Chapter 2.26


2.26.010    Purpose of provisions.

2.26.020    Emergency defined.

2.26.030    Director and Deputy Director—Created.

2.26.040    Director and Deputy Director—Powers and duties.

2.26.050    Succession of Director’s powers and duties.

2.26.060    Emergency organization.

2.26.070    Emergency plan.

2.26.080    Expenditures.

2.26.090    Unlawful acts designated—Penalty.

2.26.100    Continuation of earlier provisions.

2.26.110    Summary nuisance abatement.

2.26.120    Nonsummary nuisance abatement.

2.26.130    Abatement hearing—Notice.

2.26.140    Abatement hearing.

2.26.150    Decision.

2.26.160    Failure to comply with order.

2.26.170    Abatement cost recovery.

2.26.010 Purpose of provisions.

The declared purposes of this chapter are to provide for:

(A)    The preparation and carrying out of plans for the protection of persons and property within this County in the event of an emergency;

(B)    The direction of the emergency organization; and

(C)    The coordination of the emergency functions of this County with all other public agencies, corporations, organizations and affected private persons. [Ord. 2532, 1978; prior code § 5.15.010].

2.26.020 Emergency defined.

As used in this chapter, “emergency” means the actual or threatened existence of disaster or of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property within this County caused by such conditions as air pollution, fire, flood, storm, epidemic, riot, earthquake, or other conditions, including conditions resulting from war or imminent threat of war, but excluding conditions resulting from a labor controversy, which disaster or peril is or is likely to be beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment and facilities of this County, requiring the combined forces of other political subdivisions to control. [Ord. 2532, 1978; prior code § 5.15.020].

2.26.030 Director and Deputy Director—Created.

(A)    There is created the Office of Director of Emergency Services. The County Administrative Officer shall be the Director of Emergency Services.

(B)    There is created the Office of Deputy Director of Emergency Services, who shall be appointed by the Director. [Ord. 2532, 1978; prior code § 5.15.030].

2.26.040 Director and Deputy Director—Powers and duties.

(A)    The Director is empowered to:

(1)    Request the Board of Supervisors to proclaim the existence or threatened existence of a “local emergency” if the Board is in session, or to issue such a proclamation if the Board is not in session. If the Board of Supervisors is not in session, and it is necessary and appropriate for the Director to proclaim the existence or threatened existence of a “local emergency,” the Director shall, prior to issuing the proclamation, contact, or attempt to contact, each member of the Board of Supervisors to inform them of the facts giving rise to the existence or threatened existence of such a “local emergency,” in order that the Director may receive the advice and counsel of members of the Board of Supervisors, and to give the Board of Supervisors the opportunity to come into session, should the chairperson or a majority of the Board determine that calling the Board into session is appropriate. Whenever a local emergency is proclaimed by the Director, the Board of Supervisors shall take action to ratify the proclamation within seven days thereafter, or the proclamation shall have no further force or effect;

(2)    Request the Governor to proclaim a “state of emergency” when, in the opinion of the Director, the locally available resources are inadequate to cope with the emergency;

(3)    Control and direct the effort of the emergency organization of the County for the accomplishment of the purposes of this chapter;

(4)    Direct cooperation between and coordination of services and staff of the emergency organization of the County, and resolve questions of authority and responsibility that may arise between them;

(5)    Represent the County in all dealings with public or private agencies on matters pertaining to emergencies, as defined in SCCC 2.26.020;

(6)    In the event of the proclamation of a “local emergency” as herein provided, the proclamation of a “state of emergency” by the Governor or the Director of the State Office of Emergency Services, or the existence of a “state of war emergency,” the Director is empowered:

(a)    To make and issue rules and regulations on matters reasonably related to the protection of life and property as affected by such emergency; provided, however, such rules and regulations must be confirmed at the earliest practicable time by the Board of Supervisors,

(b)    To obtain vital supplies, equipment, and such other properties found lacking and needed for the protection of life and property, and to bind the County for the fair value thereof and, if required immediately, to commandeer the same for public use,

(c)    To require emergency services of any County officer or employee and, in the event of the proclamation of a “state of emergency” in the County or the existence of a “state of war emergency,” to command the aid of as many citizens of the County as he deems necessary in the execution of his duties; such persons shall be entitled to all privileges, benefits and immunities as are provided by State law for registered disaster service workers,

(d)    To requisition necessary personnel or material of any County department or agency, and

(e)    To execute all of his ordinary powers as County Administrative Officer, all of the special powers conferred by this chapter or by resolution or emergency plan pursuant hereto adopted by the Board of Supervisors, all powers conferred by any statute, by any agreement approved by the Board of Supervisors, and by any other lawful authority.

