Chapter 8.18
NUISANCE ABATEMENT

Sections:

8.18.010    Purpose.

8.18.020    Declaration of nuisance.

8.18.030    City investigation and abatement.

8.18.040    Notice to abate and appeal.

8.18.050    Service.

8.18.060    Voluntary abatement.

8.18.070    Failure to voluntarily abate a nuisance.

8.18.080    Abatement of an imminently dangerous nuisance.

8.18.090    Abatement costs.

8.18.100    Appeal of abatement costs – Hearing procedures.

8.18.110    Collection of abatement costs.

8.18.120    Nuisance abatement lien.

8.18.130    Special assessment alternative.

8.18.140    Owner’s personal obligation.

8.18.150    Abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicles and parts.

8.18.152    Hazardous vegetation and rubbish abatement program.

8.18.160    Additional violations.

8.18.170    Cumulative remedies.

Prior legislation: Ords. 844, 994, 1025 and 1194.

8.18.010 Purpose.

A. The City Council has determined it necessary to protect citizens and property from conditions offensive or annoying to the senses, detrimental to property values or community appearance or injurious to the health, safety or welfare of the public in such ways as to be a nuisance.

B. The purposes of this chapter are to set forth guidelines for determining what conditions constitute a nuisance; establish a method for giving notice of the conditions and an opportunity to correct them; in the event a nuisance is not properly and timely corrected, to provide a procedure for obtaining correction; and finally, to implement cost recovery methods for City nuisance abatement efforts. [Ord. 1333 § 4, 2015].

8.18.020 Declaration of nuisance.

Each of the following acts or conditions, when created, caused, allowed, permitted or maintained upon any lot, piece or parcel of land within the City by any person or entity owning, leasing, occupying or having charge or possession thereof, is defined as and declared to constitute a public nuisance that may be abated by the City:

A. Any public nuisance known in law or in equity.

B. Buildings or structures that are abandoned, partially destroyed, unsafe or substandard, or left in an unreasonable state of partial construction. An “unreasonable state of partial construction” is defined as any unfinished building or structure in the course of construction which has not requested or had conducted an inspection under a valid building permit within the prior six months, and where the appearance and other conditions of the unfinished building or structure detracts from the appearance of the immediate neighborhood or reduces the property values in the immediate neighborhood.

C. Unpainted buildings and those having dry rot, warping or termite infestation. Buildings on which the condition of the paint has become so deteriorated as to permit decay, checking, cracking, peeling, chalking, dry rot, warping or termite infestation so as to render the buildings unsightly and in a state of disrepair.

D. Buildings, structures, or fences in violation of the City’s zoning regulations as set forth in LEMC Title 17 or building regulations as set forth in LEMC Title 15.

E. Land uses in violation of the City’s zoning regulations as set forth in LEMC Title 17.

F. A violation of any condition of approval, permit or authorization issued by the City.

G. Broken windows.

H. Building exteriors, walls, fences, driveways, sidewalks, and walkways which are defective, unsightly, or in such condition of deterioration or disrepair so as to threaten depreciation of the values of surrounding property or is materially detrimental to nearby properties or improvements.

I. The accumulation of dirt, litter or debris in vestibules, doorways, or the adjoining sidewalks of a building.

J. Lumber, junk, trash, salvage materials, rubble, broken asphalt, concrete, water containers, scrap metal or other debris stored on a property and visible from a public street, alley or adjoining property.

K. Attractive nuisances dangerous and inviting to children, including, but not limited to, abandoned, broken, or neglected equipment and machinery; hazardous pools, ponds, and excavations; abandoned wells, shafts or basements; abandoned refrigerators or motor vehicles; any structurally unsound fence or structure; or any other lumber, trash, garbage, rubbish, refuse, fence, debris, or vegetation which may prove a hazard for inquisitive minors.

L. Abandoned, discarded or unused furniture, stoves, sinks, toilets, cabinets, or other household appliances or fixtures or equipment stored so as to be visible at ground level from a public street or alley or from adjoining property.

