CHAPTER 27
COMMUNITY PRESERVATION

Article I. In General.

Sec. 27.1 to 27.100 Reserved for future legislation.

27.101 Title.

This chapter shall be known as the "Nuisance Code", may be cited as such, and will be referred to herein as "this code".

27.102 Findings and purpose of nuisance code.

The city council finds, determines and declares as follows:

(a)    The existence of property in a condition constituting a nuisance as defined below is injurious and contrary to the public health, safety and welfare of the residents of this city and contributes substantially and increasingly to the problems of and the necessity for excessive and disproportionate expenditures for protection against hazards and reduction of property values, prevention of crime, and the preservation of the public health and safety and the maintaining of adequate police, fire and accident protection. Such problems are becoming increasingly direct and substantial in significance and effect.

(b)    The existence of public nuisances of the type designated, and the abatement of them, is reasonably related to the protection of the health, safety and welfare of the public, and the exercise of that power by this city is authorized by the constitution of the state of California and applicable laws.

(c)    Unless corrective measures are continued to be undertaken to alleviate such conditions, the public health, safety and general welfare and the property values of this community will be substantially depreciated. The abatement of such conditions will improve the quality of life of City residents, enhance the appearance and value of such properties and will improve the tax base of the city.

(d)    Provisions of this code are to be supplementary and complementary to all of the provisions of the city code, state law and any law cognizable at common law or in equity, and nothing herein shall be read, interpreted or construed in any manner so as to limit any existing right or power of the city to abate any and all nuisances.

(e)    Providing and maintaining safe, sanitary and habitable affordable housing in the City of Fairfield is an important community goal. It is not the intent of this community preservation ordinance to interfere with the goal of maintaining an adequate affordable housing supply.

27.103 Enforcement of code: Intent of city council.

The following is the City Council’s direction for enforcing this chapter:

(1)    The purpose of enforcing this chapter is to gain compliance with the community standards which are set forth in this chapter. Punishing the people who violate the ordinance is not the purpose of enforcing this ordinance.

(2)    The purpose of enforcing this ordinance is to encourage people to maintain their property in a safe and sanitary manner and in a manner which respects the property rights of their neighbors. Imposing unfair financial burdens on people who violate the ordinance is not the purpose of enforcing the ordinance.

(3)    A nuisance is a condition of property which violates the community standards which are set forth in the ordinance. A condition of property which is displeasing to a neighborhood or to a group of neighbors is not a nuisance simply because it is displeasing.

(4)    Maintaining decent, safe and sanitary affordable housing is an important community goal which at all times must be balanced against the goals of this community preservation ordinance.

27.104 Application.

The provisions of this code shall apply generally to all residential, industrial and commercial property throughout the city wherein any of the conditions, hereinafter specified, are found to exist.

27.105 to 27.200

Sec. Reserved for future legislation.

Article II. Enforcement of Chapter.

27.201 Authority; "department head" defined.

The Chief of Police shall be the department head with the principal responsibility for enforcing this chapter. Any provision of this chapter which refers to Chief of Police shall be interpreted to include a reference to a designee of the Chief of Police.

27.202 Right of entry of department head to inspect premises.

(a)    Whenever necessary to make an inspection of any premises to enforce the provisions of this code, the department head shall contact the occupant of such premises and inform him of the reasons for such entry onto such property, and if the occupant is other than the owner, he shall if practical, contact such owner. If a owner who does not occupy the property is unable to be contacted, he shall be notified of the inspection after the inspection occurs.

(b)    Prior to making an inspection to enforce the provisions of this code, the department head shall obtain a warrant to inspect the premises when a warrant is required by state or federal law.

27.203 Owner’s responsibility for property maintenance.

(a)    Every owner of real property within the city, whether commercial, industrial or residential, is required to maintain the property in a manner so as not to violate the provisions of this code. The owner remains liable for violations regardless of any contract or agreement with any third party regarding the property. The owner of substandard residential property may be responsible for relocation assistance and other benefits to tenants, under section 27.1201 and following. (Ord. No. 97-17, § 1.)

(b)    Every occupant, lessee, or holder of any interest in property other than as owner thereof is required to maintain such property in a manner consistent with the standards described in § 27.401. California Civil Code § 1941 requires the lessor of a building intended for human occupancy to maintain the building in a condition which is fit for such occupation and to repair all dilapidation which render it untenantable. This Section 27.203 shall be interpreted in a manner which is consistent with Civil Code § 1941.

(c)    An occupant of property who is not the owner shall not be liable for any nuisance (as defined by § 27.401) which the occupant did not create.

27.204 Appointment of hearing examiner.

In order to hear cases brought by the Chief of Police under the provisions of this code, the city manager shall appoint one or more hearing examiners who shall serve at his pleasure. A hearing examiner may be a city employee.

Article III. Specification.

27.205 Violations.

(a)    Violations of this chapter may be handled by criminal, civil, or administrative actions either undertaken separately or in conjunction with other remedies.

(b)    The first violation of this Chapter is an infraction punishable by a fine not exceeding $100. The second and each subsequent violation of this Chapter within a one year period, is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $1000, or by imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

(c)    Upon entry of a second or subsequent civil or criminal judgment within a two year period finding that an owner of property is responsible for a condition described in Section 27.401, the court may order the owner to pay treble the costs of abatement. (Ord. No. 95-4, § 1.)

27.206 to 27.400 Reserved for future legislation.

27.401 Generally.

It is hereby declared a public nuisance for any person owning, leasing, occupying or having charge or possession of any premises in this city, whether commercial, industrial or residential, to maintain such premises in such a manner that any one, or more of the conditions or activities described in the following subsections are found to exist:

(a)    A building or structure which is structurally unsafe, partially destroyed, remains in an unreasonable state of partial construction for more than one year, a fire hazard or otherwise dangerous.

(b)    A building or structure having dry rot, warping or termite infestation or one on which the paint or finish has become so deteriorated as to permit dry rot, warping or termite or vermin infestation as to render the building or structure in a state of disrepair.

(c)    A building exterior, wall, fence, driveway, sidewalk or walkway which is so defective or deteriorated that it poses a hazard or is otherwise materially detrimental to nearby properties.

(d)    A property maintained so poorly that it is out of conformity with community maintenance standards as set forth in this chapter and which substantially diminishes the use of neighboring properties.

(e)    A building or structure which because of obsolescence, dilapidated condition, deterioration, damage, electrical wiring, gas connections or other cause is in such a condition as to constitute a fire hazard.

(f)    An accumulation of lumber, junk, garbage, trash, debris, salvage materials which are visible from public or private property or otherwise in violation of this code. Junk consists of any cast off, damaged, discarded, junked, obsolete, salvage, scrapped, unusable, worn out or wrecked object, thing or material composed in whole or in part of asphalt, brick, carbon, cement, plastic or other synthetic substance, fiber, glass, metal, paper, plaster, plaster of paris, rubber, terra cotta, wool, cotton, cloth, canvas, organic matter or other substance.

(g)    Abandoned, discarded or unused furniture, appliances, sinks, toilets, cabinets or other fixtures or equipment stored in a place visible from public or private property and which are not being stored for disposal at either the spring or fall free disposal day provided by Solano Garbage Company.

(h)    An attractive nuisance to children, including but not limited to equipment, machinery, pools, ponds or excavations which may be hazardous to children.

(i)    Dead, decayed, diseased or hazardous trees, weeds or overgrown vegetation which is likely to harbor rats, vermin or other pests, or which protrudes over or across a city street or sidewalk so as to substantially obstruct the clear passage of vehicles or pedestrians. (Ord. No. 92-28, § 1.)

(j)    Pooled oil or hazardous or toxic waste substance stored or accumulated in an unapproved container or in violation of any federal, state, county or city statute; or a substance other than clear water flowing onto a public right of way or adjacent properties; or excessive accumulation of grease or oil on paved surfaces, buildings, walls, fences or other structures. (Ord. No. 92-28, § 1.)

(k)    Obstruction or encroachment of any public property, including but not limited to any public street, highway, right of way, park or building.

(l)    Presence of abandoned, dismantled, wrecked or inoperable motor vehicles, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, trailers, campers, boats or parts thereof (hereinafter "vehicles"), except:

1.    When such vehicles are completely enclosed within a building in a lawful manner where they are not visible from the street or other public or private property; or

2.    When 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.

(m)    Building or structure that is marked or defaced with spray paint, dye, or like substance in a manner commonly described as graffiti, visible from a public street.