(B)    The Deputy Director shall, under the supervision of the Director and with the assistance of emergency service chiefs, develop emergency plans and manage the emergency programs of the County, and shall have such other powers and duties as may be assigned by the Director. [Ord. 4109 § 1, 1991; Ord. 2532, 1978; prior code § 5.15.040].

2.26.050 Succession of Director’s powers and duties.

(A)    The following persons are designated, in the order named, to succeed to all the powers and duties of the Director of Emergency Services during the absence or unavailability of the Director and of any other persons who are hereby designated with prior authority to succeed to such powers and duties:

(1)    Assistant County Administrative Officer;

(2)    Deputy Director of Emergency Services;

(3)    Chairperson of the Board of Supervisors;

(4)    Vice-Chairperson of the Board of Supervisors;

(5)    Any other member of the Board of Supervisors.

(B)    In the event of an emergency, any of the above-named persons shall be deemed “unavailable” if that person cannot be immediately contacted by telephone or radio. [Ord. 2532, 1978; prior code § 5.15.050].

2.26.060 Emergency organization.

All officers and employees of the County, together with those volunteer forces enrolled to aid them during an emergency, and all groups, organizations and persons who may by agreement or operation of law, including persons impressed into service under the provisions of this chapter, be charged with duties incident to the protection of life and property in the County during such emergency, shall constitute the emergency organization of the County. [Ord. 2532, 1978; prior code § 5.15.060].

2.26.070 Emergency plan.

The County Disaster Council shall be responsible for the development of the Santa Cruz County Emergency Plan, which plan shall provide for the effective mobilization of all of the resources of the County, both public and private, to meet any condition constituting a local emergency, state of emergency, or state of war emergency, and shall provide for the organization, powers and duties, services and staff of the emergency organization. Such plan shall take effect upon adoption by resolution of the Board of Supervisors. [Ord. 2532, 1978; prior code § 5.15.070].

2.26.080 Expenditures.

Any expenditures made in connection with emergency activities, including mutual aid activities, shall be deemed conclusively to be for the direct protection and benefit of the inhabitants and property of the County of Santa Cruz. [Ord. 2532, 1978; prior code § 5.15.080].

2.26.090 Unlawful acts designated—Penalty.

It is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not to exceed $500.00, or by imprisonment for not to exceed six months, or both, for any person, during a state of war emergency, state of emergency, or local emergency, to:

(A)    Wilfully obstruct, hinder or delay any member of the emergency organization in the enforcement of any lawful rule or regulation issued pursuant to this chapter, or in the performance of any duty imposed upon such member by virtue of this chapter;

(B)    Do any act forbidden by any lawful rule or regulation issued pursuant to this chapter, if such act is of such a nature as to give or be likely to give assistance to the enemy, or to imperil the lives or property of inhabitants of the County, or to prevent, hinder or delay the defense or protection thereof;

(C)    Wear, carry or display, without authority, any means of identification specified by the Emergency Agency of the State or the County. [Ord. 2532, 1978; prior code § 5.15.090].

2.26.100 Continuation of earlier provisions.

It is the intent of the Board of Supervisors in enacting the ordinance codified in this chapter that it shall be considered a revision and continuation of the ordinances repealed by such ordinance, and the status of volunteers shall not be affected by such repeal; nor shall plans and agreements, rules and regulations, or resolutions adopted pursuant to such repealed ordinances be affected by such repeal, until amended, modified or superseded as provided in the ordinance codified in this chapter. [Ord. 2532, 1978; prior code § 5.15.100].

2.26.110 Summary nuisance abatement.

(A)    Whenever, in the judgment of the Director of Emergency Services or of the Director’s designee, it appears that a public nuisance exists in, on, or near any premises, building or structure, constituting an imminent and substantial hazard to public health or safety, requiring prompt action, the Director, or the Director’s designee, may order that premises, building or structure or a portion thereof, be immediately:

(1)    Vacated and thereafter kept vacant until the Chief Building Official of the County has issued permission to reoccupy the premises;

(2)    Barricaded, boarded up, or otherwise secured against entry, occupancy or use by all persons, except as permitted by the order; and

(3)    Demolished or repaired in a manner set forth in the order.

