Chapter 9.01
PUBLIC NUISANCES

Sections:

Article I. Nuisance Abatement in General

9.01.010    Short title.

9.01.015    Definitions.

9.01.020    Nuisance and nuisance conditions defined.

9.01.030    Nuisance unlawful.

9.01.040    Property owner responsibilities.

9.01.050    Relationship of parts of chapter.

9.01.060    Relationship to uniform codes.

9.01.070    Relationship to remainder of City Code.

9.01.080    Severability.

Article II. Nuisance Abatement Procedure

9.01.200    Notice to abate nuisance conditions.

9.01.210    Manner of conducting abatement hearing.

9.01.220    Issuance of decision findings and order.

9.01.221    Appeal of decision.

9.01.230    Abatement by enforcement officer if nuisance is not abated.

9.01.240    Abatement by owner/responsible party.

9.01.250    Liability for administrative costs.

9.01.260    Report of abatement costs.

9.01.270    Appeal of abatement costs.

9.01.280    Manner of conducting the appeal hearing of abatement costs before the hearing officer.

9.01.290    Hearing officer’s decision of appeal hearing of abatement costs.

9.01.291    Assessment of abatement costs.

9.01.292    Manner of collection of notice of lien.

Article III. Summary Abatement

9.01.300    Summary abatement.

Article IV. Abandoned Vehicles

9.01.400    Declaration of nuisance – Definitions.

9.01.410    Application of article.

9.01.420    Enforcement.

9.01.430    Alternative means of enforcement.

9.01.440    Right of entry.

9.01.450    Administrative costs assessment.

9.01.460    Abatement and removal authority.

9.01.470    Abatement notice.

9.01.480    Appeal – Hearing.

9.01.490    Hearing – Procedure.

9.01.491    Removal – Authority.

9.01.492    Removal – Notice to owners and Department of Motor Vehicles.

9.01.493    Disposition of abandoned vehicle.

9.01.494    Administrative costs and removal costs assessment – Delinquent action.

9.01.495    Unlawful.

9.01.496    Removal compliance required.

Article V. Weed Abatement

9.01.500    Public nuisance.

9.01.510    Procedure.

9.01.520    Definitions.

9.01.530    Duty of owners of private property.

9.01.540    Standards.

9.01.550    Violation.

Article VI. Administrative Citations

9.01.600    General procedure.

9.01.610    Entry and inspection.

9.01.620    First offense warning.

9.01.630    Hearing procedure.

Article VII. Reserved

Article VIII. Reserved

Article IX. Judicial Review

9.01.900    Right of judicial review.

Article I. Nuisance Abatement in General

9.01.010 Short title.

This chapter may be cited as “the nuisance abatement ordinance.” [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.015 Definitions.

Except as otherwise provided in the other articles of this chapter, the following words, terms and phrases used in this chapter are defined as set forth in this section:

“Abate” means, but is not limited to, modifying, repairing, replacing, removing, securing, locking, demolishing, or otherwise remedying the condition in question by such means and to such extent as necessary.

“Building” means any structure (including but not limited to any house, garage, duplex, apartment, condominium, stock cooperative, mobile home or other residential buildings or associated accessory structures) and any commercial, industrial or other establishment, warehouse, kiosk, sign or other structure affixed to or upon real property used as a dwelling or for the purpose of conducting a business, storage or any other activity.

“City” means the City of Dixon.

“City Council” means the City Council of the City.

“Code” means both the Dixon City Code and the Dixon Municipal Code.

“Compliance date” means the date requested for correction of the violation(s) prior to the imposition of any administrative fines or penalties.

“Day” means calendar day.

“Enforcement officer” means either the Building Official, City Engineer, Community Development Director, Public Works Director, Fire Chief or Police Chief of the City, or their designees, or the Code Compliance Technician when such persons have been delegated in writing the authority to enforce and administer the particular provisions of this chapter at issue in a particular matter.

“Garbage” means putrescible animal, fish, fowl, fruit or vegetable refuse, or any portion thereof, resulting from the growing, preparation, processing, storage, handling, transporting or consumption of foods.

“Graffiti” means the unauthorized letters, words, symbols, figures and marks placed on buildings and objects on private property, public property or the public right-of-way by using paint or marking with ink, chalk, crayon, dye or other similar substances, or by cutting or scraping with any tool or instrument.

“Habitable” means that a building, premises or property is suitable for occupancy per the standards set forth in the codes referenced in this chapter and/or those codes utilized by the City in the normal course of government operations.

“Hearing officer” means a hearing officer provided to the City by a nonprofit organization or governmental agency with whom the City has contracted to conduct hearings pursuant to this chapter. No hearing officer shall be compensated or evaluated, directly or indirectly, based upon the outcomes of any hearing.

“Industrial waste” means all liquid or solid waste substances, except sewage, from any production, manufacturing, processing or packaging operation.

“Inoperative” means any vehicle that (1) cannot be immediately started and driven under its own power on the streets and highways, (2) is in an unsafe condition, or (3) is in any other condition specified in the California Vehicle Code which prohibits its placement and/or movement on the public streets or highways. This includes any vehicles, including trailers or vessels, not currently registered for operation on the public streets, highways or waterways.

“Lodging house” means any building or portion thereof containing not more than five (5) guest rooms where rent is paid in money, goods, labor or otherwise. For the purposes of this chapter a single-family dwelling unit may contain one (1) or two (2) guest rooms and not be classified as a lodging house; provided, such dwelling meets all of the following criteria: (1) the dwelling contains only one (1) kitchen; (2) no food preparation appliances, including stoves, ovens, hotplates, refrigerators or sinks, are installed or located in the guest rooms; (3) doors to guest rooms do not contain dead bolt locks and such doors only open into the interior of the dwelling unit; (4) the parcel on which the dwelling is located has only one (1) address and one (1) mailbox; and (5) all vehicles owned, operated or controlled by occupants of the dwelling and stored for any length of time on or in proximity of the parcel on which the dwelling is located have space available for and are capable of simultaneously legally parking on the parcel.

“Owner” means any person, his/her heirs, executors, administrators or assigns, agent, firm, partnership or corporation having or claiming any legal or equitable interest in the property in question as listed on the last available equalized tax assessment roll for Solano County.

“Premises” means every house, dwelling, building, structure, enclosure, business establishment, lot, yard, location, place, alley, parkway, right-of-way, sidewalk, street, and every vehicle.

“Property” means all residential, industrial, commercial, agricultural, open space and other real property, including but not limited to front yards, side yards, driveways, walkways, alleys and sidewalks, and shall include any building or other structure, whether fixed or movable, located on such property.

“Putrescible” means a substance that is or is liable to become putrid or rotten.

“Refuse” and “rubbish” mean all putrescible and/or nonputrescible solid or liquid wastes, except sewage, whether combustible or noncombustible.

“Responsible party” means the owner, agent, manager, lessee, tenant or any other person having control or possession of the property.

“Sewage” means effluent or waste matter which is required to be disposed of through or should pass through sewers and the wastewater treatment plant and is composed of human or animal feces, urine, toilet paper and any other such waste materials. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.020 Nuisance and nuisance conditions defined.

