Article 1. General
a. The City Council finds and declares that it is in the public interest to establish a non-inclusive list of those activities, uses of property, and conditions of property which constitute public nuisances; to establish penalties for maintenance of public nuisances; and to establish a summary abatement procedure for abating certain public nuisances, the cost of which abatement procedure may be made both a special assessment against the parcel of real property upon which the nuisance was maintained and a personal obligation of the property owner or other person maintaining the nuisance.
b. The procedure set forth in this chapter for the abatement of a nuisance and the making of the cost of abatement of a nuisance which exists upon a parcel of land a assessment against that parcel is adopted pursuant to Government Code Section 38771 et seq. The procedure set forth in this chapter for abatement applies to those activities, uses of property, and conditions of property declared to be public nuisances in Section 1-6.301 of this chapter and to any other activity, use of property, or condition of property declared to be a nuisance by another section of this code or by another ordinance of the City of Walnut Creek which activity, use of property, or use of property is made subject to abatement pursuant to this chapter.
c. The procedures set forth in this chapter for the abatement of a nuisance are non-exclusive. The City may abate any nuisance according to the procedures set forth in this chapter or may, in the alternative, abate a nuisance by any other lawful manner or procedure. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
1-6.102 Responsibility for Property Maintenance.
a. Every owner of real property within the City is required to maintain such property in a manner so as not to violate the provisions of this code and such owner remains liable for violations thereof regardless of any contract or agreement with any third party regarding such property.
b. Every occupant, lessee, or holder of any interest in property, other than as owner thereof, is required to maintain such property in the same manner as is required of the owner thereof, and the duty imposed by this section on the owner thereof shall in no instance relieve those persons herein referred to from the similar duty. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
1-6.103 Responsibility for Personal Conduct.
Every person within the City is required to conduct himself and to insure that all animals, equipment, machinery, instruments, and tools under his control or for which he is responsible are used, operated, maintained, or handled in such a manner as not to violate the provisions of this code. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
1-6.104 Provisions of Chapter Supplemental; Conflicting Provisions.
This chapter shall not be construed to replace or supersede any other section of the Municipal Code, except where expressly provided therein, but shall supplement such provisions. In the event that there is an express conflict between the provisions of this chapter and another provision of the Municipal Code, the more stringent provision shall prevail so as to carry out the intent of the City Council. (§2, Ord. 2109, eff. 6/15/12)
Article 2. Definitions
For the purposes of this chapter, unless otherwise apparent from the context, certain terms and words are defined as follows:
a. Citing Officer shall mean the Public Services Director, Community Development Director, Senior Engineer, Chief Building Official, Building Inspection Supervisor, Engineering Inspection Supervisor, Traffic Engineer, and Code Enforcement Officers.
b. Division Head shall mean the Planning Manager, the Transportation Administrator, the City Engineer, and the Chief Building Official and any other position of comparable responsibility within the organization that may be created from time to time. As used herein, the term "division head" shall include the authorized representatives of such division head.
c. Hearing Examiner shall mean the City Manager or the authorized representative of the City Manager, who shall act as hearing examiner in order to hear cases brought by the division head under the provisions of this chapter.
d. Interest of Record shall mean any mortgage or deed of trust or other lien or other encumbrance of record, any lease of record, and any other state of legal interests of record in the premises, which interest of record is shown on the latest equalized assessment role of Contra Costa County.
e. Maintenance of Nuisance shall include the creation, continuance, and/or permitting of a nuisance.
f. Owner shall mean the owner or owners of record of real property as shown on the latest equalized assessment role of Contra Costa County, or as otherwise known to the responsible Division Head by more recent and reliable information.
g. Premises shall mean any real property or improvements on real property.
h. Vector shall mean any animal capable of transmitting the causative agent of human disease or capable of producing human discomfort or injury, including but not limited to, mosquitoes, flies, mites, ticks, other arthropods, rodents, and other vertebrates. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88; by §2, Ord.1985 eff. 12/20/01; and by §1, Ord. 2013, eff. 5/1/03)
Article 3. Declaration of Nuisances
It is hereby declared a public nuisance for any person owning, leasing, occupying, or having charge or possession of any premises in this City to maintain such premises in such a manner that any one or more of the conditions or activities described in the following subsections are found to exist:
a. The maintenance or tolerance of any dangerous building as the same is defined in the most recent edition of the Uniform Code for the Abatement of Dangerous Buildings which has been adopted by the City.
b. The maintenance or tolerance of any substandard building as the same is defined in the most recent edition of the Uniform Housing Code which has been adopted by the City.