M. Construction or automotive equipment, supplies, materials, or machinery of any type or description parked or stored on property, except while excavation, construction or demolition operations covered by an active building permit are in progress on the subject property or an adjoining property, or otherwise as allowed by this code or a permit issued by the City.

N. Signs in disrepair or without required permits.

O. Maintenance of property so out of harmony or conformity with the maintenance standards of adjacent properties as to cause diminution of the enjoyment, use or property values of such adjacent properties.

P. Vehicles parked in required front setbacks in a residential zone except when such vehicles are operative, have current licensing and are parked on a paved drive approach to a required garage or other permitted driveway.

Q. Property maintained in relation to others so as to establish a prevalence of depreciated values, impaired investments, and social and economic maladjustments to such an extent that the capacity to pay taxes is reduced and tax receipts from such particular areas are inadequate for the cost of public services rendered therein.

R. Maintenance of property in such condition as to be detrimental to the public health, safety, or general welfare or in such manner as to constitute a public nuisance as defined in California Civil Code Section 3480, including, but not limited to, anything dangerous to human life or detrimental to human health, or any habitation that is overcrowded with occupants or that lacks adequate ventilation, sanitation or plumbing facilities, or that constitutes a fire hazard.

S. Dead, decayed, diseased, overgrown or hazardous trees, weeds and vegetation, cultivated or uncultivated, which is likely to harbor rats or vermin, or constitute an unsightly appearance, or is detrimental to neighboring properties or property values.

T. Clotheslines in front yard areas and in side yard areas of corner lots unless screened from view by a solid fence.

U. Any wall, fence, or hedge maintained in such condition of deterioration or disrepair as to constitute a hazard to persons or property or to cause depreciation in the value of any adjacent or neighboring property.

V. Any property with pooled oil accumulation, oil or other hazardous material flowing onto public rights-of-way, or excessive accumulations of grease, oil or other hazardous material on paved or unpaved surfaces, buildings, walls or fences, or on any public street or property.

W. Any landscaped setback areas which lack appropriate turf or plant material so as to cause excessive dust, allow the accumulation of debris, or to threaten depreciated values of adjacent or neighborhood properties.

X. Any condition of vegetation overgrowth which encroaches into, over or upon any public right-of-way including, but not limited to, streets, alleys, or sidewalks, so as to constitute either a danger to the public safety or property or an impediment to public travel.

Y. The outside storage of camper shells in any required front yard other than on an operable and licensed pickup truck parked in a lawful manner.

Z. The outside storage of boats, catamarans, dinghies, vessels, or other watercraft in any required front yard in other than a parking space which conforms to City standards or in a side or rear yard not screened from view by a permitted six-foot-high solid fence on a validly licensed trailer parked in a lawful manner.

AA. A swimming pool or pond which is unfiltered, or not otherwise maintained, which contains bacterial growth, algae, remains of insects, remains of deceased animal life, rubbish, refuse, dirt, debris, papers, chemicals or other matter or material which, because of the magnitude, nature or location, constitutes an unhealthy or unsafe condition.

BB. Camper shells, boats, watercraft or trailers, or wrecked, abandoned or inoperable vehicles stored on property and not screened from view by a permitted six-foot-high solid fence, or otherwise stored out of view of the public or neighboring properties.

CC. Any condition or use of any building, structure or property that violates this code, provisions of State or Federal law enforceable by the City or any rules, regulations, permits or approvals issued by or applicable to the City.

DD. Lumber, junk, trash, rubbish, salvage materials, rubble, broken asphalt, concrete, water containers, scrap metal or other debris stored on a property and visible from a public street, alley or adjoining property.

EE. Dead, decayed, diseased, overgrown or hazardous trees, weeds and vegetation, cultivated or uncultivated, upon streets, sidewalks, parking, or private property within the City, which may harbor rats or vermin, or constitute an unsightly appearance, or which is detrimental to neighboring properties or property values, or which is a fire hazard, or which otherwise adversely affects the public health, safety or general welfare. [Ord. 1349 § 2, 2016; Ord. 1333 § 4, 2015].

