Chapter 30.85
ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURES

Sections:

30.85.010    Purpose.

30.85.020    Applicability.

30.85.030    Remedies not exclusive.

30.85.040    Public nuisance.

30.85.050    Initiation of enforcement action.

30.85.060    Types of code enforcement action.

30.85.070    Right of entry.

30.85.080    Warning notice.

30.85.090    Citation.

30.85.100    Citation procedure.

30.85.110    Response to a citation.

30.85.120    Contested citation hearing.

30.85.125    Failure to appear for a contested citation hearing.

30.85.130    Fines for citations.

30.85.135    Non-commercial violation, definition.

30.85.140    Mitigation of fines.

30.85.150    Notice of violation.

30.85.160    Notice of violation - effective date and content.

30.85.170    Monetary penalties for notice of violation.

30.85.180    Reduction of monetary penalties.

30.85.190    Appeal of a notice of violation.

30.85.200    Notice of violation appeal hearing procedures.

30.85.210    Notice of violation optional reconsideration procedures.

30.85.220    Extension of compliance date.

30.85.230    Stop work order.

30.85.240    Emergency order.

30.85.250    Method of service.

30.85.260    Final order for enforcement.

30.85.270    Collection of fines and monetary penalties.

30.85.280    Repeat violations.

30.85.290    Certificate of noncompliance.

30.85.300    Suspension of permits.

30.85.310    Revocation of permits.

30.85.320    Abatement.

30.85.330    Liens - generally.

30.85.340    Liens - filing and recording.

30.85.350    Liens - foreclosure.

30.85.360    Duty not creating liability.

30.85.370    Misdemeanor.

30.85.010 Purpose.

The purpose of the enforcement procedures found in this chapter is to establish an efficient system to enforce the land use and development codes of Snohomish County for the benefit of the public health, safety and welfare, and the environment. To achieve this purpose, this chapter provides procedures for:

(1) Efficient notice and opportunities to correct violations;

(2) Progressive monetary penalties proportionate to the violations;

(3) Contesting a citation or appealing a notice of violation;

(4) Collecting civil penalties; and

(5) Abatement and remediation of violations.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008)

30.85.020 Applicability.

This chapter applies to violations of any provision of Titles 13 and 30 SCC, chapter 10.01 SCC, and other Snohomish County Code provisions within the administrative jurisdiction of the department of planning and development services or the department of public works. Violations subject to this chapter are not subject to chapter 10.70 SCC. Violations subject to this chapter include but are not limited to:

(1) Failure to obtain required permits or authorizations within the administrative jurisdiction of the applicable department;

(2) Failure to comply with the terms or conditions of a permit or authorization issued by the applicable department;

(3) Failure to comply with any county code provision within the administrative jurisdiction of the applicable department;

(4) Failure to comply with rules or regulations adopted pursuant to the administrative authority of the applicable department;

(5) Removal without authorization or defacing any sign, notice or order posted pursuant to the administrative authority of the applicable department; and

(6) Failure to comply with a stop work or emergency order issued under this chapter.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008; Amended by Amended Ord. 12-111, Jan. 9, 2013, Eff date March 1, 2013)

30.85.030 Remedies not exclusive.

The remedies set forth in this chapter are not exclusive, and do not limit or restrict the authority of the county from remedying or abating violations in any manner authorized by law.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008)

30.85.040 Public nuisance.

(1) Violations of title 30 SCC, chapter 10.01 SCC, and chapter 13.01 SCC are determined to be detrimental to the public health, safety and welfare and are public nuisances.

(2) Whenever the applicable director determines that any condition creates a present or imminent hazard, or is likely to create a hazard to the public safety, health or welfare, to the environment, or to public or private property, the director may declare such condition a public nuisance.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008)

30.85.050 Initiation of enforcement action.

(1) Whenever a director has reason to believe a violation has occurred, the director may initiate any of the following enforcement actions against the person(s) responsible for the violation:

(a) Issuance of a citation;

(b) Issuance of a notice of violation;

(c) Issuance of a stop work order;

(d) Issuance of an emergency order; and/or,

(e) Referral of the matter to the prosecuting attorney for enforcement.

(2) In all cases the property owner shall be named as a responsible party in an enforcement action.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008)

30.85.060 Types of code enforcement action.

(1) The following options provide a progressive strategy for achieving code compliance and are designed to protect life, health, safety and the public welfare.

(a) A warning notice issued under to SCC 30.85.080;

(b) A citation issued under SCC 30.85.090;

(c) A notice of violation issued under SCC 30.85.150;

(d) A stop work order issued under SCC 30.85.230; and

(e) An emergency order issued under SCC 30.85.240.

(2) A citation and a notice of violation are intended for different types of violations and shall not be issued for the same violation.

(3) A violation may be referred to the prosecuting attorney for filing a misdemeanor complaint against the person(s).

(4) The county may seek legal or equitable relief at any time to enjoin any acts or practices that violate county code, or abate any condition that constitutes a nuisance.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008)

30.85.070 Right of entry.

(1) Any entry made to private property for the purpose of inspection for code violations pursuant to this chapter shall conform with constitutional and statutory constraints of entry, and the holdings of relevant court cases regarding entry. The director is authorized to enter upon any property for the purpose of administering this chapter provided that the director shall make entry only if such entry is consistent with the constitutions and laws of the United States and the state of Washington. If so required by the constitutions and the laws of the United States or the state of Washington, the director shall apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for a search warrant authorizing access to such property for such purpose. The court may upon such application issue the search warrant for the purpose requested.