(n)    Parking of a vehicle, trailer, camper, or storage of other personal property on private property on other than a surface of asphalt, concrete, inter locking paving stones, brick, flagstone or other similar all weather material which would prevent the accumulation of weeds and other conditions which constitute a hazard.

(o)    Gasoline service stations which are not in operation and are either boarded up or have removed dirt and other materials from the ground and left open excavations even if the open excavations have been fenced for a period in excess of sixty (60) days.

(p)    Maintenance of any premises in any manner which is unsightly or unsanitary because of the presence of animal excrement.

(q)    Maintenance of any premises in any manner which is unsightly or unsanitary because of the presence of stagnant water which acts as a mosquito, other insect or disease breeding ground; rotting produce; or a substance which produces a noxious odor. This section shall not be construed to prohibit reasonable composting of yard waste. (Ord. No. 92-28, § 1. (REV. 39, Correction.)

(r)    Violation of any provision of the Fairfield City Code including, but not limited to, a violation of Chapters 5 (Building and Housing Codes), 8 (Fire Protection) and 25 (Development Regulations) of this code. (Ord. 92-28, § 1.)

(s)    Landscaping materials shall be maintained. Landscaping materials shall include but not be limited to ground cover, lawn, rock, bark or other material which covers the unpaved portion of the private property. On property devoted to residential use, a total absence of landscaping does not violate this subsection. However, in the total absence of landscaping, the residential lot shall be maintained free of weeds, trash, clutter or debris. (Ord. No. 92-28, § 1.)

(t)    Any condition recognized in law or in equity as constituting a public nuisance. (Ord. 92-28, § 1.)

(u)    (1)    Definitions:

a.    Major Vehicle Repair: any maintenance, repair or replacement not listed in the definition of minor vehicle repair, below, including, but not limited to, the removal of engines, rebuilding of engines, repair of the internal components, repair or removal of transmissions, repair or removal of differentials or axles, dismantling of vehicles, and body work.

b.    Minor Vehicle Repair: Maintenance, repair or replacement of the alternator, generator, starter, water pump, fuel pump, battery or, brakes, or parts thereof; minor tune-up (which consists of distributor cap, rotor and spark plug replacement); change of oil and filter, fan belt, or hoses; lamp replacement; repair of flat tires; lubrication, spot painting.

(2)    Minor Vehicle Repair: It is unlawful and a public nuisance for any person to engage in Minor Vehicle Repair in any residential zone if:

a.    The vehicle under repair is not registered to a current occupant of the premises where the work is being performed; OR

b.    The vehicle under repair is registered to a current occupant of the premises where the work is being performed, but the minor vehicle work:

i.    is being done outside a fully enclosed structure, unless such work is completed within forty-eight (48) consecutive hours; OR

ii.    is being done upon more than two vehicles at one time on the same premises or by the same person.

(3)    Major Vehicle Repair: It is unlawful and a public nuisance for any person to engage in major vehicle repair in a residential zone, unless all of the following conditions exist:

a.    The vehicle under repair is registered to a current occupant of the premises where the work is being performed; and

b.    The repair is performed within a fully enclosed structure; and

c.    No more than two vehicles are being repaired at one time on the same premises or by the same person.

(4)    Notwithstanding any other section of this subsection (u), body painting, including spot painting, is not permitted in a residential zone. (Ord. 2003-02, § 1.)

27.402 to 27.500 Reserved for future legislation.

Article IV. Abatement Generally.

27.501 Commencement of proceedings.

Whenever the Chief of Police has inspected or caused to be inspected any premises and has found and determined that such premises constitute a nuisance, and has given the person responsible for maintaining the property a reasonable opportunity to correct the condition, he shall commence proceedings to cause abatement of the nuisance as provided herein.

27.502 Preliminary notice.

(a)    Except as otherwise provided herein, the Chief of Police shall issue a preliminary notice directed to the record owner of the premises and the mortgagee or beneficiary under a recorded deed of trust. The preliminary notice shall contain:

(1)    The street address and such other description as is required to identify the premises.

(2)    A statement that the Chief of Police has found the premises to be a public nuisance, with a specific citation to the applicable section hereof, and to other sections of this city code if applicable, and a description of the conditions which constitute the public nuisance.

(3)    An order to abate the nuisance by taking certain action as determined by the Chief of Police. In the event abatement of the nuisance requires rehabilitation of housing, the order shall require the owner to abate the nuisance in a manner which does not require eviction of residents who are not contributing to the condition of property identified as a nuisance.

(4)    The time allowed for abatement which shall be a reasonable time in the judgment of the Chief of Police.

(5)    A statement requesting the owner, within fifteen calendar days, meet with or communicate with the Chief of Police for discussion of the abatement of the nuisance.

(b)    The preliminary notice shall be sent first class mail addressed to the person who is named as the owner on the latest equalized assessment roll of the county using such address as may be shown by such assessment roll or such other address as may be known by the department head. The failure of any owner to receive the preliminary notice shall not affect in any manner the validity of any proceedings thereafter taken. (Ord. No. 92-28, § 2.)

27.503 Administrative hearing notice - Issuance.

Whenever the Chief of Police has given written notice to the owner as set forth in section 27.502, and the owner has failed to comply with the notice or otherwise to respond or when it appears that negotiations with the owner to abate the nuisance are unsuccessful or not proceeding satisfactorily, the Chief or his/her designee may issue an order (hereinafter referred to as the “hearing notice”) ordering the owner to appear before a hearing examiner to show cause why the premises should not be declared a public nuisance and abated by the city. Payment of administrative costs of noticing and setting up the hearing must be paid prior to commencement of hearing. Fees designated by City Council Resolution. The hearing notice shall be served, as hereinafter provided, not less than ten calendar days prior to the hearing date. (Ord. No. 2008-04, § 6.)

27.504 Same – Contents.

The hearing notice shall direct the owner of the premises to appear before the hearing examiner at a stated time and stated place and show cause why such premises should not be declared a public nuisance and the nuisance abated in accordance with this code. The notice shall be headed “Notice of Hearing to Abate Nuisance” in letters of not less than three-eighths (3/8) inch in height and shall be substantially in the following form:

NOTICE OF HEARING TO ABATE NUISANCE

______________, the owner(s) of real property located at _____________________________ is/are notified to appear before ________________________ (insert person designated to conduct hearing) of the City of Fairfield at a meeting to be held on ____________, 20______, at ________________ o’clock, at ____________________ (place of meeting), and show cause, if any he/she has, why the nuisance should not be abated and the cost of abatement of the nuisance upon that parcel of land should not be made a special assessment against that parcel. A notice to you previously sent on ________________ is attached for further details regarding the nuisance. Please remit $____.__ for hearing noticing and set-up costs to the city at or before the time of the hearing. In addition, please be aware that you may be liable for the actual cost of conducting the hearing.

DATED: _____________________

THE CITY OF FAIRFIELD

By:______________________

Title:__________________________

(Ord. No. 2008-04, § 7.)

27.505 Same - To whom served.

The hearing notice, and any amended or supplemental notice, shall be served on the record owner by certified mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested, and posted on the property, and one copy thereof shall be served on each of the following if known to the department head or disclosed from official records: the holder of any mortgage or deed of trust or other lien or encumbrance of record; the owner or holder of any lease of record; and the holder of any other estate or legal interest of record in the premises. The failure of the department head to serve any person required herein to be served shall not invalidate any proceedings hereunder as to any other person duly served or relieve any such person duly served from any duty or obligation imposed on him by the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. No. 92-28, § 3.)

27.506 Same - Proof of service.

Proof of service of the hearing notice shall be certified at the time of service by a written declaration under penalty of perjury executed by the person effecting service, declaring the time, date and manner in which service was made. The declaration, together with any receipt card returned in acknowledgment of receipt by certified mail shall be affixed to the copy of the notice and order retained by the department head.

27.507 Hearings - By hearing examiner.

(a)    At the time fixed in the notice required by section 27.504, the hearing examiner shall proceed to hear the testimony of the department head and testimony of the owner and other competent persons respecting the condition of the premises constituting a nuisance, the estimated cost of abatement, and other relevant facts concerning the matter. The hearing examiner may grant continuances from time to time for good cause shown or upon his own motion.

