Chapter 8.04


8.04.010    Public nuisance designated.

8.04.020    Definitions.

8.04.030    Exceptions.

8.04.040    Effect on other laws.

8.04.050    Administration and enforcement.

8.04.060    Right of entry of certain persons.

8.04.070    Abatement and removal authority.

8.04.080    Notice of intention to abate.

8.04.090    Notice not required when.

8.04.100    Failure of owner to abate nuisance.

8.04.110    Hearings.

8.04.120    Appeal of committee decision.

8.04.130    Failure to comply with committee decision—Removal by city—Cost assessment.

8.04.140    Removal form required.

8.04.150    Appraisal of vehicle value—Authority.

8.04.160    Chapter provisions not exclusive.

8.04.170    Violation—Penalty.

8.04.010 Public nuisance designated.

The presence of an abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicle or parts on private or public property, not including highways, except as expressly hereinafter permitted, is declared to be a public nuisance which may be abated in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 991 § 2 (part), 1993)

8.04.020 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, unless otherwise apparent from the context, certain words and phrases used herein are defined as follows:

“Community preservation committee” means the board designated to hear all appeals regarding vehicle abatement. The board shall consist of five persons selected from the various city identified neighborhoods with two alternates, all to be appointed by the city council.

“Highway” means a way or place of whatever nature, publicly maintained, and open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel. Highway includes street.

“Inoperative vehicle” shall be considered any vehicle or parts of vehicles which are abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperable.

“Property owner” means owner of the land on which the inoperable vehicle is located as shown on the latest equalized tax roles.

“Public property” means all property owned by a public entity, excluding highways.

“Quorum of the board” means three members of the community preservation committee. No abatement hearings shall be held without a quorum.

“Vehicle” means a device by which any person or property may be propelled, moved or drawn upon a highway.

“Vehicle owner” means the last known registered and/or legal owner of record of the inoperable vehicle. (Ord. 991 § 3, 1993)

8.04.030 Exceptions.

This chapter shall not apply to:

A.    A vehicle or part stored within a building in a lawful manner;

B.    A vehicle or part thereof which is stored or parked in a lawful manner on private property in connection with the business of a licensed dismantler, vehicle dealer, junk dealer, or when such storage or parking is necessary to the operation of a lawfully conducted business. This exception shall not, however, authorize the maintenance of a public or private nuisance as defined under provisions of law other than this chapter. (Ord. 991 § 4, 1993)

8.04.040 Effect on other laws.

This chapter is not exclusive regulation of inoperative vehicles within the city. It shall supplement and be in addition to other regulatory codes, statutes and ordinances heretofore enacted by the city, the state, or any other legal entity having jurisdiction. (Ord. 991 § 5, 1993)

8.04.050 Administration and enforcement.

Except as otherwise provided herein, the provisions of this chapter shall be administered and enforced by the department of fire and life safety. In the enforcement of this chapter such department officials may enter onto private or public property to examine a vehicle or parts thereof to obtain information as to the identity of an inoperable vehicle declared to be a public nuisance by this chapter. (Ord. 991 § 6, 1993)

8.04.060 Right of entry of certain persons.

The person or firm hired to remove an inoperable vehicle is authorized to enter on the property where the vehicle is located for the purposes of removing the inoperative vehicle declared to be a public nuisance. (Ord. 991 § 7, 1993)

8.04.070 Abatement and removal authority.

Upon discovering the existence of an inoperative vehicle on private property within the city, the fire and life safety department shall have the authority to cause the abatement and removal thereof in accordance with the procedures prescribed herein. (Ord. 991 § 8, 1993)

8.04.080 Notice of intention to abate.

A ten-day notice of intention to abate the inoperative vehicle as a public nuisance shall be mailed by registered or certified mail to the property owner and the registered and/or legal owner. The notice shall include the following information when possible: location of vehicle; description of vehicle; statement of potential action by city and choices of actions by property and vehicle owner; and statement of penalties. The notice shall also be posted on the property on which the inoperative vehicle is located.

The ten-day waiting period is not required if the property owner and/or the vehicle owner have signed releases authorizing removal and waiving further interest in the vehicle or parts thereof.