For the purposes of this chapter, “nuisance” and/or “nuisance condition” means any condition or use of premises or property which is either: (A) detrimental to the premises or property of others; (B) which poses an immediate or potential health, safety or fire hazard; or (C) which violates this code or other codes adopted by the City. “Nuisance” includes, but is not limited to, any of the following:

A. Storing, keeping or maintaining weeds, dry or dead vegetation, papers or paper products, and other combustible and noncombustible refuse or waste;

B. Storing, keeping or maintaining: vehicle parts; scrap metal; bottles; cans; wire; firewood; boxes; containers; wood and building materials no longer usable for their intended purpose; tools; machinery; equipment or parts thereof; or abandoned, discarded or unused household furniture or appliances;

C. Storing, keeping or maintaining: rubbish; refuse; trash; junk; garbage; and other waste or discarded material, including but not limited to the accumulation of asphalt, concrete, plaster, tile, rocks, bricks, crates, cartons, boxes, dirt, sand or gravel;

D. Storing, parking, keeping or maintaining: wrecked, dismantled, inoperative or abandoned vehicles on private property which are in view from the public streets or neighboring properties. The mere covering of a vehicle with a tarpaulin or other temporary cover or structure does not constitute removal of the vehicle from view. This subsection shall not apply to vehicle storage yards, automobile dismantling yards, wrecking yards or approved vehicle repair facilities when properly zoned for such uses or when such vehicles are actually in the process of being repaired and not being used as a source for parts;

E. The existence of any condition which constitutes a fire hazard as defined in the Dixon Fire Code, and any condition related to fire protection as defined in the California Health and Safety Code;

F. The existence of any building construction project which is abandoned, partially destroyed or left in a state of partial construction for an unreasonable period of time. A “state of partial construction for an unreasonable period of time” exists if the project has been under construction for more than one (1) year, its appearance from the public street or neighboring properties substantially detracts from the appearance of the immediate neighborhood, and there is no valid and active building permit authorizing the construction work;

G. The existence of any dwelling, dwelling unit or lodging house which has not been used for its legal and intended purpose for a three hundred sixty-five (365) day period. Uses that occur within any three hundred sixty-five (365) day period and are of a duration of less than thirty (30) days shall, for the purpose of this chapter, not qualify as meeting the use requirements of this section. Time during which the dwelling is either being actively remodeled, or marketed for either sale or rental, shall not be included in determining the period of nonuse;

H. The existence of any building having any or all of the conditions or defects hereinafter described:

1. Whenever any door, aisle, passageway, stairway or other means of exit is not of sufficient width or size or is not so arranged as to provide safe and adequate means of exit in case of fire or panic.

2. Whenever the walking surface of any aisle, passageway, stairway or other means of exit is so warped, worn, loose, torn or otherwise unsafe as to not provide safe and adequate means of exit in case of fire or panic.

3. Whenever the stress in any materials, member or portion thereof, due to all dead and live loads, is more than one and one-half (1.5) times the working stress or stresses allowed in the Dixon Building Code for new buildings of similar structure, purpose or location.

4. Whenever any portion thereof has been damaged by fire, earthquake, wind, flood or by any other cause, to such an extent that the structural strength or stability thereof is materially less than it was before such catastrophe and is less than the minimum requirements of the Dixon Building Code for new buildings of similar structure, purpose or location.

5. Whenever any portion or member or appurtenance thereof is likely to fail, or to become detached or dislodged, or to collapse and thereby injure persons or damage property.

6. Whenever any portion of a building, or any member, appurtenance or ornamentation on the exterior thereof, is not of sufficient strength or stability, or is not so anchored, attached or fastened in pike, so as to be capable of resisting a wind pressure of one-half of that specified in the Dixon Building Code for new buildings of similar structure, purpose or location without exceeding the working stresses permitted in the Dixon Building Code for such buildings.

7. Whenever any portion thereof has wracked, warped, buckled or settled to such an extent that walls or other structural portions have materially less resistance to winds or earthquakes than is required in the case of similar new construction.

8. Whenever the building or structure, or any portion thereof, because of: (a) dilapidation, deterioration, or decay; (b) faulty construction; (c) the removal, movement or instability of any portion of the ground necessary for the purpose of supporting such building; (d) the deterioration, decay or inadequacy of its foundation; or (e) any other cause, is likely to partially or completely collapse.

9. Whenever, for any reason, the building or structure, or any portion thereof, is manifestly unsafe for the purpose for which it is being used or is intended to be used.

10. Whenever the exterior walls or other vertical structural members list, lean or buckle to such an extent that a plumb line passing through the center of gravity does not fall inside the middle one-third of the base.

11. Whenever the building or structure, exclusive of the foundation, shows thirty-three percent (33%) or more damage or deterioration of its supporting member or members, or fifty percent (50%) damage or deterioration of its nonsupporting members, enclosing or outside walls or coverings.

12. Whenever the building or structure has been so damaged by fire, wind, earthquake or flood or has become so dilapidated or deteriorated as to become: (a) an attractive nuisance to children; (b) a harbor for vagrants, criminals or immoral persons; or as to (c) enable persons to resort thereto for the purpose of committing unlawful or immoral acts.

13. Whenever any building or structure has been constructed, exists or is maintained in violation of any specific requirement or prohibition applicable to such building or structure provided by the building regulations of the City, as specified in the Dixon Building Code, Dixon Housing Code, or any law or ordinance of this State or the City relating to the condition, location or structure of buildings.

14. Whenever any building or structure which, whether or not erected in accordance with all applicable laws and ordinances, has in any nonsupporting part, member or portion less than fifty percent (50%), or in any supporting part, member or portion less than sixty-six (66%) percent, of the (a) strength, (b) fire-resisting qualities or characteristics, or (c) weather-resisting qualities or characteristics required by law in the case of a newly constructed building of like area, height and occupancy in the same location.

15. Whenever a building or a structure, used or intended to be used for dwelling purposes, because of inadequate maintenance, dilapidation, decay, damage, faulty construction or arrangement, inadequate light, air or sanitation facilities, or otherwise, is determined by the Building Official to be unsanitary, unfit for human habitation, or in such a condition that is likely to cause sickness or disease.

16. Whenever any building or structure, because of obsolescence, dilapidated condition, deterioration, damage, inadequate exits, lack of sufficient fire-resistive construction, faulty electric wiring, gas connections or heating apparatus, or other cause, is determined by the Building Official or Fire Chief to be a fire hazard.

17. The presence of electrical wiring and/or equipment that was installed in violation of code requirements in effect at the time of installation, or not installed in accordance with generally accepted construction practices if no codes were in effect, or that has not been maintained in good condition or that is not being used in a safe manner.

18. The presence of plumbing piping and/or fixtures that were installed in violation of code requirements in effect at the time of installation, or not installed in accordance with generally accepted construction practices if no codes were in effect, or that have not been maintained in good condition or that are not being used in a safe manner.

19. The presence of mechanical equipment that was installed in violation of code requirements in effect at the time of installation, or not installed in accordance with generally accepted construction practices if no codes were in effect, or that has not been maintained in good condition or that is not being used in a safe manner.

20. Whenever the horizontal and/or vertical weather protection of a structure, because of obsolescence, dilapidated condition, deterioration, damage, lack of painted surfaces, faulty construction or other cause, allows moisture to enter the structure.

21. Whenever any building or structure is in such a condition as to constitute a public nuisance known to the common law or in equity jurisprudence;

I. The existence of any building or portion thereof used as a dwelling, dwelling unit, apartment, guest room or lodging house defined as having any or all of the conditions or defects described in the Dixon Housing Code or any of the following defects:

1. Lack of or nonfunctioning water closet in a dwelling unit or lodging house.

2. Lack of or nonfunctioning kitchen sink, including lack of hot and cold running water to sink in a dwelling unit or lodging house.

3. Lack of or nonfunctioning bathtub or shower in a dwelling unit or lodging house, including lack of hot and cold running water to bathtub or shower.

4. Lack of or nonfunctioning lavatory in a dwelling unit or lodging house, including lack of hot and cold running water to lavatory.

5. Lack of or nonfunctioning heating system in a dwelling unit or lodging house capable of heating all habitable spaces to seventy (70) degrees Fahrenheit at a point three (3) feet above the floor.

6. Lack of or improper operation of habitable space ventilation equipment.

7. Lack of minimum amounts of ventilation in a dwelling unit or lodging house in bathrooms and habitable spaces. Minimums shall be those amounts required by the code under which the structure was built or current code if installation or modification occurred without permits or inspections.

8. Lack of minimum amounts of natural light in a dwelling unit or lodging house in habitable spaces. Minimums shall be those amounts required by the code under which the structure was built or current code if installation or modification occurred without permits or inspections.

9. Lack of or nonfunctioning permanent light fixture in a dwelling unit or lodging house in each bathroom, kitchen and hall.

10. Lack of or nonfunctioning of a single electrical receptacle in a dwelling unit or lodging house in each bathroom, laundry room and habitable space.

