Chapter 2.60
PROPERTY MAINTENANCE AND PUBLIC NUISANCES

Sections:

2.60.010    Public nuisance, defined.

2.60.020    Enforcement.

2.60.030    Notice and order to abate.

2.60.040    Extension of time.

2.60.050    Violation.

2.60.060    Remedy, administrative citation.

2.60.070    Remedy, city abatement.

2.60.080    Remedy, criminal prosecution.

2.60.090    Civil litigation.

2.60.100    Alternative remedies.

2.60.110    Right of entry.

2.60.120    Severability.

2.60.010 Public nuisance, defined.

The term "public nuisance" as used in this chapter means the creation or maintenance of any condition upon private or public property which is injurious to health, or indecent or offensive to the senses, or an obstruction to the free use of property, or a detriment to property values, or contributes to blight, so as to interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property, by an entire community or neighborhood, or by any considerable number of persons, or unlawfully obstructs the free passage or use, in the customary manner, of any public park, square, or street and includes but is not limited to the following:

A.    Land configuration which, whether in natural state, or as a result of excavations or grading operations, causes erosion, subsidence, or surface water drainage problems, or is injurious or potentially injurious to the public health, safety and welfare or to adjacent properties;

B.    Encroachments on the public right-of-way without proper authority, including but not limited to any encroachment prohibited by Chapter 12.12;

C.    Vegetation which:

1.    Constitutes a fire hazard, or a condition considered dangerous to the public health, safety and general welfare, or

2.    Is likely to harbor rats, rodents, vermin and other similar infestations, or

3.    Encroaches upon a public right-of-way, or

4.    As a result of its lack of maintenance substantially depreciates the value of neighboring properties;

D.    Buildings which are:

1.    Abandoned, boarded up, or partially destroyed, or

2.    Left for an unreasonable period of time in a state of partial construction, except when permitted construction is occurring, or

3.    Lacking adequate weather protection; or containing broken windows, constituting potentially hazardous conditions and inviting trespassers and malicious mischief, or

4.    Defective or lack of weather protection for exterior walls, including lack of paint, or weathering due to lack of paint or other approved protective covering, or

5.    So defective and unsightly, or in such a condition of deterioration or disrepair, as to diminish the enjoyment, use, or property values of surrounding properties;

E.    Lights, lighted signs, or other devices, that direct or reflect glare onto public right-of-way, or neighboring properties;

F.    Any sign not in conformance with the standards established in Chapter 15.12;

G.    The use of boats, trailers, campers or camper shells, or similar vehicles, or equipment for sleeping or cooking purposes in areas and at times where such use is not specifically authorized;

H.    Inoperative or unlicensed motor vehicles, trailers, campers, boats, or parts or accessories, of such vehicles, which are stored in areas visible from public right-of-way, or neighboring properties;

I.    Operative and licensed motor vehicles, trailers, campers or boats, which are parked or stored in areas visible from public rights-of-way, except driveways or other areas where such parking or storage is specifically authorized, and does not obstruct any contiguous sidewalk;

J.    Performance of mechanical work on motor vehicles on private property in residential areas so as to be visible from public rights-of-way or neighboring properties for periods totaling more than four weeks within any calendar year;

K.    Parking or storage of vehicles or equipment weighing in excess of ten thousand pounds, on private property within a residential zone, except construction equipment when permitted construction is occurring on the same site;

L.    Discarded furniture, appliances, or household equipment that is:

1.    Stored in areas visible from public rights-of-way, or neighboring properties,

2.    Creates a condition that is detrimental to the public health, safety or general welfare;

M.    Personal belongings not designed to withstand the elements, stored outside, in areas visible from public rights-of-way or neighboring properties;

N.    Construction materials which are stored in areas visible from public rights-of-way or neighboring properties, except when permitted construction is occurring nearby;

