Chapter 7.52


Article I. General Provisions

7.52.010    Purpose.

7.52.020    Definitions.

7.52.030    Enforcement Official designated.

7.52.040    Hearing Officer designated.

7.52.050    Right of entry.

Article II. Abatement Procedures

7.52.060    Determination of Enforcement Official.

7.52.070    Informal notice.

7.52.080    Notice and order of Enforcement Official.

7.52.090    Service of notice.

7.52.100    Declaration of substandard property.

7.52.110    Hearing.

7.52.120    Standards for abatement.

7.52.130    Abatement order.

7.52.140    Abatement by city.

7.52.150    Interference with abatement work prohibited.

7.52.160    Abatement fund.

7.52.170    Summary abatement.

7.52.180    Violations.

Article III. Costs of Abatement

7.52.190    Report of costs of abatement.

7.52.200    Report transmitted to City Council.

7.52.210    Protest and objection—Procedure.

7.52.220    Collection of abatement costs.

Article I. General Provisions

7.52.010 Purpose.

It is the purpose of the provisions of this chapter to provide an equitable and practicable alternative method for the abatement of substandard property which endangers the health, property, safety, or welfare of the public or its occupants. The procedures for abatement set forth herein shall be cumulative with and in addition to civil, criminal or other legal or equitable remedies established by law which the city may pursue to address violations of this code or applicable state law and use of this chapter shall be at the sole discretion of the city. (Ord. 25-10 § 9 (Exh. H) (part))

7.52.020 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the words set out in this section shall have the following meanings:

“Abate” or “abatement” means and includes, but is not limited to, demolition, removal, repair, vacation, maintenance, construction, replacement, or reconditioning of structures, buildings, appliances or equipment or the correction or elimination of any substandard condition upon substandard property.

“Clerk,” unless otherwise specified, means the City Clerk of the city of Dublin.

“Demolish” or “demolition” means and includes the removal of the resulting debris from such demolition and the protection by filling of excavations exposed by such demolition and abandonment of sewer or other waste disposal facilities as may be required by this chapter or other laws.

“Party concerned” means the person, if any, in real or apparent charge and control of the substandard property, the record owner, the holder of any mortgage, trust, deed or other lien or encumbrance of record, the owner or holder of any lease of record, or the record holder of any other estate or interest in or to such property. As used in this subsection all reference to “record” means matters of record in the office of the County Recorder of the County of Alameda which definitely and specifically describes the premises involved.

“Substandard conditions” mean and include, but are not limited to, the following:

A.    A dangerous building or structure as defined in Section 7.28.020.

B.    A dangerous electrical, plumbing or mechanical installation as defined in Section 7.28.030.

C.    An illegal building or structure as defined in Section 7.28.060.

D.    A substandard building as defined in Section 7.28.090.

E.    Any other condition of a building or structure that endangers the life, limb, health, property, safety, or welfare of any person.

“Substandard property” means and includes any building, structure or land upon which substandard conditions exist. (Ord. 25-10 § 9 (Exh. H) (part))

7.52.030 Enforcement Official designated.

The Enforcement Official or his designee shall be the person authorized to administer the provisions of this chapter and shall be as follows:

A.    The Building Official for matters regulated in Chapters 7.28, 7.32, 7.34, 7.36, 7.40, 7.44, 7.48 and 7.94 except as set forth in subsection B of this section;

B.    The Alameda County Health Officer for matters pertaining to private water supplies, private sewage disposal systems, infestation of insects, vermin or rodents, storage and removal of garbage, or sanitation of bedding;

C.    The Director of Public Works for matters regulated in Chapters 7.16 and 7.20. (Ord. 25-10 § 9 (Exh. H) (part))

7.52.040 Hearing Officer designated.

The Hearing Officer authorized to conduct hearings under this chapter or his designee shall be as follows:

A.    The Director of the Environmental Health Division in proceedings initiated by the Alameda County Health Officer.

B.    The City Council in proceedings initiated by the Building Official or Director of Public Works. (Ord. 25-10 § 9 (Exh. H) (part))