c. The keeping, storage, depositing, or accumulation on the premises for an unreasonable period of any personal property (including but not limited to appliances, furniture, containers, packing materials, scrap metal, wood, building materials, junk, rubbish, and debris) which is within the view of persons on the public right-of-way or a private street and which constitutes visual blight or reduces the aesthetic appearance of the neighborhood or is offensive to the senses or is detrimental to nearby property or to property values; provided, however, that wood and building materials being used or to be used for a project of construction, repair, or renovation for which a building permit has been obtained may be stored on the site for such period of time as is necessary to the expeditious completion of the project.
d. The keeping, storage, depositing, or accumulation on the premises for an unreasonable period of dirt, sand, gravel, concrete, or other similar materials, which manner of keeping, storage, depositing, or accumulation constitutes visual blight or reduces the aesthetic appearance of the neighborhood or is offensive to the senses or is detrimental to nearby property or to property values.
e. The maintenance of the exterior of any vacant or unoccupied building, or of any fence, wall, or vegetation located on vacant or unoccupied premises or of the interior of any vacant or unoccupied building which is readily visible from any public street, private street or adjacent parcel of property in a state of unsightliness so as to constitute a blighted condition detrimental to the property values in the neighborhood or otherwise detrimental to the public welfare.
f. Maintaining or managing land, or failing to maintain or manage land, in such a manner as to create the likelihood of harm to the property of others, whether due to an artificial or a natural condition of the land.
g. Maintaining or managing, or failing to maintain or manage, slopes, debris, erosion, protection structures or the growth of vegetation, including trees, shrubs, weeds, and ornamental flowers and plants, in such a manner as to constrict or inhibit the flow of waters, including flood waters, in any natural stream or creek bed.
h. Maintenance of any obstruction to visibility at an intersection in violation of Title 3, Chapter 5, Article 17 of this Code.
i. The deposit or accumulation of sewage on the surface of property, the improper functioning of a sewer system or any other condition relating to sewage which the Contra Costa County Health Officer determines to be detrimental to the public health, safety or welfare.
j. Maintenance of any premises so as to constitute a fire hazard or a harbor for rats, vermin, or insects by reason of wood, rank overgrowth, or an accumulation of debris, whether the same be a causative or only a contributive factor, or which causes detriment to neighborhood properties or property values.
k. Maintenance of any attractive nuisance dangerous to children and consisting of abandoned or broken motor vehicles and equipment; hazardous pools, ponds, or excavations; abandoned, neglected, unused, or unprotected machinery; or any pool or reservoir, whether or not the same contains any water or liquid, located upon premises which have not been occupied for an unreasonable period of time.
l. The leaving of any garbage can or refuse container in a front or side yard area visible from a public street for more than 36 hours before or after the time for collection of garbage from said container.
m. Placement or maintenance of any obstruction other than a vehicle properly using appropriate travel lanes, on any public street or public way, including sidewalks, pedestrian paths, bicycle paths, roadways, and roadway shoulders, except as may be allowed in a permit issued pursuant to Section 4-8.02 of this Code. As used in this subsection, "obstruction" includes vegetative growth as well as structures and things.
n. The keeping, depositing, or accumulation, or the tolerance of the depositing or accumulation on the premises of any garbage, refuse, or rubbish for any unreasonable period of time or in such a manner that the public health, safety, or welfare are threatened or so as to constitute a blight upon the neighborhood or a detriment to neighboring properties or property values.
For purposes of this subsection the term "garbage" shall mean putrescible animal and vegetable waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking, and consumption of food; "refuse" shall mean putrescible animal and non-putrescible solid wastes, including garbage, rubbish, ashes, street cleanings, accumulations of filth or decaying animal excrement, dead animals, abandoned automobiles, and solid market and industrial wastes; and "rubbish" shall mean non-putrescible solid waste consisting of both combustible and noncombustible waste such as paper, wrappings, cigarettes, cardboard, tin cans, yard clippings, wood, glass, bedding, crockery, and similar materials.
o. The maintenance or tolerance of weeds upon any piece or parcel of land or upon any sidewalk traversing or adjoining such land or upon that portion of any street adjoining such land from the property to the centerline of the street.