(B)    The order shall state the time within which action is required. A copy of the order shall be posted in a conspicuous place upon the premises, building or structure. A copy of the order shall also be served upon the owner, lienholders, lessees and others whose interest in the premises appears in public records of title. The order shall be served either personally or by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested in the manner described in SCCC 2.26.130. [Ord. 4028 § 1, 1989].

2.26.120 Nonsummary nuisance abatement.

Whenever, in the judgment of the Director of Emergency Services or of the Director’s designee, it appears that a building or structure is unsafe as defined in Section 203 of the Uniform Building Code but does not meet the summary procedure criteria of SCCC 2.26.110, and determines that the risk to public health and safety requires abatement of the building or structure as a threat to public health and safety, the Director or the Director’s designee may initiate abatement procedures by setting the matter for hearing before a Hearing Officer designated by the Director. The Director may record an appropriate lis pendens giving notice of the pendency of the proceeding. [Ord. 4029 § 1, 1989; Ord. 4028 § 1, 1989].

2.26.130 Abatement hearing—Notice.

The Director shall publish notice, and give five days’ written notice of the time and place of the hearing, either personally or by certified or registered mail, to the owner and any lienholder or the holder of any other legal or equitable interest in the property whose name and address appears in public records of title. Service by certified or registered mail shall be effective on the date of mailing, if a certified or registered letter containing a copy of such notice is mailed, postage prepaid, return receipt requested, to the owner at the owner’s address as it appears on the last equalized assessment roll of the County of Santa Cruz, or at the address to which the most recent real property tax bill for said property was mailed by the Treasurer-Tax Collector. If no such address appears from County tax records, then a copy of the notice shall be addressed to such person at the address of the building, structure or property involved in the proceeding. The failure of any owner to receive such notice shall not affect the validity of any proceeding taken hereunder. The person giving notice shall prepare and sign a declaration under penalty of perjury certifying the time and manner in which such notice was given, along with any receipt of such notice by certified or registered mail. The notice shall also be published at least once prior to the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation. [Ord. 4028 § 1, 1989].

2.26.140 Abatement hearing.

The hearing shall be held at the time and place designated in the notice of hearing. After the hearing has been opened, it may be continued to a date certain without further notice. All persons having an interest in the building, structure or property, or having knowledge of the facts material to the allegations in any notice or order, may present evidence at the hearing. [Ord. 4028 § 1, 1989].

2.26.150 Decision.

Upon conclusion of the hearing, the Hearing Officer shall, based upon the evidence presented at the hearing, determine whether the premises, or any part thereof, constitutes a public nuisance. If the Hearing Officer finds a public nuisance to exist, the Hearing Officer shall issue an order of abatement, which shall direct and order the nuisance abated by demolition or repair within the time, and in the manner, set forth in the order. The Hearing Officer shall give notice of the determination by serving a copy of the order upon the property owner, and by mailing a copy to any person who has requested a copy of the order and has provided an address for mailing. If the Hearing Officer finds a nuisance does not exist, the order shall so state. The determination of the Hearing Officer shall be final and conclusive. It shall terminate the administrative proceeding. [Ord. 4028 § 1, 1989].

2.26.160 Failure to comply with order.

Whenever an order to repair or demolish any building has not been complied with within the time set by the order, the Director of Emergency Services may, in addition to any other remedy provided herein or by law, cause the building, structure or property, or portion thereof, to be:

(A)    Vacated and barricaded, boarded up or otherwise secured against use or occupancy pending the repair or demolition ordered;

(B)    Dismantled or demolished and the site cleared by such means as the Director shall deem advisable; and

(C)    Repaired or altered, so as to be safe. [Ord. 4028 § 1, 1989].

2.26.170 Abatement cost recovery.

The County Auditor-Controller shall keep an accounting of the cost, including administrative expenses, of abating any nuisance under this chapter. The County Auditor-Controller shall prepare an itemized report thereof, showing the expense of abatement, and the County shall recover these expenses from the owner. [Ord. 4028 § 1, 1989].