Chapter 8.22
UNAUTHORIZED VEHICLES AND JUNK VEHICLES

Sections:

8.22.010    Definitions.

8.22.020    Impounding unauthorized vehicles.

8.22.030    Redemption rights and hearing procedures.

8.22.040    Junk vehicle disposition.

8.22.050    Public nuisances.

8.22.060    Penalty for violation.

8.22.010 Definitions.

The definitions set forth in this section apply throughout the chapter:

A.    “Abandoned vehicle” means a vehicle that a registered tow truck operator has impounded and held in his possession for 96 consecutive hours.

B.    “Abandoned vehicle report” means the document prescribed by the state that the towing operator forwards to the department after a vehicle has become abandoned.

C.    “Commission” means the state commission on equipment established under RCW 46.37.005.

D.    “Department” means the Washington State Department of Licensing.

E.    “Director” means the director of the department.

F.    “Impound” means to take and hold a vehicle in legal custody. There are two types of impounds, public and private.

1.    “Public impound” means that the vehicle has been impounded at the direction of a law enforcement officer or other public official having jurisdiction over the public property upon which the vehicle was located.

2.    “Private impound” means that the vehicle has been impounded at the direction of a person having control or possession of the private property upon which the vehicle was located.

G.    “Junk vehicle” means a motor vehicle certified under BMC 8.22.040 as meeting at least three of the following requirements:

1.    Is three years old or older;

2.    Is extensively damaged, such damage including but not limited to any of the following: a broken window or windshield or missing wheels, tires, motor, or transmission;

3.    Is apparently inoperable;

4.    Has a fair market value equal only to the value of the scrap in it.

H.    “Master log” means the document or an electronic facsimile prescribed by the department and the Washington State Patrol in which an operator records transactions involving impounded vehicles.

I.    “Registered tow truck operator” or “operator” means any person who engages in the impounding, transporting, or storage of unauthorized vehicles or the disposal of abandoned vehicles.

J.    “Residential property” means property that has no more than four living units located on it.

K.    “Tow truck” means a motor vehicle that is equipped for and used in the business of towing vehicles with equipment as approved by the commission.

L.    “Tow truck number” means the number issued by the department to tow trucks used by a registered tow truck operator in the state of Washington.

M.    “Tow truck permit” means the permit issued annually by the department that has the classification of service the tow truck may provide stamped upon it.

N.    “Tow truck service” means the transporting upon the public streets and highways of this state of unauthorized vehicles, together with personal effects and cargo, by a tow truck of a registered operator.

O.    “Unauthorized vehicle” means a vehicle (regardless of physical condition) that is subject to impoundment after being left unattended in one of the following public or private locations for the indicated period of time:

    Subject to removal after:

1.    Public locations:

a.    Constituting an accident or a traffic hazard as defined in RCW 46.55.113: immediately.

b.    On a highway and tagged as described in RCW 46.55.085: 24 hours.

c.    In a publicly owned or controlled parking facility, properly posted under BMC 8.22.020: immediately.

2.    Private locations:

a.    On residential property: immediately.

b.    On private, nonresidential property, properly posted under BMC 8.22.020: immediately.

c.    On private, nonresidential property, not posted: 24 hours. (Ord. 1687 § 1, 1997).

8.22.020 Impounding unauthorized vehicles.

A.    Posting Requirements – Exception.

1.    No person may impound, tow, or otherwise disturb any unauthorized vehicle standing on nonresidential private property or in a public parking facility for less than 24 hours unless a sign is posted near each entrance and on the property in a clearly conspicuous and visible location to all who park on such property that clearly indicates:

a.    The times a vehicle may be impounded as an unauthorized vehicle; and

b.    The name, telephone number, and address of the towing firm where the vehicle may be redeemed.

2.    The requirements of subsection (1) of this section do not apply to residential property. Any person having charge of such property may have an unauthorized vehicle impounded immediately upon giving written authorization.

3.    All signs required by subsection (1) of this section shall conform to rules relating to the size of the sign, its lettering, placement, and the number required, adopted by the department.