O.    Garbage or refuse that is not properly contained and disposed of;

P.    Conditions which may be detrimental or dangerous to children;

Q.    Uncleaned spills, or the disposal of oil, gasoline, other petroleum products, noxious chemicals, pesticides, or any gaseous, liquid or solid wastes in such a manner as to:

1.    Constitute a condition considered injurious to the public health, safety and welfare,

2.    Cause pollution of the land, water or air in the city, or

3.    Degrade the appearance of or detract from the aesthetic and property value of neighboring properties;

R.    Premises maintained in such a condition as to obscure the visibility of public street intersections to such a degree as to constitute a public safety hazard;

S.    Animals being kept in residential zones which are:

1.    Livestock,

2.    Other animals considered to be dangerous to the public;

T.    Maintenance of premises in such condition as to be detrimental to the public health, safety or general welfare or in such a manner as to constitute a public nuisance as defined by Civil Code Section 4380;

U.    Maintenance, or use of premises which, by reason of noise, dirt, odor or other effects caused by the use of said premises diminish the livability, enjoyment, use or property values of neighboring properties. (Ord. 472 §3, 2016; Ord. 373 §1(part), 2000)

2.60.020 Enforcement.

It shall be the duty of the code enforcement officer (CEO) to enforce the provisions of this chapter. The CEO shall have the discretion to seek the correction of any violation(s) through the use of administrative citations, city abatement, criminal prosecution, or civil litigation, alone or in combination. The public works foreman, city planner, city attorney, building inspector, police chief and fire chief shall render such assistance in the enforcement of this chapter as may from time to time be required. (Ord. 373 §1(part), 2000)

2.60.030 Notice and order to abate.

A.    Should the CEO determine that a condition has been created or maintained on private or public property which constitutes a public nuisance as defined by Section 2.60.010 of this chapter, (s)he shall issue a notice and order to abate. Said notice should contain the following:

1.    The street address and/or legal description sufficient for identification of the property where the condition exists;

2.    A statement that the code enforcement officer has found the property to be a public nuisance with a brief and concise description of the conditions found to render the property a public nuisance under provisions of Section 2.60.010 of this chapter;

3.    A list of needed corrections and abatement methods;

4.    The date by which the nuisance must be abated;

5.    A statement of which remedy(ies), provided for by this chapter, will be sought if compliance is not realized and the potential consequences of that remedy.

The CEO shall cause the notice and order to abate to be served on the owner(s) of the property as shown on the last equalized assessment roll, and if known, the tenant or tenants occupying the property.

B.    Service of the notice and order to abate may be made in the following manner:

1.    By personal service; or

2.    By mail, certified, return receipt requested, to the owner of the property at the address shown on the last equalized assessment roll, and to any known tenant at the address of the property.

Should the service by certified mail, return receipt, be returned as "refused or unclaimed," service may be made by posting a copy of the notice and order to abate prominently and conspicuously upon the property where the nuisance exists and mailing a copy of the notice by regular U.S. mail to the owner and any known tenant.

When service of the notice and order to abate is made by personal service, or posting, proof of service shall be certified at the time of service by a written declaration. When service is made via certified mail, the card returned in acknowledgement of receipt shall be affixed to a copy of the notice and order retained by the CEO. The failure of any person to receive the notice does not affect the validity of any proceedings taken under this chapter. (Ord. 373 §1(part), 2000)

2.60.040 Extension of time.

A.    The owner or the tenant may request an extension of the date for abatement of the nuisance specified in the notice and order to abate. Such request must be in writing and include:

1.    An explanation of the circumstances necessitating an extension; and

2.    A suggested alternative performance date.

B. The CEO shall have discretion to grant an extension if (s)he finds:

1.    That unique circumstances exist which require additional time to abate the nuisance; and

2.    The owner or tenant has made a good faith effort to comply with the order.

If the CEO believes an extension of the date should be granted, (s)he shall notify the party requesting an extension of the new performance date. (Ord. 373 §1(part), 2000)

2.60.050 Violation.

A.    Any person who fails to comply with a notice and order to abate within the time specified in the notice or any extension of time granted pursuant to Section 2.60.040, having been properly served with a copy of the notice and order to abate, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. The CEO may, however, in his/her discretion, elect not to treat the violation as a misdemeanor, and seek enforcement pursuant to the other remedies provided in this chapter.

