Chapter 1.15
CIVIL ENFORCEMENT OF CODE

Sections:

1.15.010    Purpose.

1.15.020    Applicability.

1.15.030    Order to cease activity.

1.15.040    Notice of violation and order to correct.

1.15.050    Voluntary correction agreement.

1.15.060    Appeal to hearing examiner.

1.15.070    Collection of monetary penalty.

1.15.080    Abatement and additional enforcement procedures.

1.15.090    Conflicts.

1.15.100    Meaning of terms.

1.15.110    Infractions authorized and statutes adopted.

1.15.130    Additional enforcement mechanism.

1.15.140    Findings.

1.15.150    Chapter 35.80 RCW adopted.

1.15.160    Improvement officer and appeals commission designated.

1.15.170    Dangerous or unfit buildings or structures defined.

1.15.175    Dangerous or unfit premises.

1.15.180    Standards for repair, vacation, or demolition.

1.15.190    Issuance of complaint.

1.15.200    Service of complaint.

1.15.210    Complaint hearing.

1.15.220    Determination, findings of fact, and order.

1.15.230    Appeal to appeals commission.

1.15.240    Appeal to superior court.

1.15.250    Remediation – Penalties.

1.15.260    Tax lien.

1.15.270    Salvage.

1.15.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to establish an efficient, civil administrative system to enforce the regulations of the city, to provide an opportunity for an appeal of determinations of violations and prompt hearings and decisions on any such appeals, to establish monetary penalties for violations, and to provide for the collection of said penalties.

It is the express and specific purpose and intent of this chapter to provide for and promote the health, safety and welfare of the general public and not to create or otherwise establish or designate any particular class or group of persons who will or should be especially protected or benefited by the terms of this chapter.

It is also the express and specific purpose and intent of this chapter that no provision nor any term used in this chapter is intended to impose any duty whatsoever upon the city or any of its officers or employees.

Nothing contained in this chapter is intended nor shall be construed to create or form the basis of any liability on the part of the city, its officers, employees or agents, for any injury or damage resulting from any action or inaction on the part of the city, its officers, employees or agents.

(Ord. No. 09-597, § 5, 1-6-09; Ord. No. 99-342, § 3, 5-4-99. Code 2001 § 1-14.)

1.15.020 Applicability.

Civil enforcement of the provisions of this Code or the terms and conditions of any permit or approval issued pursuant to this Code shall be governed by this chapter unless other more specific provisions apply. This chapter may be used to address or enforce the code against any violation. Each day or portion of a day during which a violation occurs or exists is a separate violation. Aiding or abetting a violation of another is also a violation. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, any civil enforcement of the provisions of this Code or the terms and conditions of any permit or approval issued pursuant to this Code is in addition to, and does not preclude or limit, any other forms of enforcement available to the City including, but not limited to, criminal proceedings or sanctions, nuisance and injunction actions, or other civil or equitable actions to abate, discontinue, correct, or discourage unlawful acts in violation of this chapter. Code enforcement officers are authorized to enforce the Code using the provisions and procedures of this chapter.

(Ord. No. 09-597, §§ 4, 6, 1-6-09. Code 2001 § 1-14.5.)

1.15.030 Order to cease activity.

(1) Issuance. Whenever the enforcement officer determines a violation exists, he or she may issue an order to cease activity directing any person causing, allowing, or participating in the offending conduct to cease such activity or conduct immediately.

(2) Service of order. The enforcement official shall serve the order upon the person to whom it is directed, either by delivering it personally or by mailing a copy of it by registered or certified mail to such person at his or her last known address and by posting a copy of the order to cease activity conspicuously on the affected property or structure, or as near to the affected property or structure as feasible.

If service is not accomplished by personal service and if an address for mailed service cannot be ascertained, service shall be accomplished by posting a copy of the order conspicuously on the affected property or structure. If service is by personal service, service shall be deemed complete immediately. If service is made by mail, service shall be deemed complete upon the third day following the day upon which the order is placed in the mail, unless the third day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, in which event service shall be deemed complete on the first day other than a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday following the third day. If service is made by posting, service shall be deemed complete on the third day following the day the order is posted.

Proof of service shall be made at the time of service by a written declaration under penalty of perjury executed by the person effecting the service, declaring the date and the manner of service. Any failure of the person to whom the order to cease activity is directed to observe the posted order or to actually receive the mailed order shall not invalidate service made in compliance with this section, nor shall it invalidate the order to cease activity.