B.    Impoundment. If a vehicle is in violation of the time restrictions of BMC 8.22.010(O), it may be impounded by a registered tow truck operator at the direction of a law enforcement officer or other public official with jurisdiction if the vehicle is on public property, or at the direction of the property owner or his agent if it is on private property. A law enforcement officer may also direct the impoundment of a vehicle pursuant to a writ or court order.

    The person requesting a private impound or a law enforcement officer or public official requesting a public impound shall provide a signed authorization for the impound at the time and place of the impound to the registered tow truck operator before the operator may proceed with the impound. A registered tow truck operator, employee, or his or her agent may not serve as an agent of a property owner for the purposes of signing an impound authorization, or independent of the property owner, identify a vehicle for impound.

C.    Law Enforcement Impound – Unauthorized Vehicle in Right-of-Way.

1.    A law enforcement officer discovering an unauthorized vehicle left within a highway right-of-way shall attach to the vehicle a readily visible notification sticker. The sticker shall contain the following information:

a.    The date and time the sticker was attached;

b.    The identity of the officer;

c.    A statement that if the vehicle is not removed within 24 hours from the time the sticker is attached, the vehicle may be taken into custody and stored at the owner’s expense; and

d.    The address and telephone number where additional information may be obtained.

2.    If the vehicle has current Washington registration plates, the officers shall check the records to learn the identity of the last owner of record. The officer or his department shall make a reasonable effort to contact the owner by telephone in order to give the owner the information on the notification sticker.

3.    If the vehicle is not removed within 24 hours from the time the notification sticker is attached, the law enforcement officer may take custody of the vehicle and provide for the vehicle’s removal to a place of safety. A vehicle that does not pose a safety hazard may remain on the roadside for more than 24 hours if the owner or operator is unable to remove it from the place where it is located and so notifies law enforcement officials and requests assistance.

4.    For the purposes of this section, a place of safety includes the business location of a registered tow truck operator.

D.    Storage.

1.    All vehicles impounded shall be taken to the nearest storage location that has been inspected and is listed on the application filed with the department.

2.    All vehicles shall be handled and returned in substantially the same condition as they existed before being towed.

3.    All personal belongings and contents in the vehicle, with the exception of those items of personal property that are registered or titled with the department, shall be kept intact, and shall be returned to the vehicle’s owner or agent during normal business hours upon request and presentation of a driver’s license or other sufficient identification. Personal belongings, with the exception of those items of personal property that are registered or titled with the department, shall not be sold at auction to fulfill a lien against the vehicle.

4.    All personal belongings, with the exception of those items of personal property that are registered or titled with the department, not claimed before the auction shall be turned over to the Bothell police department. Such personal belongings shall be disposed of pursuant to Chapter 63.32 or 63.40 RCW.

5.    Tow truck drivers shall have a Washington State driver’s license endorsed for the appropriate classification under Chapter 46.25 RCW or the equivalent issued by another state.

6.    Any person who shows proof of ownership or written authorization from the impounded vehicle’s registered or legal owner may view the vehicle without charge during normal business hours.

E.    Impound Notice – Abandoned Vehicle Report – Owner Information – Disposition Report.

1.    At the time of impoundment, the registered tow truck operator providing the towing service shall give immediate notification, by telephone or radio, to the Bothell police department who shall maintain a log of such reports. The Bothell police department, or a private communication center acting on behalf of the Bothell police department, shall, within six to 12 hours of the impoundment, provide to a requesting operator the name and address of the legal and registered owners of the vehicle, and the registered owner of any personal property registered or titled with the department that is attached to or contained in or on the impounded vehicle, the vehicle identification number, and any necessary, pertinent information. The initial notice of impoundment shall be followed by a written or electronic facsimile notice within 24 hours. In the case of a vehicle from another state, time requirements of this subsection do not apply until the Bothell police department receives the information.

2.    The operator shall immediately send an abandoned vehicle report to the department for any vehicle, and for any items of personal property registered or titled with the department, that are in the operator’s possession after the 96-hour abandonment period. Such report need not be sent when the impoundment is pursuant to a writ, court order, or police hold. The owner notification and abandonment process shall be initiated by the registered tow truck operator immediately following notification by a court or law enforcement officer that the writ, court order, or police hold is no longer in effect.