For purposes of this subparagraph, "weeds" shall mean weeds which, when mature, bear wingy or downy seeds or which will attain such growth as to become a fire menace when dry or which are otherwise noxious or dangerous or unsightly.
p. The maintenance of street trees as the same are defined in section 7-1.403 of this Code in such a manner that the branches of the trees restrict or impede access to or public use of adjacent sidewalks or streets; obstruct official traffic control devices, including traffic signs and signals; or prevent access by city street sweepers to clean the streets.
q. Maintenance for period of six months or longer of any on-site sign, including its supporting structure or structures, which is so disfigured or obsolete that it no longer identifies the current occupancy of the premises upon which such sign is located or otherwise fails to serve its intended purpose.
r. Maintenance of any unsafe or insecure sign or supporting structure(s) thereof or of any sign or supporting structure which is damaged to the point of presenting a possible safety hazard.
s. Maintenance of any noise in violation of Article 2 of Chapter 6 of Title 4 of the Municipal Code or of the Noise Element of the General Plan.
t. Maintenance of any condition on real property or operation of any equipment which raises dust or otherwise pollutes the air in violation of State or local standards.
u. Any encroachment as defined in Chapter 1 of Title 7 of this Code which is not exempted by the provisions of that chapter and for which no encroachment permit has been issued, or which is in violation of the provisions of the encroachment permit or this Code, and any fence, wall or other permanent structure which has been erected in violation of this Code and which encroaches upon any public right-of-way.
v. Parking or storage of non-operational motor vehicles and motorcycles or of operational motor vehicles and motorcycles which have been placed on blocks or otherwise immobilized in a residential zone where such motor vehicle or motorcycle can be seen from the public street or right-of-way or a private street.
w. Repair and/or dismantling of any vehicle or boat in a residential zone where such activity can be seen from the public street or right-of-way or a private street, except where such repair and or tools, equipment, motor oils and other fluids, rags, spills, parts, and debris, is removed within 168 hours after the repair or dismantling was begun.
x. Every violation of the City subdivision, zoning, and design review laws, Title 10 of the Municipal Code, including, but not limited to, every use of property, grading, construction, signing, and tree removal in violation of that title or of Chapter 8 of Title 3 of this Code.
y. Any dangerous, unsanitary, blighted, or unsightly condition which is detrimental to the health, safety, or welfare of the public.
z. Any other condition recognized in law or in equity as constituting a public nuisance.
aa. Every other activity, use of property, or condition of property which the City Council may from time to time declare to be a nuisance pursuant to state law.
bb. Any artificial alteration of property, excluding water, from its natural condition, resulting in it supporting the development, attraction, or harborage of vectors, with the presence of vectors in their developmental stages on property being prima facie evidence that the property is a public nuisance.
cc. Any water that is a breeding place for vectors, with the presence of vectors in their develop- mental stages in the water being prima facie evidence that the water is a public nuisance.
dd. Maintenance of any objectionable conditions that constitute a nuisance, including disturbance of the peace, public drunkenness, drinking in public, harassment of passersby, gambling, prostitution, loitering, public urination, lewd conduct, drug trafficking, or excessive loud noise. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88; §3, Ord. 1761, eff. 3/2/91; §1, Ord. 1779, eff. 1/16/92; §4, Ord. 1826, eff. 10/21/93; §2, Ord. 2013, eff. 5/1/03; §1, Ord. 2109, eff. 6/15/12)
1-6.302 List Not Exclusive.
The list of activities, uses of property, and conditions of property declared to be nuisances in Section 1-6.301 of this Article is not intended to be exclusive. The City Council expressly reserves to itself the right to declare other and additional activities, uses of property, and conditions of property to be nuisances subject to correction and abatement pursuant to this chapter or by any other means authorized by law. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
1-6.303 Building Occupancy.
Once proceedings have been commenced pursuant to this chapter to declare a building to be a public nuisance under this article, no such building shall be deemed to be in compliance with this chapter solely because such building thereafter becomes occupied. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
Article 4. Enforcement
Every person who maintains or permits the maintenance of any nuisance declared in this chapter or by the City Council by ordinance is guilty of an infraction. Each day such nuisance is maintained or permitted to continue shall constitute a separate violation. Each violation shall be punishable as set forth in Section 36900 of the California Government Code.
Person as used in this section shall include natural persons, corporations, firms, or other associations of persons, whether the owner, lessee, sublessor, sublessee, or occupant of any premises whereon such a nuisance is being maintained, so long as that person is responsible for the creation, maintenance, or continuation of such nuisance or is the person responsible for permitting or allowing such nuisance to be created, continued, or maintained. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
1-6.402 Authority: Right of Entry.
a. The division head is hereby authorized and directed to use the provisions of this Code for the purpose of abating those nuisances which exist as a result of the violation of those ordinances for which his division has primary enforcement responsibility.
b. To the extent not prohibited by law, the division head may enter private premises at reasonable times to make inspections required to carry out his duties hereunder. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
1-6.403 Commencement of Proceedings.