7.52.050 Right of entry.

Whenever necessary to make an inspection to enforce any of the provisions of this code or whenever the Enforcement Official or Hearing Officer has reasonable cause to believe that a violation of this code exists in any building or any premises, or there exists in any building or upon any premises any condition which makes the building or premises dangerous, substandard, unsanitary, or a menace to life, health or property, the Enforcement Official or Hearing Officer may enter such building or premises at all reasonable times to inspect the same or to perform any duty imposed upon him or her by law, ordinance, rule, or regulation; provided, that (A) if the building or premises is occupied, he or she shall first present proper credentials and demand entry; and (B) if the premises is unoccupied, he or she shall first make a reasonable effort to locate the owner or other persons having charge or control of the premises to demand entry. If entry is denied, or if the owner or individual in charge of the premises cannot be located, the Enforcement Official or Hearing Officer shall have recourse to every remedy provided by law to secure entry, including but not limited to the provisions of Code of Civil Procedure Sections 1822.50 et seq. (Ord. 25-10 § 9 (Exh. H) (part))

Article II. Abatement Procedures

7.52.060 Determination of Enforcement Official.

Whenever the Enforcement Official determines by inspection that any existing building or portion thereof, or any lot or other premises, is substandard property, as defined in this chapter, such building or premises, or both, is hereby declared a public nuisance, and the Enforcement Official may order the abatement of the nuisance pursuant to the procedures set forth herein. (Ord. 25-10 § 9 (Exh. H) (part))

7.52.070 Informal notice.

In addition to any notices hereafter required by this chapter, the Enforcement Official may give to the occupants of the substandard property, and to any other person whom he deems should be so notified, information concerning the provisions of this chapter, any violation thereof, how the person notified may comply and any other information as the Enforcement Official deems expedient. The Enforcement Official may post such information on the substandard property. (Ord. 25-10 § 9 (Exh. H) (part))

7.52.080 Notice and order of Enforcement Official.

A.    If, in the opinion of the Enforcement Official, the property is found to be substandard, the Enforcement Official may give to the party concerned written notice thereof.

B.    The notice shall include the street address and a legal description or the County Assessor’s designation of the premises and the conditions found to render the property substandard; and shall direct the owner to abate the substandard conditions within thirty (30) days, or such other reasonable time limit as the Enforcement Official may prescribe. The notice may include suggested methods of abatement.

C.    The notice shall direct the party concerned to appear before the Hearing Officer at a stated time and place and show cause why such substandard property should not be condemned as a nuisance and said nuisance be abated as herein provided.

D.    The notice shall advise the party concerned that failure to appear at the hearing shall constitute a waiver of the right to an administrative hearing, and may be deemed an admission of the acts or omissions charged in the notice, in which case the Hearing Officer may order abatement solely based upon the notice and the admission of the content thereof.

E.    The notice shall be served upon the party concerned and posted in accordance with Section 7.52.090. (Ord. 25-10 § 9 (Exh. H) (part))

7.52.090 Service of notice.

A.    A copy of the notice shall be posted in a conspicuous place upon the building or structure or otherwise on the substandard property which is the subject of the proceeding.

B.    Service of the notice upon the party concerned shall be by personal service or by registered or certified mail. Service by mail shall be effective on the date of mailing, postage prepaid and return receipt requested, to each person at his or her address as it appears on the last equalized assessment roll, or as known to the Enforcement Official. If no such address so appears, or is not so known, then the notice shall be mailed to such person at the address of the building, structure, or premises involved in the proceedings. The failure of any party concerned to receive mailed notice shall not affect in any manner the validity of any proceedings taken hereunder. An affidavit of service shall be filed, together with a copy of the notice, with the Clerk certifying the time and manner in which such notice was served along with any receipt return card returned in acknowledgement of the receipt of the notice by registered mail.

C.    A notice of hearing shall be posted and served at least five (5) days prior to the date set for hearing. (Ord. 25-10 § 9 (Exh. H) (part))

7.52.100 Declaration of substandard property.

The Enforcement Official may file with the County Recorder a declaration that substandard property has been inspected and found to be such, as defined in this chapter, and that all parties concerned have been or will be notified. After the Enforcement Official finds that the public nuisance has been abated and that such abatement has been accomplished at no cost to the city, or that such costs have been placed upon the tax rolls as a special assessment pursuant to Section 25845 of the Government Code, or when the Enforcement Official’s jurisdiction has been preempted by government acquisition of the property, the Enforcement Official shall record in the office of the County Recorder a document terminating the above declaration. (Ord. 25-10 § 9 (Exh. H) (part))

7.52.110 Hearing.

The Hearing Officer shall conduct the abatement hearing subject to the following:

A.    The Enforcement Official shall present competent evidence regarding the condition of the subject property; the method reasonably necessary to abate the nuisance; and such other matters deemed pertinent by the Hearing Officer.

