Chapter 1.20
CODE ENFORCEMENT

Sections:

1.20.010    Purpose.

1.20.020    Definitions.

1.20.030    Violation unlawful – Each day is separate violation – Misdemeanor.

1.20.040    Joint and several responsibility and liability.

1.20.050    Interference with code enforcement unlawful – Misdemeanor.

1.20.060    Methods of service.

1.20.070    Voluntary correction.

1.20.080    Notice of violation.

1.20.090    Stop work order – Violation a misdemeanor.

1.20.100    Stop use order – Violation a misdemeanor.

1.20.110    Removal of stop work or stop use order – Misdemeanor.

1.20.120    Response to notice of violation.

1.20.130    Failure to respond.

1.20.140    Scheduling of hearing to contest or mitigate – Correction prior to hearing.

1.20.150    Contested hearing – Procedure.

1.20.160    Contested hearing – Decision of the hearing examiner.

1.20.170    Mitigation hearing – Procedure.

1.20.180    Mitigation hearing – Decision of the hearing examiner.

1.20.190    Failure to appear – Default judgment.

1.20.200    Monetary penalty.

1.20.210    Appeal.

1.20.220    Repeat violation or failure to abate – Misdemeanor.

1.20.230    Abatement.

1.20.240    Additional enforcement procedures.

1.20.250    Emergency orders.

1.20.260    Conflicting code provisions.

1.20.270    Duty not creating liability.

1.20.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to establish an efficient system of enforcing City regulations that will enable violations to be promptly resolved wherever possible, while providing both appropriate penalties and a full opportunity for alleged violators to have a hearing to contest the violations. This chapter shall apply to all regulations as defined in KMC 1.20.020; provided, that a viola-

tion of any regulation may be prosecuted as a criminal violation at the City’s discretion, pursuant to KMC 1.15.010. [Ord. 11-0328 § 2.]

1.20.020 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following words, terms, and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, unless a different meaning is plainly required:

A. Abate means to act to stop an activity, and/or to repair, replace, remove, or otherwise remedy a condition, where such activity or condition constitutes a violation of a regulation. The actions must resolve the violation to the satisfaction of the City, or the hearing examiner if the matter has been mitigated or contested and found to be a violation or the penalty has been mitigated. The actions taken and the manner in which they are performed must not endanger the general health, safety, and welfare of the community. For the purposes of this chapter, the verbs “abate” and “correct” shall be interchangeable and have the same meaning.

B. Act means doing or performing something.

C. City means City of Kenmore, Washington.

D. Code enforcement officer means any person or persons authorized by statute, ordinance, regulation, written City policy, or interlocal agreement, or designated by the city manager or his or her designee, to enforce any of the regulations subject to the enforcement and penalty provisions of this chapter, and shall expressly include the City’s code enforcement officer.

E. Correction notice means a written statement, issued by a code enforcement officer, notifying a person that property under his or her control is in violation of one or more regulations, and informing such person that a notice of violation may be issued and/or criminal charges filed if the violations are not abated.

F. Day or days, as used in this chapter, shall mean calendar days unless expressly stated otherwise in a given section or subsection. In addition, any portion of a 24-hour day shall constitute a full calendar day.

G. Hearing examiner means the Kenmore hearing examiner and the office thereof established pursuant to Chapter 19.30 KMC.

H. Notice of violation or notice of civil violation means a written statement, issued by a code enforcement officer, which contains the information required under KMC 1.20.080, and which notifies a person that he or she is responsible for one or more violations of the Kenmore Municipal Code.

I. Omission means a failure to act.

J. Person means any individual, firm, business, association, partnership, corporation or other legal entity, public or private, however organized. Because “person” shall include both human and nonhuman entities, any of the following pronouns may be used to describe a person: he, she, or it.

K. Person responsible for the violation means any of the following: a person who has titled ownership or legal control of the property or structure that is subject to the regulation; an occupant or other person in control of the property or structure that is subject to the regulation; a developer, builder, business operator, or owner who is developing, building, or operating a business on the property or in a structure that is subject to the regulation; or any person who created, caused, or has allowed the violation to occur.