(2) If the director has probable cause to believe that conditions on the property create an immediate hazard to person or property, the director may enter the property immediately for the purpose of investigating the emergency conditions and initiating corrective action.

(3) Right of entry to enforce the fire code, chapter 30.53A SCC, shall be subject to the provisions of SCC 30.53A.148 and 30.53A.150.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008)

30.85.080 Warning notice.

(1) Before initiating an enforcement action, the director may provide a warning notice to the person(s) responsible. The person(s) named in the warning notice may be given the opportunity to correct the violation(s), within the time specified in the warning notice.

(2) A warning notice shall be written in a form determined by the department and include the following information:

(a) The tax parcel number of the property where the violation(s) occurred or is located and, when available, the street address;

(b) A statement describing the violation(s), with specific references to applicable code section(s);

(c) The date by which the violation(s) must be corrected to avoid initiation of an enforcement action;

(d) A statement of the potential consequences of failure to complete corrective action including the imposition of fines or monetary penalties, if applicable; and

(e) Code enforcement contact information and instructions for the responsible person(s) to respond.

(3) The warning notice may include suggested corrective actions to cure, abate or stop the violation(s).

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008)

30.85.090 Citation.

(1) Violations of the following provisions of Snohomish County Code shall be subject to the citation and/or criminal provisions set forth in this chapter:

(a) Junkyard conditions in urban zones (SCC 30.22.100 or 30.65.285);

(b) Recreational vehicle occupancy (SCC 30.22.100, 30.22.110, 30.22.120 or 30.22.130(19)(b) and (c) or 30.65.285);

(c) Illegal signs (chapter 30.27 SCC);

(d) Noise standards (chapter 10.01 SCC, except public disturbance noises as defined by SCC 10.01.040);

(e) Fence height (SCC 30.50.308 or 30.23.100);

(f) Erosion control measures and best management practices (chapter 30.63A SCC);

(g) Overcrowding beyond building capacity or blocking means of egress (SCC 30.53A.382);

(h) Obstruction of fire apparatus access roads (SCC 30.53A.512);

(i) Means of egress (SCC 30.53A.010, Section 1030 IFC);

(j) Burn permit (SCC 30.53A.298);

(k) Stop work order (SCC 30.85.230); and

(l) Emergency order (SCC 30.85.240).

(2) Issuance of the citation is a final determination and a fine will be assessed in accordance with SCC Table 30.85.130.

(3) Payment of a fine assessed under the citation shall not relieve the person(s) named in the citation of any obligation to cure, abate or stop the violation(s).

(4) A citation may be modified or withdrawn by the department at any time it was issued in error.

(5) Each day a person violates or fails to comply with a provision of this section may be considered a separate violation for which a citation may be issued, including the period pending a contested hearing.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008; Amended by Amended Ord. 08-101, Mar. 25, 2009, Eff date April 21, 2009; Amended by Amended Ord. 14-073, Oct. 8, 2014, Eff date Oct. 27, 2014; Amended by Ord. 14-081, Oct. 29, 2014, Eff date November 13, 2014)

30.85.100 Citation procedure.

(1) Whenever a citation for a violation listed in SCC 30.85.090 is issued, the director may issue the citation to the owner(s) of the property and/or other person(s) responsible for the violation.

(2) The citation shall be on a form determined by the department and contain the following:

(a) The name(s) and address(es) of the person(s) responsible for the violation(s).

(b) The tax parcel number of the property where the violation occurred or is located and the street address, when available;

(c) A separate statement of each standard or requirement violated pursuant to SCC 30.85.090;

(d) The date of the violation(s);

(e) The applicable fine imposed in accordance with the schedule in SCC Table 30.85.130 and the date by which payment of the fine is due;

(f) A statement that the person(s) named in the citation must respond to the citation within 14 days after service;

(g) A statement that the citation represents a determination that a violation has been committed by the person(s) named in the citation and that the determination shall be final unless contested as provided in this chapter; and

(h) A certified statement of the code enforcement officer or inspector issuing the citation, authorized by RCW 9A.72.085, setting forth facts supporting issuance of the citation.

(3) The citation may include a statement of suggested corrective action(s).

(4) The citation shall state that payment of the fine does not relieve the person found in violation of the responsibility for curing, abating or stopping the violation.

(5) A citation may be amended at any time in order to correct clerical errors or to cite additional authority for a stated violation.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008)

30.85.110 Response to a citation.

(1) Person(s) shall respond to a citation within 14 calendar days from the date of service by one of the following means:

(a) Paying the fine specified in the citation, in which case the record shall show a finding that the person cited committed the violation. Payment of the fine(s) does not relieve the person named in the citation of the responsibility for curing, abating or stopping the violation.

(b) Requesting a reduction of fines in writing and explaining the circumstances surrounding the commission of the violation. Conditions for reduction of fines must be in accordance with SCC 30.85.140. A request for reduction of fines shall include an address and contact information for the person cited and making said request.

(c) Requesting a contested hearing in writing specifying the reason why the cited violation did not occur or why the person cited is not responsible for the violation, and providing a mailing address to which notice of such hearing may be sent. The grounds for contesting a citation are set forth in SCC 30.85.120.

(2) Responses to a citation shall include the citation number and shall be delivered by mail or by hand to the office of the Snohomish County Department of Planning and Development Services, attention Code Enforcement. If mailed, the date of postmark shall serve as the date received for purposes of this chapter.

