Chapter 15.06DANGEROUS BUILDINGS

Sections:

15.06.010
Dangerous buildings defined.
15.06.020
Board – Established – Membership and organization.
15.06.030
Inspector – Responsibilities and procedures.
15.06.040
Board – Duties following filing of complaint.
15.06.050
Cooperation of city officers authorized.
15.06.060
Failure to comply with board order – City to perform work when – Costs.
15.06.070
Administrative liability.
15.06.080
Chapter provisions not exclusive – City powers.
15.06.090
Appeals from board decisions – Procedure.
15.06.100
Complaints required – Violation – Penalty.
15.06.010Dangerous buildings defined.

There exist in the city certain dangerous buildings that are not consistent with the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the city, and which are declared to be public nuisances, said “dangerous buildings” being defined as follows:

A. Those whose interior walls or other vertical structural members list, lean or buckle to such an extent that a plumb line passing through the center of gravity of such wall or member falls outside the middle third of its base;

B. Those which, exclusive of the foundation, show thirty-three percent, or more, of damage or deterioration of the supporting member or members, or fifty percent of damage or deterioration of the nonsupporting member, enclosing or outside walls or coverings;

C. Those which have improperly distributed loads upon the floors or roofs, or in which the same are overloaded, or which have insufficient strength to be reasonably safe for the purpose used;

D. Those which have become damaged by fire, wind or other causes so as to have become dangerous to life, safety, morals or the general health and welfare of the occupants or the people of the city. A building damaged to the extent of fifty percent of the replacement valuation shall be considered a dangerous building;

E. Those which have become or are so dilapidated or decayed or unsafe or insanitary, or which so utterly fail to provide the amenities essential to decent living that they are unfit for human habitation, or are likely to cause sickness or disease, so as to work injury to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of those living therein;

F. Those having light, air and sanitation facilities which are inadequate to protect the health, morals, safety or general welfare of human beings who live or may live therein. Any building without plumbing, or with plumbing or sewage disposal systems that do not meet the minimum requirements of the city plumbing code, shall be considered insanitary;

G. Those having inadequate facilities for egress in case of fire or panic or those having insufficient stairways, elevators, fire escapes or other means of communication. Insufficient facilities for egress, stairways, elevators, fire escapes, etc., means those which do not meet the minimum requirements of the building code of the city;

H. Those which have parts thereof which are so insecurely attached that they may fall and injure members of the public or property;

I. Those which because of their condition are unsafe or insanitary, or dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of the people of the city.

(Ord. 840 § 1 (part), 1985)

15.06.020Board – Established – Membership and organization.

There is created and established a “board of appeals,” hereinafter called “board.” The board is empowered to conduct the hearings, to make the findings and to issue the orders called for in this chapter. The members of this board shall be the same as those members of the board of appeals established by Section 204 of the 1982 Uniform Building Code and any later editions thereof or amendments thereto. The board shall appoint a chairman, shall adopt rules and procedures to fulfill its functions under this chapter, shall meet as often as required, and shall work with and cooperate with the chief building inspector.

(Ord. 840 § 1 (part), 1985)

15.06.030Inspector – Responsibilities and procedures.

The chief building inspector or the Cle Elum fire chief, hereinafter called “inspector,” or his authorized representative shall have the following responsibilities and shall abide by the following procedures:

A. Inspection. The inspector shall be an ex officio member of the board, shall work with and cooperate with the board, and shall inspect or cause to be inspected all buildings which may be brought to his attention for the purpose of deciding whether any condition exists which would render any building in the city a dangerous building.

B. Informal Procedure. If any building is found to be a dangerous building by the inspector, he shall proceed as follows:

1. Determine all owners of the building as shown by public records;

2. Determine the legal description of the property upon which the building is located;

3. Notify all owners of the building by registered mail, return receipt requested, that the building is a dangerous building within the terms of the dangerous building code;

4. The notice shall include:

a. A list of the conditions which cause the building to be a dangerous building,

b. A recommendation as to how the conditions can best be corrected to comply with the dangerous building code,

c. A request that the conditions be corrected within ninety days, and

d. A notice that failure to correct the conditions will result in the filing of a complaint with the board.