L. Regulation means and includes any of the following, as now enacted or hereafter amended:

1. All City code provisions;

2. All standards, regulations, and procedures adopted by the City that make reference to this chapter; and

3. The terms and conditions of any permit or approval issued by the City, or any concomitant agreement with the City pursuant to code provisions that make reference to this chapter.

M. Repeat violation means, as evidenced by the prior issuance of a correction notice or a notice of violation, that a violation has occurred on the same property within a one-year period, or a person responsible for a violation has committed a violation elsewhere within the City within a one-year period.

N. Violation or civil violation means an act or omission contrary to a regulation as defined in subsection L of this section. A violation continues to exist until abated to the satisfaction of the City or the hearing examiner, with each day or portion thereof in which the violation continues constituting a separate violation. [Ord. 11-0328 § 2.]

1.20.030 Violation unlawful – Each day is separate violation – Misdemeanor.

The violation of any regulation shall be unlawful. Each day, or portion thereof, in which the violation continues constitutes a separate offense for which separate notices of violation may be issued. A code enforcement officer may, pursuant to this chapter, issue a notice of violation. In addition, any violation of this chapter shall constitute a misdemeanor. The city manager may request the city attorney (prosecutor) to file a violation as a criminal misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in jail for a maximum term fixed by the court of not more than 90 days, or by a fine in an amount fixed by the court of not more than $1,000, or by both such imprisonment and fine. All penalties are subject to a 15 percent administration fee. Penalties for repeat violations shall be doubled. All criminal misdemeanor charges filed under this chapter shall be filed with the King County district court. When the City files criminal misdemeanor charges pursuant to this chapter, the City shall have the burden of proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the violation occurred. [Ord. 11-0328 § 2.]

1.20.040 Joint and several responsibility and liability.

Responsibility for violations of the codes enforced under this chapter is joint and several, and the City is not prohibited from taking action against a party where other persons may also be potentially responsible for a violation, nor is the City required to take action against all persons potentially responsible for a violation. [Ord. 11-0328 § 2.]

1.20.050 Interference with code enforcement unlawful – Misdemeanor.

Any person who intentionally obstructs, impedes, or interferes with any lawful attempt to serve a notice of a violation, a stop work or stop use order, or an emergency order, or intentionally obstructs, impedes, or interferes with lawful attempts to correct a violation, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in jail for a maximum term fixed by the court of not more than 90 days or by a fine in an amount fixed by the court of not more than $1,000, or by both such imprisonment and fine. [Ord. 11-0328 § 2.]

1.20.060 Methods of service.

A. Service for Civil Violations and Misdemeanors. Any correction notice, notice of violation, notice of hearing, or other code enforcement document for a civil violation shall be deemed legally served upon a party by use of regular first class mail, as described in subsection (B)(2) of this section, and for a misdemeanor shall be deemed legally served upon a party by personal service and mailing, as described in subsections (B)(1) and (2) of this section. For civil violations, the code enforcement officer shall use due diligence in attempting to locate a mailing address for a party. If the code enforcement officer is unable to locate a mailing address for such a party, the code enforcement officer may serve such party by posting or publication, as described in subsections (B)(3) and (4) of this section. For civil violations, the code enforcement officer may personally serve documents or cause documents to be personally served upon a party. For civil violations and misdemeanors, the code enforcement officer may post documents as described in subsection (B)(3) of this section.

B. Methods of Service Defined. For purposes of this chapter, the methods of service of any documents related to code enforcement, such as correction notices, notices of violation, stop work orders, etc. (hereinafter “document”), are defined as follows:

1. Personal Service. Personal service shall mean handing the document to the person subject to the document or leaving it at his or her dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein, or leaving it at his or her office or place of employment with a person in charge thereof. Personal service shall also be deemed complete when the hearing examiner or his or her assistant hands any order, ruling, decision, or other document to a person prior to, during, or after a hearing.