Whenever the division head has inspected or has caused to be inspected any premises and has found and determined that any nuisance declared in this chapter or by other ordinance of the City Council is being maintained on such premises, he may commence proceedings to cause abatement of the nuisance as provided herein. "Abatement" as used in this paragraph may be accomplished by abatement proceedings pursuant to Article 5 hereof, citation proceedings pursuant to Article 6 hereof, or by any other procedures available under state or local law. The decision of the division head to commence proceedings or not to commence proceedings shall be final and, notwithstanding any other provision of this Code to the contrary, shall not be subject to appeal. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
1-6.404 Hearing Notice.
a. Whenever the division head has determined to commence proceedings pursuant to Article 5 or 6 hereof, he shall issue a notice directed to the record owner of the premises and to the occupant of the premises or other person believed to be responsible for the nuisance, if such person is not the record owner, with a copy to any other persons with an interest of record in the premises. The notice shall contain:
1. The street address and such other description as is required to identify the premises.
2. A statement specifying the conditions which constitute the nuisance.
3. An order to appear before a hearing examiner at a stated time, but in no event less than 20 calendar days after having mailed such notice, to show cause why the premises should not be declared a public nuisance and the same corrected or abated in accordance with this chapter.
4. A statement advising the recipient of the notice that he has the option of abating the nuisance voluntarily prior to the date set for hearing. If the recipient chooses voluntary abatement, such abatement must be completed prior to the hearing date. The recipient must advise the division head in writing that he will abate the nuisance and of the date of completion. The division head will inspect the premises on the completion date and, if the nuisance has been abated, will take the hearing off calendar. The recipient may request a continuance of the hearing pursuant to §1-6.407.
b. The hearing notice, and any amended or supplemental notice, shall be served as follows:
1. Upon the owner, the occupant of the premises or other person believed to be responsible for the nuisance if such person is not the owner, and any person with an interest of record in the premises, either by personal delivery or by mail. If notice is served by mail, it shall be sent by first class mail, postage prepaid, and by certified mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested, to the address of the addressee as it appears of record or as otherwise known to the division head.
2. A copy of the hearing notice shall, in addition, be posted on the premises.
c. Proof of service of the hearing notice shall be certified by written declaration under penalty of perjury executed by the person effecting service, declaring the time, date, and manner in which service was made. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
1-6.405 Hearings Generally.
At the time set for hearing, the hearing examiner shall hear any testimony offered by the division head, the owner, and other persons capable of giving competent testimony respecting the condition of the premises and other relevant facts concerning the matter. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
1-6.406 Record of Oral Evidence at Hearing.
a. The proceedings at the hearings shall be recorded by tape recording. If requested by any party thereto, a stenographic reporter shall report the hearing, with the costs thereof to be borne by the person making such request. The hearing examiner may require a deposit from the person making the request to assure payment of such costs.
b. Preparation of a record of the proceedings shall be governed by the California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 1094.6, as presently written or later amended. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
The hearing examiner may, upon request of the owner or upon the request of the division head, grant continuances from time to time for good cause shown or upon his own motion. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
1-6.408 Oaths; Certification.
The hearing examiner or certified shorthand reporter shall administer the oath or affirmation. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
1-6.409 Evidence Rules.
The Government Code of the State of California, §11513, subsections (a), (b), and (c), as presently written or hereinafter amended, shall apply to hearings under this chapter. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
1-6.410 Right of Parties.
a. A party may choose self-representation or may choose to be represented by another.
b. A party shall have the right to inspect the files of the division head relating to the decision to commence proceedings. Such inspection may be made by appointment during business hours between the time the hearing notice is sent and the hearing is held. The names, addresses, and telephone numbers of persons providing information to the City in confidence shall be removed from the files before such inspection is made.
The intent of this provision is to assist the parties in preparing for the hearing, and not to make public records which would otherwise be exempt from disclosure under the California Public Records Act, Government Code Section 6250 et seq.
c. If a party does not proficiently speak or understand the English language, the party may provide an interpreter at the party’s own cost to translate for the party. The interpreter shall not have any involvement in the issues of the case prior to the hearing. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
1-6.411 Official Notice.