8.18.030 City investigation and abatement.

City staff is authorized to investigate any public nuisance, the property on which such nuisance is located, the identity of the owner or person or entity in control of such property, or the identity of the person or entity, or agent thereof, and cause such nuisance to be abated. [Ord. 1333 § 4, 2015].

8.18.040 Notice to abate and appeal.

A. Upon the determination a public nuisance exists on a property, the City Manager or designee is authorized to issue a notice to abate to any person who or entity that creates, causes, permits or maintains any public nuisance and give a reasonable time to abate said public nuisance. Such notice shall be given in substantially the following form, although failure to follow such form shall not invalidate the City’s notice or enforcement action:

NOTICE AND DEMAND FOR ABATEMENT

Please take notice the City of Lake Elsinore has determined the following public nuisance(s) exists at (address or property description) in violation of (citation): (description of public nuisance). The City requires you to abate the public nuisance.

If you fail to completely abate said public nuisance within (time) calendar days from the date of this notice, the City shall proceed to take enforcement action or cause abatement of said public nuisance(s) and require you to pay the costs of the abatement. The City may cause such costs to become a lien or special assessment against the property, and will recover from you the costs for recording and collecting the same.

This notice is given without prejudice to any other right or remedy of the City.

B. The recipient of the notice to abate, or the owner of the property on which the nuisance is located, may request a hearing on the notice to abate by filing a written appeal with the City Manager or designee within 15 calendar days of the date of the notice to abate. The appeal shall state the reasons why the notice to abate is incorrect.

C. If a request for hearing is not timely and properly filed, or if a hearing is held and a nuisance is confirmed, City personnel or contractors may enter the property, subject to requirements of law, to abate the nuisance.

D. Failure to timely and properly appeal constitutes a waiver of the right to appeal and a failure to exhaust administrative remedies.

E. Hearing. If a request for hearing is timely and properly filed, a hearing shall be conducted to hear the appeal and render a determination on the existence of the public nuisance(s) identified in the notice to abate. The City Manager shall appoint three hearing officers to be selected from members of the Planning Commission or any other persons deemed appropriate and neutral, which shall constitute the Nuisance Abatement Board.

F. Notice of Hearing. A notice of the hearing date, time and location shall be served on the person requesting the hearing and the owner of the property on which the violation occurred in accordance with LEMC 8.18.050.

G. Conduct of the Hearing. On the date and time stated in the notice of the hearing, the Nuisance Abatement Board shall hear and consider all relevant evidence relating to the conditions on the property as identified in the notice to abate. The hearing may be continued from time to time at the discretion of the City or upon a written request from the appellant based on good cause. The appealing party shall have the opportunity to present relevant evidence and testimony on his or her behalf, and shall have the opportunity to examine relevant City witnesses. The rules of evidence shall not apply.

H. Determination. Within a reasonable time following conclusion of the hearing, the Nuisance Abatement Board shall issue a written determination as to whether the conditions identified in the notice to abate constitute a public nuisance. If the Nuisance Abatement Board determines that a public nuisance exists, it shall declare such premises to be a public nuisance, uphold the notice to abate in full or in part, and order complete abatement within a specified time. If the Nuisance Abatement Board determines that none of the conditions identified in the notice to abate constitute a public nuisance, then the notice to abate shall be withdrawn. The determination of the Nuisance Abatement Board is final.

I. Notice of Determination. Notice of the determination of the Nuisance Abatement Board shall be served on the appealing party and the owner of the property on which the violation occurred in accordance with LEMC 8.18.050. [Ord. 1349 § 3, 2016; Ord. 1333 § 4, 2015].

8.18.050 Service.

Unless otherwise specified, any notice, order or statement issued pursuant to this chapter may be served by personal service or by certified mail to the violator’s last known address or address as shown on the County’s Assessor’s most recent tax rolls. Service shall be completed at the time of deposit in the U.S. mail. [Ord. 1333 § 4, 2015].

8.18.060 Voluntary abatement.

Any person or entity owning, leasing, occupying or having charge or possession of a property where a public nuisance exists may abate the nuisance within the period provided in a notice to abate by rehabilitation, repair, removal or demolition, subject to obtaining any required permits or approvals from the City. The City shall be advised of any such abatement and City staff is authorized to inspect the property to ensure the nuisance has been properly abated. [Ord. 1333 § 4, 2015].

