Chapter 1.24
ADMINISTRATIVE CODE ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURES

Sections:

1.24.010    Purpose—Adoption of civil administrative fines and administrative guidelines and appeal procedures.

1.24.020    Applicability.

1.24.030    Definitions.

1.24.040    Maintaining public nuisances prohibited.

1.24.050    Abatement of unlawful conditions—Notice.

1.24.060    Extensions of time.

1.24.070    Amount of civil fines.

1.24.080    Manner of payment—Civil fines.

1.24.090    Director review of notices—Consolidation with other enforcement matter.

1.24.100    Appeal of administrative citations.

1.24.110    Hearing procedures for appeals of administrative citations.

1.24.120    Decision by hearing officer.

1.24.130    Decision by administrative review board or construction board of appeals.

1.24.140    No appeal to city council—Right to judicial review.

1.24.150    Collection of unpaid fines.

1.24.010 Purpose—Adoption of civil administrative fines and administrative guidelines and appeal procedures.

A. Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to enable the city, acting as a charter city pursuant to Article XI, Sections 5 and 7 of the State Constitution, to impose and collect civil administrative fines in conjunction with the enforcement of provisions of this code. Notwithstanding the provisions herein, the city has and shall continue to employ the philosophy of voluntary compliance when seeking compliance with this code as may be required by law.

B. Administrative Guidelines Approved by the City Council. The city shall prepare, promulgate, and update, as necessary, administrative citation and appeals guidelines which shall, among other things, establish policies for providing appropriate and adequate warnings with respect to possible municipal code violations to those persons who may receive an administrative citation, to provide direction to city staff for the correct process of issuing an administrative citation, and to establish the proper format of the administrative citation, and for service of that administrative citation in a manner consistent with the requirements of this chapter, due process and any other applicable law (hereinafter referred to as the “administrative citation guidelines”). Such administrative citation guidelines shall be expressly approved by a resolution of the city council prior to their adoption.

C. Effect on Title 15 Violations. The hearing requirements and procedures set forth in this chapter, as they relate to the administrative review of administrative citations, shall supersede any conflicting provisions within the municipal code or any of the codes adopted by Section 15.02.010 and amended by Section 15.04.010 and following. (Ord. 1625 § 1 (part), 2015)

1.24.020 Applicability.

A. Enforcement of the Municipal Code. This chapter makes any violation of the provisions of the San Luis Obispo Municipal Code, including but not limited to all construction, fire safety and property maintenance codes adopted by reference and as amended pursuant to Title 15, subject to administrative fines.

B. Administrative Authority. This chapter establishes the procedures for the imposition, enforcement, collection, and review of civil administrative fines pursuant to State Government Code Section 53069.4 and pursuant to the city’s plenary police powers as a charter city.

C. Remedies Not Exclusive. The use of the administrative enforcement remedies provided by this chapter is solely at the city’s discretion. By adopting this chapter, the city does not intend to limit its discretion to choose the use of any other remedy, civil or criminal, or other administrative procedures, for the abatement of such violations that the city may select in a particular case, including procedures for the imposition of civil or criminal penalties.

D. Strict Liability of the Owner. Because serious code violations may impact public health, welfare, and safety and the adequacy and safety of housing, this chapter is intended to impose strict civil liability upon the owners of real property (or the owner of a business where the violation is caused by or relates to the operation of a business) for all violations of the San Luis Obispo Municipal Code which may occur in the city of San Luis Obispo regardless of the existence of specific or general intent or prior knowledge of such violations and, further, regardless of any intent (or lack thereof) to violate the code. (Ord. 1625 § 1 (part), 2015)

1.24.030 Definitions.

The following definitions apply to the use of these terms for the purposes of this chapter:

A. Administrative Citation. Document issued by the director levying or assessing a civil fine as set by city council resolution as a penalty for a code violation.

B. Administrative Review Board. Adjudicatory body appointed by the city council responsible for conducting administrative hearings of appeals of administrative citations issued for municipal code violations, excluding those issued for violations of Title 15 and for non-Title 15 violations issued in conjunction with a citation for a Title 15 violation, where the decision may be challenged by writ to the superior court. Members of this board may serve simultaneously on another advisory body pursuant to San Luis Obispo Council Policies and Procedures Section 6.7.2.5.

