Chapter 1.26


1.26.010    Purpose and pre-emption.

1.26.020    Maintenance of foreclosed residential properties and notice of violation.

1.26.030    Notice of violation and time to cure remedy.

1.26.040    Penalty.

1.26.050    Hearing to contest fine.

1.26.060    Deleted by state enactment.

1.26.010 Purpose and pre-emption.

This chapter is not intended to pre-empt state law, but is only intended to carry out the provisions of California Civil Code Section 2929.3. In the event there is a conflict between the provisions of state law and this chapter, the state law shall control. [Ord. 08-1310 § 2, 2008.]

1.26.020 Maintenance of foreclosed residential properties and notice of violation.

A. A legal owner shall maintain vacant residential property purchased by that owner at a foreclosure sale, or acquired by that owner through foreclosure under a mortgage or deed of trust. (Civil Code Section 2929.3(a)(1).)

B. For purposes of this chapter, “failure to maintain” means failure to care for the exterior of the property, including, but not limited to, permitting excessive foliage growth that diminishes the value of surrounding properties, failing to take action to prevent trespassers or squatters from remaining on the property, or failing to take action to prevent mosquito larvae from growing in standing water or other conditions that create a public nuisance. (Civil Code Section 2929.3(b).) [Ord. 08-1310 § 2, 2008.]

1.26.030 Notice of violation and time to cure remedy.

A. If the city imposes a fine pursuant to this section, the city shall give notice of the alleged violation, including a description of the conditions that gave rise to the allegation, and notice of the city’s intent to assess a civil fine if action to correct the violation is not started within a period of not less than 14 days. The violation must be remedied within a period of not less than 30 days. (Civil Code Section 2929.3(a)(1).)

B. The city may provide less than 30 days’ notice to remedy a condition, if the city determines that a specific condition of the property threatens public health or safety; and provided, that the notice of violation states that there is a threat to public health and safety, and time for compliance is given. (Civil Code Section 2929.3(c).)

C. Subject to the provisions of this section, a governmental entity may establish different compliance periods for different conditions on the same property in the notice of violation mailed to the legal owner. (Civil Code Section 2929.3(a)(3).)

D. Notice pursuant to this section shall be mailed to the address provided in the deed or other instrument as specified in subdivision (a) of Section 27321.5 of the Government Code, or, if none, to the return address provided on the deed or other instrument. (Civil Code Section 2929.3(a)(1).) [Ord. 08-1310 § 2, 2008.]

1.26.040 Penalty.

A. The city may impose a civil fine of up to $1,000 per day for each day that the owner fails to maintain the property, commencing on the day following the expiration of the period to remedy the violation. (Civil Code Sections 2929.3(a)(1), 2929.3(a)(2).)

B. In determining the amount of the fine, the city shall take into consideration any timely and good faith efforts by the legal owner to remedy the violation. (Civil Code Section 2929.3(a)(2).)

C. Fines and penalties collected pursuant to this section shall be directed to local nuisance abatement programs. (Civil Code Section 2929.3(c).)

D. The city may not impose fines on a legal owner under both this section and a local ordinance related to maintenance of boarded and vacant buildings. (Civil Code Section 2929.3(e).) However, this compliance and notices under this section shall not pre-empt any local ordinance related to nuisance abatement on the property. (Civil Code Section 2929.3(f).)

E. The rights and remedies provided in this section are cumulative and in addition to any other rights and remedies provided by law. (Civil Code Section 2929.3(h).) [Ord. 08-1310 § 2, 2008.]

1.26.050 Hearing to contest fine.

A. The legal owner may contest the fine imposed on his/her property pursuant to this chapter. A request for a hearing must be filed in writing with the code enforcement division of the police department, and the request must state the grounds for the appeal and include a nonrefundable appeals processing fee in the amount of $100.00. 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.

B. Hearing Procedure.

1. The city manager shall designate a hearing officer. The hearing officer may be the hearing officer used for conducting other code enforcement hearings.

2. 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. Notice of the time, date and location of the hearing shall be provided to the legal owner no later than 10 days before the hearing.

3. At the hearing, the party contesting the fine shall be given the opportunity to testify and to present evidence or witnesses concerning the violation.

4. The failure of the person contesting the violation 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 fine to pay the administrative fine.

5. The notice of violation, and fine 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 fine to refute such evidence.

6. Neither the rules of evidence as provided by California state law nor the provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act apply to hearings under this chapter.

C. Hearing Officer’s Decision. After considering all of the testimony and evidence submitted at the hearing, the hearing officer shall issue a written, final decision to uphold or cancel the fine and shall state in the final decision the reasons for that decision. A copy of the decision shall be served on the legal owner. The decision of the hearing officer shall be final, except for judicial review.

D. Payment of Fine After Final Decision. If the final decision of the hearing officer affirms the issuance of the fine, the legal owner shall pay the fine to the city within 30 days after service of the decision. [Ord. 08-1310 § 2, 2008.]

1.26.060 Sunset date.1

Deleted by state enactment. [Ord. 08-1310 § 2, 2008.]


Code reviser’s note: The state of California enacted a statute that deleted the sunset date (Assembly Bill No. 2314, amending Civil Code Section 2929.3 to remove subsection (i)).