(3) If a person fails to respond to a citation within 14 days of service, the director shall note that the person cited failed to respond to the citation within the designated appeal period and is deemed to have committed the violation identified in the citation. Notation of the failure to respond shall constitute a final decision under SCC 30.85.260.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008)

30.85.120 Contested citation hearing.

(1) When the department receives a written statement contesting a citation, the statement shall be transmitted to the hearing examiner within three business days.

(a) The contested citation statement may be dismissed if the hearing examiner determines it is untimely, incomplete, frivolous, or beyond the hearing examiner’s jurisdiction. A summary dismissal order shall be issued within 15 days following receipt of the contested citation by the hearing examiner.

(b) The hearing examiner shall conduct a hearing of the contested citation within 45 days of the date that the hearing examiner received the request for the hearing.

(c) The hearing examiner shall notify the person contesting the citation and the department in writing of the time, place and date of the hearing at least 15 days prior to the date of the hearing.

(2) The applicable county department has the burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence to prove:

(a) The person named on the citation is the responsible party for causing the violation or is the property owner; and

(b) The violation listed on the citation occurred.

(3) The public hearing shall be an open record hearing conducted in accordance with the Snohomish County Hearing Examiner Rules of Procedure, except as modified by this chapter.

(4) Each person participating in an open record hearing shall be allowed to:

(a) Call, examine and cross examine witnesses (subject to reasonable limitation by the examiner in accordance with the examiner’s adopted rules of procedure) on any matter relevant to the issues of the hearing;

(b) Introduce documentary and physical evidence;

(c) Rebut evidence; and

(d) Represent him/herself or to be represented by anyone of his choice who is lawfully permitted to do so.

(5) The citation containing the certified statement or declaration authorized by RCW 9A.72.085 submitted by the department and any attached documentation shall be prima facie evidence that a violation occurred and that the person(s) cited are responsible. The citation containing the certified statement or declaration of the code enforcement officer or inspector authorized under RCW 9A.72.085, and any other evidence accompanying the file shall be admissible without further evidentiary foundation. Any certifications or declarations authorized under RCW 9A.72.085 shall also be admissible without further evidentiary foundation.

(6) The hearing examiner shall consider the evidence and testimony presented at the hearing and, based on this information, shall reverse or affirm the citation in whole or in part. The decision shall be issued within 15 days with an optional right of reconsideration. Appeals may be made by filing a land use petition in superior court within 21 days of issuance of the decision as provided in chapter 36.70C RCW.

(7) The decision of the hearing examiner shall constitute a final decision and order under SCC 30.85.260.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 2008)

30.85.125 Failure to appear for a contested citation hearing.

Failure to appear for a requested hearing will result in a decision being entered finding that the person cited committed the violation stated in the citation and assessing the fines specified in the citation. For good cause shown and upon terms the hearing examiner finds just, the hearing examiner may set aside a decision entered upon a failure to appear.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008)

30.85.130 Fines for citations.

Table 30.85.130 Fines for Citations
 

 

FIRST VIOLATION

REPEAT VIOLATION 2

MULTIPLE REPEAT VIOLATIONS 2

CODE PROVISION

Non- commercial1

Commercial

Non- commercial1

Commercial

Non- commercial1

Commercial

Junkyard conditions in Urban Zone

SCC 30.22.100 or 30.65.285

$150

$250

$300

$500

$500

$700

RV occupancy

SCC 30.22.100, 30.22.110, 30.22.120, 30.22.130(19)(b)&(c) or 30.65.285

$150

$250

$300

$500

$500

$700

Tree Canopy (per tree) SCC 30.25.016(11)

$5,000

$5,000

$5,000

$5,000

$5,000

$5,000

Non-permitted sign

Chapter 30.27 SCC

$150

$250

$300

$500

$500

$700

Noise prevention

Chapter 10.01 SCC

$150

$250

$300

$500

$500

$700

Fence height

SCC 30.50.308 or 30.23.100

$150

$250

$300

$500

$500

$700

Erosion control measures

Chapter 30.63A SCC

$150

$250

$300

$500

$500

$700

Overcrowding building or egress

SCC 30.53A.382

NA

$250

NA

$500

$500

$700

Obstruction of fire access roads

SCC 30.53A.512

$150

$250

$300

$500

$500

$700

Means of egress

SCC 30.53A.010; Section 1030 IFC

NA

$250

NA

$500

$500

$700

Burn permit

SCC 30.53A.298

$150

$250

$300

$500

$500

$700

Stop work order

SCC 30.85.230

$300

$500

$600

$1,000

$1,000

$1,500

Emergency order

SCC 30.85.240

$450

$750

$500

$1,500

$700

$2,100

1 See SCC 30.85.135 as definition

2 Pursuant to SCC 30.85.280.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008; Amended by Amended Ord. 08-101, Jan. 21, 2009, Eff date April 21, 2009; Amended by Amended Ord. 14-073, Oct. 8, 2014, Eff date Oct. 27, 2014; Amended by Ord. 14-081, Oct. 29, 2014, Eff date November 13, 2014)

30.85.135 Non-commercial violation, definition.

A non-commercial citation or violation is one in which the person(s) responsible for the citation or violation is (are) engaged in the development, management, or use of the property solely for residential purposes for the benefit of the person(s) responsible or his or her family.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008)

30.85.140 Mitigation of fines.

(1) The director may reduce fines assessed pursuant to SCC 30.85.130 if the violation is corrected within the 14-day period set forth in SCC 30.85.110, and the correction is verified by the department. A reduction shall be in writing and state the date on which the violation was corrected.