C. Code Violation. Any violation of the San Luis Obispo Municipal Code or any code adopted by reference therein.

D. Construction Board of Appeals. Adjudicatory body appointed by city council responsible for conducting administrative review of appeals of administrative citations issued for all violations of Title 15, as well as appeals of administrative citations for non-Title 15 code violations issued in conjunction with the Title 15 violation(s).

E. Director. The city manager or department head, or his or her designee, responsible for enforcing the municipal code with respect to his or her department on behalf of the city.

F. Effective Date of Administrative Citation. The date specified in the administrative citation as the effective date. Generally the effective date will be the date the administrative citation is issued. However, for code violations of building, plumbing, electrical or other similar structural or zoning regulations that do not create an immediate danger to health or safety, the effective date will be as specified in the notice to correct, which date shall not be less than ten days after the notice to correct or notice of violation is issued.

G. Fine Payment Due Date. The date the administrative citation fine is due. It shall be at least ten days after the effective date of the administrative citation.

H. Hearing Officer. The person appointed by the city attorney, or his or her designee, to serve as the hearing officer for conducting administrative hearings of appeals of administrative citations issued for municipal code violations, excepting those issued for violations of Title 15 and for non-Title 15 violations issued in conjunction with a citation for a Title 15 violation, where the decision may be appealed directly to the superior court pursuant to Government Code Section 53069.4 for a de novo hearing.

I. Issued. Giving, mailing, personally serving or posting a notice to correct, notice of violation and/or an administrative citation to a person. The notice or administrative citation shall be deemed issued on the earliest of the date on which the notice and/or administrative citation is personally served on a person, the date it is mailed to a person by posting in the regular United States mail, or the date it is physically posted on real property where a property related code violation is occurring. If the property is physically posted, notice shall also be given by mail as soon as possible.

J. Notice to Correct. A notice of code violation that pertains to continuing building, plumbing, electrical, or other similar structural or zoning violations that do not create an immediate danger to health or safety. The notice to correct usually serves as a courtesy notice and opportunity to correct or consult with staff regarding the alleged code violation, and does not serve as a final order, decision or determination made by the chief building official or fire official. The notice to correct may be served concurrently with a notice of violation and/or administrative citation; provided, the administrative citation shall have an effective date at least ten days after the date the notice to correct is issued.

K. Notice of Violation. A written notice issued to a person(s) advising them that they are in violation of the San Luis Obispo Municipal Code with respect to certain real property or the operation of a certain business, or individual behavior, which is served concurrently with an administrative citation assessing a civil fine as set by city council resolution as a penalty for a municipal code violation. Subsequent notices regarding the same type of violation, within any twelve-month period, may be cause for imposing additional administrative fines without warning. The notice of violation must be issued at least ten days prior to the effective date of an administrative citation if it pertains to building, plumbing, electrical, structural, zoning, storm water or other violation that does not create an immediate danger to health or safety.

L. Person. Any of the following:

1. An individual who causes a code violation to occur.

2. An individual who maintains or allows a code violation to continue, by his or her action or failure to act in a lawful manner.

3. An individual whose agent, employee, or independent contractor causes a code violation by its action or failure to act in a lawful manner.

4. An individual who is an owner of real property where a property related code violation occurs.

5. An individual who is an owner of a business or who is the on-site manager of a business and who normally works at the site when the business is open and is responsible for the activities at such premises. For purposes of this subsection, “person” includes a natural person or a legal entity including, but not limited to, the owners, majority stockholders, corporate officers, trustees, and general partners of a legal entity. There shall be a legally rebuttable presumption that the record owner of a parcel as listed on the county’s latest equalized property tax assessment rolls is the person responsible for a code violation on such parcel. In addition, where applicable, a commercial lessee, sublessee, or operator of a business on a parcel shall be presumed responsible for code violations relating to the operation of the business (for example, sign ordinance violations) on that parcel.

6. An individual who is an owner of real property where a violation of the city’s noise or unruly gathering ordinance(s) occurs after notification of a previous violation, in accordance with Chapters 9.12 and 9.13. (Ord. 1625 § 1 (part), 2015)

1.24.040 Maintaining public nuisances prohibited.

Pursuant to the authority of California Government Code Section 38771 and Sections 1.12.070 and 1.12.080, any continuing violation of the San Luis Obispo Municipal Code constitutes a public nuisance. Therefore, any person owning or having possession of any real property in the city of San Luis Obispo who is in violation of any provision of the San Luis Obispo Municipal Code may be determined to be maintaining a public nuisance; provided, however, that it shall not be the intent of the city that this chapter preempt any private nuisance right of action or any and all other legal remedies available to private parties to abate such nuisances. (Ord. 1625 § 1 (part), 2015)

1.24.050 Abatement of unlawful conditions—Notice.

A. Inspections. Whenever city staff has inspected a property and finds that conditions constituting a violation of the municipal code exist thereon, the director may use the procedures set forth in this chapter to abate such nuisance as authorized by law.

