Article 1. Handbill Distribution.
For the purposes of this Article, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
a. Handbill means any unsolicited dodger, circular, leaflet, pamphlet, paper, booklet or other printed or written material regardless of whether the text, if any, of the material is commercial or non-commercial.
b. Person means any individual, firm partnership, or association, corporation company or organization of any kind. (5400, as amended by §1, Ord. 1785, eff. April 9, 1992, and by §1, Ord. 1885, eff. April, 4, 1996)
4-6.102 Deposit on Vehicles.
No person shall place or deposit any handbill in or upon any vehicle. (5401, as amended by §4, Ord. 1712, eff. December 1, 1988, by §1, Ord. 1785, eff. April 9, 1992 and by §1, Ord. 1885, eff. April 4, 1996)
Any person who violates any provision of §4-6.102 shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor or an infraction. Each deposit of a handbill in violation of this Article shall be deemed a separate violation.
a. If charged as an infraction the penalty upon conviction of such person shall be a fine as set forth in §1-2.01 of this Code.
b. If charged as a misdemeanor, the penalty upon conviction of such person shall be imprisonment in the county jail for a period not to exceed six months, or by a fine not exceeding $1,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment. (§1, Ord. 1785, eff. April 9, 1992, as amended by §1, Ord. 1885, eff. April 4, 1996)
Article 2. Noise
4-6.201 Purpose of Provision.
It is hereby found and declared that:
a. The creation or maintenance of excessive noise or vibration which is prolonged or unreasonable in its time, place and use is deemed to be a serious detriment to the public health, safety and quality of life of the residents of the City; and
b. Therefore, it is the intent of the City to control and, in some instances, prohibit noise and vibration which may impact the health, safety or welfare of the citizens of Walnut Creek. (5410 and by §1, Ord. 1753, eff. 11/8/90)
Loud Noise is defined as excessive or unreasonable noise, sound or vibration which endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of others within the limits of the City. The determination of whether a noise is unreasonable shall be based on, among other things, consideration of the hour, place, nature, and circumstances of the emission or transmission of any loud noise.
Holidays are those days enumerated in the resolution of the City Council entitled "Resolution Enumerating Holidays" on file in the office of the City Clerk. (5411 and by §1, Ord. 1753, eff. November 8, 1990)
4-6.203 Prohibited Noises Enumerated.
As used in this article, loud, excessive or unreasonable noise shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
a. Radios, Phonographs, etc. The use, operation or maintenance of sound, from any radio, musical instrument, phonograph or other device designed for the production or reproduction of sound in such a manner as to disturb the peace, quiet and comfort of individuals on a public street, or in or near a residence, business or other such occupied structure. The creation or maintenance of such noise in such a manner so as to be plainly audible at a distance of fifty feet (50') from the source of such noise shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this Section.
b. Loudspeakers and Amplifiers for Advertising. The use, operation, or maintenance of any loudspeaker, sound amplifier or other machine or device used for the production or reproduction of sound which is directed toward, or cast upon or across, a residential or commercial property line for the purposes of commercial advertising unless a permit for such sound is secured from the Chief of Police. The Chief of Police may issue a permit, subject to reasonable restrictions.
Such restrictions shall be based upon the area in which the proposed broadcast is to occur, the hours of the proposed broadcast, and the method by which such amplification or broadcast shall occur. In residential zones, a permit shall be granted only for broadcast during the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays which are not holidays and between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays but such amplification shall not be plainly audible from a distance of more than 50' (fifty feet) from the source of such amplification. In all other zones, a permit shall be granted only for broadcast during the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. on weekdays, weekends and holidays but such amplification shall not be plainly audible from a distance of more than 50' (fifty feet) from the source of such amplification.