3.    Following the submittal of an abandoned vehicle report, the department shall provide the registered tow truck operator with owner information within 72 hours.

4.    Within 15 days of the sale of an abandoned vehicle at public auction, the towing operator shall send a copy of the abandoned vehicle report showing the disposition of the abandoned vehicle and any other items of personal property registered or titled with the department to the Crime Information Center and the Washington State Patrol.

5.    If the operator sends an abandoned vehicle report to the department and the department finds no owner information, an operator may proceed with an inspection of the vehicle and any other items of personal property registered or titled with the department to determine whether owner identification is within the vehicle.

6.    If the operator finds no owner identification, the operator shall immediately notify the appropriate law enforcement agency, which shall search the vehicle and any other items of personal property registered or titled with the department for the vehicle identification number or other appropriate identification numbers and check the necessary records to determine the vehicle’s or other property’s owners.

F.    Responsibility of Registered Owner.

1.    The abandonment of any vehicle creates a prima facie presumption that the last registered owner of record is responsible for the abandonment and is liable for costs incurred in removing, storing, and disposing of the abandoned vehicle, less amounts realized at auction.

2.    If an authorized vehicle is found abandoned under subsection (1) of this section and removed at the direction of law enforcement, the last registered owner of record is guilty of a traffic infraction, unless the vehicle is redeemed as provided in RCW 46.55.120. In addition to any other monetary penalty payable under Chapter 46.63 RCW, the court shall not consider all monetary penalties as having been paid until the court is satisfied that the person found to have committed the infraction has made restitution in the amount of the deficiency remaining after disposal of the vehicle under RCW 46.55.140.

3.    Filing a report of sale or transfer regarding the vehicle involved in accordance with RCW 46.12.101(1) or a vehicle theft report filed with a law enforcement agency relieves the last registered owner of liability under subsections (1) and (2) of this section.

4.    For the purposes of reporting notices of traffic infraction to the department under RCW 46.20.270 and 46.52.100, and for purposes of reporting notices of failure to appear, respond, or comply regarding a notice of traffic infraction to the department under RCW 46.63.070(5), a traffic infraction under subsection (2) of this section is not considered to be a standing, stopping, or parking violation.

5.    A notice of infraction for a violation of this section may be filed with the Bothell municipal court.

G.    Notice to Legal and Registered Owners.

1.    When an unauthorized vehicle is impounded, the impounding towing operator shall notify the legal and registered owners of the impoundment of the unauthorized vehicle and the owners of any other items of personal property registered or titled with the department. The notification shall be sent by first-class mail within 24 hours after the impoundment to the last known registered and legal owners of the vehicle, and the owners of any other items of personal property registered or titled with the department, as provided by the law enforcement agency, and shall inform the owners of the identity of the person or agency authorizing the impoundment. The notification shall include the name of the impounding tow firm, its address, and telephone number. The notification shall also include the location, time of the impoundment, and by whose authority the vehicle was impounded. The notification shall also include the written notice of the right of redemption and the opportunity for a hearing to contest the validity of the impoundment pursuant to RCW 46.55.120.

2.    In the case of an abandoned vehicle, or other item of personal property registered or titled with the department, within 24 hours after receiving information on the owners from the department through the abandoned vehicle report, the tow truck operator shall send by certified mail, with return receipt requested, a notice of custody and sale to the legal and registered owners.

3.    No notices need to be sent to the legal and registered owners of an impounded vehicle or other item of personal property registered or titled with the department, if the vehicle or personal property has been redeemed.