(3) Appeal of order to cease activity. An order to cease activity may be appealed under the procedures set forth in FWRC 1.15.060. During any such appeal, the order to cease activity shall remain in effect.

(4) Effect of order to cease activity. When an order to cease activity has been issued, posted and/or served pursuant to this section, it is unlawful for any person to whom the order is directed or any person with actual or constructive knowledge of the order to conduct the activity or perform the work covered by the order, even if the order to cease activity has been appealed, until the enforcement officer has removed the copy of the order, if posted, and issued written authorization for the activity or work to be resumed. Violation of an order to cease activity constitutes a misdemeanor. In addition, a monetary penalty shall accrue for each day or portion thereof that a violation of an order to cease activity occurs, in the same amounts as under FWRC 1.15.040(5). In addition to such criminal or monetary penalties, the city may enforce the order to cease activity in accordance with FWRC 1.15.080, and enforce it in superior court.

(Ord. No. 09-597, § 7, 1-6-09; Ord. No. 07-560, § 1, 9-18-07; Ord. No. 99-342, § 3, 5-4-99. Code 2001 § 1-16.)

1.15.040 Notice of violation and order to correct.

(1) Issuance. Whenever the enforcement official determines that a violation has occurred or is occurring, he or she may issue a notice of violation and an order to correct (“notice and order”) to any person causing, allowing or participating in the violation, including the property owner. The notice and order issued pursuant to this section represents a determination that a violation of this Code has been committed. This determination is final and conclusive unless appealed as provided herein.

(2) Content. The enforcement official shall include the following in the notice and order:

(a) The name and address of the property owner and/or other person to whom the notice and order is directed;

(b) The street address or description sufficient for identification of the building, structure, premises, or land upon or within which the violation has occurred or is occurring;

(c) A description of the violation and a reference to that provision of a city development regulation which has been violated;

(d) A statement of the action required to be taken to correct the violation as determined by the enforcement official and a date or time, not less than three days after service of the notice and order, by which correction is to be completed;

(e) A statement that the person to whom the notice and order is directed must:

(i) Complete correction of the violation by the date stated in the notice;

(ii) Appeal the notice and order as provided in FWRC 1.15.060; or

(iii) Enter and comply with a voluntary correction agreement with the city; and

(f) A statement that, if the violation is not corrected, the notice and order is not appealed, a voluntary correction agreement is not entered or complied with, or a hearing examiner so orders or the person does not comply with a hearing examiner’s order, a monetary penalty in an amount per day for each violation as specified by subsection (5) of this section shall accrue against the person to whom the notice and order is directed for each and every day, or portion of a day, on which the violation continues following the date set for correction, and that the violation may be abated by the city under FWRC 1.15.080 with costs assessed against the person.

(3) Service of notice and order. The enforcement official shall serve the notice and order upon the person to whom it is directed, either by delivering it personally or by mailing a copy of it by registered or certified mail to such person at his or her last known address and by posting a copy of the notice and order conspicuously on the affected property or structure.

If service is not accomplished by personal service and if an address for mailed service cannot be ascertained, service shall be accomplished by posting a copy of the notice and order conspicuously on the affected property or structure. If service is by personal service, service shall be deemed complete immediately. If service is made by mail, service shall be deemed complete upon the third day following the day upon which the notice and order is placed in the mail, unless the third day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, in which event service shall be deemed complete on the first day other than a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday following the third day. If service is made by posting, service shall be deemed complete on the third day following the day the notice and order is posted.

Proof of service shall be made at the time of service by a written declaration under penalty of perjury executed by the person effecting the service, declaring the date and the manner of service. Any failure of the person to whom the notice and order is directed to observe the posted notice and order or to actually receive the mailed notice and order shall not invalidate service made in compliance with this section, nor shall it invalidate the notice and order.

(4) Extension. Upon written request received prior to the correction date or time, the enforcement official may extend the date set for correction for good cause or in order to accommodate a violation correction agreement. The enforcement official may consider substantial completion of the necessary correction or unforeseeable circumstances which render completion impossible by the date established as a good cause.

(5) Monetary penalty. A monetary penalty shall accrue for each day or portion thereof that each violation continues beyond the date set in a notice and order. The maximum penalty and the default amount shall be $100.00 for the first violation, $200.00 for a second violation of the same nature or a continuing violation, $300.00 for a third violation of the same nature or a continuing violation, and $500.00 for each additional violation of the same nature or a continuing violation in excess of three not including fees, costs, and assessments.