B. Notice of Violation and Administrative Citation Issuance. The director may issue a notice of violation, notice to correct and/or administrative citation for a violation to any person or persons if the director has determined, through investigation, a violation exists. A person to whom an administrative citation is issued shall be liable for and shall pay to the city the administrative fine or fines described in the citation when due pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

C. Development Review Conditions. Every person who applies for and receives a permit, license, or any type of land use approval (such as, but not limited to, a development review approval, a subdivision map approval, a conditional or special use permit, a zoning requirement modification, a variance, or other discretionary approval) shall comply with all mandatory approval conditions imposed upon the issuance of the permit, license, or other such approval. If a person violates any condition of such permit, license, or similar land use approval, that person may be issued a notice of violation, notice to correct, and/or administrative citation and may be held responsible for administrative fines under the provisions of this chapter.

D. Continuing Violations. Except as provided elsewhere in the municipal code, each day a violation of this code exists shall be a separate and distinct violation and may be subject to a separate administrative fine. Certain provisions of this code, including but not limited to those relating to noise and unruly gatherings, provide that each hour that a violation exists shall be a separate and distinct violation. An administrative citation may charge a violation for one or more days or hours, as applicable, on which a violation exists and for violation of one or more applicable code sections.

E. Prior and Repeat Violations. The city may take into consideration the fact that a person has been previously issued an uncorrected notice of violation and/or a sustained administrative citation when the city is determining whether to accept an application or to grant any permit, license or any similar type of land use approval for that person and such notice of violation and/or administrative citation may be used as evidence that the person has committed acts that are not compatible with the health, safety, and general welfare of other persons and businesses within the city. Repeated violations of the same code provision within any twelve-month period may result in the issuance of an administrative citation(s) imposing additional administrative fines without a notice of violation and/or notice to correct preceding the citation.

F. Contents of Notice of Violation, Notice to Correct and/or Administrative Citation. The director shall generally issue a notice of violation, notice to correct and/or administrative citation to person(s) responsible for a code violation as set forth in Section 1.24.030(L). The administrative citation guidelines as approved by the city council pursuant to Section 1.24.010 shall, among other things, identify those items of information which must be contained in the notice of violation and/or administrative citation issued to persons and alleging a violation of the municipal code, but must, at a minimum, inform the responsible person of the nature of the violation charged, any right to correct the violation, and/or the right to appeal any citation, as well as the process by which to verify to the city the correction of violation(s) and/or the process to appeal citations.

G. Service. The notice of violation, notice to correct and/or administrative citation and any amended notice of violation and/or administrative citation shall be served by mail or personal service or posted on the property where the code violation is occurring in the manner provided for in the approved administrative citation guidelines.

H. Proof of Service. Proof of personal service of the notice of violation and/or administrative citation shall be documented as provided for in the approved administrative citation guidelines. (Ord. 1625 § 1 (part), 2015)

1.24.060 Extensions of time.

The director may grant an extension of any fine due date and abatement deadline if the director determines that such an extension of time will not create or perpetuate an imminent danger to the public health and safety. The director shall have the authority to place reasonable conditions on such an extension. (Ord. 1625 § 1 (part), 2015)

1.24.070 Amount of civil fines.

A. Fine Schedule. The amount of fines for violating particular provisions of the code shall be set in a schedule of fines adopted by resolution by the city council. The schedule may include escalating fine amounts for repeat code violations occurring within specified periods of time.

B. Due Date for Fines. Fines are due as specified in the administrative citation or, in the event of an unsuccessful appeal, as determined by the hearing officer, administrative review board, or construction board of appeals. (Ord. 1625 § 1 (part), 2015)

1.24.080 Manner of payment—Civil fines.

A. Paid by Mail. Fines shall be paid to the city on or before the due date. Payment shall be made by check or money order. The director, for purposes of convenience and ease of processing, may authorize payment to be made in accordance with any other method, including designating a location within the city for such payments.

