Chapter 7.16
HOUSE COURTS--CAMP SPACES

Sections:

7.16.010    Definitions.

7.16.020    Enforcement--Right of entry.

7.16.030    Compliance with chapter provisions--Burden of proof.

7.16.040    Applicability of chapter.

7.16.050    Effect of state regulations.

7.16.060    Caretaker required during owner absence.

7.16.070    Separate cooking facilities.

7.16.080    Air space in sleeping rooms.

7.16.090    Garbage and rubbish receptacles.

7.16.100    Location of tent or trailer in camp space.

7.16.110    Facilities to be kept in sanitary condition.

7.16.120    Buildings, equipment to be kept in good repair.

7.16.130    Certain building materials prohibited--When trailer deemed building.

7.16.140    Water supply.

7.16.150    Fires.

7.16.160    Dogs at large.

7.16.170    Toilet facilities.

7.16.180    Bathtubs or showers.

7.16.190    Toilet and bath facilities--For open camp space.

7.16.200    Toilet and bath facilities--Maximum distance from living facilities.

7.16.210    Toilet and bath facilities--Construction requirements.

7.16.220    Toilet and bath facilities--Exemption.

7.16.230    Sinks.

7.16.240    Connection of plumbing fixtures to sewer or septic tank.

7.16.250    Building requirements--Generally.

7.16.260    Air space under building.

7.16.270    Building materials--Quality and condition.

7.16.280    Floor area--Ceiling height.

7.16.290    Windows--Living, sleeping and kitchen facilities.

7.16.300    Windows--Toilet and bath compartment.

7.16.310    Windows--Space requirements.

7.16.320    Watercloset not to open into kitchen.

7.16.330    Subdivision of rooms--When prohibited.

7.16.340    Special exemption permits.

7.16.350    Nuisance--Abatement.

7.16.360    Duty of owner or operator.

7.16.370    Violation--Penalty.

7.16.380    Continuing violation.

7.16.010 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter certain words and, phrases are defined and certain provisions shall be construed as herein set out unless it is apparent from their context that they have a different meaning.

A.    "Apartment" is a room or suite of rooms which is occupied or intended or designed to be occupied by a family for living and/or sleeping purposes in a house court.

B.    "Camp car and/or trailer" is any unit used for living and/or sleeping purposes and which is equipped with wheels or similar devices used for the purpose of transporting it from place to place, whether by motive power or other means, and said unit, so equipped, shall be capable of being safely and lawfully operated as a vehicle over the public thoroughfares of the state at a speed limit of forty-five miles per hour.

C.    "Camp space" is any place where one or more tents are erected or maintained for hire for living and/or sleeping quarters for one or more families, or where one or more tents or camp cars and/or trailers are established for living and/or sleeping purposes, or where one or more families are camping with the expressed consent of the owner or person legally in charge of the land upon which such camp space is located.

D.    "County health department" is defined as the health department of Amador County, and includes the county health officer and the duly authorized representatives and deputies of said department.

E.    "Family" is one person living alone or a group of two or more persons living together in an apartment whether related to each other or not.

F.    "House court" is any building or structure containing two or more apartments or any group of two or more separate buildings or structures containing one or more apartments each located on a parcel of land or contiguous parcel or parcels of land under the ownership or operation of one person, which building or structure or any portion thereof is, with the expressed consent of the owner or person legally in charge of the land upon which such house court is located, built, rented or hired out to be occupied, or which is occupied, as the home or residence or living quarters of two or more families or persons living independently of each other.

G.    "Squatter" is one who settles or locates on land enclosed or unenclosed with no bona fide claim or color of title or without the express consent of the owner or person legally in charge of the land.