11. Infestation of insects, vermin or rodents as determined by the Health Officer or Building Official.

12. General dilapidation or improper maintenance.

13. Lack of functioning connection to required sewage disposal system.

14. Presence of any condition that can be described as a dangerous building.

15. Presence of any plumbing fixture which is cracked, chipped or does not function.

16. Presence of any plumbing drain pipe which leaks, is blocked or does not convey sanitary waste to a required sewage disposal system.

17. Presence of any potable water supply pipe which leaks, is blocked or allows rust to enter the water supply.

18. Lack of or nonfunctioning cooking appliance in a dwelling unit. The meaning of “functioning” shall include, but not be limited to: all burners and heating elements operate correctly at all settings; all knobs and controls are present and operating; and all utility connections are in compliance with current codes.

19. Lack of or nonfunctioning refrigerator in a dwelling unit. The meaning of “functioning” shall include, but not be limited to: doors are gasketed and open, close, and latch properly; unit can maintain a minimum temperature of forty-five (45) degrees Fahrenheit.

20. Presence of a refrigerator or freezer with a door which cannot be opened from the inside.

21. Lack of or nonfunctioning or expired required fire extinguisher.

22. Presence of a mounted and displayed nonfunctioning or expired fire extinguisher in a commercial, industrial, hotel, motel, or apartment building (excluding the interior of individual dwelling units).

23. Lack of or nonfunctioning code-required smoke and/or heat detectors.

24. Lack of or the nonfunctioning of at least one (1) smoke detector in a dwelling unit or lodging house located in the hallway leading to the sleeping rooms.

25. Presence of any window in a dwelling unit or lodging house which does not open and close completely when designed to do so, has missing or cracked glazing, has defective or missing security latches, or has missing or nonfunctioning insect screens.

26. Presence of any exterior door in a dwelling unit or lodging house which does not open and close properly, is missing locks or a locking device which does not function to secure the dwelling, or which lacks adequate weather stripping.

27. Lack of or nonfunctioning water heater in a dwelling unit or lodging house. “Nonfunctioning” means: does not heat water to one hundred ten (110) degrees Fahrenheit, lacks or has a nonfunctioning temperature and pressure relief valve, leaks gas or water, or has insufficient combustion air.

28. Presence of floor coverings in a dwelling unit or lodging house with holes, tears, or rips, or which are not attached to the floor structure and/or pose a tripping hazard.

29. Presence of interior walls in a dwelling unit or lodging house which have holes in drywall or loose wall materials.

30. Presence of electrical fixtures, switches, or receptacles which are missing cover plates.

31. Presence of mold, mildew, or fungus;

J. The existence of any structure, building, or a portion thereof which is open or maintained for the use, storage, manufacture, or distribution of “controlled substances” as defined in the California Health and Safety Code;

K. Any vehicle or portion thereof and/or any equipment located on private or public property or in the public right-of-way, or any nonresidential building or structure, being used for living or sleeping purposes except for travel trailers being used on property properly zoned for such use;

L. The existence of any condition dangerous to children or others, including but not limited to unsecured structures; fences or portions of fences in disrepair, leaning and/or partially down; abandoned, broken, unprotected and/or unsecured equipment, machinery or household appliances; or unprotected, unfenced and/or unsecured pools, ponds, or excavations;

M. The existence of any condition or use which unlawfully obstructs, injures, or interferes with the free passage or use in the customary manner of property, any public park, street, highway, sidewalk, and any other portion of the public right-of-way;

N. The existence of any body of stagnant water or other liquid in which mosquitoes or other insects may breed, or which may or does generate noxious or offensive gases or odors;

O. The existence of any improperly contained accumulation of manure, human or animal feces, garbage or refuse which may serve as a breeding ground for flies, mosquitoes, rodents or other vermin, or which may or does generate noxious or offensive odors;

P. The existence of sewage, chemical, petroleum, commercial or industrial waste which has the potential to leak into the groundwater or may or does generate noxious or offensive odors;

Q. The existence of any barbed wire, razor ribbon, glass, nails or other sharp objects on, in, or affixed to any fence or wall, or any electric fences in or adjacent to a residential zoning district or property used for residential uses;

R. The existence of any sign, banner, balloon, flags (other than those of the United States of America and the State of California), inflated advertising device and/or the display of retail or manufactured products on private property or in the public right-of-way, together with any appurtenant component, background, or supporting structure, which is not in compliance with this code;

S. The existence of graffiti on any building, fence, wall, equipment, motor vehicle, trailer, sign or other object on private or public property or in the public right-of-way;

T. The existence of a use, business or activity in any zoning district that does not conform with the requirements of that zoning district in which it is located as set forth in this code; or which does not conform with any discretionary permit or review approval by the Planning Commission or City Council; or which does not conform with any law, ordinance or regulations adopted by the City applicable to the property;

U. The existence of smoke, fumes, gas, dust, soot, cinders, or other particulate matter in such quantities as to render the occupancy or use of property uncomfortable to a person or persons;

V. The existence of any condition or use which poses a threat to the public health or safety;

W. Storing, parking, keeping, or maintaining of operative vehicles, boats, vessels, trailers, or camper shells on any portion of a required front yard area other than the driveway or immediately adjacent paved driveway extension;

X. Storing, keeping, or maintaining trash cans, refuse cans, recyclable containers and/or other such containers in the front yard area or other visible yard area at times other than the day of collection or prior to 6:00 p.m. of the day prior to the day of collection;

Y. The existence of any building, or a portion thereof, used by members of a criminal street gang for the purpose of the commission of: robbery; unlawful homicide or manslaughter; the sale, possession for sale, transportation, manufacture, offer for sale or offer to manufacture controlled substances; shooting at an inhabited dwelling or occupied motor vehicle; discharging or permitting the discharge of a firearm from a motor vehicle; arson; the intimidation of witnesses and victims; grand theft; burglary; rape; looting; money laundering; kidnapping; mayhem; aggravated mayhem; torture; felony extortion; felony vandalism; carjacking; or sale, delivery or transfer of a firearm. As used in this chapter, “criminal street gang” means any ongoing organization, association or group of three (3) or more persons, whether formal or informal, having as one (1) of its primary activities the commission of one (1) or more of the criminal acts enumerated above, having a common name or common identifying sign or symbols, and whose members individually or collectively engage in or have engaged in a pattern of criminal gang activity;

Z. Making or emitting any noise uncomfortable to or annoying to a reasonable person;

AA. Maintenance of any tree, shrub, or other vegetation such that it impairs passage along a public sidewalk, impairs the ability of drivers to see any traffic sign, impairs the ability of drivers to see other traffic, or blocks any street light;

BB. Maintenance of any sidewalk with a crack or hole of over one (1) inch displacement or otherwise in a condition preventing safe passage of pedestrians, wheelchairs or strollers. [Ord. 03-011; Ord. 09-006; Ord. 09-014; Ord. 20-009 § 3.]

9.01.030 Nuisance unlawful.

Every nuisance condition found to exist on any premises is declared to be unlawful. In addition to all other remedies available to the City, whether criminal, civil, at law or in equity, any nuisance may be abated by the enforcement officer, Police or Fire Department personnel, or any other appropriate City staff as designated by the City Manager in the manner provided in this chapter or in any other manner provided by law. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.040 Property owner responsibilities.

It shall be the duty of the owner, and of the responsible party occupying or having charge or control of any parcel of land, improved or unimproved, to maintain such parcel of land free of any nuisance and/or nuisance conditions at all times. The same responsibility extends to the public rights-of-way or public land, related to any vehicle, vessel, structure, machinery, container, refuse, debris or other item found to be or having been under the charge or control of a property owner, responsible party, or last registered or documented owner. Any owner or responsible party shall be responsible for the removal or correction of any nuisance or nuisance conditions and the costs for such removal or correction. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.050 Relationship of parts of chapter.