The applicant for such a permit, if the same is denied for cause, may appeal this denial to the City Manager. The City Manager shall thereupon issue or deny the permit. Any permit issued by the Chief of Police may be revoked by either the City Manager or the Chief of Police if the applicant violates any of the conditions set forth in the permit.
c. Distraction of Drivers of Motor Vehicles. The use, operation, or maintenance of any horn, radio, machine or device used for the production or reproduction of sound which is directed to, or cast upon, public streets or highways which distracts, or is intended to distract, the attention of drivers of motor vehicles, unless operated to request assistance or warn of a hazardous situation. This section does not apply to authorized emergency vehicles or vehicles operated by gas, electric, communications, water, or other such public utilities.
d. Yelling, Shouting, etc. Yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling, or singing on a public street at any time or place with the intent to annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort or repose of a person or persons in any dwelling, office, building or structure, or of any person or persons in the vicinity.
e. Animals, Birds, etc. The keeping of any animal or bird, as pet or livestock, which, by causing frequent or continuous noise disturbs the comfort or repose of any persons in the vicinity. The creation or maintenance of noise by animals in such a manner as to be plainly audible at a distance of 50' (fifty feet) from the source of such noise shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this Section.
f. Construction or Repair of Buildings. The erection, construction, demolition, alteration or repair of any building, structure or residence that requires a permit, or the excavation of any earth, fill, streets or highways that requires a grading permit, other than between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on weekdays which are not holidays, or those precise hours of operation enumerated in individual building and grading permits.
If the Chief of Code Enforcement determines that the public health, safety and welfare will not be impaired by the erection, construction, demolition, alteration or repair of any building, structure or residence during hours other than permitted in the preceding paragraph, and if he or she further determines that loss or inconvenience would result to any person in interest, he or she may grant permission for such work to be done, the specific hours and days of operation to be enumerated in the permit.
If the City Engineer determines that the public health, safety and welfare will not be impaired by the excavation of any earth, fill, streets or highways during the hours of the first paragraph of this subsection and if he or she further determines that loss or inconvenience would result to any person in interest, he or she may grant permission for such work to be done, the specific hours and days of operation to be enumerated in the permit.
In case of urgent necessity in the interest of public health and safety, the Chief of Code Enforcement or the City Engineer may issue a permit to conduct such emergency work for a period not to exceed three (3) days or less while the emergency continues. Such permit may be renewed for periods of three (3) days or less while the emergency continues.
This Section shall not be construed to require a permit for a public utility engaged in any of the aforementioned activities provided reasonable effort is made to minimize noise disturbance while such work is in progress.
g. Maintenance Equipment. The use and operation of any noise-creating commercial or residential landscaping or home maintenance equipment or tools including, but not limited to, hammers, blowers, trimmers, mowers, chainsaws, power fans or any engine, the operation of which causes noise due to the explosion of operating gases or fluids, other than between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on weekdays and 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on weekends and holidays. (§1, Ord. 1753, eff. November 8, 1990)
4-6.204 Loud Noises Prohibited.
No person shall make, continue or cause to be made or continued, any loud, excessive or unreasonable noise or sound within the limits of the City. (§1, Ord. 1753, eff. November 8, 1990)
a. The provisions of this article shall not apply in actual or threatened emergency situations such as those caused by natural or man-made disasters.
b. Businesses and individuals using maintenance equipment in the Core Area and in business parks may commence at 7:00 a.m. on weekdays which are not holidays but are otherwise subject to the limitations set forth above.
c. Schools within the City’s limits using maintenance equipment may commence at 7:00 a.m. on weekdays which are not holidays but are otherwise subject to the limitations set forth above. (§1, Ord. 1753, eff. November 8, 1990)
d. If the Community Development Director determines that the public health, safety and welfare will not be impaired by the operation of golf course maintenance equipment, expressly for the purpose of preparing greens and sand trap areas prior to a course being opened for play, he or she may allow such operations to occur prior to the normal operating hour limitations as set forth in Section 4-6.203 (g) of the Municipal Code, but in no instance prior to 30 minutes before sunrise or 6:00 A.M., whichever is later. In granting such an exemption, the Community Development Director may impose any conditions as deemed necessary to ensure that the operation of golf course maintenance equipment prior to the normally permitted operating hours will not unreasonably disturb the occupants of residences located adjacent to the golf course requesting the exemption. Exemptions granted by the Community Development Director can be revoked at any time. Decisions by the Community Development Director shall be final. (§1, Ord. 1920, eff. 2/19/98.)