B. Further Violations. Payment of an administrative fine shall not excuse the person from correcting the code violation. The issuance of an administrative citation or the payment of a fine does not preclude the city from taking any other enforcement or legal action regarding a code violation that is not corrected, including issuing additional administrative citations or the initiation of criminal or civil abatement proceedings. (Ord. 1625 § 1 (part), 2015)

1.24.090 Director review of notices—Consolidation with other enforcement matter.

A. Within five days of issuance of a notice to correct/notice of violation for a continuing building, plumbing, electrical or other structural or zoning violation that does not create an immediate danger to health or safety, a person receiving such notice(s) and citation may request in writing that the director review a contested notice to correct and/or notice of violation. The director, or his or her designee, shall review all contested notices prior to the effective date of an administrative citation. The director shall have the authority to modify or rescind any contested notice that he or she finds was issued in error based on the code section noticed or other information provided by the noticed person. If the director does not modify or rescind any contested notice or fails to take any action by the effective date of the administrative citation, the notice and citation, and deadlines stated in each, remain in full force. There is no separate right to appeal from the director’s review or determination on a notice of correction or violation, but any assertions of error or challenges to the director’s review or determination may be raised as part of any appeal from an administrative citation pursuant to Section 1.24.100.

B. If an administrative citation is issued in conjunction with a related city enforcement action and the other action requires review by another advisory body (i.e., the planning commission) or city council, the city manager, or city manager’s designee, in his or her sole discretion, may consolidate review of the administrative citation with the review of the other related action(s), and refer review of all related matters to the body with jurisdiction over the violation requiring the highest level of review. (Ord. 1625 § 1 (part), 2015)

1.24.100 Appeal of administrative citations.

A. Appeal. Any person aggrieved by the action of the director in issuing an administrative citation pursuant to the provisions of this chapter may appeal such citation. To appeal an administrative citation, the appellant shall file a signed written appeal that must be received by the city clerk within ten days of the effective date of the administrative citation. The request for appeal shall be deemed filed on the date received by the city clerk. If no appeal is filed within ten days of the effective date of the administrative citation, the administrative citation shall be deemed final.

B. Appeal Process.

1. Title 15 Violations (Building, Plumbing, Housing, Fire Code, Etc.). For administrative citations for violations of Title 15 and all non-Title 15 violations issued in conjunction with violations of Title 15, the appeal shall be to the construction board of appeals, with a right to appeal either directly to the superior court pursuant to Government Code Section 53069.4 or to petition for a writ to the superior court.

2. Election of Appeal Process for Non-Title 15 Violations. For all other administrative citations not eligible for appeal to the construction board of appeals, an appellant may elect either of the following:

a. Where an appellant does not wish to challenge the administrative citation or any final city action related to the citation in court by any writ action, an appellant may elect an expedited appeal process to a city hearing officer, whose final decision may be appealed directly to the superior court for de novo review pursuant to Government Code Section 53069.4.

b. Where an appellant wishes to challenge the administrative citation or any final city action related to the citation in court by any writ action, such appeal shall be made to the administrative review board to ensure preparation of an adequate administrative record. The decision of the hearing body may be appealed either directly to superior court for de novo review pursuant to Government Code Section 53069.4 or the appellant may file a petition for a writ to the superior court. For purposes of writ review, the decision of the administrative review board shall be final and the completed appeal to the administrative review board shall satisfy administrative exhaustion requirements of the city.

c. Only one appeal process may be chosen, and once chosen, the election is final.

C. Contents of Appeal. The written appeal shall state the following information:

1. A caption setting forth the names, addresses, phone numbers and other contact information appellants wish city to have, of all appellants participating in the appeal.

2. A brief statement setting forth the interest of each of the appellants, either as the recipient of the notice of violation and administrative citation, or the legal interest of each in the building or property that is the subject of the notice of violation and administrative citation.

3. A brief statement describing: (a) the specific notice(s) of violation and administrative citation(s) appealed, by date of notice of violation and administrative citation, address of property cited or location where an individual was cited, and municipal code violations cited, (b) whether all or only specified code violations are being appealed, (c) why the appellant is appealing the notice of violation and administrative citation, and why the notice of violation and administrative citation should be revoked, modified or otherwise set aside.