8.18.070 Failure to voluntarily abate a nuisance.

If a nuisance is not properly abated within the period provided by a notice to abate, the City shall be entitled to take any enforcement action allowed by law to cause the abatement of said nuisance, including but not limited to abatement of the nuisance by City forces or contractors. [Ord. 1333 § 4, 2015].

8.18.080 Abatement of an imminently dangerous nuisance.

Whenever the City Manager or designee determines a public nuisance is so imminently dangerous to life or property that such condition must be immediately removed, abated, repaired or isolated, the following procedures may be followed:

A. Notice. The City Manager or designee shall attempt to contact in personal or by telephone the owner of the property or the person, if any, occupying or otherwise in real or apparent charge and control thereof. In the event contact is made, the City Manager or designee shall notify such person(s) or entity of the imminent danger and require such condition be immediately removed, repaired or isolated so as to preclude harm to person or property.

B. Abatement. If the City Manager or designee is unable to make contact, or if the appropriate person(s) or entity after notification do not take action within such time as may be specified, then the City may take all actions deemed necessary to remove, repair or isolate such imminently dangerous condition, with the use of City forces or a contractor engaged by the City.

C. Costs. The City Manager shall keep an itemized accounting of all costs incurred by the City to abate the nuisance. All abatement costs incurred by the City may be recovered pursuant to procedures set forth in this chapter.

D. Hearing. After the City conducts an abatement of an imminently dangerous public nuisance, the City shall serve on the occupant of the property and the property owner, if different, a notice of said emergency abatement and a statement of costs. The notice shall include an opportunity to request an appeal hearing on the same. Service of the notice shall be in accordance with LEMC 8.18.050, and the appeal procedures shall be governed by LEMC 8.18.100. [Ord. 1333 § 4, 2015].

8.18.090 Abatement costs.

A. The City Manager or designee shall keep an itemized accounting of all costs incurred by the City to abate a public nuisance. The term “costs” includes, but is not limited to, those incurred in:

1. Preparation of notices, specifications and contracts;

2. Inspection and other staff enforcement activities;

3. Printings and mailings;

4. Recordings and court costs;

5. Hearings;

6. Actual costs of abatement; and

7. Attorney’s fees, whether through civil, criminal or administrative action, or otherwise.

The term “abate” or “abatement,” for purposes of this code, includes, but is not limited to, any action by the City to cause or compel compliance with any provision of this code, adopted codes, or applicable State or Federal laws. This specifically includes any civil or criminal action, inspection or abatement warrant, appeal from a City notice or enforcement action, any public nuisance hearing, administrative citation or appeal(s) therefrom, revocation of permits by the City, or cost recovery hearing.

B. Costs shall begin to accrue at the time the City first receives a complaint regarding a nuisance and may be recovered by the City even if the nuisance is voluntarily abated, in which case the City shall be deemed the prevailing party.

C. Costs shall be assessed at the conclusion of the abatement; provided, however, if an abatement by any method takes more than six months, costs may be assessed at any time after six months, but not more than two times a year.

D. The City Manager or designee shall serve the person who or entity that created, caused, permitted or maintained the public nuisance, as well as the record property owner, with a statement of costs of abatement.

E. The person receiving the statement of costs of abatement, and the owner of the property on which the nuisance existed, if different, may file with the City Manager or designee an appeal of said costs within 15 calendar days of the date of the statement. Failure to timely appeal shall constitute a waiver of the right to appeal and a failure to exhaust administrative remedies.

F. Service of the statement of costs of abatement shall be made by sending a copy of the statement of costs via certified mail to the property owner and, if different, to the address of the person who or entity that created, caused, permitted or maintained the public nuisance. Notice shall be deemed complete regardless of actual receipt.

G. Payment of the costs of abatement shall be due on the date of the statement of costs, unless timely and properly appealed, in which case said costs shall be stayed until the hearing officer’s written decision is made, but shall not be stayed pending any subsequent appeal.