2. Mailing. Service by mail shall mean sending the document by regular first class mail to the last known address of the person subject to the document. The last known address shall be an address provided to the City by the person to whom the document is directed. If an address has not been provided to the City, the last known address shall be any of the following as they appear at the time the document is mailed: the address of the property where the violation is occurring, as reflected on the most recent equalized tax assessment roll of the county assessor or the taxpayer address appearing for the property on the official property tax information website for King County; the address appearing in any database used for the payment of utilities for the property at which the violations are occurring; or the address of the person to whom the documents are being sent that appears in the Washington State Department of Licensing database. Where service of the notice of violation is by mail, service shall be deemed complete upon the third day following the day upon which they are 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.

3. Posting. Posting shall mean affixing a copy of the document in a conspicuous place on the property, with at least one copy of such document placed at an entryway to the property or structure if an entryway exists.

4. Publication. Publication of the document shall mean publication as set forth in RCW 4.28.100 and 4.28.110, as currently enacted or hereafter amended.

C. Proof of Service – Due Diligence. Proof of service shall be made by written affidavit or declaration under penalty of perjury executed by the person effecting the service, declaring the time and date of service, the manner by which service was made, and, if service was made solely by posting or publication, facts showing that due diligence was used in attempting to locate a mailing address for the person at whom the notice of violation is directed.

D. Additional Proof of Service Not Necessary. The hearing examiner shall not require additional proof of service beyond the requirements in this chapter. [Ord. 11-0328 § 2.]

1.20.070 Voluntary correction.

A. General. Prior to the issuance of a notice of violation, the code enforcement officer shall attempt to secure the voluntary correction of a violation by attempting to contact the person responsible for the violation, explaining the violation, and requesting correction. This may be done verbally by the code enforcement officer; provided, a written correction notice shall be served on the person responsible for the violation prior to issuance of a notice of violation; provided further, a written correction notice need not be served nor efforts made to secure voluntary correction where the nature of the violation creates a risk of imminent harm to public health or safety, or where it is a repeat violation as defined in this chapter.

B. Service of Correction Notice. Service of a written correction notice may be accomplished by mailing or by personal service, as described in KMC 1.20.060(B)(1) and (2), at the discretion of the code enforcement officer, or by posting or publication if an address for the person responsible for the violation cannot be ascertained pursuant to KMC 1.20.060(B)(2).

C. Contents of Written Correction Notice. The written correction notice shall be deemed sufficient if it contains the following information:

1. The name and address of a person responsible for the violation; and

2. 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; and

3. A description of the violation and a reference to the code provisions that have been violated; and

4. A statement indicating what corrective actions are required and a correction deadline stating the date and time by which the corrective actions must be completed to the satisfaction of the code enforcement officer in order for the violator to avoid the issuance of a notice of violation; and

5. A statement indicating that, pursuant to KMC 1.20.030, a notice of violation may be issued for each day a violation continues, with each violation constituting a separate offense subject to civil and/or criminal penalties.

D. Time Period in Which to Correct or Abate the Violation. Whenever a person responsible for a violation is served with a written correction notice, he or she shall be given at least 15 days from the date of issuance of the notice to correct the violation(s) to the satisfaction of the code enforcement officer; provided, where, in the opinion of the code enforcement officer, a violation creates a risk of imminent harm to public health or safety, or is a repeat violation as defined in this chapter, the City can require less than 15 days for correction to be completed. In the event the violation is not corrected within the required time period, the City may, at its discretion, issue separate notices of violation for each day, or portion thereof, that the violation has existed or continues to exist.

E. Extension of Voluntary Correction Period or Modification of Required Actions. An extension of the deadline for voluntary correction, or a modification of any required corrective action noted in the written correction notice, may be granted by the code enforcement officer if the person responsible for the violation has, in the opinion of the code enforcement officer, shown due diligence or made substantial progress in correcting the violations but unforeseen circumstances render correction unattainable within the original deadline.

F. Revocation of Deadline for Compliance. The original deadline for compliance, or any extension for compliance previously granted by the code enforcement officer, may be revoked and immediate compliance required where, in the opinion of the code enforcement officer, circumstances make immediate correction necessary to avoid an imminent risk of injury to persons or property.