4. For non-Title 15 code violations, pursuant to subsection B of this section, a statement whether the appellant elects either to proceed with a hearing officer (if no writ will be sought) or to the administrative review board (if the appellant intends to challenge city action by writ).

For Title 15 violations, and non-Title 15 violations issued in conjunction with a Title 15 violation, the appeal shall be scheduled by staff to be heard by the construction board of appeals.

Failure to request hearing before the construction board of appeals or administrative review board within the time for the filing of an appeal will constitute a failure to exhaust administrative remedies for purposes of any subsequently filed writ action.

5. A statement that all of the matters alleged in the appeal are true, followed by the signature(s) of each appellant(s), and one official mailing address for the appellant(s) to receive further notices from city relating to the appeal. (Ord. 1625 § 1 (part), 2015)

1.24.110 Hearing procedures for appeals of administrative citations.

A. Applicable Hearing Officer or Board. In accordance with the procedures set forth below, after receipt of a timely filed appeal, the following shall hear the appeal:

1. For appeals of administrative citations issued for violations of Title 15, and non-Title 15 violations issued in conjunction with a Title 15 violation, the construction board of appeals shall hear the appeal.

2. For appeals of administrative citations outside the jurisdiction of the construction board of appeals in subsection (A)(1) of this section, where the person elects to have the right of appeal for a de novo hearing in the superior court under Government Code Section 53069.4, the hearing officer shall hear the appeal. The hearing officer shall be the person designated by the city attorney to serve as the hearing officer.

3. For appeals of administrative citations outside the jurisdiction of the construction board of appeals in subsection (A)(1) of this section, where the appellant may wish to challenge city action by writ, and timely elects to appeal to the administrative review board, the administrative review board shall hear the appeal.

4. For appeals of administrative citations outside the jurisdiction of the construction board of appeals in subsection (A)(1) of this section, if the person fails to elect an appeal process for non-Title 15 violations, the hearing officer shall hear the appeal.

B. Time and Place of Hearings—Challenge of Hearing Officer and Board Member for Cause. Hearings shall be conducted by a hearing officer, the administrative review board or construction board of appeals, as applicable, on the date, time and place specified in writing by the city and delivered to the appellant in a hearing notice. Such date shall not be less than ten days or more than sixty days from the date the appeal was filed with the city clerk.

In the hearing notice, the city shall identify the hearing officer or members of the administrative review board or construction board of appeals hearing the appeal. An appellant may challenge a hearing officer or member(s) of the administrative review board or construction board of appeals from hearing their appeal, but only for good cause, and the reasons shall be specified in writing received by the director within ten days after the date of mailing of the notice. The fact that a hearing officer or member of the administrative review board or construction board of appeals has conducted a previous appeal hearing involving the person shall not constitute good cause. The director shall notify the challenged hearing officer or member(s) of the applicable board and give the challenged officer the opportunity to disqualify himself or herself. If he or she chooses not to disqualify, he or she shall do so in writing documenting the reasons why disqualification is not required. The appellant shall be notified of the challenged officer’s decision, and the hearing shall proceed as scheduled. The person’s challenge and the decision not to disqualify shall become part of the administrative record. If the hearing officer disqualifies himself or herself, the city attorney shall appoint another hearing officer. If a member or members of a board disqualifies(y) himself or herself, the hearing shall proceed with the remaining member(s) and a hearing officer(s) appointed by the city attorney to replace each disqualified member.

C. Appeal of Records. The director shall ensure that the administrative citation and any supporting documentation are delivered to the applicable hearing officer or board in sufficient time prior to the appeal hearing.

D. Presentation of Evidence. The appellant shall be given the opportunity to testify and to present evidence relevant to the code violation specified in the administrative citation.

E. Use of Reports as Evidence. The administrative citation and any documents, exhibits, reports or other materials prepared by city staff or by the director concerning a code violation or an attempted correction of a code violation that are provided to the applicable hearing officer or board shall be accepted by the hearing officer or board as prima facie evidence of the code violation and of the facts stated in such documents.

F. Witnesses—Additional Evidence—Submission of Written Evidence by Appellant Who Does Not Appear. Neither city staff nor any other representative of the city shall be required to attend the appeal hearing, nor shall the hearing officer nor applicable board require that there be submitted any evidence, other than the administrative citation and documentation relating to the citation that city relied on in issuing the citation, that may exist among the public records of the city with respect to the violation. However, any such appearance or submission may be made at the discretion of the director.