4-6.207 Penalty; Misdemeanor or Infraction.
a. If charged as an infraction, the penalty upon conviction of such person shall be a fine as set forth in §1-2.01 of this Code.
b. If charged as a misdemeanor, the penalty upon conviction of such person shall be imprisonment in the county jail for a period not to exceed six months, or by a fine not exceeding $1000.00, or by both fine and imprisonment. (§1, Ord. 1753, eff. November 8, 1990)
4-6.208 Abatement of Noise as Nuisance.
Any noise maintained in violation of any provision of this article shall additionally be deemed a public nuisance. Such public nuisance may be abated by the Chief of Police, the Community Development Director, or his or her designees, in accordance with the procedures authorized by this Code. (§1, Ord. 1753, eff. November 8, 1990)
Article 3. Parking on Private Property
4-6.301 Private Parking Signing.
a. No person shall drive or park a motor vehicle upon land or premises where the owner or the person occupying or having possession, or the agents thereof, have posted on such property or premises a notice in substantially the following form, and where the permission therein referred to shall not have been granted:
1. A statement that parking is restricted and to whom it applies:
"Parking for XXX customers only";
"This space reserved for XXX";
"Parking for tenants only";
"No parking in this area";
"Parking by permit holders only";
2. A statement that violators may or will be cited:
"Violators will be cited by Walnut Creek Police";
"Unauthorized vehicles will be cited or towed at owner’s expense";
3. A reference to this Municipal Code section:
"Sec. 4-6.301 Walnut Creek Muni. Code";
"Section 4-6.301 W.C.M.C."
Lettering shall be on a contrasting background and of such size and so placed as to be reasonably visible to all persons entering the private parking area. If the parking area is shared by more than one business or firm, those stalls for the private use by each shall be clearly identified.
Nothing in this section shall be construed as placing a requirement upon the Police Department to patrol such private property for violations and no enforcement action shall be taken except upon specific request by an authorized agent, owner or person in lawful possession or control thereof.
b. Where parking meters are used, signs on the parking meters that are consistent with the signs on the parking meters placed on the public streets or public parking lots shall be deemed to meet the requirements of subsection (a). (5420, as amended by §1, Ord. 1270, eff. April 7, 1976, and by §1, Ord. 1965, eff 8/10/00.)
4-6.302 Interference With Use of Property.
No person, without permission of the owner or person entitled to the possession thereof, shall park any motor vehicle in or upon any private property so as to interfere with the use thereof. (5421)
4-6.303 Unlawful Parking.
It is unlawful for any person to operate, drive or leave any vehicle in, over or upon any private property without the express or implied permission of the owner thereof, the person entitled to the possession thereof for the time being, or the authorized agent of either. The provisions of this section shall not apply to public or private parking lots. (5422)
4-6.304 Removal of Vehicles.
Any regularly employed and salaried officer of the police department, the owner of any private property, the person entitled to the possession thereof for the time being, or the authorized agent of either may remove or cause to be removed any vehicle parked or left standing on any private property in violation of the provisions of §4-6.303 of this article. (5423, as amended by §1, Ord. 1143, eff. August 30, 1972)
4-6.305 Liability For Wrongful Removal of Vehicles.
If a vehicle removed from such private property was rightfully there, the person who complained of the presence of such vehicle and/or the person (other than the employees of the Police Department) who caused such vehicle to be removed shall be liable for any and all charges for towing and for caring for and keeping safe such vehicle. (5424, as amended by §1, Ord. 1143, eff. August 30, 1972)
4-6.306 Removal of Vehicles to Places of Safety.
Any person referred to in Section 4-6.304 of this article who removes any vehicle from any private property in the City is hereby authorized to remove such vehicle to the nearest garage or other place of safety or to a garage designated or maintained by the City. (5425)
4-6.307 Notice to Owner of Removed Vehicle.