B.    The parties to the abatement hearing shall be entitled to be represented by counsel.

C.    The hearing shall be conducted in an impartial and informal manner in order to encourage free and open discussion by participants.

D.    All testimony shall be submitted under oath or affirmation and shall be subject to cross-examination.

E.    The Hearing Officer shall not be bound by the rules of evidence applicable in judicial proceedings.

F.    The proceedings at the hearing shall be reported by a phonographic reporter or otherwise perpetuated by electronic means. Alternatively, stenographic notes may be taken and the substance thereof subsequently transcribed.

G.    The decision of the Health Officer acting as the Hearing Officer may be appealed by the aggrieved party by filing a written notice of appeal with the Hearing Officer within five (5) days after service of the abatement order within the manner prescribed in Section 7.52.090. The appeal shall be heard by the City Council, which may affirm, amend or reverse the decision or take other action deemed appropriate.

H.    The decision of the City Council acting as Hearing Officer is final.

I.    Any judicial action to modify or set aside the final decisions shall be commenced no later than thirty (30) days after the completion and exhaustion of the foregoing administrative procedures. (Ord. 25-10 § 9 (Exh. H) (part))

7.52.120 Standards for abatement.

The following standards shall be followed in substance by the Hearing Officer in determining what, if any, form of abatement shall be ordered:

A.    The building or structure may be demolished at the option of the owner;

B.    If the substandard condition can be reasonably repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of this chapter, it shall be ordered repaired;

C.    If the substandard condition renders the building or structure dangerous to the health, safety or general welfare of its occupants, it shall be ordered vacated;

D.    In any case where a dangerous building or structure is more than fifty percent (50%) damaged, or decayed or deteriorated, it may be demolished;

E.    In all cases where a substandard condition cannot reasonably be repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of this chapter, the building or structure may be demolished or removed. (Ord. 25-10 § 9 (Exh. H) (part))

7.52.130 Abatement order.

A.    Within thirty (30) days after the conclusion of the hearing, the Hearing Officer shall render a decision as to whether a nuisance exists. If the Hearing Officer finds that the subject building or structure is a public nuisance, the Hearing Officer may declare such building or structure to be a nuisance and order that it be abated.

B.    The abatement order shall set forth the street address of the substandard property and a legal description of the premises sufficient for identification. It shall state the conditions which render the building, structure or premises a public nuisance, and the required method of abatement.

C.    The order shall specify the time within which the work shall be commenced and completed.

D.    The time to commence or complete the work may be extended for good cause upon written application.

E.    A copy of the abatement order shall be posted in a conspicuous place upon the building or structure or otherwise upon the substandard property; and shall be served upon the party concerned in accordance with Section 7.52.090. (Ord. 25-10 § 9 (Exh. H) (part))

7.52.140 Abatement by city.

A.    If the nuisance is not abated within the time period set forth in the abatement order, the Enforcement Official may cause the nuisance to be abated by city employees or private contract in accordance with appropriate procedures applicable to the city. Absent consent to enter the subject property for the purpose of nuisance abatement, the City Manager shall direct the City Attorney to obtain the necessary judicial authority for entry and abatement purposes. All costs incurred by the city in abating the nuisance shall be chargeable to the property and shall be collected as hereinafter provided.

B.    Any person having the legal right to do so may abate the nuisance at any time prior to the time when the Enforcement Official does so, but if such person does such work after the time specified in the abatement order, all costs incurred by the city in preparation for abating the nuisance shall be chargeable to the property and shall be collected as hereinafter provided.

C.    When, in the opinion of the Enforcement Official, the substandard property or a portion thereof is an immediate hazard to health or property, and the abatement of such hazard requires prompt action, the Enforcement Official may then abate the substandard condition or may cause such other work to be done to the extent necessary to eliminate the hazard as provided in Section 7.52.170 and without amendment to the order of abatement.