If the appellant has communicated that he or she does not intend to appear at the scheduled hearing, but submits written evidence to the hearing officer or board and the director at least ten days prior to the hearing, the hearing officer or board may consider that evidence. Any additional evidence prepared by city staff may also be considered by the hearing officer or board; provided, that it has been issued to the appellant, by certified mail, at least five days prior to the hearing.

G. Continuances. The applicable hearing officer or board may continue an appeal hearing if a request is made showing good cause by the appellant or the director. Except in case of medical or other emergency, all continuance requests shall be made by a written request received by the applicable hearing officer or board from the director or the appellant within five days of the date of the written notice advising of the time, date and place of hearing. If the continuance is granted, a new hearing date shall be set within thirty days. If the continuance is denied, the hearing shall proceed then and there as scheduled, and if the appellant is not present, and the appellant has not presented any written evidence pursuant to subsection F of this section, the request(s) shall be deemed abandoned in accordance with subsection J of this section.

H. Rules of Evidence. The appeal hearing shall be conducted informally and the legal or formal rules of evidence need not be followed.

I. No Subpoena Power. The hearing officer, the administrative review board and/or the construction board of appeals do not have the authority to issue a subpoena.

J. Failure to Appear. The failure of the appellant to appear at the hearing, unless the hearing was continued per subsection G of this section, or unless the appellant has submitted written evidence per subsection F of this section, shall constitute an abandonment of the appeal, and shall constitute a failure to exhaust administrative remedies concerning the violations set forth in the administrative citation.

K. Recordation of Board Hearings. The audio portion of every hearing before the construction board of appeals or the administrative review board shall be recorded. Any party to the hearing may, at their own expense, also record such hearings by court or other reporter or video recording, or other means, provided the recording method does not interfere with the conduct of the hearing. Any party recording the hearing by any means shall make a copy available to any other party upon request and payment of reasonable duplication cost.

L. Additional Hearing Procedural Requirements. Any additional procedural requirements for hearings may be specified in the administrative citation and appeals guidelines. (Ord. 1625 § 1 (part), 2015)

1.24.120 Decision by hearing officer.

A. Decision by Hearing Officer. After considering all the evidence and testimony submitted at an appeal hearing, the hearing officer shall issue a written decision within ten business days to either uphold or revoke the administrative citation based upon a conclusion of whether the violation occurred. If an administrative citation charges two or more code violations, the hearing officer may uphold all violations, or uphold some violations but not all violations, or dismiss some or all violations. The hearing officer does not have the authority to reduce or modify a fine for a violation that is upheld on appeal. If a violation is not upheld, the administrative citation shall be revoked. The notice of decision shall be mailed by first class and certified mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested, to the appellant or their designated representative. The failure by the appellant to appear at the appeal hearing shall be noted on the notice of decision by the hearing officer. The decision of the hearing officer shall be final.

B. Payment of Fine After Appeal Decision. The filing of an appeal from a decision by the hearing officer shall suspend any fine assessed in the administrative citation. In the event that the administrative citation is revoked, no payment of the fine is due. In the event that the administrative citation is upheld, a new compliance deadline and fine due date shall be established by the hearing officer and indicated on the decision for the appeal, which shall not be less than ten days nor more than thirty days after the date the decision is mailed.

C. Effect of Revocation of Citation. Revocation of the administrative citation by the hearing officer shall void the administrative citation fine. (Ord. 1625 § 1 (part), 2015)

1.24.130 Decision by administrative review board or construction board of appeals.

A. Decision by Board. After considering all the evidence and testimony submitted at an appeal hearing, the administrative review board or construction board of appeals, as applicable, shall issue a decision, as further described in the administrative citation and appeals guidelines, within thirty calendar days to either uphold or revoke the administrative citation based upon a conclusion of whether the violation occurred. A decision must be supported by a majority of the applicable board. A member shall not vote if he or she did not hear all the evidence or listen to or read the entire hearing record. If an administrative citation charges two or more code violations, the applicable board may uphold all violations, or uphold some violations but not all violations, or dismiss some or all violations. The written decision shall also summarize the evidence, and shall be supported by written findings of fact. The administrative review board and the construction board of appeals do not have the authority to reduce or modify a fine of a violation that is upheld on appeal. If a violation is not upheld, the administrative citation shall be revoked. The notice of decision shall be mailed by first class and certified mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested, to the appellant or their designated representative. The failure by the appellant to appear at the appeal hearing shall be noted on the notice of decision. The decision of the administrative review board or construction board of appeals shall be final.