H. Costs shall become a debt against the property upon which the nuisance existed, as well as a debt in favor of the City, and jointly and severally, against each person who or entity that created, caused, permitted or maintained the public nuisance. [Ord. 1333 § 4, 2015].

8.18.100 Appeal of abatement costs – Hearing procedures.

A. If, pursuant to LEMC 8.18.090, an appeal is timely filed, the City Manager or designee shall set a hearing not more than 30 days from receipt of the appeal. If no such appeal is filed, the right to appeal is deemed waived and the statement of abatement costs shall be final.

B. The City Manager or designee shall notify the appealing party of the hearing pursuant to LEMC 8.18.050 at least 10 days prior to the hearing date.

C. At the hearing, a neutral hearing officer designated by the City Manager shall consider all relevant evidence, including, but not limited to, applicable staff reports and any objections or protests raised by any of the persons or entities liable to be assessed for abatement costs. Thereupon, the hearing officer shall confirm, reverse or modify the statement of abatement costs, and such decision shall be final and conclusive, except for judicial review. The rules of evidence shall not apply to this hearing.

D. The hearing officer shall, within 10 days of the hearing, send a copy of the written notice of decision to the appealing party pursuant to LEMC 8.18.050. [Ord. 1349 § 4, 2016; Ord. 1333 § 4, 2015].

8.18.110 Collection of abatement costs.

The City may collect the debts owed pursuant to this chapter by any means authorized by law, including, but not limited to, the procedures set forth in this chapter, or filing an action in any court of competent jurisdiction. [Ord. 1333 § 4, 2015].

8.18.120 Nuisance abatement lien.

A. If abatement costs are not paid when due, the City shall notify the owner of record of the parcel of land on which the nuisance is created, caused, permitted or maintained, based on the last equalized assessment roll or the supplemental roll, whichever is more current, that a nuisance abatement lien will be recorded. The notice shall specify the amount of the lien, the name of the City, the date of the abatement order, if any, the street address, the legal description and the Assessor’s parcel number of the parcel on which the lien is imposed, and the name and address of the recorded owner of the parcel. The notice shall be served in accordance with LEMC 8.18.050 but if the owner of record, after diligent search, cannot be found, notice may be served by posting a copy thereof in a conspicuous place upon the property for a period of 10 days and publication thereof in a newspaper of general circulation in the County of Riverside.

B. After the notice of lien is served pursuant to this section, the notice of lien shall be recorded in the Riverside County Recorder’s office and shall thereafter constitute a lien on the property for the expense of the abatement, the related administrative costs and any applicable interest charges.

C. In the event the lien is discharged, released or satisfied, either through payment or foreclosure, notice of the discharge containing the same information as the notice of lien shall be recorded in the Riverside County Recorder’s office.

D. The City may foreclose on the nuisance abatement lien as provided by law.

E. Such notice of lien for recordation shall be in the form substantially as follows:

NOTICE OF LIEN

Claim of the City of Lake Elsinore

Pursuant to Chapter 8.18 of the Lake Elsinore Municipal Code, the City of Lake Elsinore did on or about the ____________ day of _______________, 20__, take action to abate a public nuisance on the real property described below. The City has assessed the cost of such abatement upon the property, and the same has not been fully paid. The City hereby claims a lien in the amount of $______________, and the same shall be a lien upon the real property until paid in full and discharged of record.

The real property hereinabove mentioned, and upon which a lien is claimed, is that certain parcel of land lying and being in the City of Lake Elsinore, County of Riverside, State of California, particularly described as follows:

(Legal Description)

Dated this ________ day of ___________, 20__

_________________________________
City Manager, City of Lake Elsinore

(ACKNOWLEDGEMENT)

[Ord. 1333 § 4, 2015].

8.18.130 Special assessment alternative.

A. As an alternative to a nuisance abatement lien as set forth in LEMC 8.18.120, the City Council may declare the costs of abatement a special assessment against the parcel of land on which the nuisance is created, caused, permitted or maintained. The total cost for abating such nuisance shall then constitute a special assessment against the respective parcel of land to which it relates, and upon recordation in the office of the County Recorder of a notice of lien, as so made and confirmed, shall constitute a lien on said property for the amount of such assessment.