B.    The imposition of a penalty for violation(s) of this section shall not excuse or permit such violation(s). Failure to abate the nuisance within the time prescribed in the notice and order to abate shall be deemed a separate offense for each day that the nuisance is not abated after the expiration of the time specified to abate the nuisance. (Ord. 373 §1(part), 2000)

2.60.060 Remedy, administrative citation.

A.    If the owner, or tenant, fails to correct the violation(s) within the time specified in the notice and order to abate, the failure may cause that person to be issued a CEO citation. Said citation shall:

1.    Identify the date, time and circumstances of the violation;

2.    State the amount of the penalty fee to be imposed;

3.    Advise the person of their appeal rights as provided herein.

B.    The administrative citation shall be served in the same manner as the notice of order to abate, as provided in Section 2.60.030. The amount of the penalty fee imposed shall be set by resolution of the city council.

C.    The person receiving the administrative citation shall have the right to appeal prior to the imposition of any penalty fee. The appeal hearing shall be held before the city council and shall be deemed served only when received by the city. Failure to properly serve the request for hearing within a fifteen-day period shall be deemed a waiver of right to appeal the matter, and the penalty fee will become final and subject to collection.

D.    The hearing officer shall give written notice by mail to the person who has requested the appeal of the date and time of the appeal hearing, which hearing should be held not sooner than ten days from the receipt of the request for hearing and not longer than thirty days. With the consent of both parties, the appeal hearing may be conducted by telephone, or continued. Upon conclusion of the hearing, the hearing officer shall serve written notice of his/her decision in the manner provided by Section 2.60.030. The decision of the hearing officer shall be final.

E.    Any monetary penalty imposed pursuant to this section may be charged against the municipal utility account for the property upon which the public nuisance has been found to exist and collected in the same manner as regular utility accounts. Failure of the utility customer to pay the penalty fees imposed as provided herein shall be grounds to terminate municipal utility services. (Ord. 392 (part), 2002; Ord. 383 (part), 2002; Ord. 373 §1(part), 2000)

2.60.070 Remedy, city abatement.

If the owner or tenant fails to correct the violation(s) within the time specified in the notice and order to abate, the city council, or its designee, may schedule a hearing before the city council for summary abatement proceedings under the police powers of the city and pursuant to Government Code Sections 38773 and 38773.5.

A.    At least ten days prior to a hearing before the city council for summary abatement proceedings, notice of such hearing, in a form approved by the city attorney which describes the conditions alleged to constitute a nuisance and indicates possible actions which may be authorized for abatement of the same, shall be served upon the owner of the affected premises in the manner prescribed in Section 2.60.060 of this chapter.

B.    At the time stated in the notice of hearing, the city council shall hear and consider all relevant evidence, objections or protests, and shall receive testimony from owners, witnesses, city personnel, affected neighbors and any other interested persons relative to such alleged public nuisance and to proposed abatement of such nuisance. Interested parties may be represented by counsel, in which case the city attorney shall represent the code enforcement officer and parties may present testimony and cross examine witnesses. The hearing need not be conducted according to technical rules or evidence and may be continued from time to time.

C.    If, as a result of the hearing, the city council finds that a public nuisance exists and that there is sufficient cause to warrant abatement of such nuisance, the city council shall by minute motion issue an order to abate containing:

1.    A statement deeming the condition a public nuisance under this chapter;

2.    A summary of findings of fact, conclusions and recommendations with respect to abatement;

3.    A list of needed corrections and abatement methods;

4.    A time limit within which the nuisance must be abated at the owner’s expense.

The city administrator, or his/her designee, shall cause the order to abate to be served upon the owners of the premises in accordance with the notification provisions of Section 2.60.030 of this chapter. Any property owner shall have the right to comply with the order to abate at his/her own expense; provided, that the same is done prior to the expiration of the abatement period set forth in the order. Upon abatement in full by the owner, then proceedings under this chapter shall terminate.