H.    Removal by Police Officer. Whenever the driver of a vehicle is arrested for a violation of RCW 46.61.502 or 46.61.504, the arresting officer may take custody of the vehicle and provide for its prompt removal to a place of safety. In addition, a police officer may take custody of a vehicle and provide for its prompt removal to a place of safety under any of the following circumstances:

1.    Whenever a police officer finds a vehicle standing upon a roadway in violation of any of the provisions of RCW 46.61.560, the officer may provide for the removal of the vehicle or require the driver or other person in charge of the vehicle to move the vehicle to a position off the roadway;

2.    Whenever a police officer finds a vehicle unattended upon a highway where the vehicle constitutes an obstruction to traffic or jeopardizes public safety;

3.    Whenever a police officer finds an unattended vehicle at the scene of an accident or when the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident is physically or mentally incapable of deciding upon steps to be taken to protect his or her property;

4.    Whenever the driver of a vehicle is arrested and taken into custody by a police officer;

5.    Whenever a police officer discovers a vehicle that the officer determines to be a stolen vehicle;

6.    Whenever a vehicle without a special license plate, card, or decal indicating that the vehicle is being used to transport a disabled person under RCW 46.16.381 is parked in a stall or space clearly and conspicuously marked under RCW 46.61.581 which space is provided on private property without charge or on public property; and

7.    Upon determining that a person is operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license in violation of RCW 46.20.021 or with a license that has been expired for 90 days or more, or with a suspended or revoked license in violation of RCW 46.20.342 or 46.20.420.

Nothing in this section may derogate from the powers of police officers under the common law. For purposes of this section, a place of safety may include the business location of a registered tow truck operator. (Ord. 1687 § 1, 1997).

8.22.030 Redemption rights and hearing procedures.

A.    Redemption Requirements.

1.    Vehicles or other items of personal property registered or titled with the department that are impounded by registered tow truck operators pursuant to RCW 46.55.080, 46.55.085, or 46.55.113 may be redeemed only under the following circumstances:

a.    Only the legal owner, the registered owner, a person authorized in writing by the registered owner, or the vehicle’s insurer, a person who is determined and verified by the operator to have the permission of the registered owner of the vehicle or other item of personal property registered or titled with the department, or one who has purchased the vehicle or item of personal property registered or titled with the department from the registered owner who produces proof of ownership or written authorization and signs a receipt therefor, may redeem an impounded vehicle or items of personal property registered or titled with the department.

b.    The vehicle or other item of personal property registered or titled with the department shall be released upon the presentation to any person having custody of the vehicle of commercially reasonable tender sufficient to cover the costs of towing, storage, or other services rendered during the course of towing, removing, impounding, or storing any such motor vehicle. Commercially reasonable tender shall include, without limitation, cash, major bank credit cards, or personal checks drawn on in-state banks if accompanied by two pieces of valid identification, one of which may be required by the operator to have a photograph. If the towing firm can determine through the customer’s bank or check verification service that the presented check would not be paid by the bank or guaranteed by the service, the towing firm may refuse to accept the check. Any person who stops payment on a personal check or credit card, or does not make restitution within 10 days from the date a check becomes insufficient due to lack of funds to a towing firm that has provided a service pursuant to this section or in any other manner defrauds the towing firm in connection with services rendered pursuant to this section shall be liable for damages in the amount of twice the towing and storage fees, plus costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees.

2.    a. The registered tow truck operator shall give to each person who seeks to redeem an impounded vehicle, or item of personal property registered or titled with the department, written notice of the right of redemption and opportunity for a hearing, which notice shall be accompanied by a form to be used for requesting a hearing, the name of the person or agency authorizing the impound, and a copy of the towing and storage invoice. The registered tow truck operator shall maintain a record evidenced by the redeeming person’s signature that such notification was provided.

b.    Any person seeking to redeem an impounded vehicle under this section has a right to a hearing before the Bothell hearing examiner to contest the validity of the impoundment or the amount of towing and storage charges. Any request for a hearing shall be made in writing on the form provided for that purpose and must be received by the community development department within 10 days of the date the opportunity was provided for in subsection (2)(a) of this section. If the hearing request is not received by the community development department within the 10-day period, the right to a hearing is waived and the registered owner is liable for any towing, storage, or other impoundment charges permitted under this chapter. Upon receipt of a timely hearing request, the hearing examiner shall proceed to hear and determine the validity of the impoundment.