G. Use of Written Voluntary Correction Agreement.

1. At the sole discretion of the City, a voluntary correction agreement may be entered into between the person responsible for the violation and the City. The voluntary correction agreement must be in writing.

2. Contents of Voluntary Correction Agreement. The voluntary correction agreement is a contract between the City and the person responsible for the violation under which that person agrees to abate the violations within a specified time and according to specified conditions. The voluntary correction agreement shall include the following:

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

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; and

c. A description of the violation and a reference to the regulations that have been violated; and

d. An acknowledgement by the person responsible for the violations that the violations described in the correction agreement exist, and that he or she is waiving the right to contest the existence of the violations or to mitigate the penalties; and

e. The necessary corrective action to be taken, the date or time by which correction must be completed, and an acknowledgement by the person responsible for the violation that he or she will correct the violations within the time specified in the voluntary correction agreement; and

f. Acknowledgement by the person responsible for the violation that the City may enter the property and inspect the premises as may be necessary to determine compliance with the voluntary correction agreement; and

g. Acknowledgement by the person responsible for the violation that if the terms of the voluntary correction agreement are not met, the City may enter the property to abate the violation and may also recover its costs and expenses and/or a monetary penalty pursuant to this chapter from the person responsible for the violation; and

h. The signature or official mark of the person responsible for the violation and the signature or official mark of the code enforcement officer.

3. Failure to Comply with Voluntary Correction Agreement.

a. Abatement by the City. In addition to any other remedy provided for in this chapter, the City may abate the violation in accordance with KMC 1.20.230 if the terms of the voluntary correction agreement are not met.

b. Penalties and Costs. If the terms of the voluntary correction agreement are not met, the person responsible for the violation may be assessed a monetary penalty in accordance with KMC 1.20.200, plus all costs and expenses of abatement, as set forth in KMC 1.20.230, in addition to being issued new notices of violation or criminal charges if the violation has not been abated. [Ord. 11-0328 § 2.]

1.20.080 Notice of violation.

A. Issuance of Notice of Violation. When the City determines that a violation has occurred or is occurring, and does not secure voluntary correction pursuant to KMC 1.20.070, the code enforcement officer may issue a notice of violation to any person responsible for the violation, or the city manager may request the city attorney (prosecutor) to file a violation as a criminal misdemeanor.

B. Contents of Notice. The notice of violation shall include the following:

1. The name and address of a person responsible for the violation; and

2. 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; and

3. A description of the violation and a reference to the regulations violated; and

4. A statement indicating that the violator must respond to the notice of violation within 15 days of the date of issuance by doing one of the following:

a. Paying the fine and correcting the violation;

b. Requesting a mitigation hearing and correcting the violation; or

c. Requesting a hearing to contest the violation; and

5. A statement indicating that failure to respond shall result in the violation(s) being deemed committed without requiring further action by the City, and that the full fine amount indicated on the notice of violation shall be due and owing to the City by the person or entity to whom the notice of violation was issued; and

6. A statement indicating that, unless a request to contest the violation or to mitigate the penalty is properly filed, a monetary penalty of $500.00 for each violation listed on the notice of violation is due and owing at the time the notice of violation is issued, and must be paid in full within 30 days or may be assigned to a collection agency; and

7. A statement indicating that if the person or entity to whom a notice of violation was issued requests a hearing and fails to attend the hearing, the hearing examiner or judge shall enter a default judgment against the person or entity to whom the violation was issued, with the full amount of the fine indicated on the notice of violation immediately due and owing, and that any unpaid fines and any costs may be assigned to a collection agency after 30 days have elapsed from the date the notice of violation was issued; and

8. A statement indicating that the City may seek to recover from the person to whom the notice of violation was issued the costs to the City of any abatement action taken; and

9. A statement indicating that separate notices of violation may be issued for each day, or portion thereof, in which a violation continues; and

10. A statement indicating that payment of a monetary penalty does not relieve the person or entity named in the notice of violation of the duty to abate the violation, and that failure to abate may result in the issuance of additional notices of violation and/or criminal charges, with additional civil and/or criminal penalties.