The remedies provided in this chapter are cumulative to each other. The procedure provided in Article II of this chapter may be utilized to abate any nuisance defined herein. However, in the discretion of the enforcement officer, the procedures of Article IV of this chapter may be utilized to abate abandoned vehicles and the procedures of Article V of this chapter may be used to abate weeds. In the discretion of the enforcement officer, the administrative citation procedure of Article VI of this chapter may be used either in addition to, or in lieu of, the other provisions of this chapter. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.060 Relationship to uniform codes.

The remedies provided in this chapter are cumulative to those provided by the Dixon uniform codes. They are in addition to any remedies or “notice and order” which may be issued under any of the Dixon uniform codes (including, without limitation by reason of enumeration, the Dixon Housing Code, the Dixon Fire Code, and the Dixon Building Code). [Ord. 03-011; Ord. 09-006.]

9.01.070 Relationship to remainder of City Code.

The remedies provided in this chapter are cumulative and in addition to any other remedy provided in this code, by law, or in equity. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.080 Severability.

If any part, section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion of this chapter is, for any reason, held to be invalid, ineffective or unconstitutional by the decisions of any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this chapter. The City Council hereby declares that it would have adopted this chapter, and any part, section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion of this chapter, irrespective of the fact that any one (1) or more parts, sections, subsections, sentences, clauses, phrases or portions of this chapter are judicially determined to be invalid, ineffective or unconstitutional. [Ord. 03-011.]

Article II. Nuisance Abatement Procedure

9.01.200 Notice to abate nuisance conditions.

A. When the enforcement officer finds that a nuisance condition exists upon any premises in the City, he/she may, or upon the direction of the City Manager shall, serve a notice to abate upon the owner or responsible party in possession or having control of the premises upon which the condition exists, directing him/her to abate or cause the nuisance condition(s) upon the premises to be abated on or before a specified compliance date. The notice shall also contain the date, time and place of an abatement hearing that will be held if the nuisance condition(s) are not corrected by the specified compliance date.

B. The enforcement officer shall post one (1) copy of the notice in a conspicuous place on the property in question and shall deliver one (1) copy of the notice to the owner or responsible party in possession or control of the property upon which the nuisance condition exists either in person or by certified mail, with a return receipt requested.

C. The notice shall be posted and delivered as set forth in subsection B of this section, at least ten (10) calendar days before the time and date of the hearing scheduled within the notice if personally delivered, or fifteen (15) calendar days if mailed.

D. The failure of the owner or responsible party to actually receive the notice shall not affect in any manner the validity of any proceedings pursuant to this article. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.210 Manner of conducting abatement hearing.

A. At the time and place designated in the notice, the hearing officer shall hear and consider all relevant evidence, including but not limited to applicable staff reports, oral evidence, physical evidence and documentary evidence regarding the alleged nuisance, and proposed method of abatement. The hearing may be continued from time to time.

B. Failure of the owner or responsible party to appear at the hearing after notice has been served shall be deemed a waiver of the right to a hearing and an admission by the owner or responsible party of the existence of the nuisance condition charged. In the event of such failure to appear, the hearing officer may order that the nuisance condition be abated by the enforcement officer. Such failure to appear shall also constitute a failure to exhaust available administrative remedies.

C. The City shall bear the burden of proof to demonstrate, by a preponderance of the evidence, that a nuisance exists and that the proposed mechanism for abatement is appropriate. The City need not demonstrate that the proposed mechanism for abatement is either the most appropriate or least expensive.

D. The hearing shall not be conducted according to the formal rules of evidence. Any relevant evidence shall be admitted if it is the type of evidence on which reasonable persons are accustomed to rely in the conduct of serious affairs, regardless of the existence of any common law or statutory rule which might make improper the admission of such evidence over objection in civil actions in courts of competent jurisdiction in this State. However, irrelevant or unduly repetitious evidence may be excluded.

E. A tape recording of the hearing will be made by the hearing officer and provided to the City Clerk, who shall keep it for not less than one hundred eighty (180) calendar days from the date of the hearing.

F. All persons present at the hearing shall identify themselves, including their name and address, on the record.

G. All witnesses shall be sworn.

H. Prior to conclusion of the hearing, if the owner or responsible party is present, the hearing officer may request the owner or responsible party to sign a consent to enter and perform work. The permission given shall be used only if the nuisance condition is determined to exist and is not abated by the schedule of correction specified in the hearing officer’s decision.

I. If the owner or responsible party does not provide written consent, entry onto the property may be made by obtaining verbal permission from the owner or a responsible party, or by means of an inspection warrant, or by any other lawful manner. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.220 Issuance of decision findings and order.

A. Within ten (10) days after the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing officer shall issue a written decision. The decision shall set forth the factual findings made by the hearing officer, a conclusion as to whether a nuisance condition exists, the manner of abatement, including an order that such nuisance (if one is found to exist) be abated by the City, the amount of administrative costs imposed, if any, and a schedule of correction or the date by which the abatement shall be completed.

B. If the hearing officer determines that a nuisance exists which has not been corrected within the time period specified in the notice to abate nuisance conditions, the hearing officer shall so find in the decision, and may include in the decision any or all of the following:

1. An order to correct, including a schedule of correction where appropriate;

2. An order to pay administrative costs as provided in DMC 9.01.250.

C. Failure to issue a decision in ten (10) days shall not affect the validity of such decision.

D. The decision shall be mailed by certified mail with return receipt requested to the owner and shall be mailed to the enforcement officer. A copy of a summary of the decision and any order it contains shall also be posted on the property by the enforcement officer in a conspicuous location. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.221 Appeal of decision.

A. Within fifteen (15) days of the date of the decision by the hearing officer, the owner or responsible party may file a written appeal to the City Council in writing with the City Clerk.

B. The fee for filing an appeal shall be as may be established by resolution of the City Council.

C. Upon receipt of an appeal and filing fee, the City Clerk will issue and mail by certified mail with return receipt a notice indicating the time and date of the hearing to the responsible party requesting the hearing.

D. The City Council shall consider the appeal based upon the record of the hearing before the hearing officer and the hearing officer’s decision, which the Council may affirm, overrule or modify in its discretion. The City Council shall not accept new evidence, but may permit reasonable written and oral argument. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.230 Abatement by enforcement officer if nuisance is not abated.

Upon receipt of the hearing officer’s decision (or following an appeal if an appeal has been taken from the hearing officer’s decision) if (A) no schedule of correction has been issued or (B) upon the failure of the property owner to comply with such schedule if a schedule was included, if the nuisance condition has not been abated the enforcement officer shall forthwith abate, or cause to be abated, the nuisance condition upon the premises. The enforcement officer is authorized to enter upon private property for this purpose, consistent with the provisions of the U.S. Constitution.

The cost of abatement, in addition to other abatement costs included in the hearing officer’s decision, shall become a personal obligation of the property owner and responsible party and a lien and a property tax assessment upon the property, and shall be collected through the Solano County Assessor’s Office. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.240 Abatement by owner/responsible party.

A. Any owner or responsible party may, at his/her own expense and prior to the scheduled abatement hearing, abate a declared nuisance condition in accordance with the provisions of the notice sent by the enforcement officer; provided, that all necessary permits are first obtained. If the enforcement officer determines that the nuisance condition has been abated prior to the hearing, the hearing proceedings shall be terminated.

B. Any owner or responsible party may request the City to abate a declared nuisance condition on his/her property. However, the owner or responsible party making the request shall be responsible for the payment of all abatement costs incurred by the City. The request for the City to perform the abatement shall be in writing and include a written consent to enter and perform work. Any such request shall be deemed an agreement to pay for the costs of such abatement and an agreement that such costs may be collected as a lien upon the property. The abatement hearing proceedings shall thereafter be terminated. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.250 Liability for administrative costs.

A. In addition to liability for the costs of abatement itself, pursuant to DMC 9.01.230, the owner and/or responsible party shall also be liable for any expenses and administrative costs incurred by the City, county, or any related agency incurred subsequent to the initial inspection and identification of the nuisance.

B. The hearing officer shall in his/her decision assess administrative costs against the violator when he or she finds that a nuisance exists and that abatement has not been achieved within the time specified in the enforcement officer’s notice to abate nuisance conditions.