3.    a. The department of community development, within five days after request for a hearing, shall notify the registered tow truck operator, the person requesting the hearing if not the owner, the registered and legal owners of the motor vehicle, or other item of personal property registered or titled with the department, and the person or agency authorizing the impound in writing of the hearing date and time.

b.    At the hearing, the person or persons requesting the hearing may produce any relevant evidence to show that the impoundment, towing, or storage fees charged were not proper. The hearing examiner may consider a written report made under oath by the officer who authorized the impoundment in lieu of the officer’s personal appearance at the hearing.

c.    At the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing examiner shall determine whether the impoundment was proper, whether the towing or storage fees charges were in compliance with the posted rates, and who is responsible for payment of the fees. The hearing examiner may not adjust fees or charges that are in compliance with the posted or contracted rates.

d.    If the impoundment is found proper, the impoundment, towing, and storage fees as permitted under this chapter together with hearing costs shall be assessed against the person or persons requesting the hearing, unless the operator did not have a signed and valid impoundment authorization from a private property owner or an authorized agent.

e.    If the impoundment is determined to be in violation of this chapter, then the registered and legal owners of the vehicle or other item of personal property registered or titled with the department shall bear no impoundment, towing, or storage fees, and any security shall be returned or discharged as appropriate, and the person or agency who authorized the impoundment shall be liable for any towing, storage, or other impoundment fees permitted under this chapter. The hearing examiner shall enter judgment in favor of the registered tow truck operator against the person or agency authorizing the impound for the impoundment, towing and storage fees paid. In addition, the hearing examiner shall enter judgment in favor of the registered and legal owners of the vehicle, or other item of personal property registered or titled with the department, for reasonable damages for loss of the use of the vehicle during the time the same was impounded, for not less than $50.00 per day, against the person or agency authorizing the impound. If any judgment entered is not paid within 15 days of notice in writing of its entry, the hearing examiner shall award reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs against the defendant in any action to enforce the judgment. Notice of entry of judgment may be made by registered or certified mail, and proof of mailing may be made by affidavit of the party mailing the notice. Notice of the entry of the judgment shall read essentially as follows:

TO: _________

YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED JUDGMENT was entered against you by the City of Bothell Hearing Examiner in the sum of $ ____ , in an action entitled _________ , Case No. ______.
YOU ARE FURTHER NOTIFIED that attorneys’ fees and costs will be awarded against you under BMC 8.22.030(A)(3)(e) if the judgment is not paid within fifteen days of the date of this notice.

DATED this ____ day of ____, 19 ___.

_______________________________________
(Type name and address of party mailing notice)

f.    A decision of the hearing examiner may be appealed to the district court having jurisdiction per RCW 46.55.240 within 10 days of the entry of the decision by the hearing examiner.

4.    Any impounded abandoned vehicle or item of personal property registered or titled with the department that is not redeemed within 15 days of mailing of the notice of custody and sale as required by RCW 46.55.110(2) shall be sold at public auction in accordance with all the provisions and subject to all the conditions of RCW 46.55.130. A vehicle or item of personal property registered or titled with the department may be redeemed any time before the start of the auction upon payment of the applicable towing and storage fees.

B.    Auction – When Permitted – Requirements.

1.    If, after the expiration of 15 days from the date of mailing of notice of custody and sale required in BMC 8.22.020(G)(2) to the registered and legal owners, the vehicle or hulk remains unclaimed and has not been listed as a stolen vehicle, then the registered tow truck operator having custody of the vehicle shall conduct a sale of the vehicle at public auction after having first published a notice of the date, place, and time of the auction in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the vehicle is located not less than three days and no more than 10 days before the date of the auction. The advertisement shall contain a description of the vehicle including the make, model, year, and license number and notification that a three-hour public viewing period will be available before the auction. The auction shall be held during daylight hours of a normal business day.