H.    "Squatter camp" is an area of land occupied by a squatter.  (Ord. 229 §1, 1947).

7.16.020 Enforcement--Right of entry.1

The county health department is authorized and empowered to enforce all of the provisions of this chapter and for the purpose of securing enforcement thereof is given the right to enter upon any public or private property, including any building or habitation, in the unincorporated area of Amador County to inspect such accommodations or installations thereon or therein that may be covered by the provisions of this chapter.  (Ord. 229 §2, 1947).

7.16.030 Compliance with chapter provisions--Burden of proof.

It is unlawful to construct, reconstruct or maintain or to begin the operation of or to operate a house court or camp space upon any public or private property in the unincorporated area of Amador County except as herein otherwise specified; and it is unlawful to occupy for living and/or sleeping purposes or to reside in any established house court or camp space without permission to do so from the owner or person legally in charge of such house court or camp space or the land upon which they are located; and in any prosecution for the violation of this chapter the burden of proving such permission shall rest upon the person or persons so occupying such house court or camp space and in the absence of such permission such house court or camp space shall be declared to be a squatter camp, as defined in this chapter, and shall be vacated when so ordered by the county health department, it being the expressed intention of this chapter that no squatter camp shall be permitted to exist in the unincorporated area of Amador County.  (Ord. 229 §3, 1947).

7.16.040 Applicability of chapter.

The provisions of this chapter shall be applicable to every house court, camp space and squatter camp in the unincorporated area of Amador County, and it is unlawful for any person, firm or corporation maintaining, operating, conducting or carrying on, or for any person residing in any house court, camp space or squatter camp, or any other person, to violate or to contribute in any way to the violation of any of the provisions of this chapter.  (Ord. 229 §4, 1947).

7.16.050 Effect of state regulations.

The provisions of this chapter shall not be construed to apply to any premises, buildings, structures or equipment referred to in an act en titled "The State Housing Act," Division XIII, Part I, Health and Safety Code; nor in an act regulating auto courts and resorts, auto and trailer camps in unincorporated areas, Division XIII, Part II of said Code; nor in an act regulating camps where five or more persons are employed, Division II, Part IX, Chapter I, Article 4 of the Labor Code; nor shall this chapter be construed to apply to any supervised public park or public camp or picnic ground owned, operated and/or maintained by the federal government, the state, or any agency of the state, nor by any political subdivision or municipality.  (Ord. 229 §5, 1947).

7.16.060 Caretaker required during owner absence.

It is unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to maintain, conduct or carry on, or cause or permit to be maintained, conducted or carried on any house court or camp space in which four or more families reside unless, in the absence therefrom of the owner, lessee or operator, such premises are provided with a caretaker.  (Ord. 229 §6, 1947).

7.16.070 Separate cooking facilities.

A.    It is unlawful to use any sleeping room or compartment for the cooking or preparation of food in any house court.

B.    Partition walls between cooking and sleeping rooms or compartments in any building or structure in any house court shall extend from the floor to the ceiling, or to the roof if there is no ceiling.

C.    Doors between cooking and sleeping rooms or compartments in any building or structure in any house court must be solid and full length.

D.    Every room used or intended or designed to be used for cooking purposes in any building or structure in any house court must be equipped with running water, if available, and provided with a kitchen sink.  (Ord. 229 §7, 1947).

7.16.080 Air space in sleeping rooms.

It is unlawful to use or permit to be used for sleeping purposes any room in any building or structure in any house court that does not contain at least six hundred forty cubic feet of air space, and if any such room is occupied by more than two persons, the cubic air space of such room shall be increased by not less than five hundred cubic feet for each additional person the room is designed, built or intended to accommodate, or that such room does not accommodate for sleeping purposes.  (Ord. 229 §8, 1947).

7.16.090 Garbage and rubbish receptacles.

An adequate number of covered water-tight and fly-tight metal receptacles for garbage and rubbish shall be provided and shall be conspicuously and conveniently located in every house court and camp space.  The contents of such receptacles shall be disposed of at frequent intervals in a sanitary manner.  (Ord. 229 §9, 1947).