Any person referred to in Section 4-6.304 of this article who removes a vehicle from private property shall give notice to the owner of the vehicle as provided in the Vehicle Code of the State. (5426)
4-6.308 Garage Keeper’s Lien.
The keeper of any garage in which any vehicle is stored in accordance with the provisions of this article shall have a lien thereon for his compensation for towing and for caring for and keeping safe such vehicle and may satisfy such lien upon compliance with and under the conditions stated in the Vehicle Code of the State. (5427)
4-6.309 Notification to Police Department.
Any person, including any tow truck operator or driver, as defined under the provisions of this article, who removes or causes to be removed a vehicle, shall notify the Police Department of the location from which the vehicle was towed, the vehicle license number and description and the place of storage within two (2) hours of removal. (§1, Ord. 1212, eff. May 29, 1974)
4-6.310 Business Records.
Any person, as defined under the provisions of this article, who removes or causes to be removed a vehicle shall keep appropriate records of the removal, including the name, address and telephone number of the person authorizing the removal from private property. (§1, Ord. 1212, eff. May 29, 1974)
Article 4. Weed Abatement (Repealed)
Article 4 of Chapter 6, Title IV (Weed Abatement) repealed in its entirety by §1, Ord. 1480, eff. August 14, 1980.
Article 4. Trespass
4-6.401 Business Premises Trespass.
a. No person shall remain upon the outdoor portion of any business premises after being notified by the owner, the person in lawful possession, or their agent, or by a peace officer at the request of the owner, the person in lawful possession, or their agent, to leave the premises.
b. No person, without permission of the owner, the person in lawful possession, or their agent shall enter upon the outdoor portion of any business premises after having been notified by the owner, the person in lawful possession, or their agent to keep off the business premises. After complying with such order, no person shall return within 72 hours of leaving.
c. This section shall not apply in any of the following instances:
1. Where its application results in an act prohibited by the Unruh Civil Rights Act or any other provision of law relating to prohibited discrimination against any person on account of color, race, religion, creed, ancestry or national origin;
2. Where its application would result in interfering with lawful labor picketing;
3. Where its application would result in interfering with any other exercise of a constitutionally protected right such as peaceful expressions of political or religious opinions. (§1, Ord.1832, eff. 2/3/94)
4-6.402 Penalty; Misdemeanor or Infraction.
Any person who violates any provision of sections 4-6.401 shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor or an infraction.
a. If charged as an infraction the penalty upon conviction of such person shall be a fine as set forth in section 1-2.01 of this Code.
b. If charged as a misdemeanor, the penalty upon conviction of such person shall be imprisonment in the county jail for a period not to exceed six months or by a fine not exceeding $1,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment. (§1, Ord.1832, eff. 2/3/94)
Article 5. Maintenance of Private Streets
a. As used in this article, private street shall mean a street as set forth in §10-2.1.303 of this Code, which has not been offered to or accepted by the City of Walnut Creek as a public street, although said street might meet the standard specifications for City streets.
b. Street maintenance shall mean all actions necessary to inspect, clean, repair or replace a street in order to conform to Walnut Creek street maintenance standards.
c. Development, as used in this article, refers to the property set forth in Ordinance No. 859 (known as Diablo Hills), and Ordinance No. 1050 (known as Rossmoor Leisure World) which are on file in the office of the City Clerk. (§1, Ord. 1054, eff. March 31, 1971)
4-6.502 Maintenance of Streets.
It shall be unlawful for the owner or developer, their successors or assigns, to allow the streets within their development encompassed by Section 4-6.501(a) to fall into a state of disrepair which would render said street or streets unacceptable if offered for public use. The Chief of Code Enforcement shall determine that there is a violation of this section if he finds the existence of (1) base failure, (2) extensive alligatorization and cracking of the surface of the pavement, or (3) dangerous chuck holes having a diameter greater than six (6) inches. (§1, Ord. 1054, eff. March 31, 1971, as amended by §19, Ord. 1143, eff. August 30, 1972)
4-6.503 Abatement of Nuisance.