(6) Continued duty to correct. Payment of a monetary penalty pursuant to this chapter does not relieve a person of the duty to correct the violation as ordered by the enforcement official.

(7) Declaration of compliance. When the violation has been corrected and the penalty paid, the enforcement officer shall issue a letter which shall so state, and shall also record the date upon which the violation was fully corrected, beyond which no further penalty shall accrue.

(8) Effect of unappealed notice and order. If a notice and order is not appealed, each day which the violation continues beyond the date set in order to correct shall constitute a misdemeanor.

(Ord. No. 09-597, § 8, 1-6-09; Ord. No. 07-560, § 2, 9-18-07; Ord. No. 99-342, § 3, 5-4-99. Code 2001 § 1-17.)

1.15.050 Voluntary correction agreement.

(1) General. When the city determines that a violation has occurred, the city may enter into a voluntary correction agreement with any person causing, allowing, or participating in the violation, including the property owner. A voluntary correction agreement may be instead of, in lieu of, or in conjunction with a notice and order under FWRC 1.15.040.

(2) Contents. A voluntary correction agreement shall be in writing, signed by the person responsible for the violation and an enforcement official, and shall contain substantially the following information:

(a) The name and address of the person responsible for the violation;

(b) The street address or a description sufficient for identification of the building, structure, premises, or land upon or within which the violation has occurred or is occurring;

(c) A description of the violation and a reference to the regulation violated;

(d) The necessary corrective action to be taken, and a date or time by which the correction must be completed;

(e) An agreement by the person responsible for the violation that the city may inspect the premises as may be necessary to determine compliance with the voluntary correction agreement;

(f) An agreement by the person responsible for the violation and/or the owner(s) of property on which the violation has occurred or is occurring that, if the terms of the voluntary correction agreement are not met, the city may enter the property, abate the violation, and recover its costs and expenses as provided in this chapter;

(g) An agreement that by entering into the voluntary correction agreement, the person responsible for the violation waives the right to a hearing before the examiner under this chapter regarding the violation, any penalty, and required corrective action; and

(h) A statement that failure to comply with the terms of the agreement shall constitute a misdemeanor.

(3) Modification and time extension. An extension of the time limit for correction or a modification of the required corrective action may be granted by the enforcement official if the person responsible for the violation has shown due diligence in correcting the violation but unforeseen circumstances render correction under the original conditions unattainable. All modifications or time extensions shall be in writing, signed by the person responsible for the violation and an enforcement official.

(4) Penalty for noncompliance. Violation of the terms of a voluntary correction agreement is a misdemeanor. Further, the city may enter the property, abate the violation, and recover all costs and expenses of abatement in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

(Ord. No. 09-597, § 9, 1-6-09; Ord. No. 07-560, § 3, 9-18-07; Ord. No. 99-342, § 3, 5-4-99. Code 2001 § 1-18.)

1.15.060 Appeal to hearing examiner.

(1) General. A person may appeal an order to cease activity or notice and order to the hearing examiner by filing a written notice of appeal with the city clerk within 14 calendar days from the date of service of the order to cease activity or notice and order, specifying what issue is being appealed. The person appealing may appeal either the determination that a violation exists, the amount of any monetary penalty imposed, the corrective action ordered, or any combination thereof. The city may also request a hearing before the hearing examiner to assess costs, modify previous orders, or to enter other orders as needed. The appeal must be accompanied by cash or a check, payable to the city of Federal Way, in the amount of $100.00, which is refundable in the event the appellant prevails on the appeal. The filing fee is waived in cases where the city requests the hearing.

(2) Effect of appeal. The timely filing of an appeal in compliance with this section shall stay the requirement for action specified in the notice and order that is the subject of the appeal. The monetary penalty for a continuing violation does not continue to accrue during the pendency of the appeal; however, the hearing examiner may impose a daily monetary penalty from the date of service of the order to cease activity or notice and order if the hearing examiner finds that the appeal is frivolous or intended solely to delay compliance. An appeal does not lift or stay an order to cease activity.

(3) Hearing.

(a) Date of hearing. Within 10 days of the clerk’s receipt of the appeal, the hearing examiner shall set a public hearing for a date within 30 days of the clerk’s receipt of the appeal.

(b) Notice of hearing. The notice shall contain the following:

(i) The file number and a brief description of the matter being appealed.

(ii) A statement of the scope of the appeal, including a summary of the errors alleged and the findings and/or legal conclusions disputed in the appeal.