In reaching a decision, official notice may be taken, either before or after submission of the case for decision, of any fact which may be judicially noticed by the courts of this state or which may appear in any of the official records of the City or any of its departments. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
1-6.412 Inspection of Premises.
a. The hearing examiner may inspect the premises involved in the hearing by entering upon the private property where the nuisance exists prior to, during, or after the hearing, provided that:
1. Notice of such inspection shall be given to the owner, occupant, lessee, and/or other interested holder of the premises before the inspection is made;
2. The owner, occupant, lessee, and/or other interested holder of the premises are given opportunity to be present during the inspection; and
3. The hearing examiner shall state for the record during the hearing or file a written statement after the hearing for inclusion in the hearing record the material facts observed and any conclusions drawn therefrom.
b. Each party then shall have a right to rebut or explain the matter so stated by the hearing examiner for the record, either during the hearing or by filing a written statement after the hearing for inclusion in the hearing record. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
1-6.413 Form and Contents of Decision; Finality of Decision.
a. The decision of the hearing examiner shall be in writing and shall contain findings of fact and a determination of the issues presented.
b. If it is shown by a preponderance of the evidence that the condition of the premises constitutes a public nuisance, the decision shall also direct the owner to commence abatement of the nuisance not later than 15 days after the issuance of the decision, and to complete the abatement within such time as specified by the hearing examiner. The decision shall inform the owner that if the nuisance is one covered by Article 5 and is not abated within the time specified, the nuisance may be abated by the City in such manner as may be ordered by the hearing examiner and the expense thereof made a lien on the property involved. The decision shall also inform the owner and any others responsible for maintaining the nuisance that they are subject to citation under Article 6.
c. The decision shall be final when signed by the hearing examiner. Copies of the decision shall be forthwith delivered to the parties personally, or sent to them by certified mail. Any aggrieved person shall have a right to judicial review of any decision or action of the hearing examiner by filing a petition for a writ of mandate in accordance with the provisions of Section 1094.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure within 35 days after such decision or action has become final.
d. The decision may be filed for record in the office of County Recorder, in such manner as may be necessary to advise prospective purchasers that a nuisance has been found to exist on the premises.
Upon compliance with the decision, the hearing officer shall file, in the same manner, an appropriate notice that the nuisance has been satisfactorily abated. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88.; and by §1, Ord. 1732, eff. 1/5/90)
1-6.414 Service of the Hearing Examiner’s Decision.
Upon issuance of the decision, the hearing examiner shall post a copy thereof conspicuously on the premises involved and shall serve a copy on the record owner, the occupant of the premises, or other person believed to be responsible for the nuisance if such person is not the record owner, and upon every person with an interest of record, in the same manner as set forth in Section 1-6.404.b above. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
1-6.415 Extension of Date for Completion.
a. Upon receipt of an application from the person required to conform to the order by a date fixed in the order, and with the agreement of such person that he will comply with the order if allowed additional time, the hearing examiner may, in his discretion, grant an extension of time, not to exceed an additional 120 days within which to complete such abatement, if the hearing examiner determines that such an extension of time will not create or perpetuate a situation imminently dangerous to life or property.
b. The authority of the hearing examiner to extend time is limited to the physical abatement of the nuisance or for such other purposes as may be reasonably required by the circumstances of the case, but such extension shall not in any way affect or extend the time provided in Code of Civil Procedure Section 1094.6 to seek review of the order. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
1-6.416 Treble Damages for Subsequent Abatement Judgments.
Pursuant to California Government Code Section 38773.7, upon the entry of a second or subsequent civil or criminal judgment within a two (2) year period that finds an owner of property responsible for a condition that may be abated in accordance with California Government Code Section 38773.5, a court may order the owner to pay treble the costs of the abatement. These costs shall not include conditions abated pursuant to Health and Safety Code Section 17980. (§2, Ord. 2109, eff. 6/15/12)
1-6.417 Recovery of Attorneys' Fees.
a. In any action, administrative proceeding, or special proceeding to abate a nuisance, the prevailing party may recover attorneys' fees pursuant to California Government Code Section 38773.5. Recovery of attorneys' fees is limited to those individual actions or proceedings in which the city elects, at the initiation of that individual action or proceeding, to seek recovery of its own attorneys' fees. An award of attorneys' fees to a prevailing party shall not exceed the amount of reasonable attorneys' fees incurred by the city in an action, administrative proceeding, or special proceeding.