C. The administrative costs may include any and all costs incurred by the City in connection with the matter before the hearing officer, including, but not limited to, costs of investigation, staffing costs incurred in preparation for the hearing and for the hearing itself, attorneys’ fees, and costs for all reinspections necessary to enforce the notice to abate nuisance conditions.

D. In any action, administrative proceeding, or special proceeding to abate a nuisance, the prevailing party shall be entitled to recover attorneys’ fees. Recovery of attorneys’ fees by the prevailing party may be limited to individual actions or proceedings in which the City elects, at the initiation of that individual action or proceeding, to seek recovery of its own attorneys’ fees. In no action, administrative proceeding, or special proceeding, shall an award of attorneys’ fees to a prevailing party exceed the amount of reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred by the City in the action or proceeding.

E. Administrative costs assessed by a hearing officer are a debt owed to the City and, in addition to all other means of enforcement, if the violation is located on real property, may be enforced by means of a lien against the real property on which the violation occurred. [Ord. 03-011; Ord. 19-018 § 1.]

9.01.260 Report of abatement costs.

A. In the event a nuisance is abated by the enforcement officer (either utilizing City forces or by contracting with a third person), the enforcement officer shall keep an itemized list of costs including but not limited to hearing costs, reinspection fees, posting of notices, and costs for equipment, material, City staff time and contractor’s costs incurred by the City from the time of initial inspection and identification of the nuisance condition until completion of the abatement by the City or by the owner or responsible party. Once the abatement is completed, the enforcement officer shall provide a report of the total abatement costs to the Finance Department. The total abatement costs shall include those costs ordered to be paid by the hearing officer but remaining unpaid.

B. The Finance Department shall mail to the owner or responsible party an itemized invoice indicating the total abatement costs due.

C. The owner or responsible party for the property shall pay the abatement costs within thirty (30) calendar days from the date on the invoice unless an extension of time in which to pay has been granted by the City Manager in writing. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.270 Appeal of abatement costs.

A. Within fifteen (15) days of the date of the statement of abatement costs or invoice the owner or responsible party may file a request in writing with the City Clerk for a hearing before a hearing officer to contest the statement of abatement costs. If the request for a hearing is not timely received within the fifteen (15) days, the right to a hearing shall be deemed waived.

B. The fee for filing a notice to appeal a statement of abatement costs before the hearing officer shall be as established by resolution of the City Council.

C. Upon receipt of the completed notice to appeal and filing fee, the City Clerk will issue and mail by certified mail with return receipt a notice indicating the time and date of the hearing to the responsible party requesting the hearing. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.280 Manner of conducting the appeal hearing of abatement costs before the hearing officer.

A. The hearing officer shall review the statement of costs and receive all relevant information and testimony presented by the owner, responsible party, any other witnesses, and the enforcement officer or City staff.

1. The reasonableness of the abatement activity undertaken by the City or its contractors to abate or correct the nuisance condition shall not be within the subject matter jurisdiction of the hearing officer at this hearing.

2. City business records evidencing the amounts actually paid to third party vendors, contractors or laborers shall be deemed conclusive evidence of both the reasonableness of those charges and the City’s payment thereof.

3. The hearing officer shall take administrative notice of the hourly, daily or per task rates of City employees as established by the City Council by resolution. The resolution shall be deemed conclusive evidence of the existence and reasonableness of the rates set forth therein.

4. The hearing officer shall not rehear costs previously ordered to be paid by him or her at the abatement hearing.

B. The hearing officer may make any necessary revisions, corrections or modifications to costs.

C. A tape recording of the hearing will be made by the hearing officer and provided to the City Clerk, who shall keep it for not less than one hundred eighty (180) calendar days from the date of the hearing. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.290 Hearing officer’s decision of appeal hearing of abatement costs.

A. The hearing officer’s decision regarding abatement costs shall be in writing and mailed to the owner or responsible party by certified mail with return receipt, or personally delivered, within ten (10) days from the date of the hearing. A copy shall be sent to the enforcement officer and the Finance Director. If the hearing officer orders payment of abatement costs, the decisions shall include an order that such costs be paid within thirty (30) calendar days to the Finance Director.

B. The failure to issue the hearing officer’s decision within ten (10) days shall not affect the validity of such decisions.

C. The hearing officer’s decision after the hearing shall be final, except to the extent that a protest is granted by the City Council pursuant to DMC 9.01.291. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.291 Assessment of abatement costs.

A. Abatement costs are a civil debt owed to the City and, in addition to all other means of enforcement, may be enforced by means of a lien against the real property.

B. If payment of the abatement costs is not received by the Finance Department within thirty (30) calendar days of the date appearing on the invoice, the Finance Director shall notify the enforcement officer and the City Clerk. A hearing before the City Council for the purpose of adopting a resolution confirming and assessing the statement of costs shall be set by the City Clerk. Such hearing shall be for the sole purpose of the City Council assessing the unpaid costs as a lien and/or special assessment against the parcel or real property which was the subject of the nuisance abatement. The Council shall not rehear matters relating to whether or not a nuisance existed or it was appropriate to abate such a nuisance.

C. The enforcement officer shall file with the City Council a report:

1. Identifying the property from which the nuisance conditions were abated and the nuisance which was abated;

2. Describing the abatement work which was accomplished;

3. Listing the costs of abatement incurred by the City (and approved by the hearing officer if an appeal hearing was held pursuant to DMC 9.01.290); and

4. Setting forth all administrative costs and penalties imposed, if any.

D. A notice shall be delivered to the owner or responsible party in possession or control of the property upon which the nuisance exists or existed either in person or by certified mail with a return receipt, specifying the time and place when the City Council will hear and pass upon the report of the abatement costs, together with any objections or protests, if any, which may be raised by the owner or responsible party liable to be assessed for the abatement costs and any other interested person.

E. The City Council, by resolution, may declare the costs of abatement as a special assessment against the parcel or property upon which the nuisance condition was abated. The costs so assessed, if not paid within five (5) calendar days after confirmation by the City Council, shall become a lien on the property for the amount thereof from the time of recordation of the notice of lien and shall continue until the assessment is paid in full or until it is discharged of record. The failure of the City Council to declare the costs of abatement as a special assessment shall not relieve the property owner of the obligation to pay such costs as a civil debt unless the City Council shall expressly so provide.

F. After adoption of the resolution by the City Council, the City Clerk shall forward to the office of the Solano County Assessor one (1) certified true copy of the resolution of the City Council confirming the statement of costs with the statement of costs attached thereto as an exhibit. The City Clerk also shall file in the office of the Solano County Assessor a notice of lien certificate acceptable to the Solano County Assessor. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.292 Manner of collection of notice of lien.

From and after the date of the recording of the notice of a lien, all persons shall be deemed to have had notice of the contents thereof the notice of lien shall be delivered to the Solano County Assessor, who shall enter the amount thereof on the County assessment records for the particular property and the amount shall be collected together with all other taxes thereon against the property. The notice of lien shall be delivered to the Solano County Assessor before the date fixed by law, for the delivery of the assessment roll to the County Board of Equalization. Thereafter, the amount of the lien shall be collected at the same time and in the same manner as ordinary property taxes are collected, and shall be subject to the same penalties and interest and to the same procedure under foreclosure and sale in case of delinquency as provided for ordinary property taxes. All laws applicable to the levy, collection and enforcement of property taxes are made applicable to the special assessment taxes. [Ord. 03-011.]

Article III. Summary Abatement

9.01.300 Summary abatement.

A. Any nuisance which the Building Official, or Fire Chief, determines is immediately or potentially dangerous to the life, health or safety of the occupants of the property or to the public may be summarily abated in accordance with the procedures set forth in this article.

B. Actions taken to abate immediately or potentially dangerous nuisances may include, but are not limited to, repair or removal of the condition creating the danger and/or the restriction from use or occupancy of the property on which the condition exists or any other abatement action determined by the Building Official or Fire Chief to be necessary. Where a residential rental property is involved, this may require the moving and relocation of the occupants by the owner and/or responsible party to other habitable temporary or permanent accommodations. Any temporary accommodations will be maintained by the owner and/or responsible party until the corrections are done to the vacated residential property so that it is habitable and the occupants are returned.