7.16.100 Location of tent or trailer in camp space.

No tent, camp car and/or trailer in any camp space now existing, or that may hereafter be established shall be located within eight feet of any lot line.  Tents, camp cars and/or trailers shall be arranged in rows abutting or facing on a driveway or clear unoccupied space of not less than thirty feet in width, which space shall have unobstructed access to a public thoroughfare.  (Ord. 229 §10, 1947).

7.16.110 Facilities to be kept in sanitary condition.

Every building, structure, camp car and/or trailer, tent or other habitation in a house court or camp space and all of the premises thereof shall be kept clean and sanitary in every part and free from accumulation of debris, refuse, filth, rubbish, garbage or other offensive matter.  No material that would create a fire hazard shall be kept or stored upon the premises of any house court or camp space.  Mattresses and bedding furnished by any owner, lessee, operator or caretaker of any such house court or camp space shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition.  (Ord. 229 §11, 1947).

7.16.120 Buildings, equipment to be kept in good repair.

It shall be the duty of the owner or person legally in charge of the land upon which any house court or camp space is located, or of the operator or person in charge of such house court or camp space, to see that all of the buildings, structures, tents and equipment in connection therewith are maintained in good repair and that the habitations are in such condition as to afford protection to the occupants against the elements and so as to exclude dampness in inclement weather.  The roofs shall be kept waterproof and all storm or casual water properly drained and conveyed from the premises.  (Ord. 229 §12, 1947).

7.16.130 Certain building materials prohibited--When trailer deemed building.

A.    No habitations or shelters constructed of sacks, rags, bush, cans, weeds or refuse material or any combination of the foregoing shall be permitted in any house court or camp space and it shall be the duty of the owner or person legally in charge of the land upon which any house court or camp space is located, or of the operator or person in charge of such house court or camp space where any such construction exists, to have it removed from the premises or demolished.

B.    Any camp car and/or trailer from which the wheels or other transporting devices have been removed or which vehicle has otherwise been rendered ineffective for transportation test as set forth in Section 7.16.010 hereof, except in the case of temporary repairs, shall be defined as a building or structure within the definition of a house court, and it shall be subject to all of the requirements therefor.  (Ord. 229 §13, 1947).

7.16.140 Water supply.

A supply of water safe for human consumption shall be provided for domestic purposes in sufficient quantity to meet the requirements of the maximum number of persons living in a house court or camp space at any one time.  Said water supply shall be easily obtainable from its source, or through a pipe distribution system in which faucets shall in no event be located more than fifty feet from any house court habitation or from any tent, camp car and/or trailer or camping party within a camp space.  If the water source is a spring or well, said source must be properly protected against contamination.  (Ord. 229 §14, 1947).

7.16.150 Fires.

No fires shall at any time be so located as to endanger property in any house court or camp space, and all campfires shall be completely extinguished before camping party leaves.  (Ord. 229 §15, 1947).

7.16.160 Dogs at large.

Dogs shall at no time be permitted to run at large in any house court or camp space.  (Ord. 229 §16, 1947).

7.16.170 Toilet facilities.

At least one water-flush toilet must be provided in every apartment equipped with a kitchen and in every other apartment in a house court hereto fore or hereafter erected; provided however, where there are apartments without kitchens and such apartments are structurally joined so as to constitute one building, then there shall be provided not less than two public water-flush toilets for every such five apartments or fractional part thereof.  At least one water-flush toilet must be provided at every camp space for each sex for every ten tents, camp cars and/or trailers or fractional part thereof.  (Ord. 229 §17, 1947).

