Chapter 10.48


10.48.010    Definitions.

10.48.020    Authority to Declare Nuisance and Abate.

10.48.030    Notice of Nuisance.

10.48.040    Hearing Procedure.

10.48.050    Appeal Decision.

10.48.060    Abatement Costs.

*    Plantings in public areas—See Chapter 13.08.

10.48.010 Definitions.

Weeds. The term “weeds” shall mean weeds which when mature bear the wingy or downy seeds, and which will attain such a large growth as to become a fire menace when dry or which are otherwise noxious or dangerous. (Ord. 2023-22 § 458, 2023; Ord. 2001-2 § 1, 2001: Ord. 1194 § 2 (part), 1966)

10.48.020 Authority to Declare Nuisance and Abate.

The Fire Marshal may declare a public nuisance and abate:

A.    Weeds growing upon highways, streets, sidewalks, parkways or private property in the City.

B.    Dry grass, stubble, brush, garden refuse, litter or other flammable material which constitutes a fire hazard or which, when dry, will in reasonable probability constitute a fire hazard.

C.    Poison oak and poison ivy when the location of such plants constitutes a menace to the public health.

D.    All rubbish, refuse and dirt upon parkways or sidewalks and all rubbish and refuse upon private property in the City.

E.    Weeds, trees, shrubs, or vegetation determined by the Fire Marshal to be a fire hazard, and which is located in the Local Responsibility Area Very High, High and Moderate Fire Hazard Severity Zones. (Ord. 2023-22 § 459, 2023; Ord. 2001-2 § 2, 2001: Ord. 1194 § 2 (part), 1966)

10.48.030 Notice of Nuisance.

A.    Notice of Nuisance. The Fire Marshal shall give written notice to the owner of record to abate the nuisance within thirty (30) days. The notice of nuisance shall state that the property owner is required to abate the nuisance, shall state the nature of the nuisance to be abated, what is required to abate it, and that if the nuisance is not abated the City may take further action which may include: (1) the City, or its contractor, may enter upon the parcel of land and remove or otherwise eliminate or abate the hazard; (2) that upon completion of such work the cost thereof, including Nuisance Abatement Services, can be billed to the property owner or can become a special assessment against that parcel; and (3) that upon City Council confirmation of the assessment and recordation of that order, a lien may be attached to the parcel to be collected on the next regular property tax bill levied against the parcel.

B.    Notice of Abatement Proceedings. Whenever the Fire Marshal determines that a nuisance exists and the owner of a property fails to properly abate the nuisance, the Fire Marshal is ordered to take appropriate correction actions based upon those findings. The Fire Marshal shall notify the owner of affected properties, as shown on the latest equalized tax assessment roll, by mail, of intention to abate the nuisance.

C.    Service of Notice. Notices shall be mailed by certified and regular first class mail to the address of the property owner not less than fifteen (15) days prior to the date of the proposed abatement. Failure of any owner, or any party concerned to receive a notice shall not affect the validity of any proceeding taken, if the procedure for service of notice has been followed.

D.    Appeal. The property owner may appeal the decision of the Fire Marshal requiring the abatement of the nuisance by sending a written appeal to the Fire Chief requesting a hearing with the City Manager within ten days of the notice. (Ord. 2023-22 § 460, 2023; Ord. 2001-2 § 3, 2001: Ord. 1194 § 2 (part), 1966)

10.48.040 Hearing Procedure.

A.    The City Manager shall only consider evidence that is relevant to whether a nuisance existed and whether the property owner caused or maintained the nuisance.

B.    The property owner contesting the notice of abatement shall be given the opportunity to testify and present witnesses and evidence.

C.    The failure of any recipient of a notice of abatement to appear at the appeal hearing shall constitute a waiver of the appeal, waiver of abatement costs and failure to exhaust administrative remedies.

D.    The notice of abatement proceeding and any additional documents submitted by the Fire Marshal shall constitute prima facie evidence of the respective facts contained in those documents.

E.    If the Fire Marshal submits additional written information concerning the notice of abatement proceeding for consideration at the appeal hearing, a copy of the written information shall be served by mail on the person requesting the hearing at least five days prior to the date of the hearing.

F.    At least five days prior to the appeal hearing, the recipient of a notice of abatement proceeding shall be provided a copy of the documents relied upon by the Fire Marshal. No other discovery is permitted. Formal rules of evidence shall not apply.

G.    A hearing before the City Manager shall be set for a date that is not less than ten (10) days and not more than fourteen (14) days from the date the request for hearing is filed. The person requesting the hearing shall be notified of the time and place set for the hearing at least five days prior to the date of the hearing. (Ord. 2023-22 § 461, 2023; Ord. 2001-2 § 5, 2001: Ord. 1354 § 1, 1970: prior Ord. 1194 § 2 (part), 1966)

10.48.050 Appeal Decision.

A.    After considering all the testimony and evidence submitted at the appeal hearing, the City Manager shall issue a written decision within forty-eight (48) hours of the hearing upholding or denying the notice of abatement proceeding and shall list within the decision the reasons for that decision. The City Manager may impose such conditions and take such other actions as are deemed appropriate to carry out the purpose of the provisions of this chapter.

B.    The decision of the City Manager shall be final as to the City but subject to judicial review pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1094.5. The decision shall be served on the property owner in accordance with Section 1.08.080 within forty-eight (48) hours of the hearing. (Ord. 2023-22 § 462, 2023; Ord. 2001-2 § 6, 2001: Ord. 1194 § 2 (part), 1966)

10.48.060 Abatement Costs.

A.    The costs involved in the correction of the substandard conditions shall become a special assessment against the property. In addition to the above costs, a Nuisance Abatement Services fee established by resolution of the Council of the City, shall be assessed against each parcel for Newport Beach Fire Department and other City-incurred costs associated with abatement.

B.    The Fire Chief shall notify, in writing, all parties concerned of the amount of such assessment resulting from such work. If the total assessment determined as provided for in this section is not paid within thirty (30) days after mailing of such notice, the property owner shall be billed. If unpaid, such charges shall be placed as a special assessment on the tax bill for the property pursuant to California Government Code Section 38773.5.

C.    Other Abatement Procedures. The provisions of this chapter shall not in any manner limit or restrict the City from enforcing City ordinances or abating public nuisances in any other manner provided by law. (Ord. 2023-22 § 463, 2023; Ord. 2001-2 § 7, 2001: Ord. 1194 § 2 (part), 1966)