C. When summary abatement is deemed necessary by Building Official or Fire Chief, it may be ordered only if the abatement order is confirmed by the City Manager.

D. Notice of the summary abatement shall be provided to the owner or responsible party as provided for in this chapter the same day or as soon as practical.

E. The costs and expenses for summary abatement, if not paid by the property owner within thirty (30) days of the date of the invoice, shall be made a lien on the property by the City Council and shall be collected pursuant to the procedures set forth in Article II of this chapter for the assessment and collection of liens. [Ord. 03-011.]

Article IV. Abandoned Vehicles

9.01.400 Declaration of nuisance – Definitions.

In addition to and in accordance with the authority granted by Cal. Veh. Code § 22660, the City Council makes the following findings and declarations with respect to the removal of abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicles or parts thereof as public nuisances:

A. The accumulation and storage of abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicles or parts thereof on private or public property within the City, not including highways, is found to create a condition tending to reduce the value of private property, to promote blight and deterioration, to invite plundering, to create fire hazards, to constitute an attractive nuisance creating a hazard to the health and safety of minors, to create a harborage for rodents and insects and to be injurious to the health, safety and general welfare. Therefore, the presence of an abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicle or parts thereof, on private or public property within the City, not including highways, except as expressly hereinafter permitted, is declared to constitute a public nuisance which may be abated as such in accordance with the provisions of this article.

B. As used in this article:

“Appraiser” means a person designated as having the authority to make appraisals of the value of vehicles pursuant to Cal. Veh. Code § 22855 and includes such employees of the City designated by the City Council to perform this function. The Fire Chief and the enforcement officer are designated by the City Council as appraisers pursuant to Cal. Veh. Code § 22855.

“Highway” means a way or place of whatever nature, publicly maintained and open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel. “Highway” includes street.

“Inoperative” shall have the meaning provided in Article I of this chapter.

“Owner of the land” means the owner of the land on which the vehicle, or parts thereof, is located, as shown on the last equalized assessment roll of Solano County.

“Owner of the vehicle” means the last registered owner and legal owner of record.

“Public property” does not include “highway.”

“Sworn statement” shall be one made and executed by the declarant under penalty of perjury of the laws of the State of California.

“Vehicle” means a device by which any person or property may be propelled, moved, or drawn upon a highway, except a device moved by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.410 Application of article.

This article shall not apply to:

A. A vehicle, or parts thereof, which is completely enclosed within a building in a lawful manner where it is not visible from the street or other public or private property; or

B. A vehicle, or parts thereof, which is stored or parked in a lawful manner on private property in connection with the business of a licensed dismantler, licensed vehicle dealer, a junk dealer, or when such storage or parking is necessary to the operation of a lawfully conducted business or commercial enterprise.

Nothing in this section shall authorize the maintenance of a public or private nuisance as defined under provisions of law other than Cal. Veh. Code Division 11, Chapter 10 (commencing with Cal. Veh. Code § 22650) and this article. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.420 Enforcement.

Except as otherwise provided in this article, the provisions of this article shall be enforced by the Fire Chief and the enforcement officer. No officer, employee or agent of the City shall be liable for damage caused to a vehicle or part thereof by removal pursuant to this article. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.430 Alternative means of enforcement.

This article is not the exclusive regulation of abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicles within the City. It supplements and is in addition to the other regulatory codes, statutes and ordinances heretofore or hereafter enacted by the City, the State, or any other legal entity or agency having jurisdiction. Nothing in this article shall be deemed to prevent the City Council from authorizing the City Attorney to commence any other available civil or criminal proceeding to abate a public nuisance under applicable provisions of State law as an alternative to proceedings set forth in this article. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.440 Right of entry.

The Fire Chief, the enforcement officer, or any person or persons with whom the City Council has contracted to provide such services shall be authorized to enter upon private property or public property to enforce the provisions of this article. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.450 Administrative costs assessment.

The City Council shall from time to time determine and fix an amount to be assessed as administrative costs excluding the actual cost of removal of any vehicle or parts thereof under this article. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.460 Abatement and removal authority.

Upon discovering the existence of an abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicle, or parts thereof, on private property or public property within the City, the enforcement officer shall have the authority to serve abatement notices and the Fire Chief will cause the abatement and removal thereof in accordance with the procedures prescribed in this article. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.470 Abatement notice.

A. The following abatement notice is required prior to removal of any vehicle or parts thereof as provided in this article:

1. A ten (10) day notice of intention to abate and remove the vehicle (the “notice to abate”), or parts thereof, as a public nuisance shall be mailed by certified mail to the owner of the land and to the owner of the vehicle, unless the vehicle is in such condition that identification numbers are not available to determine ownership.

2. The notice to abate sent to the owner of the land shall be substantially in the following form:

NOTICE OF INTENTION TO ABATE AND REMOVE AN ABANDONED, WRECKED, DISMANTLED, OR INOPERATIVE VEHICLE, OR PARTS THEREOF, AS A PUBLIC NUISANCE

(Name and address of owner of the land)

As owner shown on the last, equalized assessment roll of the land located at (address), you are hereby notified that the undersigned pursuant to Section 9.01.470 of the Dixon Municipal Code, has determined that there exists upon said land an (or parts of an) abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicle registered to license number __________, which constitutes a public nuisance pursuant to the provision of Section 9.01.400 of the Dixon Municipal Code.

You are hereby notified to abate said nuisance by the removal of said vehicle (or said parts of a vehicle) within ten (10) days from the date of mailing of this notice, and upon your failure to do so, the same will be abated and removed by the City and the costs thereof, together with administrative costs, assessed to you as owner of the land on which said Vehicle (or said parts of a vehicle) is located.

As owner of the land on which said vehicle (or said parts of a vehicle) is located, you are hereby notified that you may, within 10 days after the mailing of this notice of intention, request a public hearing. If such a request is not received by the City Clerk within such ten (10) day period, the Fire Chief or his/her designee shall have the authority to abate and remove said vehicle (or said parts of a vehicle) as a public nuisance and assess the costs as aforesaid without a public hearing. You may submit a sworn, written statement within such ten (10) day period denying responsibility for the presence of said vehicle (or said parts of a vehicle) on said land, with your reasons for denial, and such statement shall be construed as a request for hearing at which your presence is not required. You may appear in person at any hearing requested by you or the owner of the vehicle or in lieu thereof, may present a sworn written statement as aforesaid in time for consideration at such hearing.

You are hereby notified that unless it is determined by a hearing officer at a hearing that the vehicle was placed on your land without your consent and that you have not subsequently acquiesced to its presence on your land, you may be assessed by the City for both the City’s administrative costs and its costs of removal of the vehicle and that assessment will be collected as a tax lien against your land as provided in Section 38713.5 of the California Government Code.

cc: City Clerk

3. The notice to abate sent to the owner of the vehicle shall be substantially in the following form:

NOTICE OF INTENTION TO ABATE AND REMOVE AN ABANDONED, WRECKED, DISMANTLED, OR INOPERATIVE VEHICLE, OR PARTS THEREOF, AS A PUBLIC NUISANCE

(Name and address of last registered and/or legal owner of record of vehicle – notice should be given to both if different)

As last registered (and/or legal) owner of record of (description of vehicle – make, model, license, etc.), you are hereby notified that the undersigned pursuant to Section 9.01.470 of the Dixon Municipal Code has determined that said vehicle (or parts of a vehicle) exists as an abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicle at (describe location on public or private property) and constitutes a public nuisance pursuant to the provisions of Section 9.01.400 of the Dixon Municipal Code.

You are hereby notified to abate said nuisance by the removal of said vehicle (or said parts of a vehicle) within 10 days from the date of mailing of this notice of intention. Alternatively you may within 10 days from the date of mailing of this notice request a public hearing. If such a request is not received by the City Clerk within such ten (10) day period and the vehicle is not abated, then the Fire Chief or his/her designee shall have the authority to abate and remove said vehicle (or said parts of a vehicle) without a hearing. The City’s costs of abatement may be charged to you.