(2) For reduction or waiver of fines, the person(s) named shall have the burden of proof that the violation has been corrected and the date of correction, including verification by the department.

(3) Any reduction shall be based on an evaluation of individual circumstances, including, but not limited to the severity of the violation, repeat violations as defined in 30.85.280, the public interest being protected, and the responsiveness of the person(s) responsible to correct, cure, abate or stop the violation.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008)

30.85.150 Notice of violation.

(1) All violations of Snohomish County Code, except as otherwise provided in SCC 30.85.090, shall be subject to a notice of violation.

(2) A notice of violation represents a determination by the department that a violation has been committed and monetary penalties shall be assessed pursuant to SCC 30.85.170. If the person served with a notice of violation fails to respond to it by the compliance date, the director shall note that the person failed to respond to the notice of violation within the designated appeal period and is deemed to have committed the violation identified in the notice of violation. Notation of the failure to respond shall constitute a final decision under SCC 30.85.260.

(3) The notice of violation may list corrective actions suggested to remedy the violation.

(4) Payment of a monetary penalty assessed under a notice of violation shall not relieve the person(s) named in the notice of violation of the obligation to correct, cure, abate or stop the violation(s).

(5) The notice of violation is a final determination and the person(s) named in the notice of violation shall correct the violation by the date stated in the notice of violation, unless the notice of violation is appealed.

(6) A notice of violation may be withdrawn by the department at any time if it is determined that it was issued in error.

(7) A notice of violation may be amended at any time in order to correct clerical errors or to cite additional authority for a stated violation.

(8) When an administrative or judicial appeal is pending, additional notices of violation may be issued at the same location.

(9) The director may extend the time for compliance issued in a notice of violation upon finding that substantial progress toward compliance has been made. After penalties have begun to accrue, an extension of a notice of violation may be granted by the director, based upon the efforts of the violator to achieve compliance. Such an extension allows the director to stay the accrual of additional penalties until the new compliance date stated in the extension notice. Penalties that have already accrued prior to the extension shall not be waived, but may be reduced under SCC 30.85.180. An extension of time may be revoked by the director upon a finding that the conditions at the time the extension was granted have changed, or the person(s) responsible are not performing corrective actions required in the notice of violation. If the extension of the compliance date is revoked, a new compliance date shall be set, which may be the date of revocation.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008; Amended by Amended Ord. 12-018, Eff date May 2, 2012, May 21, 2012)

30.85.160 Notice of violation - effective date and content.

(1) A notice of violation shall be effective on the date served.

(2) A notice of violation shall be made on a form determined by the department and shall contain the following:

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

(b) The tax parcel number of the property where the violation occurred or is located and, when available, the street address;

(c) A statement of each standard or requirement violated, with a concise description of the violation(s);

(d) The date the violation was observed and the compliance date;

(e) The amount of any monetary penalty assessed or that will accrue pursuant to SCC 30.85.170;

(f) A statement of the appeal process pursuant to SCC 30.85.190;

(g) A statement that failure to file a timely and complete appeal shall constitute a waiver of all rights to appeal the notice of violation;

(h) A statement that a lien for any monetary penalty imposed or the cost of abatement, or both, may be claimed by Snohomish County; and

(i) The signature of the code enforcement officer or inspector issuing the notice of violation.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008)

30.85.170 Monetary penalties for notice of violation.

(1) Table 30.85.170 shall be used to determine the monetary penalties assessed for each violation identified in the notice of violation:

Table 30.85.170

Monetary Penalties for Notices of Violation
 

Type of Violation

Non-commercial violations1

 

Commercial violations

Day 1 to Day 20

$500

Day 1 to Day 14

$1,500

Day 21 to Day 40

Add $1,500 (=$2,000)

Day 15 to Day 29

Add $1,500 (=$3,000)

Day 41 to Day 60

Add $2,000 (=$4,000)

Day 30 to Day 44

Add $3,000 (=$6,000)

Day 61 to Day 80

Add $2,500 (=$6,500)

Day 45 to Day 59

Add $5,000 (=$11,000)

Day 81 to Day 100

Add $3,500 (=$10,000)

Day 60 to Day 74

Add $6,000 (=$17,000)

 

 

Day 75

Add $8,000 (=$25,000)

1 See SCC 30.85.135 definition.

(2) Monetary penalties for both noncommercial and commercial notice of violations shall be assessed and accrue from the compliance date in the notice of violation or its written extension.

(3) Monetary penalties for repeat violations shall be assessed and accrue from the date of issuance of the notice of violation.

(4) If a notice of violation is stayed pending an appeal, the monetary penalties will accrue as of the date of the decision of the hearing examiner (adjusted for the time stayed pending the appeal), or the compliance date of compliance if the date of compliance hasn’t passed prior to the decision of the hearing examiner.

(5) The total monetary penalties for noncommercial violations shall not exceed $10,000 per violation, except as provided for in subsection (7) of this section.

(6) The total monetary penalties for commercial violations shall not exceed $25,000 per each violation, except as provided for in subsections (7)(a) and (b) of this section.

(7) The following violations shall be subject to enhanced monetary penalties:

(a) Violations that occur in a critical area or a critical area buffer as defined in chapters 30.62A, 30.62B, 30.62C and 30.65 SCC shall be subject to triple monetary penalties; and

(b) Repeat violations in accordance with SCC 30.85.280 shall be subject to double monetary penalties.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008; Amended by Amended Ord. 13-042, July 10, 2013, Eff date July 22, 2013)

30.85.180 Reduction of monetary penalties.

(1) The director may reduce monetary penalties assessed in SCC 30.85.170 if the violation is corrected and the correction is verified by the department.

