Public nuisance declared.
Inoperable vehicles as a nuisance.
Abatement of junk vehicles on private property.
Disposal by city.
Warrants for entry.
Additional enforcement procedure.
Constitutionality or invalidity.

The purpose of this chapter is to preserve the character and safety of the city’s neighborhoods by eliminating as nuisances, junk vehicles from private property, and to provide procedures for the removal of junk vehicles as authorized by RCW 46.55.

(Ord. 1199, 2003)


For the purposes of this chapter, the following words shall have the following meaning:

A. “Director” means the director of the department in charge of code enforcement or his or her designee or any designated alternate who is empowered by ordinance or by the mayor to enforce this chapter including assigned code enforcement official(s).

B. “Junk vehicle” means a vehicle meeting at least three of the following requirements (RCW 46.55.010(4)):

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 an approximate fair market value equal only to the approximate value of the scrap in it.

C. “Landowner” means an owner of private property, or a person in possession or control of private property.

D. RCW 46.44.010 is hereby adopted by reference, as now or hereafter amended, and all other statues adopted by reference therein as if fully set forth herein. The definitions contained in RCW 46.55.010 shall apply to the interpretation and enforcement of this chapter.

(Ord. 1199, 2003)

8.16.030Public nuisance declared.

All junk vehicles certified as such by a law enforcement officer or code enforcement officer designated by the director according to RCW 46.55.230 and found on private property are declared to constitute a public nuisance subject to removal, impoundment and disposal. It is unlawful for any individual, firm, entity or corporation to allow, cause to allow or place a junk vehicle on any premises.

(Ord. 1199, 2003)

8.16.035Inoperable vehicles as a nuisance.

A. “Inoperable motorized vehicle” means any car, truck, van, recreational vehicle, motorcycle, snowmobile or other vehicle typically powered by an engine, excepting watercraft, that has been in a stationary position for more than fourteen calendar days, is apparently inoperable or requires repairs in order to be operable, or is unable to move a distance of twenty feet under its own power on a flat surface.

B. “Inoperable motorized vehicle” may include vehicles that do not meet the definition of junk vehicle. An inoperable motorized will be considered a public nuisance unless contained entirely within an enclosed building. It is provided however, that an inoperable motorized vehicle may be allowed in residential property, outside of an enclosed building, if it is stored in the rear yard of the property and is screened from the neighboring properties and any street by a one hundred percent sight obscuring fence.

(Ord. 1199, 2003)


The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to:

A. Any vehicles or parts thereof which are completely enclosed within a building in a lawful manner where they are not visible from the street or other public or private property; or

B. Any vehicles or parts thereof which are stored or parked in a lawful manner on private property in connection with the business of a licensed commercial towing yard, automobile repair facilities, outdoor storage or wrecking yards, licensed dismantler or licensed vehicle dealer and which are fenced according to the provisions of RCW 46.80.130.

(Ord. 1199, 2003)

8.16.050Abatement of junk vehicles on private property.

A. Voluntary Correction. Whenever the code enforcement official or a City of Cle Elum law enforcement officer determines that a vehicle is a public nuisance and in violation of this chapter, an attempt shall be made, in accordance with the CEMC Code enforcement chapter as adopted and hereafter codified, including amendments thereto, to secure voluntary correction from the landowner and the vehicle’s registered owner.

B. Enforcement of Civil Violations. If the code enforcement official or City of Cle Elum law enforcement officer does not obtain voluntary correction of the public nuisance within thirty days, the officer may issue a notice of infraction to the landowner of record and/or the vehicles last registered owner of record, which shall be filed with the Cle Elum municipal court and processed in accordance with appropriate rules and procedures. Alternatively, the code enforcement official or City of Cle Elum law enforcement officer may issue a civil violation to the landowner of record and the vehicle’s last registered owner of record, in accordance with the procedures set forth below.

C. Content. For violations of this chapter, the notice of civil violation shall contain the following information:

1. The name and address of the landowner of record upon whose property the vehicle is located;

2. The name and address of the vehicle’s last registered owner of record provided license or vehicle identification numbers are available;

3. The vehicle description including: the license plate number and/or the vehicle identification number, the model year, the make, and the factors which render the vehicle a public nuisance;

4. The street address of a description sufficient for identification of the property where the vehicle is located;

5. The required corrective action and a date and time by which the correction must be completed;

6. The procedures and hearing process and procedures for other enforcement action shall be conducted in accordance with the CEMC Code enforcement chapter as adopted and hereafter codified, including amendments thereto, or as otherwise provided in applicable codes, rules and regulations.

(Ord. 1199, 2003)

8.16.060Disposal by city.

In the event that the registered owner, record landowner, occupant, or any other person fails to request a hearing, or in the event that any person fails to comply with an order of abatement issued under this chapter, within the time allowed, then the city may arrange for removal and disposal of the junk vehicle. The costs of such removal and disposal shall be assessed against the last registered owner of the junk vehicle, if known, the occupant of the property upon which the junk vehicle is located, unless such occupant is found not responsible for such costs under the provisions of this chapter, and the record owner of the land upon which the junk vehicle is located, unless such landowner is found not responsible for such costs under 8.16.050 CEMC.

(Ord. 1199, 2003)

8.16.070Warrants for entry.

Whenever it is necessary to enter upon private property to remove the junk vehicles pursuant to ordinance, ruling or holding by the municipal court, any authorized official of the city may apply to the Cle Elum Municipal Court for a warrant authorizing the entry upon such property to carry out the same, if permission to enter has been refused by the owner, or if the owner cannot be found or reasonably ascertained. The application for the warrant shall be supported by an affidavit or the testimony of the officer or any other authorized city official intending to enter upon the property stating his office, purpose and authority to so enter; the owner’s refusal to permit such entry or the owner’s unavailability; the work, action or other activity to be conducted on the property; and by whom and the approximate time that the activity will be conducted. If the court finds that just cause exists for the issuance of the warrant, it shall subscribe the same with a return date of not more than ten days following completion of the action or activity to be conducted upon the property.

(Ord. 1199, 2003)


The city shall within thirty days after the removal by the chief of police of an abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicle from real property, file for recording with the county auditor a claim of lien for the cost of removal which shall be substantially in accordance with the previsions covering mechanic’s liens in Chapter 60.04 RCW, and said liens shall be foreclosed in the same manner as such liens.

(Ord. 1199, 2003)

8.16.090Additional enforcement procedure.

The provisions of this chapter are additional to other enforcement provisions authorized by state statute and city ordinance, and are additional to any other remedy available to the city for damages it has suffered.

(Ord. 1199, 2003)

8.16.100Constitutionality or invalidity.

If any section, clause or phrase of this chapter is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional, such invalidity or unconstitutionality shall not affect the validity or constitutionality of the remaining portions of the sections, subsections, clauses or phrases. It is hereby expressly declared that each section, subsection, sentence, clause and phrase hereof would have been prepared, proposed, adopted and approved and ratified irrespective of the fact that any one or more sections, subsections, clauses or phrases be declared invalid or unconstitutional.

(Ord. 1199, 2003)


If any portion of the codes referenced in this chapter is held invalid or unenforceable, the remainder shall be valid.