7.16.180 Bathtubs or showers.

There shall be provided in every house court or camp space heretofore or hereafter erected or established a stationary bathtub or shower bath for each sex, equipped with hot and cold running water.  Such bathtub or shower bath shall be installed in a separate compartment from any watercloset unit and there shall be provided an additional bathtub or shower bath for each sex for every ten apartments, tents, camp cars and/or trailers or fractional part thereof in excess of ten apartments, tents, camp cars and/or trailers in house court or camp space.  The computation as to required number of bathtubs or shower baths shall not include any apartment in a house court equipped with a private bathtub or shower bath nor shall anything herein be construed to prohibit any such private bathtub or shower bath from being located in the same compartment with a water closet unit.  (Ord. 229 §18, 1947).

7.16.190 Toilet and bath facilities--For open camp space.

In the event that persons are camping in the open in a camp space, there shall be installed for their use one water-flush toilet and one stationary bathtub or shower bath equipped with hot and cold running water for each sex for every twenty such persons or fractional part thereof.  (Ord. 229 §19, 1947).

7.16.200 Toilet and bath facilities--Maximum distance from living facilities.

No apartment in a house court, nor any tent, camp car and/or trailer or camping party in a camp space shall be a greater distance than two hundred feet from both men’s and women’s public toilets or bathing facilities.  The locations of all public waterclosets, bathtub and shower compartments shall be plainly indicated by proper signs, and all such compartments shall be properly lighted from sunset to sunrise.  (Ord. 229 §20, 1947).

7.16.210 Toilet and bath facilities--Construction requirements.

The floor of every watercloset, bathtub or shower bath compartment hereafter installed shall be constructed of cement or some other nonabsorbent material; the walls shall be smooth waterproof materials and the interiors of all waterclosets, bathtub or shower compartments shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition at all times.  (Ord. 229 §21, 1947).

7.16.220 Toilet and bath facilities--Exemption.

The county health department may exempt any house court or camp space existing at the time of the passage of the ordinance codified herein from fully complying with the provisions of Sections 7.16.190, 7.16.200 and 7.16.210, when, in its discretion, such deviation will not be detrimental to the health of persons occupying said house court or camp space or to the proper sanitation of the premises.  (Ord. 229 §22, 1947).

7.16.230 Sinks.

There shall be provided in every house court or camp space heretofore or hereafter established a sufficient number of public sinks for the disposal of wash water and similar wastes.  Such sinks shall be conveniently located at no greater distance than one hundred feet from any apartment, camp car and/or trailer, tent or camping party.  (Ord. 229 §23, 1947).

7.16.240 Connection of plumbing fixtures to sewer or septic tank.

It is unlawful to deposit any waste water, drainage or material from plumbing fixtures, including any such fixtures within any camp car and/or trailer, on the surface of the premises of any house court or camp space.  All such fixtures must be connected to a sewer system; or, in lieu thereof, they may be connected to a cesspool or septic tank constructed in a manner satisfactory to the county health department.  Each and every plumbing fixture in a house court or camp space, except fixtures in camp care and/or trailers, must be separately and effectively trapped and vented.  (Ord. 229 §24, 1947).

7.16.250 Building requirements--Generally.

In addition to the other requirements set forth in this chapter, all buildings, structures or tents used or intended or designed to be used for human habitation hereafter erected or converted in any house court or camp space, shall meet the following minimum requirements, and it shall be the duty of the owner or lessee of the land upon which said house court or camp space is located, or of the operator of such house court or camp space, to see that the following requirements, as set out in Sections 7.16.260 through 7.16.340, are complied with.  (Ord. 229 §25(part), 1947).

7.16.260 Air space under building.

A clear air space of at least eighteen inches shall be maintained between the ground and the lower edge of the floor joists of any building in a house court and the entire space under the building from the level of the floor to the ground must be enclosed, except that a sufficient number of ventilating screens or lattices must be provided to properly ventilate underneath the building.  The provisions of this section shall not apply to masonry floors laid directly on the ground.  (Ord. 229 §25(a), 1947).

7.16.270 Building materials--Quality and condition.

All floors, exterior and interior walls, partitions, ceilings and roofs of house court buildings shall be constructed of a good grade of lumber or other material of comparable strength and rigidity and shall be kept clean at all times.  Where the floors are constructed of lumber it shall be of tongue and groove material and tight-fitting.  (Ord. 229 §25(b), 1947).