Notice Mailed: _____________________

cc: City Clerk

B. The notice to abate is not required in the following circumstances:

1. A vehicle or part thereof is inoperable due to the absence of a motor, transmission or wheels and each of the following conditions is found to exist by the enforcement officer:

a. The vehicle or part thereof is incapable of being towed;

b. The vehicle is located upon a parcel that is (i) zoned for agricultural use or (ii) not improved with a residential structure containing one (1) or more dwelling units;

c. The vehicle or part thereof is valued at less than two hundred dollars ($200.00) by an appraiser as defined in this article;

d. The vehicle or part thereof is determined by the enforcement officer to be a public nuisance presenting an immediate threat to public health or safety; and

e. The property owner has signed a release authorizing removal and waiving further interest in the vehicle or part thereof; or

2. The property owner and the owner of the vehicle have signed releases authorizing removal and waiving further interest in the vehicle or part thereof. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.480 Appeal – Hearing.

A. The owner of the vehicle and the owner of the land on which the vehicle is located, or both, shall have the right to request a hearing before a hearing officer, if such a request is submitted to the City Clerk in writing within ten (10) days after the mailing of the notices of intention to abate and remove, with respect to the question of abatement and removal of the vehicle, or parts thereof, as an abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicle, and the assessment of the administrative costs and the cost of removal of the vehicle or parts thereof, against the property on which it is located. The party making the request shall provide the City Clerk with the address to which notice of the hearing and the decision of the hearing officer, if rendered in writing, may be mailed and if not the notice of the hearing and the decision.

B. If the owner of the land submits a sworn, written statement denying responsibility for the presence of the vehicle on his/her land within such ten (10) day period, said statement shall be construed as a request for a hearing which does not require his or her presence.

C. Notice of the hearing shall be mailed, by certified mail, at least ten (10) days before the hearing to the owner of the land and to the owner of the vehicle, unless the vehicle is in such condition that identification numbers are not available to determine ownership. If no request for hearing or sworn written statement denying responsibility for the presence of the vehicle on the owner’s land is received by the City Clerk within the ten (10) days after mailing of the notice of intention to abate and remove, the City shall have the authority to abate and remove the vehicle, or parts thereof, as a public nuisance without holding any hearings. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.490 Hearing – Procedure.

A. All hearings under this article shall be held before a hearing officer who shall hear all facts and testimony as he/she deems pertinent. The facts and testimony may include testimony on the condition of the vehicle or parts thereof and the circumstances concerning its location on private or public property. The hearing officer shall not be limited by the technical rules of evidence. The owner of the land may appear in person at the hearing or present a sworn written statement in time for consideration at the hearing, and deny responsibility for the presence of the vehicle on the land, with his/her reasons for such denial.

B. The hearing officer may impose such conditions and take such other actions as he/she deems appropriate under the circumstances to carry out the purpose of this article. The hearing officer may delay the time for removal of the vehicle or parts thereof if, in his or her opinion, the circumstances justify such delay. At the conclusion of the public hearing, the hearing officer may find that a vehicle or part thereof has been abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or is inoperative on private or public property and order the same removed from the property as a public nuisance and disposed of as hereinafter provided and determine the administrative costs and the cost of removal to be charged against the owner of the land. Any costs required to be paid for the removal and disposition of any vehicle determined to be abandoned (other than the City’s administrative costs) shall not exceed those for towing and seven (7) days of storage at the facility to which vehicles removed from highways by the Police Department are removed and stored. The order requiring removal shall include a description of the vehicle or parts thereof and the correct identification number and license number of the vehicle, if available at the site.

C. If it is determined at the hearing by the hearing officer that the vehicle was placed on the land without the consent of the owner of the land and that he or she has not subsequently acquiesced in its presence on said land, the hearing officer shall not assess the costs of administration or removal of the vehicle against the property upon which the vehicle is located or otherwise attempt to collect such costs from such owner of the land.

D. The decision of the hearing officer may be announced at the conclusion of the hearing or may be rendered in writing by the hearing officer following the date of the hearing. If rendered in writing following the date of the hearing, it shall be delivered to the City Clerk, who shall then mail copies of it to the appellant or appellants.

E. If the owner of the land submits a sworn written statement denying responsibility for the presence of the vehicle on his or her land but does not appear, or if an interested party makes a written presentation to the hearing officer but does not appear, he or she shall be notified in writing by the City Clerk of the decision of the hearing officer.

F. The owner of the land or the owner of the vehicle, or both, may appeal the decision of the hearing officer to the City Council within ten (10) days of the date when the hearing officer renders his or her decision if rendered at the hearing or ten (10) days following the date when the notice of the decision is mailed to the appellant by the City Clerk if the decision is rendered following the hearing. The appeal if timely filed shall be heard by the City Council, which may affirm, amend or reverse the decision of the hearing officer. Notice of the City Council’s decision shall be mailed to the appellant by the City Clerk if the appellant is not present at the appeal hearing. The City Council may establish by resolution a fee for filing such appeals. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.491 Removal – Authority.

A. Not sooner than ten (10) days after determination by the hearing officer that a vehicle or part thereof has been abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or is inoperative on private or public property and is a public nuisance, or ten (10) days from the date of mailing notice of such decision by either the hearing officer or by the City Council (when written notice is required by DMC 9.01.470), the vehicle or parts thereof may be disposed of by the Fire Chief by removal to a scrap yard or automobile dismantler’s yard.

B. After a vehicle has been removed it shall not thereafter be reconstructed or made operable unless, pursuant to Cal. Veh. Code § 5004: (1) The vehicle qualifies for horseless carriage license plates; or (2) the vehicle qualifies for historical vehicle license plates. In either such case, the vehicle may be reconstructed or made operable. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.492 Removal – Notice to owners and Department of Motor Vehicles.

Prior to final disposition of such a vehicle, or parts thereof, which has been removed from lands under the provisions of DMC 9.01.470(B) without the giving of a notice to abate, the enforcement officer shall provide notice to the owner of the vehicle of the intent of the City to dispose of the vehicle, or parts thereof, and if the vehicle or part(s) is not claimed and removed from the location specified in the notice where the vehicle or parts thereof are being held, within twelve (12) days after the notice is mailed, final disposition may proceed.

Whenever notification, as required by Cal. Veh. Code § 22852, cannot be made to the owner of the vehicle, notification shall be given by the enforcement officer to the California Department of Justice, Stolen Vehicle System, in accordance with the provisions of Cal. Veh. Code § 22853.

Furthermore, within five (5) days after the date of removal of any vehicle or parts thereof under this article, notice shall be given by the enforcement officer to the Department of Motor Vehicles identifying the vehicle or parts thereof removed and any evidence of registration available, including registration certificates, certificates of title or license plates. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.493 Disposition of abandoned vehicle.

Vehicles removed pursuant to this article shall be disposed of by the Fire Chief in accordance with the provisions set forth in Cal. Veh. Code §§ 22850 through 22856. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.494 Administrative costs and removal costs assessment – Delinquent action.

If the administrative costs and the cost of removal which are charged against the owner of the parcel of land pursuant to DMC 9.01.450, 9.01.480 and 9.01.490 are not paid within thirty (30) days of the date of the order, or the final disposition of an appeal therefrom, such costs shall be assessed by the City Council against the parcel of land in the manner provided for in Cal. Gov’t Code § 38773.5 and shall be transmitted by the Finance Director to the Solano County Tax Collector for collection. Notice of such assessment shall be given by the City Clerk as required by Cal. Gov’t Code § 38773.5. The assessment shall have the same priority as other City taxes and shall be subject to the conditions set forth in Cal. Gov’t Code § 38773.5. Any costs required to be paid for the removal and disposition of any vehicle determined to be abandoned (other than the City’s administrative costs) shall not exceed those for towing and seven (7) days of storage at the facility to which vehicles removed from highways by the Police Department are removed and stored. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.495 Unlawful.