b. If any person causes, suffers, maintains or permits a public nuisance to continue after written notice is given to such person by the City, directing such person to abate the nuisance, and such continuation goes beyond the time set for such abatement in the written notice, then such person shall be liable to the City for the expenses incurred in detecting, investigating, and abating the violation, including attorneys' fees and the costs of monitoring compliance. The City may recover such costs by civil action or by billing such person. The City may also recover such costs by special assessment lien if the violation relates to real property. (§2, Ord. 2109, eff. 6/15/12)
If any section, subsection, subdivision, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion of this article is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a decision of any court of competent jurisdiction, that subsection, subdivision, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion thereof shall be deleted as though it never existed and the remainder of the article shall continue in full force and effect. The City Council hereby declares that it would have adopted this article and each section, subsection, subdivision, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more sections, subsections, subdivisions, sentences, clauses, phrases, or portions thereof be declared invalid or unconstitutional. (§2, Ord. 2109, eff. 6/15/12)
Article 5. Abatement of Nuisances by City; Special Assessments
Whenever the City Council declares an activity, use of property, or condition of property to be a public nuisance, the City Council may also declare that such public nuisance may be abated according to the procedures in this article. The City Council hereby finds and declares that those public nuisances declared in Section 1-6.301 are susceptible to, and under the peculiar circumstances of each case may warrant, the application of the abatement procedures set forth in this article. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
1-6.502 Failure to Abate Nuisance.
a. If, after any order of a hearing examiner made pursuant to §1-6.413 has become final, the person to whom such order is directed shall fail, neglect, or refuse to obey such order within the time so specified in the order or any extension thereof, the hearing examiner may, in addition to any other remedy provided by law, cause the nuisance to be abated, so as to put the premises into such condition that no violation of this Code exists thereon.
b. The cost of such abatement shall be made a special assessment against the premises and, in addition, made a personal obligation of the owner thereof, as provided in this Article. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
1-6.503 Lien and Special Assessment.
a. Pursuant to Government Code §38773.5, the cost of abatement by the City of any nuisance on any parcel of land, including all administrative costs of any action taken pursuant to this chapter, shall be a special assessment against that parcel. The assessment shall be collected at the same time and in the same manner as ordinary municipal taxes are collected, and shall be subject to the same penalties and the same procedure and sale in case of delinquency as are provided for ordinary municipal taxes, as set forth in §38773.5 of the Government Code, as amended.
b. In the event that any action taken pursuant to this chapter is set aside by the court, no lien shall be imposed. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
1-6.504 Account of Expense; Filing of Report; Content.
The City Engineer shall keep an itemized account of the expense incurred by the City in abating nuisances under the provisions of this chapter. Upon the completion of the work of abatement, the City Engineer shall prepare and file with the City Clerk a report specifying the work done, the itemized and total cost of the work, a description of the real property at which the work was performed, and the names and addresses of the persons entitled to notice under Article 4 of this chapter. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
1-6.505 Report Transmitted to Council.
Upon receipt of the report, the City Clerk shall present it to the City Council for consideration. The City Council shall fix a time, date, and place for hearing the report and any protests or objections thereto. The City Clerk shall cause notice of the hearing to be served by certified mail, postage prepaid, addressed to the persons entitled to notice as specified by the City Engineer pursuant to Section 1-6.504. Such notices shall be given at least 10 days prior to the date set for hearing and shall specify the day, hour and place when the Council will hear and pass upon the report of the City Engineer containing the proposed charge for abatement, together with any objections or protests which may be filed with the Council before or at the hearing. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
1-6.506 Hearing on Statement of Expenses.
At the time fixed for the hearing on the statement of expenses, the City Council shall consider the statement and any protests or objections. The City Council may revise, correct, or modify the statement as it considers just and thereafter shall confirm the statement, as adjusted, by resolution. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
1-6.507 Expenses a Special Assessment Against the Property.
If the owner does not pay the expense of abating the nuisance within 5 days after the City Council confirms the costs of abatement, the cost shall constitute a special assessment against the real property whereon the nuisance had been maintained. The assessment shall continue until it is paid, together with interest at the legal rate computed from the date of confirmation of the statement until payment. The assessment may be collected at the same time and in the same manner as ordinary municipal taxes are collected, and shall be subject to the same penalties and the same procedure and sale in case of delinquency as provided for ordinary municipal taxes. All laws applicable to levy, collection, and enforcement of municipal taxes apply to this special assessment, as set forth in §38773.5 of the Government Code, as amended. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
1-6.508 Notice of Special Assessment.
a. When a special assessment is charged against property as provided in this chapter, the City shall file in the office of the county recorder a certificate substantially in the following form:
NOTICE OF SPECIAL ASSESSMENT
On ____________________, 19__, the City of Walnut Creek abated a nuisance on the property located at ______________________________________________________________________ (Assessor‘s Parcel No. ____________). This property is owned by _______________________. The abatement was done under the authority of California Government Code chapter 1, Chapter .and Walnut Creek Municipal Code Title
The City of Walnut Creek claims a special assessment on the real property for the cost of the abatement in the amount of $__________. This amount is a special assessment against the real property until paid, with interest at the legal rate from _______________, 19___ (date of City Council confirmation of the statement of expenses), and discharged of record.