C. Service of Notice of Violation. Service of a notice of violation shall be accomplished as prescribed by KMC 1.20.060. The City may, at its discretion, record a notice of civil violation against the subject property. [Ord. 11-0328 § 2.]

1.20.090 Stop work order – Violation a misdemeanor.

A stop work order may be issued pursuant to any of the codes or regulations adopted pursuant to KMC Titles 12, 13, 15 and 18. In addition, the code enforcement officer may issue a stop work order whenever any work that is subject to regulation under the Kenmore Municipal Code is, in the opinion of the code enforcement officer, being performed in a manner contrary to the provisions of the Kenmore Municipal Code, or will exacerbate damage that has already been caused to any property, or will materially impair the code enforcement officer’s ability to seek compliance. The stop work order shall state the reasons for the order and may be appended to, or incorporate by reference, a notice of violation. The stop work order shall take effect immediately upon service. Service of the stop work order shall be deemed accomplished upon posting of the notice in the manner described in KMC 1.20.060(B)(3). Violation of a stop work order shall constitute a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in jail for a maximum term fixed by the court of not more than 90 days, or by a fine in an amount fixed by the court of not more than $500.00, or by both such imprisonment and fine. [Ord. 11-0328 § 2.]

1.20.100 Stop use order – Violation a misdemeanor.

In addition to any remedy provided for in this chapter, the code enforcement officer may issue a stop use order when allowing the use to continue creates an imminent threat of injury to the health, safety, or welfare of any member of the public, or creates an imminent threat of harm to neighboring property, or will exacerbate injury already caused to any property. The stop use order shall state the reasons for the order; provided, the stop use order may be appended to, or incorporate by reference, a notice of violation. The stop use order shall take effect immediately upon service. Service of the stop use order shall be deemed accomplished upon posting of the notice in the manner described in KMC 1.20.060(B)(3). Violation of a stop use order shall constitute a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in jail for a maximum term fixed by the court of not more than 90 days, or by a fine in an amount fixed by the court of not more than $500.00, or by both such imprisonment and fine. [Ord. 11-0328 § 2.]

1.20.110 Removal of stop work or stop use order – Misdemeanor.

Where a stop work order or a stop use order has been posted in conformity with the requirements of this chapter, removal of such order without the authorization of the City, or the hearing examiner as part of an order following a hearing under this chapter, shall constitute a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in jail for a maximum term fixed by the court of not more than 90 days, or by a fine in an amount fixed by the court of not more than $500.00, or by both such imprisonment and fine. [Ord. 11-0328 § 2.]

1.20.120 Response to notice of violation.

A. Generally. A person who has been served with a notice of violation must respond to the notice within 15 days of the date the notice is served. A person may respond to the notice of violation by:

1. Paying the amount of the monetary penalty as set forth in the notice of violation. Partial payment or payment using a check that is rejected for insufficient funds shall not be deemed payment under this subsection. Payment of the fine shall not relieve the person or entity responsible for the violation from the duty to correct or abate the violation. Additional notices of violation may be issued if the violation goes uncorrected.

2. Contesting the notice of violation by requesting a contested hearing in writing and sending the request to the City as described in subsection B of this section and submitting appropriate fees.

3. Seeking to mitigate the monetary penalty by requesting a mitigation hearing to explain the circumstances surrounding the violation. The request to mitigate must be made in writing and sent to the City as described in subsection B of this section. Requesting to mitigate the penalty shall not relieve the person responsible for the violation from the duty to correct or abate the violation. Additional notices of violation may be issued if the violation goes uncorrected.

B. Method of Response. The person or entity to whom a notice of violation has been issued may respond by mailing, faxing, e-mailing, or hand-delivering the response to the City. Mailed responses must be postmarked no later than the fifteenth day from the date of service of the notice of violation; hand-delivered, faxed, and e-mailed responses must be provided to the City no later than 4:30 p.m. on the fifteenth day after service; provided, where the fifteenth day falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline shall be extended to the next regular business day. All responses must include the address of the person or entity who responds. [Ord. 11-0328 § 2.]