2.    The following procedures are required in any public auction of abandoned vehicles:

a.    The auction shall be held in such a manner that all persons present are given an equal time and opportunity to bid;

b.    All bidders must be present at the time of auction unless they have submitted to the registered tow truck operator, who may or may not choose to use the preauction bid method, a written bid on a specific vehicle. Written bids may be submitted up to five days before the auction and shall clearly state which vehicle is being bid upon, the amount of the bid, and who is submitting the bid;

c.    The open bid process, including all written bids, shall be used so that everyone knows the dollar value that must be exceeded;

d.    The highest two bids received shall be recorded in written form and shall include the name, address, and telephone number of each such bidder;

e.    In case the high bidder defaults, the next bidder has the right to purchase the vehicle for the amount of his or her bid;

f.    The successful bidder shall apply for title within 15 days;

g.    The registered tow truck operator shall post a copy of the auction procedure at the bidding site. If the bidding site is different from the licensed office location the operator shall post a clearly visible sign at the office location that describes in detail where the auction will be held. At the bidding site a copy of the newspaper advertisement that lists the vehicles for sale shall be posted;

h.    All surplus moneys derived from the auction after satisfaction of the registered tow truck operator’s lien shall be remitted within 30 days to the department for deposit in the state motor vehicle fund. A report identifying the vehicles resulting in any surplus shall accompany the remitted funds. If the director subsequently receives a valid claim from the registered vehicle owner of record as determined by the department within one year from the date of the auction, the surplus moneys shall be remitted to the registered owner;

i.    If an operator receives no bid, or if the operator is the successful bidder at auction, the operator shall within 30 days sell the unclaimed abandoned vehicle to a licensed vehicle wrecker, hulk hauler, or scrap processor by use of the abandoned vehicle report affidavit of sale, or the operator shall apply for title to the vehicle.

3.    In no case may an operator hold a vehicle for longer than 90 days without holding an auction on the vehicle, except for vehicles that are under a police or judicial hold.

4.    a. In no case may the accumulation of storage charges exceed 15 days from the date of receipt of the information by the operator from the department as provided by BMC 8.22.020(E)(2).

b.    The failure of the registered tow truck operator to comply with the time limits provided in this chapter limits the accumulation of storage charges to five days except where delay is unavoidable. Providing incorrect or incomplete identifying information to the department in the abandoned vehicle report shall be considered a failure to comply with these time limits if correct information is available.

C.    Lien For Services.

1.    A registered tow truck operator who has a valid and signed impoundment authorization has a lien upon the vehicle for services provided in the towing and storage of the vehicle, unless the impoundment is determined to have been invalid. However, the lien does not apply to personal property in or upon the vehicle that is not permanently attached to or is not an integral part of the vehicle except for items of personal property registered or titled with the department. The registered tow truck operator also has a deficiency claim against the last registered owner of the vehicle for services provided in the towing and storage of the vehicle not to exceed the sum of $500.00 less the amount bid at auction, and for vehicles of over 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight, the operator has a deficiency claim of $1,000 less the amount bid at auction, unless the impound is determined to be invalid. The limitation on towing and storage deficiency claims does not apply to an impound directed by a law enforcement officer. In no case may the cost of the auction or a buyer’s fee be added to the amount charged for the vehicle at the auction, the vehicle’s lien, or the overdue charge. A registered owner who has completed and filed with the department the seller’s report as provided for by RCW 46.12.101 and has timely and properly filed the seller’s report, is relieved of liability under this section. The person named as a new owner of the vehicle on the timely and properly filed seller’s report shall assume liability under this section.

2.    Any person who tows, removes, or otherwise disturbs any vehicle parked, stalled or otherwise left on privately owned or controlled property, and any person owning or controlling the private property, or either of them, are liable to the owner or operator of the vehicle, or each of them, for consequential and incidental damages arising from any interference with the ownership or use of the vehicle which does not comply with the requirements of this chapter. (Ord. 1687 § 1, 1997).

8.22.040 Junk vehicle disposition.

A.    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any Bothell police officer or any city employee authorized by the director shall inspect and may authorize the disposal of an abandoned junk vehicle. The person making the inspection shall record the make and vehicle identification number or license number of the vehicle if available, and shall also verify that the approximate value of the junk vehicle is equivalent only to the approximate value of the scrap in it.

B.    The Bothell police officer or other city employee authorized by the director shall provide information on the vehicle’s registered and legal owner to the landowner.