A violation of §4-6.502 shall be a nuisance and the Chief of Code Enforcement shall abate said nuisance as follows:
a. Notice to Repair. The Chief of Code Enforcement is authorized by this article and empowered to notify the owner, developer, their successors or assigns of a violation of Section 4-6.502 and order immediate repair to any defective street or streets which is sufficient to return said street or streets to the condition required by this article. Written notice shall be by registered mail addressed to the owner, developer, their successors or assigns at the last known address.
b. Action upon Noncompliance. Upon the failure, neglect or refusal by the aforementioned party or parties to make the required repairs within a reasonable time after receipt of said notice, the Chief of Code Enforcement is authorized and empowered to cause the required repairs to be made. In the event the written notice is returned to the post office because of its inability to make delivery thereof, the Chief of Code Enforcement shall immediately cause a notice to be posted on the property concerned, and upon failure, neglect or refusal of the owner, developer, successors or their assigns of the property in question to properly restore the defective road or roads within thirty (30) days after the return of the notice to the post office, the Chief of Code Enforcement is hereby authorized and empowered to order the repairs to be made.
c. Charge Included in Tax Bill. When the City has effected the repair of the defective road or roads or has paid for their repair, the actual cost thereof, plus accrued interest at the rate of seven percent (7%) per annum from the date of completion of the work, if not paid by such owner prior thereto, shall be charged to the owner, developer, their successors or assigns on the next regular tax bill forwarded to such owner by the City and such charge shall be due and payable at the time of payment of such bill.
d. Recorded Statement Constitutes Lien. Where the full amount due the City is not paid within sixty (60) days after the repairs are made, the Chief of Code Enforcement shall cause to be recorded in the office of the City Clerk a sworn statement showing the cost and expense incurred for the work, the date the work was done and the location of the property on which the work was done. The recordation of such sworn statement shall constitute a lien and privilege on the property and shall remain in full force and effect for the amount due in principal and interest, plus costs of court, if any, for collection until final payment has been made. Such costs and expenses shall be collected in the manner fixed by law for the collection of taxes and shall be subject to a delinquent penalty of $5.00 in the event the same is not paid in full on or before the date the tax bill upon which such charge appears becomes delinquent. Such sworn statements shall be prima facie evidence that all legal formalities have been complied with and that the work has been done properly and satisfactorily and shall be full notice to every person concerned that the amount of the statement, plus interest at the rate of seven percent (7%) per annum from the date of completion of the work, constitutes a charge against the property designated or described in the statement and that the same is due and collectible as provided by law. (§1, Ord. 1054, eff. March 31, 1971, as amended by §19, Ord. 1143, eff. August 30, 1972)
Article 6. Graffiti Nuisance and Abatement
The City Council of the City of Walnut Creek finds that graffiti is offensive to the senses and interferes with the comfortable enjoyment of one’s property and, therefore, constitutes a nuisance.
The Council also finds that graffiti decreases property values in the community and may lead to an increase in crime or juvenile delinquency. Graffiti is also visually obnoxious and inconsistent with the City’s goals for property maintenance and maintenance of the City’s development standards. Unless graffiti is quickly removed from private property, it results in other properties becoming the target of graffiti, thereby diminishing their value and reducing the ability of the City to meet the health, safety and welfare needs of its citizens.
Accordingly, the City will provide for the removal of graffiti from privately owned permanent structures located on privately owned real property within the City as authorized by California Government Code Section 38773.5. (§1, Ord. 1844, eff. 10/13/94)
a. Graffiti shall mean the drawing, defacing, writing, marring, inscribing, scratching, painting, spraying or affixing of any word, figure or design on any structural component of privately owned property of another without the owner’s consent.
b. Property Owner shall mean any natural person, corporation, firm or other association or person whether the owner, lessee, sublessor, sublessee or occupant of any premises whereon such graffiti is being maintained, permitted or continued.
c. Removal shall mean to repair, replace, remove, destroy or otherwise eliminate the graffiti by such means and in such manner and to such an extent that the graffiti is no longer visible. (§1, Ord. 1844, eff. 10/13/94)
4-6.603 Prohibition of Graffiti.