Pursuant to Section 22661 (d) CVC, the ten-day notice of intention to abate and remove a vehicle or part thereof, shall contain a statement of the hearing rights of the owner of the property on which the vehicle is located and the owner of the vehicle. The statement shall include notice to the property/vehicle owner that he or she may appear in person at a hearing or may submit a sworn written statement. This statement must be filed, in writing, to the fire and life safety department prior to the date abatement is to be completed. (Ord. 991 § 9, 1993)

8.04.090 Notice not required when.

The notice of intention is not required for removal of a vehicle or part thereof which is inoperable due to the absence of a motor, transmission or wheels and incapable of being towed; is valued at less than two hundred dollars ($200.00) by a person specified in Section 22855 of the California Vehicle Code, and is determined by the fire and life safety department to be a public nuisance presenting an immediate threat to public health or safety, provided the property and/or vehicle owner has signed a release authorizing removal and waiving further interest in the vehicle or part thereof. At or near the time of removal, the enforcement agency shall provide twelve (12) day written notice to the registered or legal owner of the intent to dispose of such vehicle and right to reclaim, pursuant to Section 22661(c), CVC.

This section applies only to private property zoned for agricultural use or property not improved with one or more residential dwelling units. (Ord. 991 §§ 10, 11, 1993)

8.04.100 Failure of owner to abate nuisance.

If the property owner and/or vehicle owner fails to remove the inoperative vehicle, pursuant to the notice of intention to abate, the fire and life safety department shall abate the vehicle. (Ord. 991 § 12, 1993)

8.04.110 Hearings.

All hearings noted in this chapter shall be held before the community preservation committee, which shall hear all facts and testimony it deems pertinent. Such facts and testimony may include testimony on the condition of the vehicle or parts thereof and the circumstances concerning its location on the private or public property. The property owner or vehicle owner may appear in person or may submit a sworn written statement in time for consideration at the hearing. If within the ten-day period set forth in Section 8.04.080, the property owner upon which the vehicle is located may submit a sworn statement denying responsibility for the presence of the vehicle on his or her land. The statement shall be construed as a request for hearing which does not require the presence of the owner at such hearing. If during the hearing it is determined the vehicle was placed on the land without the consent of the landowner and he or she has not subsequently agreed to its presence, then no penalties shall be assessed against the property. The community preservation committee shall consider the evidence and shall either: find the vehicle to be operative; order the vehicle to be made operative within thirty (30) days or order the vehicle abated if there is no evidence presented to indicate that the vehicle may be made operative. These orders shall not apply to appeals of fines. See Section 8.04.160. (Ord. 991 § 13, 1993)

8.04.120 Appeal of committee decision.

Any interested party may appeal the decision of the community preservation committee to the city council by filing with the city clerk, within five days of notice of the committee’s action, a written appeal along with a twenty-five dollar ($25.00) appeal fee. (Ord. 991 § 14, 1993)

8.04.130 Failure to comply with committee decision—Removal by city—Cost assessment.

Should the property owner and/or vehicle owner fail to comply with the decision of the community preservation committee or city council, the department of fire and life safety shall order the subject vehicle to be removed to a scrap yard or dismantler’s yard. A vehicle which has been removed shall not be reconstructed or made operable unless it qualifies for horseless carriage or historical vehicle license plates pursuant to Section 5004 of the California Vehicle Code.

The costs of removing the vehicles and a one hundred twenty-five dollar ($125.00) administrative fee may be assessed against the parcel of land pursuant to Section 38773.5 of the Government Code and shall be transmitted to the tax collector for collection. (Ord. 991 §§ 15, 16, 1993)

8.04.140 Removal form required.

Within five days after removal of any vehicle, the city will complete DMV form “Public Agency Authorization to Dispose of a Vehicle to a Scrap Iron Processor or Dismantler.” The city shall retain a copy for the property file and the dismantler/scrap iron processor shall notify the Department of Motor Vehicles that the vehicle has been abated. (Ord. 991 § 17, 1993)

8.04.150 Appraisal of vehicle value—Authority.

For the purposes of Section 8.04.090, and in addition to others qualified pursuant to Section 22855 CVC, the fire chief, fire marshall and code enforcement officers shall have the authority to appraise the value of vehicles. (Ord. 991 § 18, 1993)

8.04.160 Chapter provisions not exclusive.

Nothing in this chapter shall be constructed to replace the requirements of Section 22851.3 of the California Vehicle Code if those procedures are used. (Ord. 991 § 19, 1993)

8.04.170 Violation—Penalty.

It is unlawful and an infraction for any person, firm or corporation to repetitively maintain vehicles in violation of this chapter. The penalty for each infraction shall be levied by a judge of the municipal court.

Such person, firm or corporation shall be deemed guilty of a separate violation hereof for each day during any portion of which any violation hereof is committed, continued or permitted and shall be punishable as herein provided. (Ord. 991 § 20, 1993)