C. Formal Procedure. If the inspector proceeds informally and the dangerous conditions are not corrected within ninety days to the satisfaction of the inspector, or if the inspector finds that an emergency exists which demands immediate action without the informal procedure, the inspector shall proceed as follows:

1. File a complaint with the board;

2. The complaint shall include:

a. The names of all owners,

b. A legal description of the property upon which the building is located, as well as the street address,

c. The conditions which cause the building to be a dangerous building,

d. The recommendations of the inspector as to how the conditions can best be corrected,

e. A notice that hearing shall be held before the board at the City Hall of Cle Elum, Kittitas County, state of Washington, not less than ten days nor more than thirty days after the serving of the complaint, or in the event of publication or posting, not less than fifteen days or more than thirty days from the date of the last publication and posting, and

f. A notice that all parties in interest shall be given the right to file an answer to the complaint, to appear in person or otherwise, and to give testimony at the time and place fixed in the complaint;

3. Serve copies of the complaint upon all owners or, if the whereabouts of the owners are unknown and cannot be determined by reasonable diligence and the inspector shall so state by affidavit, the complaint shall be served by publishing the same once each week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper published in the city;

4. Post in a conspicuous place on the property a copy of the complaint;

5. File a copy of the complaint with the Kittitas County auditor, which filing shall have the same force and effect as other lis pendens notices as provided by law.

(Ord. 840 § 1 (part), 1985)

15.06.040Board – Duties following filing of complaint.

The board, upon filing of a complaint, shall:

A. Conduct a hearing thereon on the date stated in the complaint;

B. At the hearing, the board shall hear all of the testimony relevant to the allegations of the complaint;

C. Upon hearing all of the testimony to be presented, the board shall make written findings of fact and an order within sixty days from the date of hearing; the findings shall state whether or not the building in question is a dangerous building and, if so, shall order the remedial action that should be taken. The board shall have authority to order repairs, vacation and/or demolition;

D. The board, in making the findings and order, shall be controlled by the following standards for repair, vacation or demolition:

1. If the dangerous building can be reasonably repaired so that it will not longer exist in violation of the terms of this chapter, it shall be ordered repaired by the board,

2. If the dangerous building is in such condition as to make it dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of its occupants, it shall be ordered to be vacated by the board,

3. If the dangerous building is fifty percent damaged or decayed or deteriorated in value, it shall be demolished. “Value” as used herein means replacement valuation,

4. If the dangerous building cannot be repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this chapter, it shall be demolished;

E. A copy of the executed findings and order shall be served upon the owners of the property by registered mail, return receipt requested, shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the property, and shall be filed with the Kittitas County auditor.

(Ord. 840 § 1 (part), 1985)

15.06.050Cooperation of city officers authorized.

The city attorney, fire chief, police chief and all other public officers shall work with and cooperate with the inspector and the board to the extent necessary to carry out the terms and provisions of this chapter.

(Ord. 840 § 1 (part), 1985)

15.06.060Failure to comply with board order – City to perform work when – Costs.

If the owners fail to comply with the order issued by the board, or, if appealed, the order issued by the city council or the Kittitas County Superior Court, then, and in that event, the board may direct or cause such dwelling, building or structure to be repaired or demolished, as the order may require, and the costs of such shall be assessed against the real property upon which such costs were incurred, unless such amount is previously paid. The city treasurer shall determine the amount of the assessment due and owing and shall certify the same to the county treasurer, who shall enter the amount of such assessment upon the tax rolls against the property, all in the manner provided by law.

(Ord. 840 § 1 (part), 1985)

15.06.070Administrative liability.

No officer, agent or employee of the city shall render himself personally liable for any damage that may accrue to persons or property as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his duties under this chapter. Any suit brought against any officer, agent or employee of the city as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his duties under this chapter shall be defended by the city until the final determination of the proceedings therein.

(Ord. 840 § 1 (part), 1985)

15.06.080Chapter provisions not exclusive – City powers.

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to abrogate or impair the power of the city or any department thereof to enforce any provision of its ordinances or regulations, nor to prevent or punish violations thereof, and any powers conferred by this chapter shall be in addition to and supplemental to powers conferred by other laws, nor shall this chapter be construed to impair or limit in any way the power of the city to define and declare nuisances and to cause their removal or abatement by summary proceedings, or in any other manner provided by law.

(Ord. 840 § 1 (part), 1985)

15.06.090Appeals from board decisions – Procedure.

The owners may file an appeal from the order of the board within thirty days of the date of the service of the order. The appeal notice may be a formal notice or may be a simple letter from the owner addressed to the city council; the city council shall then conduct a hearing as outlined in this chapter. Any decision upon review by the city council may be further reviewed by the superior court of the county. The review shall be by writ of certiorari and shall be initiated by serving and filing a petition for the writ within thirty days after the council’s decision has become final.

(Ord. 840 § 1 (part), 1985)

15.06.100Complaints required – Violation – Penalty.

No owner or occupant or any other person having charge, custody or control of any building or premises shall fail or refuse, after receiving notice, to promptly comply with any lawful order issued by the board. Violation of this provision or any other provision of this chapter, shall be punishable as set forth in Section 1.16.010 of this code.