(iii) The date, term and place of the public hearing on the appeal.

(iv) A statement of who may participate in the appeal.

(v) A statement of how to participate in the appeal.

(c) Distribution. The clerk shall cause a notice of the appeal hearing to be posted on the property that is the subject of the order to cease activity or notice and order, and mailed to the appellant and, in cases involving any ordinance regulating the improvement, development, modification, maintenance, or use of real property, to all property owners located within 300 feet of the property that is the subject of the violation. The notice shall be mailed and posted at least 10 calendar days before the hearing on the appeal.

(d) Participation in the appeal. The city and the appellant may participate as parties in the hearing and each may call witnesses. Any person may participate in the public hearing in either or both of the following ways:

(i) By submitting written comments to the hearing examiner, either by delivering these comments to the clerk prior to the hearing or by giving these directly to the hearing examiner at the hearing.

(ii) By appearing in person, or through a representative, at the hearing and making oral comments directly to the hearing. The hearing examiner may reasonably limit the extent of oral comments to facilitate the orderly and timely conduct of the hearing.

(e) Conduct of hearing. The hearing examiner shall conduct the hearing on the appeal pursuant to the rules of procedure of the hearing examiner. The appellant shall have the burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence that a violation has not occurred, that the amount of monetary penalty assessed was not in compliance with the Code, or that the corrective action ordered is unnecessary to cure the violation. The hearing examiner shall make a complete electronic sound recording of the public hearing.

(f) Continuation of the hearing. The hearing examiner may continue the hearing if he or she is unable to hear all of the public comments on the matter or if the hearing examiner determines that he or she needs more information on the matter. If, during the hearing, the hearing examiner announces the time and place of the next hearing on the matter, no further notice of that hearing need be given.

(4) Decision of hearing examiner.

(a) Vacation. If the hearing examiner determines that the appellant has proven by a preponderance of the evidence that no violation substantially as stated in the order to cease activity or notice and order has occurred, the hearing examiner shall vacate the order to cease activity or notice and order, and order the appeal fee refunded.

(b) Affirmance. If the hearing examiner determines that the appellant has not so proven by a preponderance of the evidence, the hearing examiner shall affirm the order to cease activity or notice and order.

(c) Modification. If the hearing examiner determines that the corrective action ordered was unnecessary to cure the violation, the examiner may modify the corrective action required depending on the determinations of the examiner. The hearing examiner may also modify the assessment of penalties and costs if good cause is found. In so ordering, the hearing examiner shall consider the following:

(i) Whether the intent of the appeal was to delay compliance;

(ii) Whether the appeal was frivolous;

(iii) Whether there was a written contract or agreement with another party which specified the securing by the other party of the applicable permit or approval from the city;

(iv) Whether the applicant exercised reasonable, timely, and good faith effort to comply with the applicable development regulations; or

(v) Any other relevant factors.

The monetary penalty shall not be modified without assuring the violation is corrected, unless the penalty is legally erroneous. In modifying the corrective action ordered, the hearing examiner shall require, at a minimum, any action necessary to ensure actual compliance within 14 days of the date of the examiner’s decision.

(5) Issuance of decision. The hearing examiner shall issue an oral decision at the time of the hearing unless good cause exists to delay the decision. The hearing examiner shall issue a written decision, including findings of fact, conclusions, and order within 14 days of the hearing. The appellant is required to comply with any decision of the hearing examiner whether oral or written upon issuance.

(6) Judicial review. Judicial review of a decision by the hearing examiner relating to any ordinance regulating the improvement, development, modification, maintenance, or use of real property may be sought by any person aggrieved or adversely affected by the decision, pursuant to the provisions of the Land Use Petition Act, Chapter 36.70C RCW, if applicable, or other applicable authority, if any, if the petition or complaint seeking review is filed and served on all parties within 21 days of the date of the decision. For purposes of this section, “aggrieved or adversely affected” shall have the meaning set forth in RCW 36.70C.060(2). Judicial review of all other decisions may only occur subject to the procedures of Chapter 7.16 RCW.

(7) Effect of decision. If judicial review is not obtained, the decision of the hearing examiner shall constitute the final decision of the city, and the failure to comply with the decision of the hearing examiner shall constitute a misdemeanor.

(Ord. No. 09-597, § 10, 1-6-09; Ord. No. 07-560, § 4, 9-18-07; Ord. No. 99-342, § 3, 5-4-99. Code 2001 § 1-19.)

