Chapter 8.24


8.24.010    Title.

8.24.020    Public nuisances designated.

8.24.030    Abatement methods.

8.24.040    Resolution setting public hearing.

8.24.050    Posting notice of public hearing.

8.24.060    Serving notice of public hearing.

8.24.070    Notice—Proof of posting and service.

8.24.080    Hearing by council.

8.24.090    Hearing—Council’s determination.

8.24.100    Time limitation for filing objections to council’s determination.

8.24.110    Resolution order abatement—Service and recordation.

8.24.120    Abatement by City.

8.24.130    Statement of abatement costs.

8.24.140    Confirmation of statement of abatement costs.

8.24.150    Assessment of costs—Notice of lien—Collection.

8.24.160    Prohibited acts.

8.24.170    Alternative methods of abatement or enforcement.

8.24.180    Maintaining a nuisance—Criminal sanctions.

8.24.190    Maintaining a nuisance—Private cause of action.

8.24.200    Severability.

8.24.010 Title.

This chapter may be cited as the “nuisance abatement ordinance of the city”. (Ord. 1206 § 1, 1991: prior code § 4400)

8.24.020 Public nuisances designated.

Each of the following shall constitute a public nuisance which may, at the sole discretion of the city, be abated in accordance with the abatement procedures set forth in this chapter. In addition, criminal sanctions may be imposed for the maintenance of a public nuisance as set forth in Section 8.24.180 of this chapter.

A. Any structure, as defined in the Building Code, which exists, or which is maintained or used upon any premises in violation of any requirement or prohibition of any law, ordinance or permit, including, without limitation, requirements or prohibitions related to location, construction, condition, maintenance, use, or time period limitation.

B. Any premises upon which there exists any condition, thing or use in violation of any requirement or prohibition of any law, ordinance or permit related to the condition, maintenance or use of the premises.

C. Any unlawful encroachment which obstructs or interferes with the free passage or use by the public of any public sidewalk, street, alley or right-of-way.

D. The occurrence of more than two loud or unruly assemblages in any sixty-day period that threatens the public peace, health, safety or general welfare and requires a police response to control the threat to the public peace, health, safety, or general welfare. The determination of a public nuisance under this subsection shall expire eighteen months after the date of the resolution ordering abatement as set forth in Section 8.24.110 of this chapter.

E. As applied to this chapter, the determination of a “response” will be when the police department responds to a location, observes a violation of applicable state or municipal violations, and the tenant is issued a disturbance advisement card, a citation, or is arrested for the applicable violation.

F. Anything constituting a public nuisance as specifically defined or declared by any other law or ordinance. (Ord. 1206 § 1, 1991: prior code § 4400.1)

8.24.030 Abatement methods.

Public nuisances ordered to be abated under the provisions of this chapter may be abated by rehabilitation, repair, demolition, removal or other appropriate action as determined by the council after compliance by the city with the procedures set forth in this chapter. (Ord. 1206 § 1, 1991: prior code § 4400.2)

8.24.040 Resolution setting public hearing.

A. Whenever the council finds, based upon the recommendations of the city administrative officer or any department head, that a public nuisance may exist upon any premises, the council may, by resolution, declare its intent to hold a public hearing to ascertain whether the same constitutes a public nuisance which may be abated under the procedure set forth in this chapter.

B. The resolution shall describe the premises by street address, referring to the street by the name under which it is officially or commonly known, shall further describe the property by giving the lot, block and tract number thereof where applicable and the parcel number from the assessment roll, shall give a brief description of the facts forming the basis for the finding, and shall contain a brief statement of the possible methods available to abate the alleged nuisance. (Ord. 1206 § 1, 1991: prior code § 4400.3)

8.24.050 Posting notice of public hearing.

Within thirty days after the passage of the resolution and at least fifteen days before the time fixed for the public hearing, the city clerk shall cause to be conspicuously posted on the premises a certified copy of such resolution, and a notice of the time and place of hearing before the council, which notice shall be titled, “Notice of Public Hearing” in letters not less than one inch in height and shall be substantially in the following form:


NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that on (date) at the hour of ___.M., the Council of the City of San Luis Obispo will hold a public hearing in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 990 Palm Street, San Luis Obispo, California, to ascertain whether a public nuisance exists upon certain premises situated in said City known and designated as _______________ (street address) and more particularly described as Lot No. ____, Block No. ____, Tract No. ____, and shown as Parcel No. _____ in Book ____, Page ____ in the assessment roll of the County of San Luis Obispo.
    If the Council finds upon the evidence presented at the hearing that a public nuisance does exist, and if the same is not promptly abated by the owner of said premises, said nuisance may be abated by municipal authorities by rehabilitation, repair, demolition, removal or other appropriate action, the cost of which will constitute a lien upon such premises until paid. In addition, the owner may be subject to criminal sanctions for the maintenance of a public nuisance as set forth in San Luis Obispo Municipal Code Section 8.24.180.
    The alleged nuisance consists of the following:_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.
    All persons having any objection to, or interest in said matters are hereby notified to appear at the public hearing at the aforesaid time and place, when their testimony and evidence will be heard and given due consideration.