1.20.130 Failure to respond.

If the person to whom the notice of violation is issued fails to respond as required in KMC 1.20.120, the violations shall be deemed committed without requiring further action by the City or the hearing examiner and the person to whom the notice of violation was issued shall owe the full fine amount indicated in the notice of violation. [Ord. 11-0328 § 2.]

1.20.140 Scheduling of hearing to contest or mitigate – Correction prior to hearing.

A. Notice and Scheduling of Hearing. Upon the timely filing of a request for a hearing to contest a violation or to mitigate the penalty, the matter shall be scheduled to be heard at the next available appearance by the hearing examiner, or before the court, that is a minimum of 15 days but no later than 60 calendar days after the date the request was received by the City. Notice of the hearing date and time shall be served by regular first class mail to the address of the party who requested the hearing. The date and time for any hearing may be rescheduled by the hearing examiner or court for good cause upon the motion of a party or the hearing examiner or court.

B. Correction of Violation Prior to Hearing. The hearing may be cancelled and the party requesting the hearing need not appear only if, at least five business days prior to the scheduled hearing, the code enforcement officer determines that the violation has been satisfactorily corrected or abated and the monetary penalty paid in full. Where the scheduled hearing involves a repeat violation as defined in this chapter, the hearing shall not be cancelled unless the new violation has been corrected or abated to the satisfaction of the code enforcement officer and the monetary penalty and costs for the new violation(s) and any monetary penalty and costs owing for the previous violation(s) have been paid in full. [Ord. 11-0328 § 2.]

1.20.150 Contested hearing – Procedure.

The hearing examiner shall conduct a hearing to contest a violation pursuant to Chapter 19.30 KMC when such hearing is properly and timely requested. The City and the person or entity to whom the notice of civil violation was issued may participate in the hearing and each party, or its legal representatives, may call witnesses and present evidence and rebuttal, subject to the following:

A. The City shall have the burden of proving, by a preponderance of the evidence, that a violation has occurred.

B. The parties are responsible for securing the appearance of any witnesses they may wish to call. Neither the City nor the hearing examiner shall have the burden of securing any witnesses on behalf of the person who is contesting the violation(s) or seeking to mitigate the penalties.

C. Formal rules of evidence shall not apply to any such hearing. The hearing examiner shall allow hearsay testimony by the parties and not require proof of chain of custody for evidence that is presented; provided, the hearing examiner shall determine the weight to be assigned to any evidence presented.

D. Any notes, reports, summaries, photographs, or other materials prepared by the parties shall be admitted into evidence if requested; provided, the parties are free to argue the weight that should be assigned by the hearing examiner to any evidence submitted. [Ord. 11-0328 § 2.]

1.20.160 Contested hearing – Decision of the hearing examiner.

A. Contents of Order. Upon the conclusion of a hearing to contest a violation, the hearing examiner shall issue a written decision within 10 business days following the hearing. The decision shall contain findings and conclusions based on the record that includes the following:

1. For each alleged violation of the City code, a determination of whether the violation has been found committed or not committed;

2. For violations found committed, the monetary penalties and costs being assessed pursuant to this chapter;

3. For violations found committed, any required corrective actions;

4. For violations found committed, a finding that abatement of the violations by the City is authorized, at the expense of the person responsible for the violations; and

5. A statement notifying the person responsible for the violation that he or she is subject to additional civil and/or criminal penalties if any violation that was the subject of the hearing has not been corrected or abated.

The hearing examiner may enter a verbal order at the close of the hearing and prior to the issuance of the written decision. The verbal order shall include preliminary findings and conclusions as described above.

B. Notice of Decision. Within two business days of the issuance of the written decision, the hearing examiner shall cause a copy of the written decision to be served upon the parties by mail in accordance with KMC 1.20.060(B)(2). [Ord. 11-0328 § 2.]

