    In addition to posting of such notice or notices, the designated officer shall cause a similar notice to be mailed by United States mail, to the owner of the subject property as shown upon any city record, or upon the last equalized assessment roll or at his last known address, whichever he shall determine to be the best means of serving notice upon the actual owner. The failure of the owner to receive such notice shall not affect the power of the city or of its officers or employees to proceed as provided in this chapter.

C.    Such notice shall be posted or mailed, as the case may be, not less than fifteen days prior to the date set for a hearing upon objections as provided in Section 6.16.060. (Ord. 704 § 1 (part), 2008).

6.18.140 Fees.

The fees associated with registering an abandoned residential structure shall be set by resolution of the city council. (Ord. 704 § 1 (part), 2008).

6.18.150 Fines.

In addition to the cost of abatement, a fine in the amount of one thousand dollars per day shall be levied and assessed against any owner of a vacant residential property acquired through a foreclosure sale as provided in Civil Code Section 2929.3, a copy of which is set forth herein at length.


(a)(1) A legal owner shall maintain vacant residential property purchased by that owner at a foreclosure sale, or acquired by that owner through foreclosure under a mortgage or deed of trust. A governmental entity may impose a civil fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000) per day for a violation. If the government entity chooses to impose a fine pursuant to this section, it shall give notice of the alleged violation, including a description of the conditions that gave rise to the allegation, and notice of the entity’s intent to assess a civil fine if action to correct the violation is not commenced within a period of not less than 14 days and completed within a period of not less than 30 days. The notice shall be mailed to the address provided in the deed or other instrument as specified in subdivision (a) of Section 27321.5 of the Government Code, or, if none, to the return address provided on the deed or other instrument.

(2) The governmental entity shall provide a period of not less than 30 days for the legal owner to remedy the violation prior to imposing a civil fine and shall allow for a hearing and opportunity to contest any fine imposed. In determining the amount of the fine, the governmental entity shall take into consideration any timely and good faith efforts by the legal owner to remedy the violation. The maximum civil fine authorized by this section is one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each day that the owner fails to maintain the property, commencing on the day following the expiration of the period to remedy the violation established by the governmental entity.

(3) Subject to the provisions of this section, a governmental entity may establish different compliance periods for different conditions on the same property in the notice of alleged violation mailed to the legal owner.

(b) For purposes of this section, “failure to maintain” means failure to care for the exterior of the property, including, but not limited to, permitting excessive foliage growth that diminishes the value of surrounding properties, failing to take action to prevent trespassers or squatters from remaining on the property, or failing to take action to prevent mosquito larvae from growing in standing water or other conditions that create a public nuisance.

(Ord. 704 § 1 (part), 2008).

6.18.160 Sunset date.

This chapter shall remain in effect until January 1, 2013, and as of that date is repealed, unless the State of California enacts a statute before January 1, 2013, that either deletes or extends that date. (Ord. 704 § 1 (part), 2008).