City Clerk”   

(Ord. 1206 § 1, 1991: prior code § 4400.4)

8.24.060 Serving notice of public hearing.

A. At least fifteen days before the time fixed for the public hearing, the city clerk shall cause to be served upon each of the owners thereof one copy of the notice of public hearing and a certified copy of the resolution of the council. “Owner” as used in this chapter shall mean any person known to be in possession and also any person having any legal or equitable interest in the premises as disclosed by a current title search from an accredited title company.

B. Service shall be by personal service upon any owner whose name and address appears upon the last equalized assessment roll and who can reasonably be found within the city limits. Service upon all other owners may be accomplished by depositing a stamped, sealed envelope containing a copy of the notice and resolution in the U.S. Certified or Registered Mail, return receipt requested, addressed to each owner at his or her last known address; and if there is no known address, then in care of the address of the premises. Service shall be deemed to be complete at the time of such deposit. The failure of any person to receive such notice shall not affect the validity of the abatement proceedings. (Ord. 1206 § 1, 1991: prior code § 4400.5)

8.24.070 Notice—Proof of posting and service.

Before the commencement of the public hearing, the city clerk shall verify that affidavits or declarations establishing proof of posting of the premises and proof of service upon all owners within the required time periods have been filed in his or her office. (Ord. 1206 § 1, 1991: prior code § 4400.6)

8.24.080 Hearing by council.

At the time stated in the notice, the city council shall hear and consider all relevant evidence, objections or protests, and shall receive testimony under oath from owners, witnesses, city personnel and interested persons relative to the existence of the alleged public nuisance, the estimated costs of abating the same, and any other matters which the council deems pertinent thereto. The hearing may be continued from time to time by the council. (Ord. 1206 § 1, 1991: prior code § 4400.7)

8.24.090 Hearing—Council’s determination.

A. After the conclusion of the hearing, the council shall, based upon the hearing, determine whether or not a public nuisance exists upon the premises, or any part thereof.

B. If the council finds that such public nuisance does exist and that there is sufficient cause to require the abatement thereof, the council may adopt a resolution declaring the existence of the nuisance upon the premises, and ordering the abatement of the same within thirty days, or within such other time limit as the council may specify, by the manner and means specifically set forth in the resolution. (Ord. 1206 § 1, 1991: prior code § 4400.8)

8.24.100 Time limitation for filing objections to council’s determination.

Any owner or other interested person having any objections or feeling aggrieved at any proceeding taken by the council in ordering the abatement of any public nuisance under the provisions of this chapter must bring an action to contest such decision within thirty days after the adoption by the council of the resolution ordering the abatement of the nuisance. Otherwise, all objections to such decision shall be deemed waived. (Ord. 1206 § 1, 1991: prior code § 4400.9)

8.24.110 Resolution order abatement—Service and recordation.

A copy of the resolution ordering the abatement of the nuisance shall be served upon the owners of the property in accordance with the provisions of Section 8.24.060. Any property owner shall have the right to have any such premises rehabilitated or to have such structures demolished, removed or repaired in accordance with the resolution, at his or her own expense, provided the same is done prior to the expiration of the time limit specified in the resolution. Upon such abatement in full by the owner, proceedings under this chapter shall terminate. If the nuisance has not been abated as ordered within the specified time limit, the city clerk shall file in the office of the recorder of the county a certificate describing the property and certifying (1) that the property is a public nuisance and (2) that the owner has been so notified. Whenever thereafter the public nuisance has been abated as ordered, the city clerk shall file a new certificate with the county recorder certifying that the property is no longer a public nuisance. (Ord. 1206 § 1, 1991: prior code § 4400.10)

8.24.120 Abatement by City.

If such nuisance is not completely abated by the owner within the time limit specified by the council, the council may direct the city administrative officer, or such other city official as may be designated by him or her, to cause the same to be abated by city forces or private contract, and city and contract personnel are expressly authorized to enter upon the premises for such purpose. Upon request of the designated official, other city departments shall cooperate fully and shall render all reasonable assistance in abating any such nuisance. (Ord. 1206 § 1, 1991: prior code § 4400.11)

8.24.130 Statement of abatement costs.

A. The city administrative officer shall keep an account of the costs incurred by the city in abating the nuisance, and shall submit to the council an itemized statement for each lot or parcel showing all such costs, including incidental expenses, and noting any salvage value or storage costs of items removed from the property; provided, that before the statement is considered by the council, a copy of the same shall be posted for at least five days upon such lot or parcel, together with a notice of the time and place when the statement will be considered by the council for confirmation. A copy of the statement and notice shall also be served upon the owners of the lot or parcel in the manner provided in Section 8.24.060 for serving the notice of public hearing; provided, that the date of service must be at least prior to the date the council considers the statement. Proof of the posting and service shall be accomplished as provided in Section 8.24.070.