(2) For reduction of monetary penalties, the person(s) named in the notice of violation shall have the burden of proof that the violation has been corrected and the date of correction, including verification by the department.

(3) Monetary penalties shall not be reduced in the case of a repeat violator or repeat violation as defined in SCC 30.85.280.

(4) The director may base the decision to reduce a monetary penalty on an evaluation of individual circumstances, including, but not limited to, the severity of the violation, the public interest being protected, and the cooperation of the person responsible for the violation. The person(s) named in the notice of violation must submit a written request for reduction of monetary penalties that includes an explanation of the circumstances surrounding the commission of the violation and acts taken to correct the violation. Such requests should include the code enforcement case number and be addressed to the department’s code enforcement division.

(5) Nothing in this section shall obligate the director to reduce any monetary penalties.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008; Amended by Amended Ord. 12-018, May 2, 2012, Eff date May 21, 2012)

30.85.190 Appeal of a notice of violation.

(1) Upon service of a notice of violation, the person(s) named in the notice of violation shall have 14 calendar days to file an appeal, except when appealing a violation of the county shoreline management program. When the violation falls within a shoreline area, an appeal to a notice of violation of the county shoreline management program must be filed 30 days from the date of service pursuant to chapter 30.44 SCC and RCW 90.58.210(4).

(2) An appeal of a notice of violation must be in writing and contain the following:

(a) A detailed statement of the grounds for appeal, including the facts or evidence upon which the appeal is based. The statement shall include at least one of the following:

(i) The person named in the notice of violation, is not responsible for causing the violation and is not the property owner; or

(ii) The cited violation did not occur.

(b) The name, mailing address, and daytime telephone number of each appellant, or each appellant’s representative, together with the signature of at least one of the appellants or of the appellants’ representative.

(c) A complete copy of the notice of violation.

(3) The appeal submittal and fee shall be delivered by U.S. mail or by hand to the office of the Snohomish County Department of Planning and Development Services, attention Code Enforcement. If mailed, the date of postmark shall serve as the date received for purposes of this chapter.

(4) Enforcement of a notice of violation and any penalty accruing shall be stayed pending an appeal as provided in SCC 30.85.240, unless the violation will cause immediate and irreparable harm as determined by the director.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008; Amended by Amended Ord. 12-007, Mar. 21, 2012, Eff date April 5, 2012)

30.85.200 Notice of violation appeal hearing procedures.

(1) When the department receives an appeal of a notice of violation pursuant to SCC 30.85.190, the department shall transmit the request and a copy of the file to the hearing examiner within three working days.

(2) The hearing examiner shall review the appeal document and may summarily dismiss the appeal if the filing is untimely, incomplete, frivolous, or beyond the hearing examiner’s jurisdiction. In such event, a summary dismissal order shall be issued by the hearing examiner within 15 working days following receipt of the appeal.

(3) If the appeal is not summarily dismissed the hearing examiner shall hold an open record hearing on the notice of violation within 60 calendar days after the date on which the hearing examiner received the notice of appeal. All testimony at the open record hearing shall be taken under oath.

(a) The hearing examiner shall notify the parties in writing of the time, place and date of the hearing at least 30 calendar days prior to the date of the hearing, unless the parties stipulate to a shorter time period.

(b) Failure of the appellant to appear at the requested hearing may result in an order being entered finding that the person(s) named in the notice of violation committed the violation as stated and assessing monetary penalties in accordance with SCC 30.85.170. For good cause shown, and upon terms the hearing examiner finds just, the hearing examiner may set aside an order entered upon a failure to appear.

(4) In order to facilitate and expedite fair and equitable hearings, the hearing examiner may adopt rules of procedure that supplement the requirements set forth in this chapter; provided, that in the event of any conflict between the requirements of the chapter and any rules of procedure adopted by the hearing examiner, the requirements of this chapter shall control.

(5) Each principal party participating in an open record hearing shall be allowed to:

(a) Call, examine and cross-examine witnesses (subject to reasonable limitation by the examiner in accordance with the examiner’s adopted rules of procedure) on any matter relevant to the issues of the hearing;

(b) Introduce documentary and physical evidence;

(c) Rebut evidence; and

(d) Represent him/herself or to be represented by an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of Washington.

(6) The county has the burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence that the appellant(s) committed the violation.

(7) Each party participating in an open record hearing for appeal of a notice of violation shall submit a copy of its written materials to the hearing examiner and to each of the other parties appearing in the appeal pursuant to the following schedule:

(a) No later than three weeks prior to the date of the scheduled open record hearing, the department shall file with the hearing examiner and serve on the appellant:

(i) an original or copy of each substantive document the department desires to enter as an exhibit in the appeal record, including, but not limited to, any and all scientific or technical documents, reports, studies, analyses, photographs, maps, diagrams, or other similar materials;

(ii) a list of all exhibits submitted; and

(iii) a list of witnesses.

(b) No later than one week prior to the date of the scheduled open record hearing, the appellant shall file with the hearing examiner and serve on the department:

(i) an original or copy of each substantive document the appellant desires to enter as an exhibit in the appeal record, including, but not limited to, any and all scientific or technical documents, reports, studies, analyses, photographs, maps, diagrams, or other similar materials;

(ii) a list of all exhibits submitted; and

(iii) a list of witnesses.