1.20.170 Mitigation hearing – Procedure.

The hearing examiner shall conduct a hearing to mitigate the penalty on a violation when such hearing is properly and timely requested; provided, that in the event a person has requested a hearing to contest a violation and prior to the start of the hearing indicates to the hearing examiner a desire to mitigate rather than contest, the hearing examiner shall permit the person to seek mitigation of the monetary penalty. The mitigation hearing shall be conducted according to the following general procedures:

A. The person responsible for the violation shall, as a condition of proceeding with the mitigation hearing, agree that he or she has committed the violations as set forth in the notice of the violation. The City shall be relieved of any burden of proving that the violations were committed, and such agreement by the person responsible for the violations shall be sufficient basis for the hearing examiner to find the violations committed.

B. If the person who has requested the mitigation hearing decides at the time of the hearing that he or she wishes to contest all or some of the alleged violations, the matters wishing to be contested shall, at the request of the City, be rescheduled.

C. The person responsible for the violations shall be given the opportunity to explain or provide evidence regarding the nature of the violations, why the violations exist, why the violations have not been abated or corrected, and any other information the hearing examiner determines is relevant.

D. The City shall be given the opportunity, at its discretion, to provide evidence of the nature of the violation, evidence to rebut assertions made by any party, and any other information or evidence the hearing examiner deems is relevant. [Ord. 11-0328 § 2.]

1.20.180 Mitigation hearing – Decision of the hearing examiner.

A. Decision to Be Issued at Close of Hearing. Upon the conclusion of a penalty mitigation hearing, the hearing examiner shall issue, at that time, a written decision and order using a standard form that contains the following findings and conclusions based on the record:

1. For each violation of the City code, a statement indicating that the violation has been committed;

2. The monetary penalties and costs being assessed pursuant to this chapter;

3. Any required corrective action;

4. A statement notifying the person responsible for the violation that he or she is subject to additional civil and/or criminal penalties if any violation that was the subject of the hearing has not been corrected or abated;

5. A determination that abatement of the violations by the City is authorized, at the expense of the person responsible for the violations.

B. Notice of Decision. The hearing examiner shall provide a copy of the decision and order to the parties at the close of the mitigation hearing. When a party fails to appear after requesting a hearing, the hearing examiner shall cause a copy of the decision to be served on the party by mail in accordance with KMC 1.20.060(B)(2) within 10 business days of the hearing. [Ord. 11-0328 § 2.]

1.20.190 Failure to appear – Default judgment.

If the person who requests a hearing to contest a violation or mitigate the penalty then fails to appear at the scheduled hearing after having been given notice in the manner provided for by this chapter, the hearing examiner shall use a standard form to immediately issue a default judgment, which finds committed all the violations set forth in the notice of violation, and which assesses a fine in the full amount indicated in the notice of violation. In addition, at the request of the City, the hearing examiner shall also impose upon the non-appearing party any costs to the City related to preparation for the hearing. The hearing examiner shall cause a copy of the default judgment to be served upon the nonappearing party by mail in accordance with KMC 1.20.060(B)(2) within 10 business days of the hearing. Upon the motion of a party, the hearing examiner may rescind a default judgment only upon a showing of good cause to do so, and only if such motion has been brought within 30 calendar days of the date of the hearing at which the default judgment was ordered. [Ord. 11-0328 § 2.]

1.20.200 Monetary penalty.

A. Monetary Penalty. Each violation of a City regulation deemed committed by the hearing examiner is subject to a monetary penalty in an amount up to $500.00 unless a different penalty amount for a given violation is expressly authorized or required by a more specific City code provision. Except where the person responsible for the violation has requested mitigation of the monetary penalty pursuant to KMC 1.20.120, the hearing examiner shall have no authority to reduce the amount of the monetary penalty. Where the person has requested to mitigate the monetary penalty, the examiner may reduce the monetary penalty for each violation, but in no case shall the penalty be reduced to an amount less than $100.00 for each violation found committed.

B. Payment of Monetary Penalty. Any monetary penalties assessed pursuant to this chapter constitute a personal obligation of the person to whom the notice of civil violation is directed. In addition, the monetary penalties assessed pursuant to this chapter may be assessed against the property that is the subject of the enforcement action. Any monetary penalty assessed must be paid in full to the City within 30 days from the date of service of an uncontested notice of violation or any order of the hearing examiner that assesses monetary penalties.