It is hereby declared a nuisance for any person owning, leasing, renting, occupying, managing or having charge or possession of any property in the City to maintain or allow to be maintained, graffiti on such property if the graffiti, or any portion of it, is visible to the public from a public or private street, sidewalk or from other properties, public or private. (§1, Ord. 1844, eff. 10/13/94)
a. The City Council authorizes the Chief of Police to declare that graffiti which exists on a particular piece of property constitutes a nuisance. The Chief of Police shall provide notice to the property owner that graffiti present on the property constitutes a nuisance.
b. Notice will be provided to property owners and shall be addressed to the name and address as it appears on the latest equalized tax roll or in other records maintained by public agencies with a copy addressed to the subject property. Said notice shall be effected by depositing a copy of the notice in the U.S. Mail, Certified with postage fully affixed, or personally delivering a copy of the notice to the owner of the property. The service is complete at the time of deposit in the mail or when personal service is effectuated. The failure of any person to receive such notice shall not effect the validity of any legal proceedings regarding removal of the graffiti.
c. Unless an appeal is filed pursuant to Sec. 4-6.05, property owners shall remove graffiti from their property within fifteen (15) calendar days after notification by the Chief of Police to remove such graffiti. Extensions of the removal period may be granted in writing by the Chief of Police.
d. In the event the owner fails to remove the graffiti within 15 (fifteen) days after notice has been sent, the City may at its option abate the graffiti.
e. In the event the City abates the graffiti, the Director of Public Services shall prepare a report setting forth an accounting of the cost of abatement for each parcel of property where the work was performed. Such report shall be presented by the Director of Public Services to the City Council which may, after notice and an opportunity for the property owner to be heard, accept the report and overrule any objections by the property owners liable to be assessed for the abatement. The Council has the authority to modify the report if necessary. The Council may then confirm the report and such amount shall become a special assessment and lien against the property pursuant to Government Code Section 38773.5.
f. The cost of the abatement to be billed to the property owner shall be the cost for City crews or contractors to remove the graffiti plus the costs incurred by City in enforcing the abatement including investigation, boundary determination, repainting, measurement, clerical and other related costs.
g. After the assessment is made and confirmed by the Council, a lien attaches on the parcel upon recordation of the order with the County Recorder. The Director of Public Services shall also cause a copy of the report to be filed with the County Auditor on or before August 10th of every year so that the amount of the assessment may be collected at the time and in the manner as other municipal taxes. In the event payment of such taxes is delinquent, the amount is subject to the same penalties provided for ordinary municipal taxes. (§1, Ord. 1844, eff. 10/13/94)
4-6.605 Appeal of Decision.
a. The property owner may request a hearing with respect to the Chief of Police’s determination that graffiti on a particular parcel constitutes a nuisance within ten (10) calendar days after mailing or personal delivery of the notice to remove graffiti. Such appeal shall only be effective if made in writing and received in the office of the Chief of Police prior to expiration of the ten days.
b. The Director of Public Services shall expeditiously hear and determine any appeal made pursuant to this section.
c. The decision of the Director of Public Services shall be final. (§1, Ord. 1844, eff. 10/13/94)
4-6.606 Authority to Abate.
The Director of Public Services may enter upon private property to abate the graffiti. (§1, Ord. 1844, eff. 10/13/94)
4-6.607 Recovery of Removal Costs.
The City or property owner may seek restitution for the entire cost of removal, including administrative fees, to reimburse City or property owner for any damage caused by the graffiti or the removal. Said recovery may be pursued in a separate civil action, or as part of a criminal proceeding against the responsible party. Parental liability shall lie from damage or costs incurred by a minor who defaces or otherwise damages property pursuant to this section and California Civil Code Section 1714.1(b). (§1, Ord. 1844, eff. 10/13/94)