(b)    The proceedings at the hearing shall be reported by a phonographic recorder. If requested by any party thereto, a stenographic reporter shall also report the hearing, with the costs thereof to be borne by the person making such request. The department head may require a deposit from the person making the request to assure payment of such costs.

(c)    A transcript of the proceedings shall be made available to all parties upon request and upon payment of the fee prescribed therefor. Such fees and deposits may be established by the city manager, but shall in no event be greater than the actual or estimated cost involved.

(d)    Each party shall have these rights, among others:

(1)    To call and examine witnesses on any matter relevant to the issues of the hearing;

(2)    To introduce documentary and physical evidence;

(3)    To cross examine opposing witnesses on any matter relevant to the issues of the hearing;

(4)    To impeach any witness regardless of which party first called him to testify;

(5)    To rebut the evidence against him;

(6)    To represent himself or to be represented by anyone of his choice.

(e)    The hearing examiner may inspect the premises involved in the hearing prior to, during or after the hearing; provided, that:

(1)    Notice of such inspection shall be given to the parties before the inspection is made.

(2)    The parties are given an opportunity to be present during the inspection, and

(3)    The hearing examiner shall state for the record during the hearing, or file a written statement after the hearing for inclusion in the hearing record, upon completion of the inspection, the material facts observed and the conclusions drawn therefrom.

Each party then shall have a right to rebut or explain the matters so stated by the hearing examiner either for the record during the hearing or by filing a written statement after the hearing for inclusion in the hearing record.

(f)    The city may assess a hearing fee as provided in a resolution adopted by City Council. (Ord. No. 2008-04, § 8.)

27.508 Abatement order – Contents.

If it is shown by a preponderance of all the evidence that the condition of the premises constitutes a nuisance, the hearing examiner may make an order which declares the premises to be a public nuisance and directs the owner to abate the nuisance and which notifies him that if the nuisance is not so abated it may be abated by the city in such manner as may be ordered by the department head and the expense thereof made a lien on the premises involved or a personal obligation of the owner. The order shall contain or shall have attached thereto a brief and concise description of the conditions found to render the premises a public nuisance. The order shall require that abatement of the nuisance be commenced no sooner than ten (10) days after issuance of the order and be completed within such time as may be specified therein or, in the alternative, within such time as the department head shall determine to be reasonable under all of the circumstances. At this time, the city may assess a hearing fee as provided in a resolution adopted by City Council. (Ord. No. 2008-04, § 9.)

27.509 Abatement order - Posting and mailing; filing affidavits.

Upon issuance of the order, the department head shall post a copy thereof conspicuously on the premises involved and mail a copy to the persons entitled to the hearing notice under section 27.504 following the procedures therein set forth. The department head shall thereafter file affidavits of such posting and mailing with the hearing examiner.

27.510 Appeals - From decision of hearing examiner to City Council.

(a)    Any person entitled to a hearing notice under section 27.504 or the department head, may appeal the decision of the hearing examiner by filing with the city clerk within ten days after the final determination by the hearing examiner on the matter, a request that the matter be set for an appeal hearing by the city council.

(b)    A failure to appeal shall be deemed a waiver of the right to appeal.

(c)    When the council receives from the city clerk a notice request for an appeal hearing, it shall thereupon set a hearing date on the matter within thirty days of the date from which the appeal request was received. The clerk shall thereupon notify the appellant that the council has set its hearing upon the appeal and inform him that he will be heard in the matter. The notice by the clerk shall be by certified mail to the address of the appellant given in the appeal or to the address on file with the board, or both.

(d)    The city clerk shall notify the hearing examiner of the filing of the request for an appeal hearing, and the hearing examiner shall transmit the records of the hearing examiner pertaining to the decision which is being appealed. The filing of such an appeal shall automatically defer the effective date of any decision until the council has ruled on the appeal.

(e)    The decision of the hearing examiner shall be presumed to be correct and the appellant shall have the burden of proof in the hearing before the council. If the council sustains the order of the hearing examiner requiring abatement of a nuisance, the period of commencement and completion of the abatement as specified in the order, if any, shall start from the date of such council action.

(f)    The council may continue its hearings on such appeal from time to time. It may hear evidence from competent persons as may be desired. It may turn the matter to the hearing examiner for further information or for further hearings. The council may modify as it may deem proper any decision of the hearing examiner.

(g)    Any decision so modified shall be returned to the hearing examiner and hereafter the hearing examiner and all concerned parties shall act under the modified order in the same manner as if the hearing examiner has issued the modified order.

27.511 Same From decision of city council.

(a)    Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, any appellant having objection or feeling aggrieved at any proceedings taken by the city council in sustaining or modifying a decision of the hearing examiner must bring an action in a court of competent jurisdiction within thirty days after the action by the council in such matter, otherwise all objections will be deemed waived.

(b)    A department head shall be bound by the decision of the council.

27.512 Same Procedure.

In any proceeding under this chapter, a hearing examiner, the council, any council member or the city clerk shall have power to administer oaths and affirmations and to certify to official acts. Oral evidence shall be taken only on oath or affirmation. However, hearings need not be conducted according to the technical rules relating to evidence and witnesses.

27.513 to 27.600 Reserved for future legislation.

Article V. Special Abatement Procedures for Certain Vehicles.

27.601 Purpose.

(a)    The provisions of this article are intended to provide a procedure for the abatement of nuisances consisting of abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicles, and are enacted under the authority granted by the state, under section 22660 of the state vehicle code.

(b)    It is the intent of the council to provide that the abatement of public nuisances consisting of abandoned, wrecked, dismantled and inoperative vehicles may be carried on either concurrently with or separately from the abatement of other conditions, if any, constituting a public nuisance on any premises within the city, as deemed appropriate under the circumstances.

27.602 Application of article.

The procedure specified in this article shall be used in the case of a nuisance which consists solely of abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperable vehicles or parts thereof.

27.603 Notice Generally.

When the department head determines pursuant to his inspection conducted according to section 27.202 of this code, that the conditions existing on the premises constituting a violation of the provisions of this code are the result of the existence on such premises of any abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicles the department head may do the following:

(a)    Issue a notice of intention to abate and remove the vehicles or parts thereof as a public nuisance, directed to the owner of the premises on which the vehicles or parts thereof are located and the owner of the vehicles or parts thereof unless the property owner and the owner of the vehicle have signed releases authorizing removal and waiving further interest in the vehicle or part thereof. This notice shall contain:

(1)    The street address and such other description as is required to identify the premises on which the vehicles or parts thereof are located.

(2)    The identity of the vehicles or parts thereof to be abated.

(3)    A statement that the department head has found the vehicles or parts thereof to be a public nuisance as specified in this code with a reference to the applicable section hereof, and to other sections of the city code if applicable, including sufficient detail to provide the owner with information as to the conditions constituting the alleged nuisance.

(4)    A statement of the action required to be taken as determined by the department head, and that such action is to be completed within ten days after the mailing of the notice.

(5)    A statement providing for a hearing by the hearing examiner upon written request to the department head by the owner of the premises on which the vehicles or parts thereof are located or by the owner of the vehicles or parts thereof within ten days after the mailing of the notice.

The department head shall not issue the notice provided for in this section unless and until it is determined that the vehicle owner is failing to make substantial progress in repairing the vehicle to an operating condition.

(b)    The notice shall be sent certified mail, postage prepaid, to the owner of the premises as shown on the latest equalized assessment roll of the county using such address as may be shown by such assessment rollor such other address as may be known by the department head and to the last registered and legal owner of record unless the vehicles or parts thereof are in such condition that identification numbers are not available to determine ownership. The failure of the department head to serve any person required herein to be served shall not invalidate any proceedings hereunder as to any other person duly served or relieve any such person duly served from any duty or obligation imposed on him by the provisions of this chapter.

(c)    Upon issuance of the notice, the department head may provide additional notice by posting a copy thereof conspicuously on the vehicles or parts to be abated.