1.15.070 Collection of monetary penalty.

(1) Any monetary penalty imposed under this Code constitutes a personal obligation of the person in violation. Any monetary penalty assessed must be paid to the city clerk within 14 calendar days from the date of service of the notice and order or, if an appeal was filed pursuant to FWRC 1.15.060, within 14 calendar days of the hearing examiner’s decision.

(2) The city attorney is authorized to collect the monetary penalty by use of appropriate legal remedies, the seeking a granting of which shall neither stay nor terminate the accrual of additional per diem monetary penalties so long as the violation continues.

(a) The city may authorize the use of collection agencies to recover monetary penalties, in which case the cost of the collection process shall be assessed in addition to the monetary penalty.

(b) The city may incorporate any outstanding penalty into an assessment lien when the city incurs costs of abating the violation pursuant to FWRC 1.15.080.

(Ord. No. 09-597, § 11, 1-6-09; Ord. No. 99-342, § 3, 5-4-99. Code 2001 § 1-20.)

1.15.080 Abatement and additional enforcement procedures.

(1) Abatement by city. The city may perform the abatement required upon noncompliance with the terms of an unappealed notice and order, a voluntary correction agreement, or a final order of the hearing examiner. The city may utilize city employees or a private contractor under city direction to accomplish the abatement. The city, its employees and agents using lawful means are expressly authorized to enter upon the property of the violator for such purposes.

(2) Recovery of costs. The city shall bill its costs, including incidental expenses, of abating the violation to the person obligated to perform the work under the notice and order, voluntary correction agreement or the hearing examiner’s decision, which costs shall become due and payable 30 days after the date of the bill. The term “incidental expenses” shall include, but not be limited to, personnel costs, both direct and indirect, including attorneys’ fees incurred by the city; costs incurred in documenting the violation; the actual expenses and costs to the city in the preparation of notices, specifications and contracts, and in inspecting the work; and the cost of any required printing and mailing. The mayor or designee, or the hearing examiner, may in his or her discretion waive in whole or part the assessment of any costs of abatement upon a showing that abatement has occurred or is no longer necessary, or that the costs would cause a significant financial hardship for the responsible party. The city may authorize the use of collection agencies to recover costs. The city attorney is authorized to collect the costs by use of appropriate legal remedies.

(3) Obstruction with work prohibited. No person shall obstruct, impede or interfere with the city, its employees or agents, or any person who owns or holds any interest or estate in any property in the performance of any necessary act preliminary or incidental to carrying out the requirements of a notice and order to correct, voluntary correction agreement, or order of the hearing examiner issued pursuant to this chapter. A violation of this provision shall constitute a misdemeanor.

(4) Report to city council and hearing on cost of abatement. Where costs are assessed under this section and the person responsible fails to pay within the 30-day period, the enforcement official shall prepare a written itemized report to the city council showing the cost of abatement, including rehabilitation, demolition, restoration or repair of such property, including such salvage value relating thereto plus the amount of any outstanding penalties.

(a) A copy of the report and a notice of the time and date when the report shall be heard by the city council shall be served on the person responsible for payment at least five days prior to the hearing before the city council.

(b) The city council shall review the report and such other information on the matter as it receives and deems relevant at the hearing. The city council shall confirm or revise the amounts in the report, authorize collection of that amount or, in the case of a debt owed by a property owner, authorize placement of an assessment lien on the property as provided herein.

(5) Assessment lien. Following the hearing and authorization by the city council, the city clerk shall certify to the county treasurer the confirmed amount. The county treasurer shall enter the amount of such assessment upon the tax rolls against the property for the current year and the same shall become a part of the general taxes for that year to be collected at the same time and with interest at such rates as provided in RCW 84.56.020, as now or hereafter amended, for delinquent taxes, and when collected to be deposited to the credit of the general fund of the city. The lien shall be of equal rank with the state, county and municipal taxes. The validity of any assessment made under the provisions of this chapter shall not be contested in any action or proceeding unless the same is commenced within 15 calendar days after the assessment is placed upon the assessment roll.

(6) Additional remedies. Unless otherwise precluded by law, the provisions of this chapter may be used in lieu of or in addition to other enforcement provisions, including, but not limited to, other provisions in this Code, the use of collection agencies, or other civil actions including injunctions.

(Ord. No. 10-669, § 2, 9-21-10; Ord. No. 09-597, § 12, 1-6-09; Ord. No. 07-560, § 5, 9-18-07; Ord. No. 99-342, § 3, 5-4-99. Code 2001 § 1-21.)

