CHAPTER 17
ENCROACHMENTS ON PUBLIC PROPERTY

SECTION:

9-17-1:    Policy

9-17-2:    Definitions

9-17-3:    Procedure

9-17-4:    Appeals

9-17-5:    Boundary Disputes

9-17-6:    Costs To Resolve, Remove Or Correct

9-17-7:    Damages And Value Of Use

9-17-8:    Public Property Use Permit

9-17-9:    Nuisance

9-17-10:    Infraction And Misdemeanor

9-17-1 POLICY:

It is the policy of the City of Renton that no person shall make unauthorized use of public lands. Any encroachment on, to, under, or over, or modification of, City owned, managed, maintained or leased lands including park, natural area or open space property, public buildings or rights-of-way will be deemed trespassing regardless of when the property was initially encroached upon. The violator(s) of such encroachment shall be notified and directed to remove any and all encroachments to the land not previously approved in writing by the City, to restore the land to its original condition and provide maintenance for three (3) years following restoration.

It is the policy of the City of Renton to resolve all encroachments in a fair and equitable manner, in the manner most beneficial, and to work with and assist encroaching parties to remove the encroachment(s). (Ord. 5593, 3-21-11)

9-17-2 DEFINITIONS:

EASEMENTS: A limited right to make use of a property owned by another, such as a right-of-way across the property.

EMERGENCY: An occasion when property or life is at risk.

ENCROACHMENT: An incursion onto public lands including, but not limited to, clearing, grading, gardening, landscaping, installing structures, constructing, storing, placing, dumping, maintaining, cutting, overhanging, excavating, parking, diverting, destabilizing, draining onto, defacing, damaging, mutilating, removing, and limiting access onto.

ENCROACHMENT VIOLATION NOTICE: A letter prepared by the Code Compliance Division and addressed to the property owner who encroaches upon public lands or public right-of-way that defines the encroachment and stipulates the conditions and requirements for removing the encroachment.

LIEN AGAINST PROPERTY: A claim or charge made against property.

PUBLIC LANDS: Property owned by the City of Renton and property in which Renton has an easement or interest. Examples include parks, natural areas, fire stations, libraries and sidewalks. For purposes of this chapter, rights-of-way will be dealt with in the right-of-way use permit ordinance.

UNAUTHORIZED USE: A use not permitted by the City. (Ord. 5593, 3-21-11)

9-17-3 PROCEDURE:

A.    Identification Of Encroachments:

1.    Upon discovery that an unauthorized encroachment has occurred, City staff shall attempt to contact, in person, the property owner encroaching upon public property, identify the encroachment circumstances to the property owner, offer suggestions for removing the encroachment on an informal basis and work with that owner to have the encroachment removed and the area restored.

2.    If the encroachment is not successfully removed, City staff shall review the encroachment with the City Attorney before recommending an appropriate action to the Mayor or his or her designee.

3.    Removal of Encroachment Notification. If it is determined that an encroachment requires removal and restoration, the encroaching party shall be mailed an Encroachment Violation Notice that identifies and directs removal and restoration of the unauthorized encroachment within thirty (30) days.

B.    Failure To Comply:

1.    If the encroaching party fails to comply with the Encroachment Violation Notice, a second Encroachment Violation Notice shall be sent “Return Receipt Requested.” The Notice shall indicate “Second Attempt” and provide for a thirty (30)-day response to the removal and restoration of the encroachment.

2.    If the encroaching party fails to comply with the second written notice, the City may remove the unauthorized encroachment and restore the property to its original condition. The cost of such action may be charged to the encroaching party. (Ord. 5593, 3-21-11)

9-17-4 APPEALS:

Individuals may appeal an Encroachment Violation Notice to the Community Services Administrator or designee, who will issue a written decision based on the City file and the contents of the appeal. Any appeal must be in writing and received within thirty (30) days of receipt of the Encroachment Violation Notice. (Ord. 5593, 3-21-11)

9-17-5 BOUNDARY DISPUTES:

In the event that the property boundary is disputed, the property owner may, at the owner’s expense, commission a boundary survey by a licensed and qualified surveyor. If there is a bona fide dispute as to the boundary, the City shall wait a reasonable time for the survey to be completed. (Ord. 5593, 3-21-11)

9-17-6 COSTS TO RESOLVE, REMOVE OR CORRECT:

Costs to resolve or correct unauthorized encroachments will be charged to the party encroaching upon public lands. Such costs may include, but are not limited to, boundary surveys, construction permit fees, engineering or architectural fees, contracts, City staff time, demolition, lien applications, removal, restoration, three (3)-year maintenance costs, legal fees, and accrued interest if payment is not received within thirty (30) days of invoicing. Such costs shall be a lien against the encroaching party’s real estate. (Ord. 5593, 3-21-11)

9-17-7 DAMAGES AND VALUE OF USE:

In addition to the costs to resolve or correct the encroachment, the encroaching party shall be liable for any damage to City property and shall be liable for the value of the use of the City property encroached upon, at the rate of one percent (1%) per month of the fair market value of the encroached property or fifty dollars ($50) per month, whichever is greater. (Ord. 5593, 3-21-11)

9-17-8 PUBLIC PROPERTY USE PERMIT:

When not prohibited by grant funding conditions tied to acquisition, restrictive covenants or applicable law, rules and regulations and upon a finding that the City has no foreseeable use or need for the property encroached upon, the encroaching party may make application for a revocable permit to use and occupy the public property. The application for the permit must be made to the Mayor or his or her designee, legally describing the property to be used and the purpose of such use. The minimum permit requirements are described in RMC 9-2-5. There shall be a fee for such permit as established by RMC 4-1-180. Before any permit can be issued, a fee for the duration of the encroachment must be paid at the rate set by RMC 4-1-180. (Ord. 5593, 3-21-11)

9-17-9 NUISANCE:

Any encroachment on City property is hereby declared a nuisance, which can be abated by court order or under RMC 1-3-3. (Ord. 5593, 3-21-11)

9-17-10 INFRACTION AND MISDEMEANOR:

After receipt of an Encroachment Violation Notice and second Encroachment Violation Notice, one who continues, intensifies or expands such encroachment shall be issued a Notice of Infraction. After one (1) found infraction, a party continuing an encroachment shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable pursuant to RMC 1-3-1. (Ord. 5593, 3-21-11)