(d)    Provided, however, a notice of intention to abate is not required for removal of a vehicle or part thereof which is inoperable due to the absence of a motor, transmission, or wheels and incapable of being towed, from a parcel that is zoned for agricultural use or not improved with a residential structure, if the vehicle or part is valued at less than two hundred dollars ($200) by a person specified in vehicle code section 22855, and is determined by the Chief of Police to be a public nuisance presenting an immediate threat to public health and safety, provided further that the property owner has signed a release authorizing removal and waiving further interest in the vehicle or part thereof. Prior to final disposition under vehicle code section 22662 of such a low valued vehicle or part for which evidence of registration was recovered pursuant to section 27.802 of the Fairfield City Code, notice shall be given by the Chief of Police to the registered and legal owners of intent to dispose of the vehicle or part, and if the vehicle or part is then not claimed or removed within 12 days after the notice is mailed, disposition may proceed. Neither the city or its contractor shall be liable for damage to a vehicle or part thereof caused by removal pursuant to this subsection.

27.604 Same Vehicles located on public property.

In cases where the vehicles or parts thereof are located entirely on public property, the department head shall not be required to send notice to the public entity involved.

If, after otherwise following the procedure set forth in this article, the city is required to abate such nuisance on public property, the city shall assume the costs of administration and removal thereof.

27.605 Same Contents to include statement for property owner to disclaim responsibility for vehicle.

The notice shall include therein the following statement on the copy of the notice sent to the owner of the premises:

"As to any vehicles(s) or parts thereof listed herein, you may file with the Chief of Police a sworn written statement denying responsibility for the presence on your property of the vehicle(s) or parts thereof listed, together with your reasons for such denial.

This statement shall be construed as a request for a hearing by you which you need not attend. At the hearing, your statement will be considered by the hearing examiner in determining whether the cost of removing said vehicle(s), or parts thereof will be assessed against your property as a lien in the event that removal of the vehicle(s) or parts thereof is undertaken by the city.

You need not file a sworn statement if you or the vehicle owner have requested a hearing at which you will appear, but you may do so if you wish.

Such sworn statement will be considered only as to vehicle(s) or parts thereof, and will not be considered as to the existence of any other condition on your property which may be found to constitute a nuisance in this or any other proceeding."

27.606 Hearing Notices.

Whenever the owner of the premises on which the vehicles or parts thereof are located or the owner of the vehicles or parts thereof requests a hearing, hereinafter called "requesting party," the department head shall issue a hearing notice to the requesting party allowing that party to appear before a hearing examiner to show cause why the vehicles or parts thereof are not a public nuisance and should not be abated by the city. The hearing notice shall be served upon the requesting party either personally or by mailing a copy of such notice by certified mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested, not less than five calendar days prior to the hearing date.

27.607 Same By hearing examiner.

At the time fixed in the notice required by section 27.606, the hearing examiner shall proceed to hear the testimony of the department head and testimony of the requesting party and other competent persons respecting the condition of the vehicles or parts thereof and other relevant facts concerning the matter.

27.608 Same Abatement order.

(a)    If it is shown by a preponderance of all the evidence that the condition of the vehicles or parts thereof constitutes a violation of this code, the hearing examiner may issue an order which affirms the determination of the department head that the vehicles or parts thereof are a public nuisance and directs the owner to abate the nuisance and which notifies him that if the nuisance is not so abated it may be abated by the city in such manner as may be ordered by the department head and the cost thereof may be made a lien on the premises involved, unless the hearing examiner has determined that the owner of the premises did not consent to the placement of the vehicles or parts thereof on his property and did not subsequently acquiesce in their presence. The order shall identify the abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicles or parts thereof to be abated. The order shall require that abatement of the nuisance be physically completed within five days after issuance of the order or in the alternative, within such time as the department head shall determine to be reasonable under all of the circumstances.

(b)    If the owner of the premises appears in person at the hearing or files a sworn written statement to deny responsibility for the presence on his property of the vehicles or parts thereof, the determination of the hearing examiner on this issue shall be included in the decision and order and sent to such owner.

27.609 Appeals From decision of hearing examiner.

(a)    The requesting party under section 27.606 or the department head may appeal the decision of the hearing examiner by filing with the city clerk within ten days after the date of the order a request that the matter be set for an appeal hearing by the city council.

(b)    Except as specified in this section, the appeal procedure shall be the same as that set forth in section 27.510.

27.610 Same From decision of city council.

(a)    The requesting party under section 27.606 who objects or feels aggrieved at any proceedings taken by the city council in sustaining or modifying a decision of the hearing examiner must bring an action in a court of competent jurisdiction within thirty days after the action by the council in such matter, otherwise all objections will be deemed waived.

(b)    A department head shall be bound by the decision of the council.

27.611 Preventing rotation of abandoned, etc., vehicles.

In the event the department head shall determine that the owner or person in possession of premises which have been declared a nuisance and ordered abated according to the provisions of this code, in whole or in part because of the existence thereof of any abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicle, has removed from such premises the vehicles specifically identified and ordered abated by the department head in his notice issued pursuant to section 27.603 and has caused or permitted other vehicles to replace those removed or ordered removed, the department head shall:

(a)    Notify the owner of the premises that such act is in violation of the notice of the department head, and order the owner to remove such vehicles or parts thereof; and,

(b)    Notify the city attorney of the violation. The city attorney shall have recourse to every remedy provided by law to prevent the owner of the premises from placing or causing to be placed upon the premises any abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicle.

27.612 Exemption of certain vehicles.

The provisions of this article shall not apply to any vehicle or parts thereof which:

(a)    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)    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; provided, that such business is not unsightly or otherwise detrimental to the public health, safety and welfare.

27.613 Abandonment of vehicles prohibited.

No person shall abandon a vehicle upon public or private property without the express or implied consent of the owner or person in lawful possession or control of the property as provided in Vehicle Code section 22523. Violation of this section shall be a misdemeanor. (Ord. 92-26, § 1.)

27.614 to 27.700 Reserved for future legislation.

Article VI. Enforcement of Order of Hearing Examiner.

27.701 Compliance.

After any order of the hearing examiner made pursuant to this code shall have become final, no person to whom any such order is directed shall fail, neglect or refuse to obey any such order.

27.702 Failure to comply.

If, after any order of the hearing examiner made pursuant to this code has become final, the person to whom such order is directed shall fail, neglect or refuse to obey such order, the department head may institute any appropriate action to abate such conditions on the subject premises which constitute the public nuisance.

27.703 Failure to commence abatement; cost to be property lien or obligation of owner.

(a)    Whenever the required abatement is not commenced within fifteen days after an order issued under this code becomes final or effective, the department head may, in addition to any other remedy herein provided, cause the nuisance to be abated, so as to put the premises in such a condition that no violation of this code exists thereon.

(b)    The cost of such abatement shall be assessed against the property as a lien or made a personal obligation of the owner thereof as provided in Article X of this chapter.

27.704 Extension of date for compliance.

(a)    Upon receipt of an application from the person required to conform to the order by a date fixed in the order, and an agreement by such person that he will comply with the order if allowed additional time, the department head may, in his discretion, grant an extension of time, not to exceed an additional one hundred twenty days, within which to complete such abatement, if the department head determines that such an extension of time will not create or perpetuate a situation imminently dangerous to life or property.

(b)    The authority of the department head to extend time is limited to the physical abatement of the nuisance or for such other purposes as may be reasonably required by the circumstances of the case, but such extension will not in any way affect or extend the time to appeal the order.

27.705 Interference with abatement.

No person shall obstruct, impede or interfere with any officer, employee, contractor or authorized representative of the city, or with any person who owns or holds any estate or interest in any premises on which a nuisance exists and which must be abated under the provisions of this code, whenever such officer, employee, contractor or authorized representative of the city, or person having an interest or estate in such premises is engaged in the work of abating any nuisance as required by the provisions of this code, or in performing any necessary act preliminary to or incidental to such work authorized or directed pursuant to this code.

27.706 Referral hearing For partial completion or unsatisfactory progress of abatement.

(a)    If an owner has commenced the abatement required by the order, and such owner fails to complete any portion of such abatement within the time period specified in the order, or if no time period for completion is specified in the order and he has failed, in the opinion of the department head to make a reasonable progress on such abatement, the department head may refer the case to the hearing examiner for further hearing.

(b)    If the department head refers a case to the hearing examiner for further hearing, he shall give written notice of his action to all persons who are entitled to hearing notice under the provisions of section 27.505, such notice to be mailed not later than ten days prior to the hearing by the hearing examiner.