(c) Parties have a duty to supplement at the earliest possible opportunity their submittals made under subsection (7) of this section whenever a party discovers that all or any part of the material submitted was incorrect or inaccurate when submitted, or that all or any part of the material submitted is no longer correct or accurate even though it was correct and accurate at the time of submittal.

(d) Written materials not disclosed through the exhibit pre-filing process may not be entered as evidence or presented orally at the open record hearing except by agreement of all other parties to the appeal or at the hearing examiner’s discretion for good cause shown.

(8) Optional prehearing briefing process:

(a) A prehearing briefing process may be conducted:

(i) by agreement of the parties to the appeal;

(ii) at the hearing examiner’s discretion upon request of one or more of the parties to the appeal; or

(iii) upon the hearing examiner’s own initiative.

(b) The purpose of a prehearing briefing is to facilitate a full and fair hearing on the merits in cases that may involve complex or confusing factual issues or legal arguments. Accordingly, in determining whether to require a prehearing briefing, the hearing examiner shall consider the number and complexity of issues, and any other relevant facts and circumstances. The hearing examiner may modify the schedule in subsection (7) of this section in the interests of justice and efficiency.

(c) If a prehearing briefing process is employed in an appeal, such process shall include submittal of an initial brief by the department, optional response brief by the appellant, and an optional reply brief by the department. Response briefs may be filed by all other parties to the appeal. The department may choose to treat one of its briefs as the departmental report required by SCC 2.02.130.

(d) Prehearing briefs shall be submitted pursuant to the following schedule, unless a different schedule is established by the hearing examiner:

(i) the initial brief(s) by the department will be due three weeks before the hearing;

(ii) the optional response brief(s) by the appellant will be due one week before the hearing; and

(iii) the optional reply brief(s) will be due not less than two working days before the hearing.

(9) The hearing examiner shall consider the evidence and testimony presented at the hearing and, based on this information, shall issue a written decision reversing or affirming the notice of violation, in whole or in part, and addressing the amount of monetary penalties, if any, to be imposed on the appellant(s). The final decision shall be issued within 15 working days of the conclusion of the open record hearing with an optional right of reconsideration pursuant to SCC 30.85.210.

(10) The decision of the hearing examiner shall constitute a final decision and order in accordance with SCC 30.85.260.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008; Amended by Amended Ord. 13-043, June 19, 2013, Eff date June 30, 2013; Amended by Ord. 16-056, Aug. 17, 2016, Eff date Aug. 28, 2016)

30.85.210 Notice of violation optional reconsideration procedures.

(1) Any party to the appeal of a notice of violation may submit a written petition for reconsideration to the hearing examiner within 10 calendar days following the date of the hearing examiner’s written decision. The party seeking reconsideration shall mail or otherwise provide a copy of the petition for reconsideration to all parties to the appeal on the date of filing. Enforcement of a hearing examiner decision and order and any penalty accruing thereunder shall be stayed during the pendency of a petition for reconsideration.

(2) The grounds for seeking reconsideration shall be limited to the following:

(a) The hearing examiner exceeded the hearing examiner’s jurisdiction;

(b) The hearing examiner failed to follow the applicable procedure in reaching the hearing examiner’s decision;

(c) The hearing examiner committed an error of law;

(d) The hearing examiner’s findings, conclusions, and/or other elements of the decision, are not supported by the record; and/or

(e) New evidence is discovered which could not reasonably have been discovered prior to the hearing and which is material to the decision.

(3) The petition for reconsideration shall:

(a) Contain the name, mailing address, and daytime telephone number of the party seeking reconsideration or their representative, together with the signature of the party seeking reconsideration or their representative;

(b) Identify the specific findings, conclusions, and/or other elements of the decision for which reconsideration is requested;

(c) State the specific grounds upon which relief is requested; and

(d) Describe the specific relief requested.

(4) The petition for reconsideration shall be decided by the same hearing examiner who rendered the decision, if such person is reasonably available.

(5) The hearing examiner shall provide written notice of the request for reconsideration to all parties to the appeal within five calendar days after receiving said petition.

(6) Within 15 working days after the date on which the hearing examiner received the request for reconsideration, the hearing examiner shall issue a written decision (i) denying the petition for reconsideration, (ii) granting the petition for reconsideration in whole or in part, or (iii) requesting additional information, comments and/or oral argument from the parties prior to rendering a decision on the petition for reconsideration.

(7) A decision which has been subjected to the reconsideration process shall not again be subject to reconsideration.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008; Amended by Amended Ord. 13-043, June 19, 2013, Eff date June 30, 2013)

30.85.220 Extension of compliance date.

After the hearing examiner has issued a final order specifying a compliance deadline, an appellant may request a revision of the hearing examiner’s decision to request additional time beyond the hearing examiner’s specified deadline to correct a violation if the following are met:

(1) The request must be received at least 15 days prior to the compliance date.

(2) The request for extending the time for correction of the violation shall include

(a) Evidence of substantial progress toward compliance; and

(b) Evidence that correction of the violation was commenced promptly, but full compliance was prevented by a condition or circumstance beyond the control of the appellant.

The director will review the request for additional time and forward it, along with any comments, to the hearing examiner for issuance of a hearing examiner decision granting or denying the request for extension of the deadline to correct the violation.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008)

30.85.230 Stop work order.

(1) Whenever a director finds any work being performed in a manner in violation of the provisions of the code or in a dangerous or unsafe manner, the director may issue a stop work order.

(2) A stop work order shall be on a form determined by the director and state the reason(s) for the order and the conditions under which the cited work will be permitted to resume.