The written decision may be, but is not required to be, adopted by resolution and shall contain, at a minimum, the following:

1. Name of appellant;

2. Date of administrative citation, municipal code violations charged, location of subject property (if applicable);

3. Date, time, and place of appeal hearing, and the identity of board members;

4. The names of all people participating in the hearing and their capacity, either as appellant, representative of appellant, witness for or against appellant, city staff or otherwise;

5. A statement that the hearing was recorded, the method of recordation, and that recording is in the custody of the city clerk;

6. A statement whether the appellant or designated representative was present or failed to appear;

7. If no one appeared on behalf of appellant, a statement whether appellant submitted any written or other evidence;

8. A statement that the board received the administrative citation and supporting information as prima facie evidence;

9. A brief summary of all credible relevant testimony and the identity of the witness giving it;

10. A list of all physical evidence, including, but not limited to photographs, maps, drawings, and documents;

11. A statement whether the board upholds, revokes or modifies the administrative citation(s), as to each municipal code violation charged;

12. A statement as to which oral or physical evidence the board found credible in support of the decision;

13. If the decision upholds the administrative citation, in whole or in part, the decision shall specify the due date for payment of the fine, which shall not be less than ten days nor more than thirty days after the date the decision is mailed;

14. The names and votes of members of the board, showing that a majority of the members of the board supported the decision;

15. The signature of the chairman of the board or his or her designee, and the date of signature.

B. Payment of Fine After Appeal Decision. The filing of an appeal from a decision by the administrative review board or the construction board of appeals, or a petition for writ, shall suspend any fine assessed in the administrative citation. In the event that the administrative citation is revoked, no payment of the fine is due. In the event that the administrative citation is upheld, a new compliance deadline and fine due date shall be established by the applicable board and indicated on the notice of decision for the appeal.

C. Effect of Revocation of Citation. Revocation of the administrative citation by the administrative review board or construction board of appeals shall void the administrative citation fine. (Ord. 1625 § 1 (part), 2015)

1.24.140 No appeal to city council—Right to judicial review.

A. Notice of Decision Is Final. The notice of the decision by either the hearing officer or administrative review board or construction board of appeals is final, and is not subject to appeal to the city council pursuant to Chapter 1.20.

B. Judicial Review After Any Hearing—Applicability of Government Code Section 53069.4.

1. The appellant may seek judicial review of any decision by the hearing officer or applicable board, by filing a further appeal with the San Luis Obispo superior court within twenty calendar days after service of the decision, in accordance with the provisions of California Government Code Section 53069.4. The appeal filed with the court must also contain a proof of service showing a copy of the appeal was served upon the city clerk for the city of San Luis Obispo. The appellant must pay to the superior court the appropriate court filing fee when the appeal is filed. An appellant who elected to have the appeal heard by a hearing officer cannot seek judicial review by petition for writ.

2. Failure to Exhaust Administrative Appeal. No appeal is permitted from a decision where the appellant is deemed to have abandoned the contest of the administrative citation by an unexcused failure to appear at the appeal hearing or by the failure to request an administrative appeal hearing before the hearing officer or applicable board.

3. Forwarding of Records to Superior Court. The city attorney or the city attorney’s designee shall forward to the superior court within fifteen days of the court’s request the pertinent administrative citation documents for any case appealed to that court. If the superior court revokes any administrative citation, the city will refund to the appellant the superior court filing fee paid by the appellant.

C. Judicial Review After Hearing by Administrative Review Board or Construction Board of Appeals—Petition for Writ.

1. The appellant may seek judicial review of the administrative review board’s or construction board of appeals’ decision by filing a petition for writ with the San Luis Obispo superior court. The time within which the petition must be filed and the applicable requirements are governed by the California Code of Civil Procedure. The petition for writ filed with the court must also contain a proof of service showing a copy of the petition for writ was served upon the city clerk. The petitioner must pay to the superior court the appropriate court filing fee when the petition is filed.

2. Failure to Exhaust Administrative Appeal. No petition for writ is permitted from a decision where the appellant is deemed to have abandoned the contest of the administrative citation by an unexcused failure to appear at the appeal hearing or by the failure to request an administrative appeal hearing before the administrative review board or construction board of appeals.