27.707 Same Conduct; decisions.

(a)    The referral hearing shall be conducted in the same manner as the original hearing by the hearing examiner. If the hearing examiner determines that the owner has failed to complete any portion of the work required by his order within the time period specified by such order or has failed to make reasonable satisfactory progress on such work, if no time period is specified in the order, he may:

(1)    Grant further extension of time to the owner to complete such abatement; or

(2)    Order the department head to complete the abatement forthwith; or

(3)    Take such other action as deemed appropriate in the case.

(b)    An order issued by the hearing examiner from a referral hearing shall be served on the persons entitled to the notice of the referral hearing and it may be appealed from in the manner prescribed in this code.

Sec. 27.708 to 27.800 Reserved for future legislation.

Article VII. Removal of Motor Vehicles and Transfer of Title.

27.801 Removal of vehicles to licensed scrap dismantler’s yard.

(a)    In the event the department head must cause to be removed a vehicle ordered abated pursuant to article VI of this chapter, the department head may cause the vehicle, or parts thereof, to be taken to a licensed scrapyard or automobile dismantler’s yard.

(b)    Thereafter the licensed dismantler or owner of the commercial enterprise who receives possession of the vehicle from the city shall be deemed to be the sole owner of the vehicle by reason of involuntary transfer made pursuant to law. After a vehicle has been removed it shall not thereafter be reconstructed or made operable unless it is a vehicle which qualifies for either horseless carriage license plates or historical vehicle license plates pursuant to vehicle code section 5004 in which case the vehicle may be reconstructed or made operable. Licensed dismantlers or commercial enterprises acquiring vehicles removed pursuant to this article shall be excused from the reporting requirements of section 11520 of the state vehicle code and any fees and penalties which would otherwise be due the department of motor vehicles are waived pursuant to section 22660 of the state vehicle code; provided, that a copy of the order made pursuant to section 27.606, is retained in the business records of the dismantler or commercial enterprise.

27.802 Notice to department of motor vehicles; transfer of title, etc.

Within five days after the date or removal of the vehicle or part thereof, notice shall be given to the department of motor vehicles identifying the vehicle or part thereof removed. There shall also be transmitted to the department of motor vehicles any evidence of registration available, including registration certificates of title and license plates.

Sec. 27.803 to 27.900 Reserved for future legislation.

Article VIII. Summary Abatement.

27.901 Dangerous conditions.

If, in the opinion of the department head, there exists a condition on any premises which is of such a nature as to be imminently dangerous to the public health, safety or welfare, which, if abated according to the procedures of this code, would, during the pendency of the proceedings, subject the public to potential harm of a serious nature, the same may be abated forthwith without compliance with the provisions of this code.

27.902 Approval of city attorney required.

No action shall be taken under this article unless it shall first be approved by the city attorney or his authorized representative.

27.903 Cost to be property lien or obligation of owner.

The cost of abatement including all administrative costs of any action hereunder shall be assessed against the subject premises as a lien or made a personal obligation to the owner as provided in Article IX of this chapter; except, that in the event the city council shall decide the action taken under this article was improper, no lien shall be assessed.

Sec. 27.904 to 27.1000 Reserved for future legislation.

Article IX. Recovery of Cost of Abatement.

27.1001 Record of cost of abatement.

(1)    The city shall keep an account of on-site property inspections.

(2)    The city shall mail to the owner of the property, and other persons described in sec. 27.504, a statement including all costs. “Costs” shall include: inspections of the property, the cost of preparing notices, discussing violations with property owners, preparing specifications and contracts, inspecting work, and mailing and printing documents. The City Council will adopt a reimbursement table by resolution.

(3)    After the first Preliminary Notice of Violation is issued a re-inspection will be conducted, if at that time the owner fails to comply and correct the violation a second re-inspection will be conducted. A second and all subsequent inspections/notices will incur administrative costs per City Council resolution.

(4)    The city shall keep an itemized account of the costs involved in abating the nuisance. The city shall post conspicuously on the property and shall also mail to the owner of the property, and other persons described in sec. 27.504, a statement including:

(a)    What abatement action has been taken;

(b)    An itemization of removal, repair, administrative and other costs incurred;

(c)    That the total costs incurred are due and payable within thirty (30) days from the date of this notice;

(d)    That the person responsible for paying the costs may request of the Director of Finance (who shall not unreasonably withhold his consent), an additional period of time to pay the costs up to one hundred and twenty (120) days;

(e)    That if the owner fails to make payment within thirty (30) days from the date of this notice or within the time extended by agreement with the Finance Director, the amount will be charged to the owner on the next regular tax bill and recorded as a lien against the property.

This statement shall be served upon the owners of said property pursuant to sec. 27.504 at least seven (7) calendar days prior to the date specified in (e).

As used in this section, “costs” shall include in addition to the actual abatement of the nuisance, all costs to inspect the property, prepare notices, discuss violations with property owners, prepare specifications and contracts, inspect work, mail and print documents. (Ord. No. 2008-04, § 10.)

27.1002 Cost of abatement a special assessment against the property.

If the property owner does not pay the cost of abating the nuisance within thirty (30) days after the Council confirms the cost of abatement, the cost may be collected as a special assessment against the real property as authorized by Government Code Section 38773.5. The cost of abatement, along with any costs incurred by the City for processing and/or recording the assessment shall be collected at the same time and in the same manner as ad valorem real property taxes are collected on said property and shall be subject to the same penalties and interest and the same procedure for sale in the case of delinquency as provided for said taxes.

All laws and ordinances applicable to the levy, collection, and enforcement of said taxes are hereby made applicable to such special assessment. (Ord. 98-1, § 3.)

27.1003 Notice of special assessment.

When a special assessment is charged against property as provided in this chapter, the city shall file in the office of the county recorder a certificate substantially in the following form:

NOTICE OF SPECIAL ASSESSMENT

On ____________, 19__, the City of Fairfield abated a nuisance on the property located at (Assessor’s Parcel No._____________). This property is owned by .

The abatement was done under the authority of California Government Code and Fairfield Municipal Code Chapter 27.

The City of Fairfield claims a special assessment on the real property for the cost of the abatement in the amount of $_________. This amount is a special assessment against the real property until paid with interest at the legal rate from ___________, 19___ (insert date as determined in sec. 27.1002) and discharged of record.

The real property referred to in this notice is that parcel of land situated within the City of Fairfield, County of Solano, State of California, more specifically described as follows: (insert or attach legal description)

DATED: _______________, 19__

CITY OF FAIRFIELD

By:

The city shall file with the county auditor a certified copy of the notice of special assessment, a brief description of the abatement action taken and a request that the charges be added to the tax rolls and collected at the same time and in the same manner as ordinary municipal taxes. These documents shall be filed on or before the August 10th which follows the close of the tax year in which the abatement action was taken.

27.1004 Cost of abatement as a lien.

As an alternative to imposing the cost of abatement as a special assessment, the City may impose the cost of abatement as a lien on the real property pursuant to Government Code Section 38773.1.

(a)    Notice: Notice shall be given in writing and shall be served by personal service or by certified mail, postage prepaid and return receipt requested, addressed to the party to whom said notice is to be given as his or her address appears on the last equalized assessment roll of the County of Solano, California, or as is known to the City of Fairfield. If said address cannot be ascertained from said assessment rollor is not known to the City of Fairfield, a copy shall be mailed to the party to whom said notice is to be given addressed c/o General Delivery, Fairfield, California AND at least one copy of said notice shall be posted in a conspicuous place upon the real property which constitutes said nuisance or on which said nuisance is located. The person giving notice on behalf of the City of Fairfield shall file with the City Manager an affidavit of service of mailing or posting of said notice.

(b)    Specifications: Lien shall specify the amount of the lien, name of the agency on whose behalf the lien is imposed, the date of the abatement order, street address, legal description and assessor’s parcel number of the parcel on which the lien is imposed, and name and address of the recorded owner of the parcel.

(c)    Notice of Discharge: In the event the lien is discharged, released or satisfied, either through payment or foreclosure, notice of the discharge shall be recorded by the City of Fairfield. A lien and the release of the lien shall be indexed in the grantor-grantee index.

(d)    Foreclosure of Lien: A nuisance abatement lien may be foreclosed by an action brought by the City for a money judgment.