B. The City shall notify the owner of record of the parcel of land on which the nuisance is created, caused, permitted or maintained, based on the last equalized assessment roll or the supplemental roll, whichever is more current, of the special assessment. The notice shall specify the amount of the assessment, the name of the City, the date of the abatement order, if any, the street address, the legal description and the Assessor’s parcel number of the parcel on which the assessment is imposed, and the name and address of the recorded owner of the parcel. The notice shall specify that the property may be sold after three years by the tax collector for the unpaid delinquent assessments. The notice shall be served by certified mail to the property owner, if the owner’s identity can be determined from the County Assessor’s or County Recorder’s records.

C. After recordation, a copy of the notice may be turned over to the tax collector for the County, whereupon the tax collector shall add the amounts of the respective assessments to the next regular tax bills levied against said respective lots and parcels of land for municipal purposes, and thereafter said amounts shall be collected at the same time and in the same manner as ordinary municipal taxes are collected, and shall be subject to the same penalties and the same procedure under foreclosure and sale in case of delinquency as provided for ordinary municipal taxes.

D. After such recordation, such lien may be foreclosed by judicial or other sale in the manner and means provided by law. [Ord. 1349 § 5, 2016; Ord. 1333 § 4, 2015].

8.18.140 Owner’s personal obligation.

A. The confirmed cost of abatement of a nuisance upon any lot or parcel of land shall constitute a personal obligation of the property owner and the City is authorized to commence an action in any court of competent jurisdiction to collect the cost of abatement from the property owner.

B. 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 that may be abated in accordance with this chapter, except for conditions abated pursuant to Section 17980 of the California Health and Safety Code, the court may order the owner to pay triple the costs of the abatement. [Ord. 1349 § 6, 2016; Ord. 1333 § 4, 2015].

8.18.150 Abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicles and parts.

A. The notice shall contain a statement that the owner of the property on which the vehicle is located and the owner of the vehicle may appeal the notice within 15 calendar days of the date of the notice by filing an appeal with the City Manager or designee. The appeal procedures shall be governed by LEMC 8.18.100. Failure to timely file an appeal shall constitute a waiver of the right to appeal and a failure to exhaust administrative remedies.

B. At least 10 days’ notice of intent to abate and remove the vehicle shall be sent to the owner of the property on which the vehicle is located and to the last registered or legal owner of record of the vehicle, if able to be determined, by certified mail, unless the vehicle is in such condition that identification numbers are not available to determine ownership.

C. The notice shall include a description of the vehicle, the correct identification number and license number of the vehicle insofar as they are available.

D. The notice shall contain a statement that the owner of the property on which the vehicle is located and the owner of the vehicle may appeal the notice within 15 calendar days of the date of the notice by filing an appeal with the City Manager or designee. The appeal procedures shall be governed by LEMC 8.18.100. Failure to timely file an appeal shall constitute a waiver of the right to appeal and a failure to exhaust administrative remedies.

E. The owner of the land on which the vehicle is located may appear in person at the hearing or present a written statement in time for consideration at the hearing, and deny responsibility for the presence of the vehicle on the land along with his reasons for such denial. If it is determined at the hearing that the vehicle was placed on the land without the consent of the land owner and that he has not subsequently acquiesced in its presence, then the City shall not assess costs of administration or removal of the vehicle against the property upon which the vehicle is located or otherwise attempt to collect such costs from the owner. It shall be land owner’s burden to prove that he or she did not consent or acquiesce to the presence of the vehicle or part thereof on their land.

F. Vehicles or parts thereof may be disposed of by removal to a scrap yard, automobile dismantler’s yard or any suitable site operated by the City for processing scrap or by any other final disposition consistent with these provisions.

G. Any person authorized by the City to administer this chapter may enter upon private property, subject to requirements of the law, for the purposes specified in this chapter to examine vehicles or parts thereof, obtain information as to the identity of the vehicle and to remove or cause the removal of any vehicle or part thereof declared to be a nuisance pursuant to this chapter.