C. Collection of Monetary Penalty – Use of Collection Agency. The City is authorized to take legal action to collect the monetary penalty. Pursuant to Chapter 19.16 RCW, as currently enacted or hereafter amended, the City may, at its discretion, use a collection agency for the purposes of collecting penalties and costs assessed pursuant to this chapter. The collection agency may add fees or interest charges to the original amount assigned to collections as allowed by law. No debt may be assigned to a collection agency until at least 30 calendar days have elapsed from the time that the City attempts to notify the person responsible for the debt of the existence of the debt and that the debt may be assigned to a collection agency for collection if the debt is not paid. Notice of potential assignment to collections shall be sent by mail in accordance with KMC 1.20.060(B)(2) to the person responsible for the violation; provided, inability to ascertain a current mailing address shall not prohibit the debt from being assigned to collections. Collection of monetary penalties is to be at parity with City or county taxes.

D. Continuing Duty to Abate Violations. Payment of a monetary penalty pursuant to this chapter does not relieve the person responsible for the violation of the duty to correct or abate the violation. Additional notices of violation may be issued and/or criminal charges filed for continuing failure to correct or abate a violation. [Ord. 11-0328 § 2.]

1.20.210 Appeal.

An appeal of the decision of the hearing examiner must be filed with the King County superior court within 21 calendar days of service of the decision, which shall be the exclusive means to appeal a decision of the hearing examiner rendered under this chapter. [Ord. 11-0328 § 2.]

1.20.220 Repeat violation or failure to abate – Misdemeanor.

Where a person or entity has been found to have committed a violation under this chapter, regardless of whether the violation was resolved without penalty, the failure to abate the violation, or the commission of a subsequent violation, or the violation of a written decision or order of the hearing examiner after having received notice of the decision or order as provided in this chapter within 12 months, shall each constitute a repeat violation and shall each be a misdemeanor subject to the penalties and provisions of KMC 1.20.030. The city manager shall have authority to file a repeat violation as a civil violation and to request the city attorney (prosecutor) to file a repeat violation as a misdemeanor. [Ord. 11-0328 § 2.]

1.20.230 Abatement.

A. Other Abatement Proceedings Not Precluded. Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the City from pursuing abatement of a violation pursuant to any other laws of the State of Washington or the City.

B. Costs of Abatement. The costs of any abatement action taken by the City shall become a charge to the person responsible for the violation. These charges may be assessed against the person responsible for the violation or the property upon which the violation occurred, or both. The City may use any lawful means to collect these charges. [Ord. 11-0328 § 2.]

1.20.240 Additional enforcement procedures.

The provisions of this chapter are not exclusive, and may be used in addition to other enforcement and penalty provisions authorized by this code or any other law. [Ord. 11-0328 § 2.]

1.20.250 Emergency orders.

Whenever any use or activity in violation of this code immediately threatens the health and safety of the occupants of the premises or any member of the public, the City may issue an emergency order directing that the use or activity be discontinued and the condition causing the threat to the public health and safety be abated. The emergency order shall specify the time for compliance and shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the property, if posting is physically possible. Any condition described in the emergency order which is not abated within the time specified is hereby declared to be a public nuisance and the City is authorized to enjoin or abate such nuisance by any legal or equitable means as may be available. The City shall be entitled to recover all costs necessary for the injunction or abatement, specifically including reasonable attorney and expert witness fees. [Ord. 11-0328 § 2.]

1.20.260 Conflicting code provisions.

In the event a conflict exists between the enforcement provisions of this chapter and the enforcement provisions of any international or uniform code, statute, or regulation that is adopted in this code and subject to the enforcement provisions of this chapter, the enforcement provisions of this chapter will prevail, unless the enforcement provisions of this chapter are preempted or specifically modified by the code, statute, or regulation. [Ord. 11-0328 § 2.]

1.20.270 Duty not creating liability.

No provision or term used in this chapter is intended to impose any duty upon the City or any of its officers or employees which would subject them to damages in a civil action. [Ord. 11-0328 § 2.]