(e)    Reimbursement of Costs: City may recover from the property owner any costs incurred regarding the processing and recording of the lien and providing notice to the property owner as part of its foreclosure action to enforce the lien. (Ord. No. 98-1, § 4.)

27.1005 Cost of abatement as a personal obligation.

As an alternative to imposing the cost of abatement as a special assessment or as a lien, the City may request that the City Attorney institute an action in any court of competent jurisdiction against persons owning, possessing or controlling the land on which the nuisance was located or against persons who created, caused, committed or maintained said nuisance as long as said persons were named in and given notice of the abatement action, for the cost of abatement thereof as a personal obligation. (Ord. No. 98-1, § 5.)

27.1006 Attorney’s Fees.

In any action or administrative proceeding under this chapter, the prevailing party shall be entitled to recover its reasonable attorneys’ fees, but only if the City elects in writing, at the initiation of the action or proceeding, to seek recovery of its own attorneys’ fees. In no event 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. (Ord. 2002-28, § 1.)

Article X. Neglected Vacant and Foreclosure Properties.

27.1101 Purpose.

Vacant or foreclosed buildings which are neglected and not maintained can result in the physical deterioration of a neighborhood and other health problems to the community. The purpose of this article is to provide standards for maintaining vacant buildings and to establish a monitoring program for those that are neglected. (Ord. 2008-11 § 1; Ord. 2008-10 § 1.)

27.1102 Definitions.

For the purposes of this Article:

(a)    "Appeals hearing officer" means any person appointed by the City Manager to hear appeals held pursuant to this article. An appeals hearing officer may be a city employee.

(b)    "Boarded" means the covering of all entry points, including all doors and windows, with plywood or other materials for the purpose of preventing entry into the building by persons or animals.

(c)    "Owner" means the owner of record for the property and may include a financial institution, beneficiary/trustee or any person or institution that has a possessory interest in the property or is required by agreement to maintain the property.

(d)    "Responsible agent" means the person designated by the property owner to act on behalf of the owner, under Section 27.1107.

(e)    "Vacant building" means any building that is not legally occupied unless one of the following is true:

A.    The building is the subject of an active building permit for repair or rehabilitation and the owner is progressing diligently to complete the repair or rehabilitation.

B.    The building meets all codes, does not contribute to blight, is ready for occupancy, and is:

1.    Actively being offered for sale, lease or rent; or

2.    Is actively being maintained and monitored by the owner, as defined in Section 27.1106. (Ord. 2008-11 § 1; Ord. 2008-10 § 1.)

27.1103 Public nuisance.

A neglected vacant building is a public nuisance. A building is neglected if it is in material, repeated or on-going violation of this article. (Ord. 2008-11 § 1; Ord. 2008-10 § 1.)

27.1104 Repealed. (Ord. 2008-11 § 1; Ord. 2008-10 § 1.)

27.1105 Required Boarding of Vacant Buildings.

A.    Vacant buildings shall be boarded when the building can no longer be secured against intrusion by the closing and locking of doors and windows.

B.    The city manager or his or her designee may adopt standards regarding the boarding of vacant buildings.

C.    The City may board vacant buildings as part of an abatement action brought under this Article. The owner shall be responsible for the cost of boarding or the property may be subject to an abatement lien for the cost of the boarding.

D.    Within 10 days of notice from the City, the owner shall remove boarding and replace with secure locking doors and windows. (Ord. 2008-11 § 1; Ord. 2008-10 § 1.)

27.1106 Maintenance Standards and Monitoring.

Each vacant building shall be maintained in accordance with the standards in this section.

A.    General. Each vacant building shall be maintained in conformance with all city codes, including but not limited to chapter 5 (Building and Housing Codes), chapter 8 (Fire protection), chapter 25 (Development Regulations) and this chapter 27 (Community Preservation). In particular, it is a public nuisance for a person responsible for property to violate Section 27.401.

B.    Structural and building standards. A vacant building shall be maintained in a structurally sound condition. The structure and all electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems shall be maintained in conformance with the provisions of the California Building Standards Code that were in place at the time of construction and in a condition which does not create a hazard to public health or safety. A permit from the City of Fairfield Building Division shall be obtained when the building requires repairs, alteration, or modification necessary to meet the provisions of this article.

C.    Fire safety. A vacant property shall be maintained in a manner which does not create an unreasonable risk of fire. Weeds shall be removed if they may constitute a fire hazard. No vacant building or portion of it shall be used for the storage of flammable liquids or other materials which would constitute a safety or fire hazard. Heating facilities or heating equipment in vacant buildings shall either be removed or maintained in accordance with applicable codes and ordinances. If heating equipment is removed, any fuel supply shall be removed or terminated in accordance with applicable codes and ordinances.

D.    Security standards. A vacant building shall be maintained in a way which secures it from any unauthorized entry. The owner or responsible agent of a vacant building which has suffered an unauthorized entry must provide security which meets the following minimum standards:

1.    All windows and sliding doors must have either intact glazing or resistance to entry equivalent to or greater than that of a solid sheet of 3/4-inch plywood, cut to fit the opening, and securely nailed using at least 16D galvanized nails or at least #10 x 3" galvanized screws, spaced not more than six inches on the center. The City may require that plywood used to board windows or doors be painted to protect it from the elements.

2.    Doors and service openings with thresholds located ten feet or less above grade, stairway, landing, ramp, porch, roof or similarly accessible area must be resistant to entry equivalent to or greater than that of a closed single panel or hollow core door 1-3/8 inches thick equipped with a 1/2-inch throw deadbolt.

3.    Exterior doors, if openable, shall be closed from the interior of the building by toenailing them to the door frame using screws or bolts.

4.    The front door into each building shall be operable. The front door must be secured with a suitable lock such as a hasp and padlock or a 1/2-inch deadbolt or deadlatch.

5.    All locks shall be kept locked. When a door cannot be made operable, a door shall be constructed of 3/4-inch CDX plywood and shall be equipped with a lock as described above.

E.    Debris removal. A vacant building and the adjoining yard or landscaped areas shall be maintained free of debris, combustible materials, litter and garbage.

F.    Appearance. A vacant building shall be maintained in a manner that minimizes the appearance of vacancy. Graffiti shall be promptly removed. All exterior surfaces, including any boarded windows or doors, shall be painted or otherwise finished to create a sufficient appearance of repair to deter unauthorized entry. The exterior of the property shall be kept in such a condition so as not to create the appearance of an unsecured, unoccupied structure or any hazard to public safety. Landscaping shall be maintained and watered as necessary to prevent the appearance of an unoccupied structure and fire hazard.

G.    Crime Prevention. A vacant building shall be maintained in a manner that minimizes the potential for criminal activity on the premises, including but not limited to use and sale of controlled substances, prostitution and criminal street gang activity. The owner or responsible agent shall monitor the property on a regular basis and report any signs of criminal activity to the Police Department immediately.

H.    Posting. The posting of a notice in a conspicuous place is required on the front of the building stating the name, address, and telephone number of both the owner and, if applicable, the responsible agent. This notice shall have lettering not less than two inches high, and shall be generally readable from at least thirty (30) feet away. (Ord. 2008-11 § 1; Ord. 2008-10 § 1.)

27.1107 Monitoring program.

A.    Any owner of a vacant building shall register the property in the monitoring program within ten days of the building becoming vacant. The owner must provide the following information:

1.    The address of the vacant building;

2.    The address and telephone number of the owner;

3.    The designation of a responsible agent and the address and telephone number of the responsible agent, if different from the owner;

4.    The date the building became vacant;

5.    The assessor’s parcel number (APN) for the lot where the vacant building is located; and

6.    The name and address of the beneficiary/trustee (corporation or individual) identified on the deed of trust, if applicable.

B.    The owner or responsible agent shall notify the City of any change in the information provided under this section (including a change in ownership) within 15 days of the change.

C.    An owner who is subject to the registration requirements of this section shall designate a responsible agent for the building. An owner who lives within 60 miles of the vacant building may designate himself or herself as the responsible agent. An owner who lives more than 60 miles from the vacant building shall designate a responsible agent who lives within or whose place of business is within the City of Fairfield.