H. A certified copy of the order of disposition of the vehicle or parts thereof shall be given to and retained by any person or commercial organization making a final disposition of the vehicle or parts thereof and said order shall be retained by them in their business records.

I. After a vehicle has been removed as a public nuisance, it shall be destroyed and under no circumstances shall the vehicle be reconstructed or made operable.

J. This chapter shall not apply to a vehicle or other personal property mentioned herein which is completely enclosed within a building in a lawful manner where it is not visible from the street or other public or private property, or a vehicle or other personal property which 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, however, that this exception shall not authorize the maintenance of a public or private nuisance as defined under the provisions of this chapter or any other law.

K. This chapter shall be administered by regularly salaried, full-time employees of the City except that actual abatement of the nuisance and removal of any and all items constituting a nuisance hereunder may be by any other duly authorized person.

L. Within five days after removal of any motor vehicle under this chapter, notice shall be given to the Department of Motor Vehicles of the date of removal, disposition thereof and identity of the vehicle or parts. In addition, all evidence of registration available including registration certificate, license plates and certificates of title shall be forwarded to the Department of Motor Vehicles as soon as possible.

M. The City may recover any costs incurred in enforcing these provisions in the manner provided in LEMC 8.18.110 through 8.18.130. [Ord. 1349 § 7, 2016; Ord. 1333 § 4, 2015].

8.18.152 Hazardous vegetation and rubbish abatement program.

A. Pursuant to Government Code Sections 39501 and 39502, the City of Lake Elsinore adopts the following procedures making it the responsibility and duty of the owners, lessees, and occupants of real property within the City to prevent and abate public nuisances caused by weeds or rubbish on or about their property.

B. The following definitions apply to the City’s hazardous vegetation and rubbish abatement program:

1. “Weeds” include (a) any vegetation or plants which when mature bear seeds of a downy or wingy nature; (b) sagebrush, chaparral and any other brush or weeds which attain such large growth as to become, when dry, a fire menace; (c) poison oak and poison ivy when the conditions of growth are such as to constitute a menace to the public health, and weeds that are otherwise noxious or dangerous; (d) overgrown vegetation which is likely to harbor rats or vermin, or which constitutes a fire hazard; (e) dry grass, stubble, brush, or other flammable material which endangers the public safety by creating a fire hazard; (f) large amounts of dead, dying or diseased vegetation; and (g) any other brush, vines, trees, grass, plants, or vegetation that is injurious to public health, safety, welfare or is otherwise hazardous or unsightly to the community.

2. “Rubbish” includes, but is not limited to, trash or refuse consisting of uncontained paper, cardboard, wood, dry grass or brush, dirt, plastic, rubber, metal or ceramic wreckage, glass, junk, disassembled automobiles, machinery, or parts thereof, or any other discarded material which may be combustible or deleterious to the public health, safety, or welfare, or any material which by reason of its location and/or character may hamper or interfere with the prevention or suppression of fire upon the premises or adjacent premises.

C. It shall be unlawful, and is hereby declared a public nuisance, for the owner(s), lessee(s), or occupant(s) of real property within the City to maintain, permit, or allow such premises to be maintained in such a condition where weeds or rubbish negatively affect the public health, safety, or welfare. It is also hereby declared the duty and responsibility of the owner(s), lessee(s), and occupant(s) of real property within the City to prevent and abate any and all conditions of weeds or rubbish that negatively affect the public health, safety, or welfare.

D. The City Manager or designee shall adopt standards consistent with this section for the maintenance, prevention, and abatement of weeds and rubbish on all lots and parcels of real property within the City and make the same reasonably available to the public.

E. The City Manager or designee shall have authority to declare violations of this section and the standards adopted pursuant hereto, and to enforce the same against the owner(s), lessee(s) and occupant(s) of the property upon which such conditions exist.

