Chapter 1.20


1.20.010    Findings and purpose.

1.20.020    Nuisance designated.

1.20.030    Administrative citations and fee schedule.

1.20.040    Authority to issue administrative citations.

1.20.010 Findings and purpose.

The city council finds, determines and declares as follows:

A. The city wishes to encourage the development of land uses and well kept properties. The city recognized that property values and the general welfare of the community are founded in large part on appearance and maintenance of properties.

B. There is a need for greater emphasis on the maintenance of properties because certain conditions which appear to constitute nuisances are found to exist in the city.

C. The existence of property in a condition constituting a nuisance as defined below is injurious and inimical 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 diminution 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.

D. The existence of public nuisances of the type designated, and the abatement of them, is reasonably related to the proper exercise of the police power in protecting 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.

E. Unless corrective measures are continued to be undertaken to alleviate such conditions, the public health, safety and general welfare and the property values and social and economic standards of this community will be substantially depreciated. The abatement of such conditions will enhance the appearance and value of such properties and will improve the tax base of the city. [Ord. 935 § 6, 1987.]

1.20.020 Nuisance designated.

It is unlawful and declared to be a public nuisance for a person owning, leasing, occupying or having charge or possession of any property in the city to maintain the property in a manner that results in any of the following:

A. A building or structure which is structurally unsafe, partially destroyed, in an unreasonable state of partial construction, a fire hazard or otherwise dangerous. An “unreasonable state of partial construction” exists if the building has been under construction for more than one year and the appearance and other conditions substantially detract from the appearance of the immediate neighborhood or reduce the property values in the immediate neighborhood.

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 decay, excessive checking, cracking, peeling, chalking, dry rot, warping or termite or vermin infestation as to render the building or structure unsightly and in a state of disrepair.

C. A building exterior, wall, fence, driveway, sidewalk or walkway which is so defective, unsightly or deteriorated that it causes depreciation of the value of surrounding properties, is otherwise materially detrimental to nearby properties, or poses a hazard.

D. A property maintained so poorly that it is out of conformity with the maintenance standards of adjacent properties and which substantially diminishes the enjoyment, use or property values of adjacent 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. Lumber, junk, garbage, trash, debris, salvage materials visible from public or private property or otherwise in violation of this code.

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.

H. Construction equipment or machinery parked or stored on noncommercial property and readily visible to the general public (except while excavation, construction or demolition is in progress at the site under a current city-issued building permit).

I. An attractive nuisance to children, including but not limited to, unprotected equipment, machinery, pools, ponds or excavations.

J. A vehicle, boat or other conveyance, or parts of them, which are abandoned, inoperable or parked or stored in violation of this code.

K. Dead, decayed, diseased or hazardous trees, weeds or overgrown vegetation which is likely to harbor rats, vermin or other pests, constitutes an unsightly appearance, is detrimental to neighboring properties or property values, or protrudes over or across a city street or sidewalk so as to substantially obstruct the clear passage of vehicles or pedestrians.

L. Repealed by Ord. 07-1296.

M. On property utilized for commercial or industrial purposes: 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.

N. Anything that unlawfully obstructs the free passage or use, in the customary manner, of any navigable lake, or river, bay, stream, canal, or basin, or any public park, square, street or highway.

O. Any artificial alteration of property, excluding water, from its natural condition, which results in supporting the development, attraction or harborage of vectors on the property.

P. Any water that is a breeding place for vectors, with the presence of vectors in their developmental stages in the water.

Q. Any activity that supports the development, attraction, or harborage of vectors, or that facilitates the introduction or spread of vectors.

R. Any polystyrene packaging materials, polystyrene coolers, or polystyrene food service ware left or stored outside an enclosed building or structure. [Ord. 18-1445 § 5, 2018; Ord. 07-1296 § 1, 2007; Ord. 05-1242 § 2, 2005; Ord. 935 § 6, 1987.]

1.20.030 Administrative citations and fee schedule.

A. Issuance of Administrative Citation. Whenever any person authorized or directed by the city manager to enforce any provision of this code, including any peace officer, determines that a violation of this chapter has occurred, that designated person shall have the authority to issue an administrative citation to any person whose acts or omissions have caused or contributed to the violation.

B. Each administrative citation shall contain the following information:

1. The date of the violation;

2. The address or description of the location where the violation occurred;

3. A description of the violation, including the section(s) of the municipal code that was/were violated;

4. The amount of the administrative fine;

5. A description of the administrative fine payment process, including time for payment;

6. A description of the administrative citation review process, including the requirements for requesting a hearing;

7. The name and signature of the employee or other person issuing the citation.

C. Amount of Administrative Fines. The schedule of fines for administrative citations issued for violations of this chapter is as follows, unless a higher amount is allowed by state law or municipal code:

1. An administrative fine not exceeding $100.00 for a first violation;

2. An administrative fine not exceeding $200.00 for a second violation of the same ordinance section within 12 months;

3. An administrative fine not exceeding $500.00 for each additional violation of the same ordinance section within 12 months.

D. Payment of Administrative Fines.

1. The administrative fine shall be paid to the city within 30 days after the administrative citation is issued, unless a request for hearing pursuant to subsection (E) of this section is filed in a timely manner.

2. In the case of a continuing violation where the violation pertains to building, plumbing, electrical, or other similar structural or zoning issues that do not create an immediate danger to health or safety, the administrative fine shall be paid to the city within 60 days after the administrative citation is issued. An administrative fine issued for such a continuing violation need not be paid within this time period if the person responsible for the continuing violation corrects or otherwise remedies the violation to the reasonable satisfaction of the person issuing the citation or other authorized city official, or if a request for hearing pursuant to subsection (E) of this section is filed in a timely manner.