D.    The Enforcement Official may cause the materials of any building or structure ordered to be demolished to be sold either before or after demolition of such building or structure. Any surplus from the sale of any such materials, over and above the cost of demolition and cleaning the site, shall be distributed to persons lawfully entitled thereto. (Ord. 25-10 § 9 (Exh. H) (part))

7.52.150 Interference with abatement work prohibited.

No person shall obstruct, impede, or interfere with the Enforcement Official or his representative or with any person who owns or holds any interest or estate in a substandard building or substandard property which has been ordered by the Hearing Officer to be abated or which is abated under Section 7.52.170, whenever the Enforcement Official or such owner is engaged in barricading, repairing, vacating, repairing, or demolishing any such substandard building or removing any substandard conditions from substandard property pursuant to this chapter, or in the performance of any necessary act preliminary to or incidental to such work, or authorized or directed pursuant hereto. (Ord. 25-10 § 9 (Exh. H) (part))

7.52.160 Abatement fund.

A.    The City Council may set up a special revolving fund to be designated as the abatement fund.

B.    The City Council may at any time transfer to such special fund, out of any money in the general fund of the city, such sums as it may deem necessary in order to expedite the performance of the abatement work, and the sum so transferred shall be deemed a loan to said special fund and shall be repaid out of the proceeds of the assessment. All funds so collected under the assessment proceedings shall be paid when collected to the City Clerk, who shall place the same in the abatement fund. (Ord. 25-10 § 9 (Exh. H) (part))

7.52.170 Summary abatement.

Whenever substandard property or a portion thereof constitutes an immediate hazard to health or property, and, in the opinion of the Enforcement Official, the conditions are such that repairs or demolition or other work necessary to abate the hazard must be undertaken immediately, the Enforcement Official may make such alterations or repairs, or cause such other work to be done to the extent necessary to abate the substandard condition and protect health or property, after giving such notice to the parties concerned as the circumstances will permit or without any notice whatever. (Ord. 25-10 § 9 (Exh. H) (part))

7.52.180 Violations.

Any person who violates a provision of this chapter or fails to comply with any of the requirements thereof or an order issued by the Building Official or Hearing Officer shall be prosecuted in accordance with the provisions set forth in Section 1.04.030. (Ord. 25-10 § 9 (Exh. H) (part))

Article III. Costs of Abatement

7.52.190 Report of costs of abatement.

The Enforcement Official shall keep an itemized account of the gross and net expense involved in the abatement of any building or structure under Section 7.52.140. Upon completion of the abatement, the Enforcement Official shall prepare and file with the clerk a report specifying the work done, the cost of the work, a description of the real property upon which the building or structure was or is located, the names and addresses of the persons entitled to notice in the manner prescribed by Section 7.52.090, and the assessment proposed to be levied against each lot or parcel to pay the cost of abatement thereof. (Ord. 25-10 § 9 (Exh. H) (part))

7.52.200 Report transmitted to City Council.

Upon receipt of the report, the Clerk shall, within ten (10) days, put the report on the agenda for consideration by the City Council. The City Council shall cause notice of the hearing to be given to those persons entitled in the manner prescribed by Section 7.52.090. Such notice shall specify the day, hour and place where the City Council will consider the report of the Enforcement Official and hear any objections or protests which may be raised by any person liable to be assessed for the cost of abatement and any other interested person. Notice of the hearing shall be published at least ten (10) days prior to the date of the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the county and area where the building or structure in question is located. (Ord. 25-10 § 9 (Exh. H) (part))

7.52.210 Protest and objection—Procedure.

Any person to whom notice of hearing was sent and any person interested and affected by the proposed assessment may file written protests or objections to the report with the Clerk at any time prior to the date set for the hearing. Each such protest or objection must contain the address of the protestor or objector and a description of the property in which the signor thereof is interested and the grounds of such protest and objections. The Clerk shall endorse upon every such protest or objection the date it was received and shall present all protests or objections to the City Council at the time set for hearing. (Ord. 25-10 § 9 (Exh. H) (part))

7.52.220 Collection of abatement costs.

The procedures governing the recovery of the city’s costs of abating nuisances pursuant to this chapter shall be those provided in Section 1.04.061. (Ord. 25-10 § 9 (Exh. H) (part))