D.    The designation of responsible agent constitutes an authorization by the owner (and the agreement of the agent) to act on behalf of the owner with regard to all requirements under this code, including the acceptance of all official notices (including, but not limited to, notices under this article and notices of proposed abatement or summary abatement) on behalf of the owner. The responsible agent shall be an authorized agent and signatory of the owner, and may sign on behalf of the owner with regard to all requirements under this code.

E.    The owner’s designation of a responsible agent shall not relieve the owner of any obligation to comply with this chapter. (Ord. 2008-11 § 1; Ord. 2008-10 § 1.)

27.1108 Monitoring program: registration fee.

An owner who is subject to the registration requirements of Section 27.1107 must pay an annual registration fee to reimburse the City for the cost of administering the monitoring program. The registration fee will be set by a resolution of the City Council. (Ord. 2008-11 § 1; Ord. 2008-10 § 1.)

27.1109 Monitoring program: inspections.

The owner or responsible agent of a vacant building which is required to be registered under this article shall inspect the building at least once every two weeks. The owner or responsible agent shall keep a written log of all inspections, which shall contain the following information:

1.    The date and time of the inspection;

2.     The name and signature of the person actually inspecting; and

3.    A notation of any problems identified and the steps taken to address them.

A copy of the log shall be provided to the city on a monthly basis. (Ord. 2008-11 § 1; Ord. 2008-10 § 1.)

27.1110 Monitoring program: appeals.

A.    The appeals hearing officer has jurisdiction to hear appeals of: (1) the placement of the vacant building into the neglected vacant building monitoring program; or (2) the requirement to pay fees under this article.

B.    The owner may appeal a determination which is appealable under subsection A. by filing a written notice of appeal with the Chief of Police within ten days of the action for which the appeal is taken. The Chief of Police shall then set a date for the hearing, at least 10 days and not more than 30 days after the appeal was filed, and shall notify the owner in writing of the time and date. The hearing may be continued if necessary.

C.    The hearing officer shall render a decision within 10 days after the conclusion of the hearing. The hearing officer shall notify the appellant in writing of the decision. The decision of the hearing officer is final.

D.    The city may assess a hearing fee as provided in a resolution adopted by City Council. (Ord. 2008-11 § 1; Ord. 2008-10 § 1.)

27.1111 Violations.

A.    Violations of this Article may be handled by criminal, civil, or administrative actions either undertaken separately or in conjunction with other remedies, at the discretion of the City Attorney.

B.    The first violation of this Article shall be an infraction punishable by a fine not exceeding $100. The second and each subsequent violation of this Article within a one year period is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 per violation.

C.    A public safety officer may issue an administrative citation for a violation of this Article pursuant to Chapter 1 of the Fairfield City Code and the procedures in Chapter 1 shall be followed.

D.    Owners may be liable for the City’s reasonable costs of inspection, enforcement, and abatement pursuant to Article IX of this Chapter.

E.    In addition to the above remedies, any person who violates this Article may be subject to other remedies as provided under the law. (Ord. 2008-11 § 1; Ord. 2008-10 § 1.)

Article XI. Relocation Assistance for Displaced Tenants.

27.1201 Intent and purpose.

The City Council finds that tenants who are required to vacate a residence because of unsafe or hazardous living conditions, or because of illegal use of the structure as a residence, oftentimes confront difficulties in finding temporary housing while the residence is being repaired, or difficulties in finding other permanent affordable housing. The difficulties create a financial hardship for the tenants. The City Council also finds that property owners who do not maintain rental properties and who allow the structures to become unsafe or hazardous should bear responsibility for the hardship their actions create for the tenants. Therefore, the City Council finds and declares it necessary to enact this Article XI to protect the public health, safety and welfare.

This Article is adopted under the authority of the police power delegated to the City by the California State Constitution Article XI, Section 7, and California Health and Safety Code section 17975 et seq. This article implements Program HO 5.1B of the City of Fairfield General Plan. (Ord. No. 2009-18, § 1.)

27.1202 Definitions.

In this article:

(a)    Relocation assistance means a relocation payment and the right of first refusal to reoccupy a residential structure.

(b)    Relocation payment means:

(1)    One of the following:

A.    The immediate payment, in the form of a cashier’s check or money order, of two months’ fair market value rent for a unit of comparable size, as established by the most current Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development schedule of fair market rents and an amount, as determined by the Building Division of the Community Development Department, sufficient for utility service deposits; or

B.    The immediate payment, in the form of a cashier’s check or money order, of two months of the tenant’s actual rent at the time of relocation, if greater than the payment which would be due under subsection A, and an amount, as determined by the Building Division of the Community Development Department, sufficient for utility service deposits; or

C.    The immediate execution of a written, signed and dated agreement between the tenant and the property owner evidencing other arrangements of equal benefit agreeable to the tenant. Such an agreement shall at a minimum contain each of the following components:

1.    The names of the occupants of the unit being vacated, and an indication of who is considered the head of household;

2.    The address and number of the unit being vacated;

3.    A statement indicating the amount of relocation payment to which the tenant is entitled, under subsection (1) A or (1) B above;

4.    A statement that the tenant has waived the right to such relocation payment, and describing what, if any, alternative arrangements of equal benefit the landlord has agreed to provide the tenant, which is acceptable to the tenant in lieu of relocation payment; and

5.    If known, the tenant’s forwarding address and telephone number.

(2)    When a tenant is required to vacate a structure with less than 30 days’ notice, relocation payment shall also include the immediate payment, in the form of a cashier’s check or money order, of one additional month’s fair market value rent as determined under subsection (1) A above, or the provision of alternative, safe and legal housing, in a rental unit of comparable fair market value to the rental unit to be vacated, for thirty (30) days after the vacation date at no cost to the tenant, whichever the tenant prefers.

"Immediate payment of any relocation payment" means the property owners’ delivery of the relocation payment to the tenant within 10 days after the date that the notice of eviction or other order is first mailed to the property owner or posted on the premises, or at least 20 days prior to the vacation date set forth in the notice of eviction or other order, whichever occurs later. If there are fewer than 10 days between the first posting and mailing of the notice of eviction or other order and the vacation date, the property owner shall deliver payment to the tenant within 24 hours after the notice is posted or mailed, whichever occurs first. Any owner who does not pay the required relocation benefits within ten days after the order to vacate is first mailed and posted shall be liable to the tenant for an amount equal to 1 1/2 times the relocation benefits payable pursuant to subsection (b)(1) A of this section.

(3)    Immediate execution of an agreement executed pursuant to subsection (b)(1) C of this section means execution of the agreement within 10 days after the date that the notice of eviction or other order is first mailed to the property owner and posted on the premises, or at least 20 days prior to the vacation date set forth in the notice of eviction or other order, whichever occurs later. If there are fewer than 10 days between the first posting and mailing of the notice of eviction or other order and the vacation date, the agreement shall be executed within 5 days after the notice is posted or mailed.

(4)    A relocation payment is a separate requirement and is in addition to the refund of any security deposit under California Civil Code section 1950.5 or the payment of interest accrued on the security deposit.

(c)    Right of first refusal means the right of a tenant to re-occupy a residential structure on the site formerly occupied by the tenant, once the residential structure is repaired and becomes habitable, or once housing is redeveloped on the site. (Ord. No. 2009-18, § 2.)

27.1203 Relocation assistance requirements.

(a)    Relocation payment due. When a tenant receives a notice of eviction or other order requiring the tenant to vacate a structure rented for residential purposes due to unsafe or hazardous living conditions or due to illegal use of the structure as a residence, the owner of the structure is obligated to provide directly to each tenant a relocation payment as defined in section 27.1202.

(b)    Proof of compliance.

(1)    In order to provide proof of compliance by the property owner with section 27.1202(a) or section 27.1202(b) of this Article, the property owner shall provide to the Chief of Police, or his or her designee:

A.    The names of the occupants of the unit being vacated, and an indication of who is considered the head of household;

B.    The address and number of the unit being vacated;

C.    If known, the tenant’s forwarding address and telephone number;

D.    A copy of any cashier’s check or money order provided to the tenant(s);

E.    A receipt for the cashier’s check or money order signed by the tenant(s).

(2)    In order to provide proof of compliance by the property owner with section 27.1202(c) of this Article, the property owner shall provide to the Chief of Police, or his or her designee, a copy of a written agreement executed by the property owner and the tenant.