1.15.090 Conflicts.

In the event of a conflict between this chapter and any other provision of this Code or city ordinance providing for a civil penalty, the more specific provision shall control.

(Ord. No. 09-597, § 13, 1-6-09; Ord. No. 99-342, § 3, 5-4-99. Code 2001 § 1-22.)

1.15.100 Meaning of terms.

Whenever the term “civil penalty” is used in any code, ordinance or regulation of the city, this term shall be deemed to have the same meaning as the term “monetary penalty,” as used in this chapter.

(Ord. No. 09-597, § 14, 1-6-09; Ord. No. 07-564, § 3, 10-16-07; Ord. No. 99-342, § 3, 5-4-99. Code 2001 § 1-23.)

1.15.110 Infractions authorized and statutes adopted.

(1) Enforcement officers and officials are authorized to issue civil infractions to enforce the provisions of the Federal Way Revised Code except those provisions that are either specifically designated as crimes, specifically indicated as not being infractions, or designated as traffic infractions.

(2) Unless otherwise provided, enforcement officers or officials shall follow the provisions of Chapter 7.80 RCW in issuing civil infractions. Unless otherwise provided, the maximum penalty and the default amount shall be $100.00 for the first violation, $200.00 for a second violation of the same nature or a continuing violation, and $300.00 for a third or subsequent violation of the same nature or a continuing violation, not including fees, costs, and assessments.

(3) Unless otherwise provided, civil infractions under this section shall be governed by Chapter 7.80 RCW, except that, to the extent allowed by law, the rules of evidence shall not apply in any hearing held regarding civil infractions.

(4) The following state statutes are adopted by reference to the extent that they are not inconsistent with explicit provisions of the Federal Way Revised Code: Chapter 7.80 RCW et seq.

(Ord. No. 09-597, § 15, 1-6-09; Ord. No. 07-550, § 1, 3-20-07. Code 2001 § 1-24.)

1.15.130 Additional enforcement mechanism.

In addition to, and in combination with, the enforcement methods set forth in this chapter and elsewhere in the Federal Way Revised Code, violations of the Federal Way Revised Code may be enforced under the provisions set forth in FWRC 1.15.130 through 1.15.270.

(Ord. No. 07-566, § 1, 11-6-07. Code 2001 § 1-26.)

1.15.140 Findings.

It is found that there exist, in the city of Federal Way, dwellings and other buildings, structures, and premises which are unfit for human habitation and which are unfit for other uses due to dilapidation, disrepair, structural defects, defects increasing the hazards of fire, accidents, or other calamities, inadequate drainage, overcrowding, or due to other conditions which are detrimental to the health and welfare of the residents of the city. Dangerous or unfit buildings or structures as defined by FWRC 1.15.170 and dangerous or unfit premises as defined by FWRC 1.15.175 are declared to be public nuisances.

(Ord. No. 11-691, § 2, 5-17-11; Ord. No. 07-566, § 1, 11-6-07. Code 2001 § 1-27.)

1.15.150 Chapter 35.80 RCW adopted.

Chapter 35.80 RCW, Unfit Dwellings, Buildings, and Structures, as it currently exists or is hereinafter amended, is hereby adopted.

(Ord. No. 07-566, § 1, 11-6-07. Code 2001 § 1-28.)

1.15.160 Improvement officer and appeals commission designated.

(1) The city of Federal Way building official, or his or her designee, is designated as the city’s improvement officer, and shall have the full scope of authority granted to that official under Chapter 35.80 RCW.

(2) The city of Federal Way hearing examiner is designated as the city’s appeals commission, and shall have the full scope of authority granted to that commission under Chapter 35.80 RCW.

(Ord. No. 11-691, § 3, 5-17-11; Ord. No. 10-669, § 3, 9-21-10; Ord. No. 07-566, § 1, 11-6-07. Code 2001 § 1-29.)