7.16.280 Floor area--Ceiling height.

Every house court sleeping room must have a superficial floor area of at least eighty square feet and be not less than seven feet in width at any point within that portion of the room counted for computing the minimum area of eighty square feet.  Every kitchen in every house court shall have a superficial floor area of at least fifty square feet; and every living room, sleeping room or kitchen in a house court building shall have a ceiling height in all portions thereof of at least eight feet in one-half of such sleeping portion but in no event shall it be less than five feet.  (Ord. 229 §25(c), 1947).

7.16.290 Windows--Living, sleeping and kitchen facilities.

Every living room, sleeping room or kitchen in every house court building shall be provided with windows, the area of which shall be equal to at least one-eighth of the floor area, except that in no event shall the aggregate window area of any living room, sleeping room or kitchen be less than twelve square feet.  (Ord. 229 §25(d), 1947).

7.16.300 Windows--Toilet and bath compartment.

Every room or compartment containing a watercloset, bathtub or shower bath in any house court or camp space shall be provided with a window having an area of at least six square feet, and if there is more than one watercloset, bathtub or shower bath in any one room or compartment, the window area shall be increased three square feet for each additional watercloset, bathtub or shower bath, but in no event shall it be required to exceed one-fourth of the superficial floor area of said room or compartment.  (Ord. 229 §25(e), 1947).

7.16.310 Windows--Space requirements.

All windows in house courts must abut spaces located on the same lot as the windows they are designed to serve and such spaces shall be unobstructed and open to the sky, shall be not less than four feet in their least dimension and not less than forty square feet in area, except that any open and unobstructed spaces serving toilet or bathroom windows need be only three feet in their least dimension and not less than nine square feet in area.  All windows referred to in this section must be arranged so that at least one-half of their required aggregate area can be opened for ventilation, and no space for windows, as required herein, shall be permitted to serve more than one building or structure.  (Ord. 229 §25(f), 1947).

7.16.320 Watercloset not to open into kitchen.

No watercloset compartment shall open directly into a kitchen or other room in which food is prepared or stored.  (Ord. 229 §25(g), 1947).

7.16.330 Subdivision of rooms--When prohibited.

No part of any room or compartment in a house court shall be enclosed or subdivided wholly or in part, by a curtain or fixed or movable partition or other contrivance or device for any purpose contrary to any of the provisions of this chapter.  (Ord. 229 §25(h), 1947).

7.16.340 Special exemption permits.

Anything in this chapter to the contrary notwithstanding, the county health officer may grant special exemption permits in isolated localities where the application of this chapter or any of the provisions thereof would, in his discretion, be impracticable or unnecessary and where the granting of such exemption would in no way jeopardize the health and safety of the community.  (Ord. 229 §25(part), 1947).

7.16.350 Nuisance--Abatement.

Any house court or camp space which does not conform to this chapter is a public nuisance if not made to conform within five days or such longer period of time allowed by the county health officer after written notice given by him to the owner or operator of such house court or camp space and shall be abated by proper action brought in the Superior Court of Amador County.  (Ord. 229 §26, 1947).

7.16.360 Duty of owner or operator.

It shall be the duty of the owner or lessee of every house court or camp space, or the operator thereof, to see that all of the provisions of this chapter are complied with.  (Ord. 229 §27, 1947).

7.16.370 Violation--Penalty.

Any person, firm or corporation violating, or contributing in any way to the violation of any of the provisions of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment.  (Ord. 229 §28, 1947).

7.16.380 Continuing violation.

Every violation of any of the provisions of this chapter is construed as a separate offense for each day during which such violation continues and is punishable as herein provided.  (Ord. 229 §29, 1947).


1

    For further provisions regarding right of entry for inspection see Chapter 1.08 of this code.