F. The City Manager or designee shall cause a 45-day notice to be issued to the owner(s) of the lot or parcel of real property and any other lessee(s) or occupant(s) against whom enforcement of this section is sought and/or from whom cost recovery will be made. The notice shall contain (1) a reasonable description of the lot or parcel of real property upon which the violation exists, (2) a reasonable description of the violating conditions constituting the nuisance, (3) the relevant standards for maintenance, prevention, and abatement of weeds and rubbish adopted pursuant to this section, the City Manager or designee, (4) reference to this section, (5) an order to remove the violating conditions and bring the property into compliance in no less than 45 days, (6) a description of the consequences of failure to comply as prescribed in this section, and (7) a statement that a written appeal may be filed with the City Manager or designee thereof.

G. The notice required shall be served upon the owner(s) and any lessee(s) or occupant(s), or the authorized agents thereof, by any of the following methods:

1. By personal service; or

2. By mail sent to the address as reflected on the last equalized assessment roll of the County or agent thereof, or as otherwise known to the City; or

3. By posting the notice conspicuously on or in front of the property upon which the violation exists.

H. After the initial 45-day notice, if the property has not been brought into compliance and no written appeal has been filed in accordance with LEMC 8.18.040, a 15-day notice shall be issued. This notice shall be made in accordance with subsection (F) of this section except that it shall order the property be brought into compliance in no less than 15 days and shall state that any written appeal must be filed in no less than 15 calendar days with the City Manager or designee thereof. The 15-day notice shall be served by certified mail addressed to the owner(s) and any lessee(s) or occupant(s) as reflected on the last equalized assessment roll of the County or agent thereof, or as otherwise known to the City. An administrative fee shall also be assessed upon issuance of the 15-day notice.

I. All appeal and hearing procedures shall be governed by LEMC 8.18.040. Failure to file a timely and proper written appeal shall constitute a waiver of the right to appeal and a failure to exhaust administrative remedies.

J. If, after 15 days since the second notice was issued, the nuisance upon the property has not been abated and no written appeal has been filed in accordance with LEMC 8.18.040, City personnel and/or contractors may enter the property, subject to requirements of law, and take such action as is reasonably necessary to abate the nuisance.

K. The City shall keep an itemized accounting of the associated costs incurred by the City to abate the nuisance. All abatement and administrative costs incurred by the City, including all fees and costs as defined in LEMC 8.18.090(A), may be recovered by any manner authorized by law, including by lien or assessment pursuant to the procedures set forth in LEMC 8.18.110.

L. Abatement of any nuisance under this section may, in the discretion of the City Manager or designee, be contracted to an outside contractor. Should the City contract the abatement process, the City may assign its interest in collecting payment for the work to the contractor which performed the work, as payment to the contractor. [Ord. 1349 § 8, 2016].

8.18.160 Additional violations.

A. Any violation of this chapter shall constitute a misdemeanor punishable in accordance with Chapter 1.16 LEMC, and each day or portion thereof on which a violation occurs or is maintained shall constitute a separate and distinct violation.

B. Any occupant of any building or structure who fails to vacate the building or structure in accordance with a notice given as provided in this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor.

C. Any person who removes any notice or order posted pursuant to this chapter without authorization from the City is guilty of a misdemeanor.

D. Any person who obstructs, impedes or interferes with any representative of the City in carrying out a lawful inspection, abatement or enforcement activity pursuant to this code, adopted code or State law is guilty of a misdemeanor. [Ord. 1333 § 4, 2015].

8.18.170 Cumulative remedies.

A. Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to prevent the City from commencing any appropriate criminal, civil, administrative or other action to abate a nuisance in addition to, as an alternative to, or in conjunction with the proceedings set forth in this chapter. These remedies are intended to be cumulative of each other.

B. If the City commences any action to abate a nuisance, the City may recover its costs and attorney’s fees as part of the judgment which may be recorded as a lien or special assessment against the property and constitute a lien thereon. This section grants specific authority to any court of competent jurisdiction to grant an award of costs pursuant to law, and award attorney’s fees pursuant to Chapter 1.16 LEMC. Failure of a court to award attorney’s fees as part of a judgment or enforcement action does not preclude the City from placing a lien or assessing costs against the property pursuant to procedures set forth in this chapter. [Ord. 1333 § 4, 2015].