1.15.170 Dangerous or unfit buildings or structures defined.

Buildings or structures which have any or all of the following defects shall be deemed “dangerous or unfit buildings or structures”:

(1) 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 falls outside the middle third of its base;

(2) Those which, exclusive of the foundation, show 33 percent, or more, of damage or deterioration of the supporting member or members, or 50 percent of damage or deterioration of the nonsupporting enclosing or outside walls or covering;

(3) 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;

(4) 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 of Federal Way;

(5) Those which have become or are so dilapidated or decayed or unsafe or unsanitary, 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;

(6) 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;

(7) 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;

(8) Those which have parts thereof which are so attached that they may fall and injure members of the public or property;

(9) Those which because of their condition are unsafe or unsanitary, or dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of the people of this city;

(10) Those which have any exterior cantilever wall, or parapet, or appendage attached to or supported by an exterior wall of the building located adjacent to a public way or to a way set apart for exit from a building or passage of pedestrians, if such cantilever, parapet or appendage is not so constructed, anchored or braced as to remain wholly in its original position in event of an earthquake capable of producing a lateral force equal to gravity;

(11) Those which in whole or in part are erected, altered, remodeled or occupied contrary to the ordinances adopted by the city;

(12) Those which have any exterior wall located adjacent to a public way or to a way set apart for exit from a building or passage of pedestrians, if such wall is not so constructed, anchored or braced as to remain wholly in its original position in event of an earthquake capable of producing a lateral force equal of 0.2 of gravity.

(Ord. No. 07-566, § 1, 11-6-07. Code 2001 § 1-30.)

1.15.175 Dangerous or unfit premises.

Premises which have any of the following conditions shall be deemed dangerous or unfit:

(1) Premises that contain trash, garbage, junk, old wood, building materials, appliances, brush, tree limbs, or other items that may attract rats or other vermin due to a food source or rodent harborage;

(2) Premises that have any number of unsecured vehicles, cars, trucks, bikes, farm equipment, construction equipment, boats, trailers, snowmobiles, jet skis or other machinery or implements that are unused and apparently inoperable that are an attractive nuisance and dangerous;

(3) Premises that are unsecured and unsafe due to conditions that pose a hazard or attractive nuisance such as but not limited to sink holes; exposed underground vaults, pipes or wires; trenches; unstable slopes; or hazardous materials;

(4) Premises that have dilapidated fences, sheds, carports or other such structures that pose a hazard or attractive nuisance; or

(5) Developed premises that have over 50 percent of the area covered in blackberries or other noxious weeds.

(Ord. No. 11-691, § 1, 5-17-11.)

1.15.180 Standards for repair, vacation, or demolition.

The following standards shall be followed in substance by the improvement officer and the appeals commission in ordering repair, remediation, vacation or demolition of buildings, structures or premises:

(1) If the dangerous or unfit building, structure or premises can reasonably be repaired or remedied so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this chapter, it shall be ordered repaired or remedied by the improvement officer or by the appeals commission, on appeal.

(2) If the dangerous or unfit building, structure or premises is 50 percent or more damaged or decayed or deteriorated in value, it shall be demolished. “Value” as used herein shall be the valuation placed upon the building or structure for purposes of general taxation.

(3) If the dangerous or unfit building, structure or premises cannot be repaired or remedied so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this chapter, it shall be demolished.

(4) If the dangerous or unfit building, structure or premises is a fire hazard, existing or erected in violation of the terms of this chapter or any other ordinance of the city of Federal Way or the laws of the state of Washington, it shall be demolished or abated, provided the fire hazard is not eliminated by the owner within a reasonable time.

(Ord. No. 11-691, § 4, 5-17-11; Ord. No. 07-566, § 1, 11-6-07. Code 2001 § 1-31.)

1.15.190 Issuance of complaint.

If, after a preliminary investigation of any dwelling, building, structure or premises, the improvement officer, or his or her designee, finds that it is unfit for human habitation or other use, the improvement officer may issue a complaint conforming to the provisions of RCW 35.80.030, stating in what respects such dwelling, building, structure or premises is unfit for human habitation or other use. In determining whether a dwelling, building, structure or premises should be repaired or demolished, the building official shall be guided by the Federal Way Revised Code, specifically FWRC 1.15.170 and 1.15.175, and such other codes adopted pursuant to the Federal Way Revised Code as the improvement officer deems applicable, in particular the most recent edition of the International Property Maintenance Code.

(Ord. No. 11-691, § 5, 5-17-11; Ord. No. 07-566, § 1, 11-6-07. Code 2001 § 1-32.)

1.15.200 Service of complaint.

A complaint issued under this chapter shall be served on the parties and posted on the subject property pursuant to RCW 35.80.030, and shall also be filed with the King County auditor. All complaints or other documents posted on the subject property shall remain in place until the complaint has been resolved. For purposes of service, such complaints or other documents are deemed effective on the day of posting.