(3) A stop work order shall be delivered to the owner of the property involved, or to the owner’s agent, or to the person doing the work.

(4) Upon issuance of a stop work order, the cited work shall immediately cease.

(5) It shall be unlawful for any person to continue any work after being served with a stop work order. Violation of a stop work order shall be subject to the fines set forth in SCC 30.85.130.

(6) Violation of a stop work order may be subject to criminal prosecution or any other remedies at law.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008)

30.85.240 Emergency order.

(1) Whenever a director becomes aware of a condition or activity that endangers public or private property, creates an immediate hazard, creates a violation of critical areas provisions or surface water protection, or threatens the health and safety of the occupants of any premises or members of the public, the director may issue an emergency order.

(2) The emergency order shall state the reason for the order and the conditions that must be remedied.

(3) Upon issuance of an emergency order, the cited activity shall cease and any unsafe or dangerous condition shall be immediately remedied.

(4) The person(s) named in the emergency order may appeal the order within 14 calendar days from the date of issuance of the order in accordance with SCC 30.85.190. An appeal of an emergency order shall not stay the requirement to immediately take action to remedy any dangerous or unsafe conditions.

(5) Violation of an emergency order may be subject to criminal prosecution.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008)

30.85.250 Method of service.

(1) A warning notice, citation, or a notice of violation shall be served upon the responsible person(s) by one or both of the following methods:

(a) Personal service on the person(s) named, or by leaving a copy of the warning notice, citation, or notice of violation at that person’s usual abode with a person of suitable age and discretion who resides there.

(b) Service by mailing 2 copies, postage prepaid, one by ordinary first class mail and the other by certified mail to the person(s) last known address, at the address of the violation, or at the address of the place of business of the person(s) responsible.

(c) Service by mail shall be presumed effective upon the third business day following the day upon which the warning notice, citation, or notice of violation was placed in the mail.

(2) In all cases, the property owner may be named as a party to the violation, and notice shall be mailed to the address shown on the tax records of the county.

(3) If the whereabouts of the person(s) named is unknown, service shall be made by posting and/or publishing the notice in accordance with the following:

(a) Posted notices shall be conspicuously placed on the property where the violation is occurring; and/or

(b) When publication is utilized, the department shall publish one notice in the official county newspaper.

(4) A stop work order shall be served by posting in a conspicuous place on the property where the violation is occurring and by personal service or certified mail return receipt requested. The stop work order shall be effective on the date that it is posted.

(5) An emergency order shall be served by posting in a conspicuous place on the property where the violation is occurring and by personal service or certified mail return receipt requested. The emergency order shall be effective on the date that it is posted.

(6) Adequacy of mailed notice:

(a) Any mailed notice required by this chapter shall be deemed adequate where a good-faith effort has been made by the department to identify and mail a notice to each property owner and taxpayer of record and known site address. The taxpayer’s address as show on the tax records of the county shall be deemed to be the proper address for the purpose of mailing such notice to the owner of the property where the violation occurred.

(b) Notices mailed to property owners, taxpayers of record and known site addresses shall be deemed received by those persons if named in an affidavit or declaration of mailing executed by the department.

(c) The failure of any person to actually receive the warning notice, citation, or notice shall not invalidate any code enforcement action.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008)

30.85.260 Final order for enforcement.

(1) A final order constitutes a final determination that a violation has occurred, the person(s) cited is responsible for the violation, and administrative options to contest the decision are exhausted.

(2) If after any order duly issued by the director or hearing examiner becomes final, and the person, firm, or corporation to whom the order is directed does not obey the order, including refusal to pay fines or monetary penalties assessed under such order, the county may:

(a) Cause such person, firm, or corporation to be prosecuted under the provisions of this chapter;

(b) Institute appropriate action to collect fines or monetary penalties assessed in accordance with provisions of this chapter;

(c) Abate the violation in accordance with provisions of this chapter and state law;

(d) File a certificate of noncompliance in the Snohomish County Auditor’s office in accordance with provisions of this chapter; or

(e) Pursue other reasonable remedies as allowed by law.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008)

30.85.270 Collection of fines and monetary penalties.

(1) The county may, at its option, assign the collection of fines or monetary penalties to a collection agency or commence a civil action in any court of competent jurisdiction to collect costs and expenses of enforcement, costs of abatement incurred by the county to obtain compliance pursuant to this chapter and/or to collect any fines or penalties that have been assessed.

(2) The county, pursuant to chapter 19.16 RCW and at its option, may use a collection agency for the purpose of collecting penalties assessed in accordance with this chapter. The county shall add a reasonable fee to the outstanding debt for the collection agency fee incurred or to be incurred as a result of the use of the collection agency. No debt may be assigned to a collection agency until at least 30 days have elapsed from the time that the county attempts to notify the person responsible for the debt and that the debt may be assigned to a collection agency for collection of an unpaid debt.

(3) The county may convert the hearing examiner order or final order into a judgment.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008)

30.85.280 Repeat violations.

Repeat violations or a repeat violator are defined as follows:

(1) The same or similar violation, as determined by the director, occurring on the same property within a 24 consecutive month time period.

(2) The same person(s) committing the same violation or similar violation, as determined by the director, on a different property in Snohomish County within a 24 consecutive month time period.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008)

30.85.290 Certificate of noncompliance.

(1) The certificate of noncompliance is a notice recorded on the title of real property. The purpose of the certificate is to give notice to interested parties of outstanding code violations.

(2) The director may record a certificate of noncompliance when:

(a) A notice of violation has become a final order under SCC 30.85.260.