(3)    The property owner shall comply with subsection (b) of this section within one business day of the property owner’s delivery of the relocation payment to the tenant or the execution of the written agreement.

(c)    Right of first refusal. A tenant evicted or required to vacate a residential structure under this Article shall be given the right of first refusal to reoccupy a residential structure on the site once the structure becomes habitable, or once housing is redeveloped on the site.

(1)    The property owner shall provide written notice advising the tenant of the right of first refusal upon delivery of the relocation payment to the tenant or execution of a written agreement pursuant to Section 27.1202(c) of this Article. The notice shall include the owner’s address and telephone number which the tenant may use to contact the owner and shall be signed by the tenant. The property owner shall provide to the Chief of Police, or his or her designee, a copy of the notice within one business day of the property owner’s delivery of the notice to the tenant.

(2)    It is the tenant’s responsibility to provide the owner with contact information consisting of the tenant’s current address and/or telephone number to be used for future notification, and to provide updated contact information to the owner if there is any change in the information.

(3)    Thereafter, when the structure, or a redeveloped structure on the same site, becomes habitable, the property owner shall give written notice to the tenant advising the tenant that the structure is ready for occupancy. The written notice shall be made by certified mail, return receipt requested.

(4)    If the property owner cannot locate a previous tenant after two attempts over a period of two weeks, the property owner shall be deemed to have complied with the first right of refusal provision of this article, and the tenant’s right of first refusal is forfeited. (Ord. No. 2009-18, §§ 3, 4.)

27.1204 Exceptions.

A property owner is not required to provide relocation assistance if:

(a)    the tenant is in default of rent at the time vacating the unit (except a tenant withholding rent under state law for correction of unsafe or hazardous conditions); or

(b)    the tenant refuses to vacate after timely payment of the relocation payment; or

(c)    the tenant has caused or substantially contributed to the conditions giving rise to the abatement; or

(d)    the residential structure becomes unsafe or hazardous due to recent events that are beyond the control of the property owner, and the owner’s action or inaction did not contribute to the impact on the structure.

27.1205 Rent increases during repairs.

If repairs do not require the relocation of a tenant (thereby allowing the tenant to remain in residence while the repairs are undertaken), it is unlawful for a property owner to increase the amount of rent for any structure rented for residential purposes during the time that repairs are being made pursuant to a city order requiring repairs.

27.1206 Violation and penalty.

A violation of this Article shall be deemed an infraction for the first offense. A subsequent violation occurring within six months from the first offense shall be deemed a misdemeanor.

In addition to any other available remedy or penalty, the offense is subject to the remedies and penalties provided in Chapter 1.7 of this Code.

Nothing in this Article shall limit or preclude other remedies available to tenants under federal, state or local law. (Ord. No. 97-17, § 2; Ord. No. 2009-18, § 5.)

Article XII. Hotel and Motel Registers and Room Rentals

27.1301 Definitions.

In this article:

(a)    "Guest" means a person who exercises occupancy or is entitled to occupancy in a hotel by reason of concession, permit, right of access, license, or other agreement.

(b)    "Hotel" means any business that is classified by section 25.50.2.H of the City Code as a "Hotel/motel" or "Hotel/Motel - Extended Stay." Hotel includes the parking lot and other common areas of the hotel. Hotel does not include living accommodations provided at any governmental or nonprofit institution in connection with functions of that institution.

(c)    "Identification document" means a document that contains the name, date of birth, description, and picture of a person, issued by the federal government, the State of California or another state, or a county or municipal government subdivision or agency, or any of the foregoing, including but not limited to a motor vehicle operator’s license, an identification card, a green card, or an identification card issued to a member of the Armed Forces. Identification document also includes a passport issued by a foreign government. The city manager or his or her designee is authorized to allow the acceptance of other forms of verification. In such a case, the city manager or designee shall notify hotel operators when and if alternate forms of verification are permitted.

(d)    "Occupancy" means the use or possession, or the right to the use or possession, of any room in any hotel.

(e)    "Operator" means the person is either the proprietor of the hotel or any other person who has the right to rent rooms within the hotel, whether in the capacity of owner, manager, lessee, mortgagee in possession, licensee, employee, or any other capacity.

(f)    "Record" means a legible written document of information about a guest. A record may be maintained electronically, in a book or on cards.

(g)    "Rent" means consideration charged, whether or not received, for the occupancy of a room in a hotel valued in money, whether to be received in money, goods, labor, or otherwise, including all receipts, cash, credits, and property and services of any kind or nature.

(h)    "Reservation" means a request to hold a room for a potential guest that includes the following information and is documented in writing: (1) the potential guest’s name and contact information; and (2) the date and time when the contact was made.

(i)    "Room" means any portion of a hotel which is designed for occupancy by a person for temporary lodging or sleeping purposes.

(j)    "Walk-in guest" means any guest who did not make a reservation for a room at least 24 hours prior to the time that he or she seeks to check in at the hotel. (Ord. 2008-07 § 1.)

27.1302 Hotel Record Information.

A.    Every operator of a hotel shall keep a record in which the following information shall be entered:

(1)    The name and address of each guest and the total number of guests.

(2)    The day, month, year, and time of arrival of each guest.

(3)    The number or other identifying symbol of location of the room rented or assigned to each guest.

(4)    The date that each guest is scheduled to depart.

(5)    The rate charged and amount collected for rental of the room assigned to each guest.

(6)    The method of payment for the room.

(7)    The make, type, and license number of the guest’s vehicle if the vehicle will be parked on hotel premises.

(8)    The name of the operator checking in the guest.

(9)    Identification information as required by Section 27.1304 of this article.

B.    The city may develop standard forms for recording register information for all motels and hotels that must conform to these requirements. (Ord. 2008-07 § 1.)

27.1303 Maintenance of Records.

Every operator of a hotel shall comply with the following requirements for maintaining the hotel record:

A.    Guest registers shall be kept on the hotel premises in the guest reception or guest check-in area or in an office adjacent to that area. The record shall be maintained at that location on the hotel premises for a period of 90 days from and after the date of the last entry in the record.

B.    Hotels shall retain records for a period of not less than 2 years from the date of the last entry in the record. Such records may be retained on- or off-site, but if maintained off-site, the records must be readily accessible to permit inspection, review and audit by the city in compliance with federal and California law and the Fairfield City Code.

C.    No person shall alter, deface, or erase the record so as to make the information recorded in it illegible or unintelligible.

D.    Nothing in this section absolves the operator from maintaining the record for longer than 90 days in order to comply with any other provision of law, including the obligation to maintain and produce records for the purpose of paying a transient occupancy tax. (Ord. 2008-07 § 1; Ord. No. 2016-10, § 1.)

27.1304 Renting of Hotel Rooms.

The operator of a hotel shall not rent a room without verifying the identification of the guest. Verification of identification shall be recorded by the operator and the record maintained pursuant to this Article. (Ord. 2008-07 § 1.)

27.1305 Training of Employees.

The owner or proprietor of a hotel business shall take all reasonable steps, including but not limited to providing training regarding this Article to ensure that the person who checks a person into the hotel complies with the provisions of this Article. A person who has not been trained shall not be assigned to check persons into the hotel. (Ord. 2008-07 § 1.)

27.1306 Guest Obligations.

A.    No person shall check into a hotel under the name of any other person or of a fictitious person, or give to the hotel any assumed, false, or fictitious name, or any other name other than his or her true name.

B.    No person shall present to any hotel identification that is in any way false, altered, or counterfeit, or that belongs to another person.

C.    This Section does not apply to law enforcement personnel engaged in an investigation. (Ord. 2008-07 § 1.)

27.1307 Violations.

A.    Any person who violates this Article shall be guilty of an infraction;

B.    A public safety officer may issue an administrative citation for a violation of this Article pursuant to Chapter 1 of the Fairfield City Code and the procedures in Chapter 1 shall be followed; and

C.    In addition to the above remedies, any person who violates this Article may be subject to civil remedies and injunction, as applicable. (Ord. 2008-07 § 1; Ord. No. 2016-10, § 2.)

27.1308 Administrative Subpoena.

Repealed by Ord. 2016-10. (Ord. 2008-07 § 1.)

27.1309 Violations.

Repealed by Ord. 2016-10. (Ord. 2008-07 § 1.)