(Ord. No. 07-566, § 1, 11-6-07. Code 2001 § 1-33.)

1.15.210 Complaint hearing.

Not less than 10 days nor more than 30 days after serving a complaint, the improvement officer shall hold a hearing conforming to the provisions of RCW 35.80.030, at which all parties in interest shall be given the right to appear in person, to bring witnesses, and to give testimony regarding the complaint. At any time prior to or at the time of the hearing, any party may file an answer to the complaint. Such a hearing shall be governed by the city of Federal Way hearing examiner’s rules, which shall be available for public inspection at the Federal Way department of community development.

(Ord. No. 07-566, § 1, 11-6-07. Code 2001 § 1-34.)

1.15.220 Determination, findings of fact, and order.

Within 10 days of the complaint hearing, the improvement officer shall issue a determination, findings of fact, and order, conforming to the provisions of RCW 35.80.030(f), stating the improvement officer’s determination as to whether the subject dwelling, building, structure or premises is unfit for human habitation or other use; the findings of fact supporting the determination; and an order specifying the actions necessary to address any unfitness, and a deadline for completing the actions. In issuing the determination, findings of fact, and order, the improvement officer shall be guided by the Federal Way Revised Code, specifically FWRC 1.15.170 and 1.15.180, and such other codes adopted pursuant to the Federal Way Revised Code as the improvement officer deems applicable. The determination, findings of fact, and order shall be served and posted as set forth in FWRC 1.15.200, and if no appeal is filed within the deadline specified in FWRC 1.15.230, a copy of the determination, findings of fact, and order shall be filed with the King County auditor.

(Ord. No. 07-566, § 1, 11-6-07. Code 2001 § 1-35.)

1.15.230 Appeal to appeals commission.

Within 30 days of service of a determination, findings of fact, and order, any party may file an appeal to the appeals commission. The appeals commission shall conduct a hearing on the appeal and issue a ruling within 60 days from the date the appeal is filed; and if the appeals commission issues any oral findings of fact, the ruling shall contain a transcript of such findings in addition to any findings issued at the time of the ruling. The ruling shall be served and posted as set forth in FWRC 1.15.200, and if no appeal is filed within the deadline specified in FWRC 1.15.240, a copy of the ruling shall be filed with the King County auditor.

(Ord. No. 07-566, § 1, 11-6-07. Code 2001 § 1-36.)

1.15.240 Appeal to superior court.

Any person affected by a determination, findings of fact, and order issued by the improvement officer, who has brought an appeal before the appeals commission pursuant to FWRC 1.15.230 may, within 30 days after the appeals commission’s ruling has been served and posted pursuant to FWRC 1.15.200, petition the King County superior court for an injunction restraining the building official, or his or her designee, from carrying out the provisions of the determination, findings of fact, and order. In all such proceedings, the court is authorized to affirm, reverse or modify the order, and such trial shall be heard de novo.

(Ord. No. 07-566, § 1, 11-6-07. Code 2001 § 1-37.)

1.15.250 Remediation – Penalties.

If a party, following exhaustion of the party’s rights to appeal, fails to comply with the determination, findings of fact, and order, the improvement officer may direct or cause the subject dwelling, building, structure or premises to be repaired, remedied, altered, improved, vacated and/or closed, removed, or demolished pursuant to Chapter 35.80 RCW.

(Ord. No. 11-691, § 6, 5-17-11; Ord. No. 07-566, § 1, 11-6-07. Code 2001 § 1-38.)

1.15.260 Tax lien.

The cost of any action taken by the building official, or his or her designee, under FWRC 1.15.250 shall be assessed against the subject property pursuant to Chapter 35.80 RCW. Upon certification by the city of Federal Way finance director, or his or her designee, that the assessment amount is due and owing, the King County treasurer shall enter the amount of such assessment upon the tax rolls against the subject property pursuant to the provisions of RCW 35.80.030.

(Ord. No. 07-566, § 1, 11-6-07. Code 2001 § 1-39.)

1.15.270 Salvage.

Materials from any dwelling, building, structure, or premises removed or demolished by the building official, or his or her designee, shall, if possible, be salvaged and sold as if the materials were surplus property of the city of Federal Way, and the funds received from the sale shall be credited against the cost of the removal or demolition; and if there be any balance remaining, it shall be paid to the parties entitled thereto, as determined by the building official, or his or her designee, after deducting the costs incident thereto.

(Ord. No. 07-566, § 1, 11-6-07. Code 2001 § 1-40.)