Chapter 8.28


8.28.010    Violations deemed public nuisance – May be abated by city.

8.28.020    Recovery of nuisance abatement expenses.

8.28.010 Violations deemed public nuisance – May be abated by city.

A. In addition to other penalties provided by law, any condition caused or permitted to exist in violation of any provision of an ordinance of the city, or any such threatened violation, shall be deemed a public nuisance and may be abated as such by the city in accordance with applicable statutes.

B. Also, any such violations or threatened violation of an ordinance of the city, as described in subsection A of this section, or any condition caused or permitted to exist in violation of any ordinance of the city, shall be deemed a public nuisance which may be abated by the city attorney in a civil judicial action. (Ord. 179 § 6, 1994)

8.28.020 Recovery of nuisance abatement expenses.

A. Whenever any person creating, causing, committing or maintaining a public nuisance, as referred to in HMC 8.28.010, or other public nuisance, as defined under state law or other ordinance or regulation, has been given notice, by or on behalf of the city attorney or by any other city officer, employee or policing agency authorized to give such notice, to abate such nuisance or cease and desist from continuing such nuisance or violation of law, and such person who was given notice fails, refuses, or neglects to comply with the notice within the time specified therein, or if such time is not specified, then within a time reasonably sufficient to enable such compliance, such noncomplying person shall be liable to the city for any and all costs and expenses to the city involved in thereafter abating the nuisance and in obtaining compliance with or enforcing the law as referred to or encompassed in the notice.

B. Costs and expenses, as referred to in subsection A of this section, may include, but are not limited to, any and all direct costs and expenses related to such things as personnel salaries and benefits, operational overhead, rent, interest, fees for experts or consultants, legal costs or expenses, including attorneys’ fees, claims against the city arising as a consequence of the nuisance or violation, and procedures associated with collecting moneys due hereunder.

The prevailing party in any proceeding associated with the abatement of a public nuisance, or where a violation of any provision of the municipal code has been declared a public nuisance, shall be entitled to recovery of attorneys’ fees incurred in any such proceeding, where the city has elected, at the initiation of that individual action or proceeding, to seek recovery of its own attorneys’ fees. In no action, administrative proceeding, or special proceeding shall an award of attorneys’ fees to a prevailing party exceed the amount of reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred by the city in the action or proceeding.

C. The provisions of subsection A of this section shall also apply to any person who received a notice, as specified therein, and thereafter the nuisance or violations were abated, but such person subsequently allowed or was responsible for a recurrence of the nuisance or violation.

D. The liability of any person for the payment of the costs and expenses provided for in subsection A of this section may be waived in whole or in part by the city attorney in any case wherein he determines, in his sole discretion, that the failure or refusal of such person to comply with the notice therein involved was based upon a good faith and bona fide issue of law or fact specially involved in the circumstances of the case. Any determination or decision of the city attorney in this regard shall be final and conclusive and shall not be subject to appeal as prescribed in this chapter.

E. Moneys due to the city pursuant to this section may be recovered in an appropriate civil action. Alternatively, such liability may be enforced by special assessment proceedings against the parcel of land upon which the nuisance existed, which proceedings may be conducted in a manner substantively similar to proceedings described in Sections 39574 et seq. of the Government Code relating to weed abatement assessments. (Ord. 370 § 24, 2012; Ord. 284 § 3, 2003; Ord. 179 § 7, 1994)