Chapter 15.42


15.42.010    Findings and intent.

15.42.020    Application.

15.42.030    Nuisances—Specified.

15.42.040    Standards for securing building.

15.42.010 Findings and intent.

A.    The council finds and declares that buildings which have unsecured windows and doors become an attractive nuisance to children, a harborage for rodents, an invitation to derelicts, vagrants and criminals as a temporary abode and as a place to engage in illegal conduct, frequently including illegal drug-related activity, and an increased fire hazard; that such buildings contribute to the growth of blight within the city, depress market values of surrounding properties, thereby reducing tax revenues, necessitate additional governmental services, significantly interfere with the use and enjoyment of neighboring properties, create an unsafe condition affecting the public and constitute an unreasonable use of property and a public nuisance.

B.    Protection of the environment, and the public health, safety and welfare requires the establishment and enforcement of the means by which such nuisance conditions may be prevented. (Ord. 93-004 § 1 (part), 1993)

15.42.020 Application.

A.    The provisions of this chapter shall apply generally to all property throughout the city in which any of the conditions, hereinafter specified, are found to exist.

B.    The provisions of this chapter are to be supplementary and complementary to all of the provisions of the San Pablo Municipal Code, state law, and any law cognizable at common law or in equity, and nothing in this chapter shall be read, interpreted or construed in any manner so as to limit any existing right or power of the city to abate any and all nuisances. Any public nuisance set forth in this chapter may be abated by the city, and city expenses recovered, pursuant to the city property maintenance ordinance (Chapter 8.02 of this code), and any person aggrieved by a decision or action of the building official pursuant to this chapter may challenge such decision or action in any hearing pursuant to such ordinance.

C.    Property owners with buildings located within the city that are boarded as of the date of adoption of this chapter will be given a six month grace period to comply with the provisions of this chapter. The grace period will be considered the same as if an initial boarding permit was granted by the building official. At the end of the six month period, any such boarded building will be considered a public nuisance unless the property owner has applied for and received a renewal boarding permit. Property owners with boarded buildings which fall under the provisions of this subsection will be notified by mail of the conditions and requirements of this chapter.

D.    Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter to the contrary, the building official shall have the discretion to grant a property owner a grace period of five working days to apply for a permit in emergency situations such as natural disasters or other unforeseen circumstances. (Ord. 93-004 § 1 (part), 1993)

15.42.030 Nuisances—Specified.

A.    It is declared unlawful and a public nuisance for any owner of property in this city to allow to exist on such property any building or structure whose doors, windows or other openings are broken or missing, so as to allow access to the interior; or which is not temporarily boarded and secured in compliance with Section 15.42.040 of this chapter within the time set forth by the building official in the permit; or which is left in such temporary boarded up condition after the expiration of any initial or renewed boarding permit.

B.    It is declared unlawful and a public nuisance for any person, firm, association or corporation to erect, install, place or maintain boards over the doors, windows or other openings of any building or structure or otherwise secure such openings by a means other than the conventional method used in the original construction and design of the building or structure without a valid, current and unexpired boarding permit therefor from the building official. No initial boarding permit shall be issued for a period of greater than six months. Upon an application and a showing of good cause, the building official may issue renewals of such permits, provided however, that the maximum time periods for the initial permit and all such renewals, taken together, shall not exceed twelve months.

C.    The fees for the issuance or renewal of a boarding permit shall initially be ninety-six dollars plus any expenses required to conduct title searches. Such fee shall automatically be adjusted as the personnel costs upon which the fee is based rise or fall. If a different method of calculation makes it necessary, council may increase or decrease such fee in the future by resolution. Upon payment of the required fee, the building official shall issue or renew a boarding permit upon the submission of a written application by the property owner or his/her authorized representative or contractor and upon the confirmation by a city building inspector that the boarding or other method of securing the building will or has been done in compliance with this chapter.

D.    Any person violating or causing the violation of this chapter shall be guilty of an infraction as provided for in Section 1.08.010 of this code, in addition to any other remedies provided for in this chapter or under applicable law. (Ord. 93-004 § 1 (part), 1993)

15.42.040 Standards for securing building.

A.    The temporary boarding of the doors, windows or other openings of any building or structure or any means of securing such openings, other than by the conventional method used in the original construction and design of the building or structure, shall comply with the following minimum standards:

1.    Windows. Windows and similar openings shall be boarded with exterior grade plywood of minimum thickness five-eighths inch or its equivalent. Vent holes may be required, as deemed necessary by the building official. The plywood shall be secured in place by two by four or four by four cross members, secured to the plywood by three-eighths inch plated carriage bolts with large washers at each end and with the cross member turned so that the carriage bolt goes through the larger dimension. Bolts used to secure the cross member shall be threaded to the correct length. A minimum of two cross members shall be used on each window and, depending on the size of the opening, additional cross members may be required by the building official. Each cross member shall be a continuous piece of lumber, and each must extend at least one foot past the window opening in each direction. Bolts and nuts used to secure the cross members to the plywood must be tightened enough to slightly deflect the wood. Bolt heads must fit tightly against the wood and not give a purchase for pliers or pry bars. Windows shall be secured in accordance with this section even if they are already covered with security bars.

2.    Exterior Doors. Exterior doors shall be boarded with exterior grade plywood of a minimum thickness of three-fourths inch or its equivalent, fitted to the entry door jamb with maximum one-eighths inch clearance each edge. The existing door should be removed. The plywood shall be attached to three horizontal two by four wooden crossbars with two each three-eighths inch carriage bolts and matching hardware. The plywood shall be attached to the door entry with three case hardened strap hinges of the type specified by the building official and the plywood shall be secured by a case hardened steel hasp and minimum two inch case hardened padlock also of the type specified by the building official.

3.    Painting of Boarded Openings. All boarded openings shall be painted with a minimum of one coat of exterior paint which is of a dark gray or similar earth color or a color compatible with the exterior color of the building or structure. Alternative approaches to painting will be subject to city/redevelopment agency design review.

4.    Garages. Overhead garage doors shall be secured. Nailing the door to the jamb or nailing pieces of two by four to the jamb is not acceptable. The overhead door shall be padlocked with the existing garage lock or a newly installed one. All padlocks used must be keyed alike. In an attached garage it is acceptable to insert a piece of two by four lumber through the overhead mechanism on the inside of the door. The two by four shall be long enough to go through both sides of the mechanism or shall be nailed in place on the inside so that it can not fall out. Secondary garage entrances to the outside of the garage shall be secured with strong-backed plywood. Access doors between the house and attached garage need not be boarded. Detached garages shall be secured in the same manner as attached garages. Access shall be provided by padlock.

B.    Alternative Methods of Securing a Building. Notwithstanding subsection A of this section, the building official may approve alternative methods of securing doors, windows or other openings of any building or structure. In making the determination to approve any alternative method, the building official shall consider the aesthetic and other impacts of such method on the immediate neighborhood and the extent to which such method provides adequate and long-term security against the unauthorized entry to the property. (Ord. 93-004 § 1 (part), 1993)