(b) The notice recorded on the title of real property includes a statement of how the certificate of noncompliance can be removed from the title of the property when the violation(s) have been corrected.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008)

30.85.300 Suspension of permits.

(1) The director may temporarily suspend any permit for:

(a) Failure to comply with the requirements of this title or other applicable provision of the county code related to the permit; or

(b) Failure to comply with any notice of violation issued pursuant to this chapter.

(2) The permit suspension shall be subject to the notice of violation provisions of this chapter, and the suspension shall be effective upon service of the notice of violation. The person(s) named on the notice of violation may appeal the suspension as provided by this chapter.

(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, whenever the director finds that a violation of this title or any other applicable provision of the county code has created or is creating a dangerous condition or other condition which constitutes an immediate hazard, the director may, without service of a written notice and order, suspend and terminate activities under the permit immediately.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008)

30.85.310 Revocation of permits.

(1) The applicable director may permanently revoke any permit issued pursuant to subtitle 30.5 SCC or chapter 30.63B SCC for:

(a) Failure to comply with the requirements of this title or any other applicable provision of the county code related to the permit;

(b) Failure to comply with any notice of violation issued pursuant to this chapter; or

(c) Discovery that a permit was issued in error or on the basis of incorrect information supplied to the county.

(2) The permit revocation shall be carried out through the notice of violation provisions of this chapter and the revocation shall be effective upon service of the notice of violation. The person(s) responsible may appeal such revocation as provided by this chapter.

(3) This section does not apply to review, rescission or revocation of permit approvals processed pursuant to SCC 30.71.025.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008)

30.85.320 Abatement.

(1) In addition to any other judicial or administrative remedy provided by this chapter or by law, the county may seek to abate any condition that constitutes a public nuisance as defined in SCC 30.85.040.

(2) Each successive owner of property who neglects to abate a continuing nuisance caused by a former owner upon or in the use of that property is liable for abatement procedures in the same manner as the owner at the time the nuisance was created.

(3) The county shall carry out abatement procedures in accordance with chapter 7.48 RCW.

(4) The cost of abatement, including administrative costs incurred as a result of the abatement, may be levied as a special assessment on the land or premises on which the nuisance is situated. This assessment shall constitute a lien against the property which shall be of equal rank with state, county, and municipal taxes, pursuant to RCW 36.32.120(10).

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008)

30.85.330 Liens - generally.

(1) The county shall have a lien for any civil penalty imposed or for the cost of any abatement work done pursuant to this chapter, or both, against the real property on which the civil penalty was imposed or any of the abatement work was performed.

(2) The civil penalty and the cost of abatement are also joint and several personal obligations of all persons in violation. The applicable director or the prosecuting attorney on behalf of Snohomish County may collect the civil penalty and the abatement work costs by use of all appropriate civil legal remedies.

(3) Any lien imposed by the county under this chapter shall be subordinate to all existing special assessment liens previously imposed upon the same property and shall be paramount to all other liens, except for state and county taxes, with which it shall be on a parity.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008)

30.85.340 Liens - filing and recording.

(1) The applicable director shall cause a claim for lien to be filed for record in the auditor’s office within 90 days from the date the civil penalty is due or within 90 days from the date of completion of the abatement work performed pursuant to this chapter.

(2) The claim of lien shall contain the following:

(a) The authority for imposing a civil penalty or proceeding to abate the violation, or both;

(b) A brief description of the civil penalty imposed or the abatement work done, or both, including the violations charged and the duration thereof. If abatement work was done, the dates the work was commenced and completed and the name of the persons or organizations who performed the work, shall be included;

(c) A legal description of the property to be charged with the lien;

(d) The name of the known or reputed owner, and, if not known, the fact shall be alleged; and

(e) The amount, including lawful and reasonable costs, for which the lien is claimed.

(3) The applicable director shall sign and verify the claim.

(4) The claim of lien may be amended in case of action brought to foreclose the lien, by order of the court, as long as the interests of third parties are not detrimentally affected by amendment.

(5) The auditor shall record and index the claims described in this chapter.

(6) No lien created by this chapter binds the property subject to the lien for a period longer than three years after the claim has been filed unless an action is commenced in the proper court within that time to enforce the lien.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008)

30.85.350 Liens - foreclosure.

(1) The lien provided by this chapter may be foreclosed and enforced by a civil action in a court having jurisdiction.

(2) All persons who have legally filed claims of liens against the same property prior to commencement of the action shall be joined as parties, either plaintiff or defendant.

(3) Dismissal of an action to foreclose a lien at the instance of a plaintiff shall not prejudice another party to the suit who claims a lien.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008)

30.85.360 Duty not creating liability.

No provision or term used in this chapter is intended to impose any duty upon the county or any of its officers or employees which would subject them to damages in a civil action.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008)

30.85.370 Misdemeanor.

(1) As an alternative, or in addition to any other legal, equitable or administrative remedy provided in this chapter or by law or other regulation, any person who willfully or knowingly violates any provision of the land use codes of Snohomish County or aids or abets such violation shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Upon conviction, such person(s) shall be punished in the manner provided for in RCW 9A.20.021, as it now exists or is hereafter amended, for violations of state law.

(2) In addition to incurring civil liability in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, any person found to be in violation of the county shoreline master program is also guilty of a misdemeanor subject to penalties pursuant to RCW 90.58.220.

(Added by Amended Ord. 08-062, Oct. 1, 2008, Eff date Nov. 1, 2008)