D.    If such nuisance is not completely abated in accordance with the abatement order by the owner within the given time period, then the city council may direct the city administrator to cause the same to be abated by city forces, or private contract.

E.    The city administrator shall cause to be kept an account of the cost (including incidental expenses) of abating such nuisance on each separate parcel of land where the work is done and shall render an itemized report in writing to the city council showing the cost of abatement. The term "incidental expenses" includes, but is not limited to, the actual expenses and costs of the city in preparation and service of notices, specifications and contracts, and in inspecting the work, and the costs of printing and mailing required under this chapter, and the costs of any other action required to enforce the ordinance codified in this chapter.

F.    The total cost for abating such nuisance, as so confirmed by the city council, shall constitute a special assessment against the respective lot, or parcel of land, to which it relates, and upon recordation in the office of the county recorder of the notice of lien in appropriate legal form, as so made and confirmed, shall constitute a lien on the property for the amount of such assessment.

1.    After such confirmation and recordation, a copy may be turned over to the director of finance, whereupon it shall be the duty of the director of finance to cause the amounts of the respective assessments to be added to the next regular tax bills levied against such respective lots and parcels of land for municipal purposes, and thereafter such amounts shall be collected at the same time and in the same manner as ordinary municipal taxes are collected, and may be subject to the same penalties and the same procedure under foreclosure and sale in case of delinquency as provided for ordinary municipal taxes; or

2.    After such recordation, such lien may be foreclosed by judicial or other sale in the manner and means provided by law. (Ord. 392 (part), 2002; Ord. 383 (part), 2002; Ord. 373 §1(part), 2000)

2.60.080 Remedy, criminal prosecution.

If the owner, or tenant, fails to correct the violation(s) within the time specified in the notice and order to abate, the city administrator, or his/her designee, may request the city attorney to prosecute the matter as a misdemeanor criminal offence. (Ord. 373 §1(part), 2000)

2.60.090 Civil litigation.

If the owner, or tenant, fails to correct the violation(s) within the time specified in the notice and order to abate, the city administrator may request the city attorney apply to such court, or courts, as may have jurisdiction to grant such relief as will abate the public nuisance, or restrain and enjoin any person from creating or maintaining a nuisance. (Ord. 373 §1(part), 2000)

2.60.100 Alternative remedies.

Nothing in this chapter shall be so interpreted as to prevent prosecution under any other civil, penal, building, fire or related codes or other sections in other titles of this code. The city reserves the right to employ any one or any combination of any and all codes for prosecution. (Ord. 373 §1(part), 2000)

2.60.110 Right of entry.

Whenever necessary to make an inspection to enforce any provision of this chapter, or whenever the city administrator, or his/her designee, has reasonable cause to believe that there exists in any building or upon any premises any condition in violation of this chapter, the city administrator, or his/her designee, may enter such premises at all reasonable times to perform any duty imposed upon such person by this chapter; provided, that if the premises are private and occupied, the city administrator, or his/her designee, shall present proper credentials, state the reasons for entry and request entry. If entry is not granted a court order should be secured. If premises are unoccupied, the city administrator, or his/her designee, should make a reasonable effort to locate the owner, or tenant, and request entry. If entry is refused the city administrator, or his/her designee, shall have recourse to the remedies provided by law and secure entry. (Ord. 373 §1(part), 2000)

2.60.120 Severability.

If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or other part of this chapter is for any reason held to be unconstitutional or otherwise invalid such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this chapter. The council of the city of Angels declares that it would have enacted this chapter and each section, subsection, sentence, clause and phrase thereof irrespective of the fact that any one or more sections, subsections, sentences, clauses or phrases or other parts be declared unconstitutional or otherwise invalid. (Ord. 373 §1(part), 2000)