It is unlawful and an infraction for any person to abandon, park, store or leave or permit the abandonment, parking, storing or leaving of any licensed or unlicensed vehicle or part thereof which is in an abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperative condition upon any private or public property not including highways within the City for a period in excess of ten (10) days unless the vehicle or part thereof is completely enclosed in a lawful manner where it is not plainly visible from the street or other public or private property, or unless such vehicle is stored or parked in a lawful manner on private property in connection with the business of a licensed dismantler, licensed vehicle dealer or a junkyard. Any person convicted of a violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00), in addition to any costs of removal and disposition of the vehicle that may be assessed pursuant to this article. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.496 Removal compliance required.

It is unlawful and an infraction for any person to fail or refuse to remove an abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicle or parts thereof or refuse to abate such nuisance when ordered to do so in accordance with the abatement provisions of this article or State law where such State law is applicable. Any person convicted of a violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00), in addition to any costs of removal and disposition of the vehicle that may be assessed pursuant to this article. [Ord. 03-011; Ord. 13-004 § 10.]

Article V. Weed Abatement

9.01.500 Public nuisance.

All weeds or other rank growths located upon private property located within the City, or upon sidewalks and streets abutting private property within the City, which constitute a fire menace or which are otherwise a menace to health or safety, are a public nuisance and may be abated as provided in this chapter. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.510 Procedure.

The procedure for abatement, including without limitation the definitions, provisions for notice, hearings, appeals, abatement by City forces or contract, the recovery of costs, and the imposition of liens, found in Cal. Gov’t Code Title 4, Part 2, Chapter 13, Article 2 (commencing with Cal. Gov’t Code § 39560) is hereby adopted by reference. The procedure established by this article shall be an alternative to and cumulative to any other remedy available at law or equity for the abatement of the nuisances defined by law. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.520 Definitions.

Certain words and phrases are defined in this section to clarify their use in this article. Where a definition is not given or where a question of interpretation arises, the definition found in Cal. Gov’t Code Title 4, Part 2, Chapter 13, Article 2 (commencing with Cal. Gov’t Code § 39560) shall control. Or, if not defined in said article, then the definition found in Article I of this chapter shall control. Or, if not defined in Article I of this chapter, then the normal meaning of the word within the context of its use shall control.

“Superintendent” means the Fire Chief of the City or his or her authorized representatives, including without limitation the Code Compliance Technician of the City.

“Weeds” means all grass, weeds, plants or brush growing upon the streets, sidewalks or private property in the City and includes any of the following:

1. Weeds which bear seeds of a downy or wingy nature;

2. Mistletoe or other parasite growth;

3. Sandburrs or puncture vines;

4. Sagebrush, chaparral and any other brush or weeds which attain such large growth as to become, when dry, a fire menace to adjacent improved property;

5. Weeds which are otherwise noxious or dangerous;

6. Poison oak and poison ivy when the conditions of growth are such as to constitute a menace to the public health;

7. Dry grass, stubble, brush, litter or other flammable material that endangers the public safety by creating a fire hazard. [Ord. 03-011; amended during 2013 recodification.]

9.01.530 Duty of owners of private property.

A. It is the duty of every owner of private property within the City to keep their property clear of and to remove and destroy all weeds, rubble, rubbish or other rank growths located on their property. Weeds growing upon any lot or tract of land which appears on the assessment roll as a single parcel and exceeds twenty (20) acres in size may be abated by the removal of such weeds from a thirty (30) foot area around the entire perimeter of the parcel and around all structures situated thereon. In all other cases, weeds must be removed from the entire parcel.

B. It is the duty of every owner of private property within the City to keep their property clear of and to remove all weeds, rubble, rubbish or other obstructions from the sidewalks and the half of the streets abutting their property. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.540 Standards.

In removing or destroying weeds, rubble or rubbish in accordance with this article owners shall comply with such standards as may be established by the City Council by resolution. [Ord. 03-011.]

9.01.550 Violation.

The violation of any of the provisions of this article is unlawful and an infraction. Each day conditions or actions in violation of any provision of this article continue is deemed a separate and distinct offense. [Ord. 03-011.]

Article VI. Administrative Citations

9.01.600 General procedure.

Any violation of this chapter is subject to an administrative citation and applicable fine and penalty. Administrative citations issued under this title are subject to the provisions and procedures set forth in Chapter 1.07 DMC. [Ord. 18-002 § 2.]

9.01.610 Entry and inspection.

An enforcement officer may enter and inspect any property or premises at all times to perform any duty imposed upon him or her by this chapter whenever the enforcement officer has cause to believe a violation of the DMC is occurring; provided, that:

A. The enforcement officer shall present proper credentials, state the reason for entry, and request entry from the owner or occupant.

B. If entry is denied, the enforcement officer may seek a court ordered inspection warrant if cause exists pursuant to Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 1822.50 et seq.

C. If entry is denied, the enforcement officer shall have recourse to every remedy provided by law to secure entry.

D. The enforcement officer shall make a reasonable effort to locate the owner of unoccupied property or premises, inform the owner of the reasons for entry, and request entry.

E. The enforcement officer shall not enter any property or premises in the absence of permission to enter, unless an inspection warrant has been issued by a court of competent jurisdiction. [Ord. 03-011; Ord. 08-012; Ord. 18-002 § 2. Formerly 9.01.612.]

9.01.620 First offense warning.

A. Whenever an enforcement officer determines that a nuisance exists under this title, the enforcement officer may issue a first offense warning to any person responsible for the violation. The first offense warning shall serve as a written warning of responsibility. The first offense warning requires immediate action by the person responsible for the violation to correct or cease the violation.

B. The first offense warning shall include the following:

1. The code section(s) violated.

2. How the violation can be corrected.

3. A date by which the violation can reasonably be corrected, after which an administrative citation may be issued if the violation is not fully corrected.

C. In accordance with Cal. Gov’t Code § 53069.4, no person will be assessed a fine under this article for a continuing violation pertaining to a building, plumbing, electrical, or similar structural or zoning issue that does not create an immediate danger to the public health or safety without first receiving a first offense warning and a reasonable opportunity to correct or otherwise remedy the violation. In such circumstances, the stated period available to correct the violation prior to the issuance of an administrative citation must be appropriate to the violation as determined by the enforcement officer, but in no event less than seven (7) days. If, after expiration of the correction period stated in the first offense warning, the violation is not corrected, the enforcement officer may issue an administrative citation.

D. Any person receiving a first offense warning for a continuing violation may file a written petition with the City Clerk for consideration by the City Manager for an extension of time to correct the violation; provided, that the written petition is received before the end of the correction period set forth in the first offense warning. The City Manager may grant an extension of time to correct the violation if the person requesting the extension of time has supplied sufficient evidence showing that the correction cannot reasonably be made within the correction period set forth in the first offense warning.

E. The requirement of a reasonable opportunity to correct a violation does not apply in instances where, in the discretion of the City Manager, a violation poses an immediate danger to the public health or safety. [Ord. 03-011; Ord. 08-012; Ord. 18-002 § 2. Formerly 9.01.613]

9.01.630 Hearing procedure.

Any person receiving an administrative citation may appeal the citation in accordance with the hearing procedures established by Chapter 1.07 DMC. [Ord. 03-011; Ord. 18-002 § 2. Formerly 9.01.670.]

Article VII. Reserved

Article VIII. Reserved

Article IX. Judicial Review

9.01.900 Right of judicial review.

A. Except as otherwise provided in the DMC or other law, any person aggrieved by an administrative decision of a hearing officer pursuant to this chapter or Chapter 1.07 DMC may obtain judicial review of the administrative decision in the Superior Court by filing with the court a petition for writ of mandate pursuant to Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 1094.6.

B. This section does not apply to decisions of the hearing officer relating to administrative fines pursuant to Article VI of this chapter. Such decisions may be appealed pursuant to DMC 1.07.150 and Cal. Gov’t Code § 53069.4. [Ord. 03-011; Ord. 18-002 § 3.]