B. The term “incidental expenses” shall include, but not be limited to, the actual expenses and costs of the city in obtaining title reports, in the preparation and service of notices, preparation of specifications, the preparation and award of all contracts, all costs of inspecting any work done pursuant to this chapter, the cost of printing and mailing required under this chapter, the costs of preparing materials for any hearing held pursuant to this chapter, and a reasonable additional sum to cover the cost of administrative overhead. (Ord. 1206 § 1, 1991: prior code § 4400.12)

8.24.140 Confirmation of statement of abatement costs.

At the time and place for considering the statement, the council shall consider the statement together with any objections or protests thereto by the owners or other interested persons. The decision of the council on all protests shall be final and conclusive, and the council may approve the statement as submitted, or may modify it as the council deems just and equitable. Thereafter, the council shall adopt a resolution confirming the statement as submitted or as modified. (Ord. 1206 § 1, 1991: prior code § 4400.13)

8.24.150 Assessment of costs—Notice of lien—Collection.

A. Both the owner of the property on which the nuisance was abated and all persons who created, caused, committed or maintained the nuisance shall be personally liable to the city for the abatement costs confirmed by the resolution. In addition, the abatement costs shall constitute a special assessment against the respective lot or parcel of land to which it relates, and upon recordation in the office of the county recorder of a notice of lien, shall constitute a lien on the property for the amount of such assessment.

B. The form for the notice of lien shall be substantially as follows:

(Claim of City of San Luis Obispo)

Pursuant to the authority granted by the laws of the State of California and the Charter and ordinances of the City of San Luis Obispo, and in compliance with the provisions thereof, said City has expended the sum of $___ to abate a public nuisance upon the hereinafter described real property, the City Council of said City has adopted Resolution No. ___ confirming said sum as the cost of abatement, and said sum now constitutes a special assessment and lien upon said real property until said sum has been paid in full and discharged of record.
Said real property is situated within the City of San Luis Obispo, County of San Luis Obispo, State of California, more particularly described as follows:


Dated:__________, 19_________.

City Clerk
City of San Luis Obispo

C. After recordation, a certified copy of the notice of lien shall be delivered to the tax collector and thereafter the amount of the lien 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, or, after such recordation, such lien may be foreclosed by judicial or other sale in the manner and means provided by law. (Ord. 1206 § 1, 1991: prior code § 4400.14)

8.24.160 Prohibited acts.

A. It is unlawful for any person to remove, deface or mutilate any notice, order, statement or resolution posted as required in this chapter.

B. It is unlawful for any person to obstruct, impede or interfere with any owner or his or her agent or with any representative of the city when engaged in performing any act reasonably necessary for the execution of the order of abatement. (Ord. 1206 § 1, 1991: prior code § 4400.15)

8.24.170 Alternative methods of abatement or enforcement.

Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed or construed to prevent the city from commencing any civil or criminal proceedings otherwise authorized by law for the declaration or abatement of a nuisance or for the prosecution of a criminal offense which may also constitute a nuisance. The procedures provided in this chapter shall be cumulative and shall not prevent concurrent or consecutive procedures provided in this chapter, the San Luis Obispo Municipal Code or by state law for the abatement of a public nuisance. Abatement of a public nuisance or imposition of criminal sanctions under this chapter shall not prejudice or affect any other civil or criminal action or remedy for the maintenance of a public nuisance. (Ord. 1206 § 1, 1991: prior code § 4400.16)

8.24.180 Maintaining a nuisance—Criminal sanctions.

If the owner of any premises fails or neglects to remove or otherwise take action to abate the public nuisance, as herein defined, within the time specified in this chapter, the owner of the premises shall be guilty of an infraction for maintenance of such public nuisance. However, a third or subsequent violation of this chapter within a period of one year shall be a misdemeanor. Each and every day any such public nuisance exists constitutes a separate offense. The violations shall be punishable as set forth in Chapter 1.12 of the San Luis Obispo Municipal Code. (Ord. 1206 § 1, 1991)

8.24.190 Maintaining a nuisance—Private cause of action.

If the owner of any premises fails or neglects to remove or otherwise take action to abate the public nuisance, as herein defined, any aggrieved person may, in addition to any other right or remedy they may possess either at law or in equity, bring a civil action against the owner for damages or injunctive relief for the maintenance of a public nuisance. The court may award the prevailing party in such action the costs of litigation, including reasonable attorney’s fees. Actions under this section must be filed within one year of the act or condition giving rise to a public nuisance. (Ord. 1206 § 1, 1991)

8.24.200 Severability.

If any part or provision of this chapter or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, then the remainder of the chapter, including the application of such part or provision to other persons or circumstances, shall not be affected thereby and shall continue in full force and effect. To this end, provisions of this chapter, in whole and in part, are severable. (Ord. 1206 § 1, 1991)