3. Preparation of Administrative Record. Upon request of the superior court, and petitioner’s payment to city of the costs of preparing the administrative record, the city attorney or city attorney’s designee shall have the administrative record prepared and forwarded to the superior court. (Ord. 1625 § 1 (part), 2015)

1.24.150 Collection of unpaid fines.

A. City Remedies. The city, at its discretion, may pursue any and all legal, equitable, and administrative remedies for the collection of unpaid civil administrative fines. A civil administrative fine shall be deemed unpaid the day after the due date set by the administrative citation, or if appealed, the day after the due date set by the hearing officer or applicable board in its decision. If the decision of the hearing officer or applicable board is appealed to, or petition for writ filed with, the superior court, the civil administrative fine shall be deemed unpaid the day after the due date set by the superior court. If the superior court upholds the administrative citation, but fails to set a due date, the fine shall be deemed unpaid on the eleventh day after the superior court decision is mailed.

1. Remedies Cumulative. Pursuit of one remedy does not preclude the pursuit of any other remedies.

2. Refusal to Issue Permits. A city department may refuse to accept an application for a city permit or license or refuse to issue, extend, or renew to any person who has unpaid delinquent fines, liens, or assessments any city permit, license, or other city approval pertaining to the property that is the subject of unpaid delinquent fines, liens or assessments.

3. Suspension of Issued Permits. Notwithstanding any other provision of the code, any permit, license, or any type of land use approval issued by the city to a person who has unpaid administrative citations totaling five hundred dollars or more which remain delinquent for thirty days or longer may be suspended by the department which issued the permit or other entitlement. The suspension becomes effective ten days after the date the notice of the suspension is placed by the issuing department in the United States mail postage prepaid, addressed to the person, and continues until the administrative delinquency is paid in full. The person may request an appeal or review hearing pursuant to the specific permit, license, or other city approval procedures or ordinance if such a request is filed before the ten-day period ends.

4. Criminal Remedies. The city attorney, at his or her discretion, may also issue a criminal citation or complaint (infraction or misdemeanor) to any person for a code violation.

B. Violations Constitute a Public Nuisance. The director may pursue the remedies described in this section whether or not the city is pursuing any other action to terminate an ongoing code violation that was the basis for an administrative citation or to otherwise abate the violation or sanction the property owner. To compel code compliance, the city may also seek to collect assessed fines by means of a nuisance abatement lien or special assessment against the property where a property related violation occurred in accordance with the procedures in Government Code Sections 38773.1 and 38773.5.

C. Lien Conditions. To recover any delinquent administrative fines as a lien or special assessment on real property, the following conditions must be met:

1. The director must submit to and receive approval from the city council for a resolution certifying the amounts of the liens and special assessments sought to be collected from each property owner; and

2. The total amount of the delinquent fine against the property owner must be delinquent for sixty days or more.

D. Lien Collections. The director is authorized to take any steps necessary to enforce collection of the lien or special assessment, including but not limited to the following:

1. Request the county recorder to record a notice of any lien or special assessment certified by resolution of the city council.

2. Request the county tax collector on behalf of the city to collect any special assessments certified by resolution of the city council.

E. Notice of Lien Collection Procedures. All administrative citations shall contain a notice that unpaid fines are subject to the assessment and lien collection procedures of this chapter. This notice shall satisfy the notice requirements of Government Code Sections 38773.1 and 38773.5 when an administrative citation is served on the person. In addition, the director shall by first class mail send notice to each property owner at least ten days before the city council considers the resolution to certify the amounts of the liens and special assessments stating the date, time, and location of the meeting. The lien or special assessment shall be imposed on the date the administrative citation for the code violation is issued to the responsible person and shall become effective upon the recording of a notice of lien or special assessment by the county recorder.

F. Contesting Certification of a Lien. A person may contest the amount or the validity of any lien or special assessment for a civil fine at the public hearing when the city council considers the resolution to certify the liens or assessments. Such contests shall be limited to the issue of the amount or validity of the lien or assessment and may not consider whether the underlying code violation occurred. Pursuit of such a contest by a person is necessary to exhaust the administrative remedies concerning a legal challenge to the validity of any such lien or special assessment. (Ord. 1625 § 1 (part), 2015)