The real property referred to in this notice is that parcel of land situated with the City of Walnut Creek, County of Contra Costa, State of California, more specifically described as follows: (insert or attach legal description).
Dated: ______________________, 19__
City of Walnut Creek
b. The City shall file with the county auditor a certified copy of the notice of special assessment, a brief description of the abatement action taken, and a request that the charges be added to the tax rolls and collected at the same time and in the same manner as ordinary municipal taxes. These documents shall be filed on or before the August 10th which follows the close of the tax year in which the abatement action was taken. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/8
1-6.509 Effect of Failure to Receive Notice.
The fact that the owner or other person to whom notice is given under this chapter of the nuisance abatement proceedings does not receive notice, or that a letter is returned by the Post Office as undeliverable, does not affect the validity of any abatement proceedings. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
1-6.510 Cost of Abatement a Personal Obligation.
Instead of making the expenses of abating a nuisance a special assessment against the real property under this article, or in addition thereto, the City Council may make the expenses the personal obligation of the property owner, tenant, or other person creating, causing, committing, or maintaining the nuisance. In such a case, all of the procedures of this chapter apply except those specifically related to assessment of the property. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
1-6.511 Dangerous Condition.
If, in the opinion of the hearing examiner, there exists a condition on any premises which is of such a nature as to be imminently dangerous to the public health, safety, or welfare, which, if not abated according to the procedures of this chapter, would, during the pendency of the proceedings, subject the public to potential harm of a serious nature, the same may be abated forthwith without compliance with the provisions of this chapter. The owner, occupant, lessee, and other interested holder in the premises shall be given notice of the proposed summary abatement in advance if such notice is consistent with the public welfare. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
1-6.512 Interference with Work Prohibited.
No person shall obstruct, impede, or interfere with any officer, employee, contractor or authorized representative of the City, or with any person who owns or holds any estate or interest in any premises on which a nuisance exists and which must be abated under the provisions of this Code, whenever such officer, employee, contractor, or authorized representative of the City, or person having an interest or estate in such premises is engaged in the work of abating any nuisance as required by the provisions of this Code, or in performing any necessary act preliminary to or incidental to such work authorized or directed pursuant to this Code. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
1-6.513 Approval of City Attorney.
No abatement shall be undertaken unless it shall first be approved by the City Attorney or his authorized representative. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
Article 6. Citation Procedure
1-6.601 Authority; Misdemeanor.
a. The Citing Officer is hereby authorized and directed to issue citations to persons maintaining or permitting the maintenance of nuisances as declared in this chapter or in any other ordinance adopted by the City Council.
b. It shall be a misdemeanor to refuse to sign a citation prepared by a Citing Officer of the City of Walnut Creek. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
1-6.602 Right of Entry.
To the extent not prohibited by law, the Citing Officer may enter private premises at reasonable times to make inspections as required for the performance of his duties hereunder. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
a. Each citation shall be for an infraction and shall specify the section of this chapter or other City ordinance which identifies the particular nuisance for which the citation is issued. The citation shall briefly describe the nuisance, the date the violation was witnessed, the location of the violation, the identity of the Citing Officer, and the identity and address of the individual to whom the citation is issued. A citation may be issued only when the Citing Officer has actually observed the violation. The citation shall also contain the time, date, and place (municipal court) where the individual being cited may appear to answer the charges stated in the citation.
b. The citation shall contain a space for the signature of the individual to whom it has been issued who, by signing, promises to appear in court to answer the charges or to post and forfeit bail in lieu of appearance. A citation may not be issued unless the individual being cited signs the citation. If the individual refuses to sign, the Citing Officer must summon a police officer who will ask the individual to sign the citation. If the individual continues to refuse to sign, the police officer may arrest him or her for such refusal. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
1-6.604 Hearing; Reinspection.
The Citing Officer shall appear at the court hearing to present whatever evidence the court may require to prove the existence of the nuisance. If the nuisance has been corrected prior to the court hearing, the individual cited shall contact the Citing Officer and request a reinspection prior to the hearing. In such case the Citing Officer may ask the court to dismiss the charges stated in the citation. The decision of the court may be appealed only as provided by state law. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
Article 7. Abatement of Certain Vehicles
1-6.701 Abatement Pursuant to State Law.