E. Hearing Request. Any person receiving an administrative citation may request a hearing to contest the citation. Any request for a hearing must be filed in writing with the city clerk within 30 days of issuance of the citation, except in the case of an administrative citation issued for a continuing violation pursuant to subsection (D)(2) of this section, where a request for a hearing must be filed in writing with the city clerk within 60 days after the administrative citation is issued. At the time of requesting the hearing, the person or entity requesting the appeals hearing shall pay an appeals processing fee. No appeal shall proceed without payment of the fee at the time the appeal is filed; provided, that the city clerk may waive or defer the appeal fee upon written request for good cause shown. Good cause may include severe economic hardship, significant attempts to comply with the notice and order, and other factors indicating good faith attempts to comply. Failure to timely request a hearing or to pay the appeals processing fee constitutes a waiver of the right to appeal and a failure to exhaust administrative remedies.

F. Hearing Officer. The city manager shall designate the hearing officer(s) for administrative citation hearings. Hearing officers may be employees of the city or any other person qualified to hear such matters.

G. Hearing Procedure.

1. The hearing shall be held not less than 15 days and not more than 60 days from the date that the request for hearing is filed. The hearing may be continued from time to time as deemed necessary by the hearing officer.

2. At the hearing, the party contesting the administrative citation shall be given the opportunity to testify and to present evidence or witnesses concerning the administrative citation.

3. The failure of the person contesting the administrative citation to appear at the hearing shall constitute a waiver of the hearing, a failure to exhaust administrative remedies, and agreement by the person contesting the administrative citation to pay the administrative fine.

4. The administrative citation and any additional report submitted by the person issuing the citation shall constitute prima facie evidence of the respective facts contained in those documents. The burden of proof shall then be on the person contesting the administrative citation to refute such evidence.

5. The rules of evidence as provided by California state law need not be followed unless otherwise decided by the hearing officer.

H. Hearing Officer’s Final Administrative Decision. After considering all of the testimony and evidence submitted at the hearing, the hearing officer shall issue a written, final administrative decision to uphold or cancel the administrative citation and shall state in the final administrative decision the reasons for that decision. A copy of the final administrative decision shall be served on the recipient of the administrative citation and provided to the employee or other person who initially issued the citation. The final administrative decision of the hearing officer shall be final, unless judicially reviewed as set forth in subsection (L) of this section.

I. Payment of Fine After Final Administrative Decision. If the final administrative decision of the hearing officer affirms the issuance of the administrative citation, the recipient of the citation shall pay the administrative fine to the city within 30 days after the date the final administrative decision is served.

J. Late Payment Charges. Any person who fails to pay to the city any administrative fine imposed pursuant to these administrative citation sections on or before the date that fine is due shall also be liable for the payment of any applicable late payment charges set forth in the master fee schedule.

K. Recovery of Administrative Fines and Costs. The city may collect any past due administrative fine and/or late payment charges by use of all available legal means, including as a personal obligation or through a lien or a special assessment on the affected property as provided in Chapter 1.24 PMC.

L. Right to Judicial Review. Any person aggrieved by a final administrative decision of a hearing officer on an administrative citation may obtain review of the final administrative decision by filing a petition for review with the superior court in Contra Costa County, in accordance with the timelines and provisions set forth in California Government Code Section 53069.4.

M. Notices. The administrative citation and all notices required to be given by these administrative citation sections shall be served either by personal delivery thereof to the person to be notified or by United States mail, first class postage prepaid, and if by such mail, it shall be sent to the last known address listed on the most recent tax assessor’s records or other records pertaining to the matter to which such notice is directed. In the case of personal service, service shall be deemed complete at the time of such delivery. In the case of service by first class mail, service shall be deemed complete at the time of deposit into the United States mail. Failure to receive any notice specified in this section does not affect the validity of proceedings conducted under these administrative citation sections.

N. Administrative Citation Not Exclusive Remedy. Notwithstanding anything in this or other city ordinances, resolutions or orders to the contrary, the issuance of an administrative citation and/or the imposition and/or payment of an administrative fine pursuant to these administrative citation sections shall be in addition to and not exclusive of any other remedy for violation of ordinances that is available under federal, state or local law or regulation.

O. Separate Violations. Each day or portion thereof during which a violation of an ordinance exists is a separate violation subject to an administrative citation. [Ord. 08-1310 § 3, 2008; Ord. 05-1245 § 2, 2005.]

1.20.040 Authority to issue administrative citations.

A. Field employees of the Contra Costa mosquito and vector control district (district) are hereby authorized, in addition to city of Pittsburg employees, to issue administrative citations on behalf of the city of Pittsburg, pursuant to PMC 1.20.030, to address violations of PMC 1.20.020(N) through (Q) relative to the creation, causing, committing or maintaining of a public nuisance.

B. Upon the specific, prior request of the city of Pittsburg, in a circumstance constituting an immediate threat to public health or safety, field employees of the district are authorized to abate public nuisances supporting the development, attraction or harborage of mosquitoes or other vectors.

C. To the extent the city of Pittsburg is able to recover the expense of nuisance abatement from the person creating, causing, committing, or maintaining a nuisance abated by district field employees at the request of the city of Pittsburg, the city of Pittsburg shall reimburse the district a portion or all of the district’s abatement costs. [Ord. 05-1242 § 3, 2005.]