C.    Upon receiving information on the vehicle’s registered and legal owner, the landowner shall mail a notice to the registered and legal owners shown on the records of the department. The notification shall describe the redemption procedure and the right to arrange for removal of the vehicle.

D.    If the vehicle remains unclaimed more than 15 days after the landowner has mailed notification to the registered and legal owner, the landowner may dispose of the vehicle or sign an affidavit of sale to be used as a title document.

E.    If no information on the vehicle’s registered and legal owner is found in the records of the department, the landowner shall place a legal notice of custody and sale in a newspaper of general circulation in the county. The newspaper notice shall include: (a) the description of the vehicle; (b) the address of the location of the junk vehicle; (c) the date by which the owner must redeem the vehicle; and (d) a telephone number where the landowner can be reached. If the vehicle remains unclaimed more than 20 days after publication of the notice, the landowner may immediately dispose of the vehicle or may sign an affidavit of sale to be used as a title document.

F.    The landowner of the property upon which the junk vehicle is located is entitled to recover from the vehicle’s registered owner any costs incurred in the removal of the junk vehicle.

G.    For the purposes of this section, the term “landowner” includes a legal owner of private property, a person with possession or control of private property, or a public official having jurisdiction over public property. (Ord. 1687 § 1, 1997).

8.22.050 Public nuisances.

Any junk vehicle or parts thereof on private property are hereby declared to be a public nuisance. Costs of removal by the city may be assessed against the last registered owner of the junk vehicle if the identity of the owner can be determined, unless the owner in the transfer of ownership of the vehicle has complied with RCW 46.12.101, or the costs may be assessed against the owner of the property on which the vehicle is stored, provided that:

A.    Written notice is given to the last registered owner of record and the property owner of record that a hearing may be requested and that if hearing is requested, the vehicle will be removed;

B.    If a request for a hearing is received, a notice giving the time, location, and date of the hearing on the question of abatement and removal of the vehicle or part thereof as a public nuisance shall be mailed, by certified mail, with a five-day return receipt requested, to the owner of the land as shown on the last equalized assessment roll and to the last registered and legal owner of record unless the vehicle is in such condition that identification numbers are not available to determine ownership;

C.    This section shall not apply to: (a) a vehicle or part thereof that is completely enclosed within a building in a lawful manner where it is not visible from the street or other public or private property; or (b) a vehicle or part thereof that is stored or parked in a lawful manner on private property in connection with the business of a licensed dismantler or licensed vehicle dealer and is fenced according to RCW 46.80.130;

D.    The owner of the land on which the vehicle is located may appear in person at the hearing or present a written statement in time for consideration at the hearing, and deny responsibility for the presence of the vehicle on the land, with his reasons for the denial. If it is determined at the hearing that the vehicle was placed on the land without the consent of the landowner and that he has not subsequently acquiesced in its presence, then the local agency shall not assess costs of administration or removal of the vehicle against the property upon which the vehicle is located or otherwise attempt to collect the cost from the owner;

E.    After notice has been given of the intent of the city, town, or county to dispose of the vehicle and after a hearing, if requested, has been held, the vehicle or part thereof shall be removed at the request of a law enforcement officer with notice to the Washington State Patrol and the Department of Licensing that the vehicle has been wrecked. The city, town, or county may operate such a disposal site when its governing body determines that commercial channels of disposition are not available or are inadequate, and it may make final disposition of such vehicles or parts, or may transfer such vehicle or parts to another governmental body provided such disposal shall be only as scrap;

F.    A registered tow truck operator under contract with the city of Bothell for the impounding of vehicles shall comply with any administrative regulations adopted by the city on the handling and depositing of vehicles. (Ord. 1687 § 1, 1997).

8.22.060 Penalty for violation.

In addition to any other remedy provided in this chapter, any person violating or failing to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter, and who has had a judgment entered against him or her pursuant to this chapter within the past five years shall be subject to criminal prosecution and upon conviction of a subsequent violation shall be fined in a sum not exceeding $5,000 or be imprisoned for a term not exceeding one year or be both fined and imprisoned. Each day of noncompliance with any of the applicable provisions of this chapter shall constitute a separate offense. (Ord. 1874 § 12, 2002).