Pursuant to California Vehicle Code §22660, procedures to remove abandoned, wrecked, dismantled, or inoperative vehicles or parts thereof as public nuisances are found in Title 3, Chapter of the Walnut Creek Municipal Code. (§1, Ord. 1690, eff. 8/19/88)
Article 8. Emergency Abatement of Hazardous Buildings
The purpose of this Article is to authorize the summary abatement of buildings which present an immediate danger to the public and which require abatement in a more expeditious manner than otherwise authorized by this Chapter. Except as otherwise provided, all provisions of this Chapter shall apply to abatement conducted pursuant to this Article. (§1, Ord. 1797, eff. 7/9/92)
1-6.802 Determination of Immediate Danger.
The Building Official is authorized to determine, in his or her sole discretion, whether the condition of any existing structure constitutes an immediate danger to the public such that the condition creates a significant possibility of imminent injury to persons or property. (§1, Ord. 1797, eff. 7/9/92)
Upon determining that a structure constitutes an immediate danger to the public, the Building Official shall issue a written notice setting forth in general terms the factors which, in the opinion of the Building Official, make the structure an immediate danger. The notice shall designate the place and time, which time shall be no sooner than twenty-four (24) hours after the issuance of the notice, for a hearing before the Hearing Examiner. The Building Official shall post the notice on or near the dangerous structure. If the Building Official determines that the circumstances and time reasonably permit, the Building Official shall also attempt to directly notify the property owner and any other party of record with an equitable or legal interest in the property by telephone, telegraph, hand-delivery, facsimile or other reasonable means. Failure to give such additional notice shall not affect the adequacy of the posted notice or otherwise constitute a defect in the process authorized by this Article. (§1, Ord. 1797, eff. 7/9/92)
A hearing shall be conducted before the Hearing Examiner at the time and place specified in the notice. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of Article 4 above, except that the notice and decision provisions of this Article shall supersede sections 1-6.404 and 1-6.413. (§1, Ord. 1797, eff. 7/9/92)
At the close of the hearing, the Hearing Examiner shall determine whether the subject structure constitutes a public nuisance based on a preponderance of the evidence. The decision of the Hearing Examiner, together with the reasons therefor, may be given orally on the record or in writing within twenty-four (24) hours after the close of the hearing. If the decision is given orally, the Hearing Officer shall memorialize the decision in writing within twenty-four (24) hours after the close of the hearing. If the Hearing Examiner determines that the structure constitutes a public nuisance, the written decision shall direct the property owner or other party of record to abate the nuisance to the reasonable satisfaction of the Building Official within twenty-four (24) hours after issuance of the decision or such other time specified by the Hearing Examiner. The written decision shall inform the owner or other party of record that if the nuisance is not abated within the time specified, the nuisance may be abated in such a manner as may be ordered by the Hearing Examiner and the expense thereof made a lien on the property involved. The written decision shall be posted on or near the subject structure within twenty-four (24) hours after the issuance of the decision. If the Hearing Examiner determines that the circumstances and time reasonably permit, the Hearing Examiner shall also attempt to directly notify the property owner and any other party of record with an equitable or legal interest in the property by telephone, telegraph, hand-delivery, facsimile or other reasonable means. Failure to give such additional notice of the decision shall not affect the adequacy of the posted notice or otherwise constitute a defect in the process authorized by this Article. (§1, Ord. 1797, eff. 7/9/92)
1-6.806 Compliance with Code.
Any abatement work done pursuant to the Article shall be performed in accordance with the Municipal Code, including but not limited to requirements for obtaining building and demolition permits. (§1, Ord. 1797, eff. 7/9/92)
1-6.807 Abatement by City.
If the Hearing Examiner determines that the structure is a public nuisance and the property owner or other party of record does not abate the nuisance to the satisfaction of the Building Official within the time specified by the Hearing Examiner, the City may abate the nuisance and assess the property in accordance with Article 5 above. (§1, Ord. 1797, eff. 7/9/92)
Article 9. Summary Abatement of Vector Sites
1-6.901 Summary Abatement of Vector Nuisances
Notwithstanding any other provision of this Chapter, if a public nuisance exists as defined in section 1-6.301bb or 1-6.301cc and constitutes an immediate threat to public health or safety, the City may summarily and without notice or hearing abate such nuisance at the expense of the persons creating, causing, committing or maintaining the nuisance. The expense of abatement of the nuisance may be made a lien against the property on which it is maintained and a personal obligation against the property owner, in accordance with Article 5 of this Chapter. (§3, Ord. 2013 eff. 5/1/03)