Chapter 1.18


1.18.010    Legislative findings and statement of purpose.

1.18.020    Definitions.

1.18.030    Issuance of administrative citation.

1.18.040    Service procedures.

1.18.050    Contents of notice.

1.18.060    Satisfaction of administrative citation.

1.18.070    Appeal of administrative citation.

1.18.080    Hearing officer.

1.18.090    Hearing procedure.

1.18.100    Hearing officer’s decision.

1.18.110    Failure to pay fines.

1.18.120    Right to judicial review.

1.18.010 Legislative findings and statement of purpose.

A. The city council hereby finds that there is a need for an alternative method of enforcement of the municipal code, conditions imposed on permits, entitlements, and CEQA reviews, and the terms of city agreements made pursuant to the city’s constitutional police power. The city council further finds that an appropriate method of enforcement is the imposition of administrative penalties as independently authorized by both California Constitution Article XI, Section 7, and Government Code Section 53069.4.

B. The procedures established in this chapter shall be in addition to criminal, civil or any other legal remedy established by law for violation of the municipal code or permit and entitlement conditions.

C. The city council hereby finds and determines that enforcement of the Solana Beach Municipal Code, other ordinances adopted by the city, conditions of approval of entitlements, permits, and CEQA reviews, and terms and conditions of city agreements made pursuant to the police power is a matter of public health, safety and welfare and serves important public purposes. The city of Solana Beach adopts this administrative penalties program in order to achieve the following goals:

1. To protect the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the city;

2. To gain compliance with the municipal code, ordinances, agreements, and regulations of the city, and the conditions of approval of permits, entitlements, and CEQA reviews granted by the city in a timely and efficient manner;

3. To provide for an administrative process to appeal the imposition of administrative citations and fines;

4. To provide a method to hold parties responsible when they fail or refuse to comply with the provisions of the municipal code, ordinances, agreements, or terms and conditions of entitlements or permits;

5. To avoid or minimize the expense and delay of enforcement in the civil or criminal justice system. (Ord. 283 § 2, 2002)

1.18.020 Definitions.

A. “Enforcement officer” shall mean any officer or employee of the city with the authority to enforce the Solana Beach Municipal Code.

B. “Responsible person” shall mean any individual who is the owner or occupant of real property, the holder or the agent of the holder of any permit, entitlement, or review, or the party or agent of a party to any agreement covered by this chapter; the owner or authorized agent of any business, company, or entity subject to this chapter; or the parent or legal guardian of any such person under the age of 18 years; who violates any ordinance, regulation, permit, entitlement, review, or agreement described in SBMC 1.18.030. (Ord. 283 § 2, 2002)

1.18.030 Issuance of administrative citation.

A. Any person who violates any provision of the Solana Beach Municipal Code or regulation of the city, any condition of approval of a permit or entitlement, any condition of an environmental review, or any term or condition of any agreement with the city made pursuant to the police power may be issued an administrative citation by an enforcement officer as provided in this chapter. A violation of the Solana Beach Municipal Code includes, but is not limited to, all violations of that code, the Uniform Codes adopted by the city council, and all uncodified ordinances. A violation of a condition of approval of a permit or entitlement includes, but is not limited to, a conditional use permit, development review, sign permit, variance, specific plan, parcel map, subdivision map, building or grading permit; any plan, permit or best management practice authorized, issued, or required by Chapter 13.10 SBMC; any encroachment or right-of-way permit; any license or permit issued pursuant to SBMC Title 17; and any adult oriented business regulatory permit required by Chapter 17.68 SBMC. A violation of a condition of approval of an environmental review includes, but is not limited to, any environmental impact report, mitigated negative declaration, negative declaration, or determination of categorical exemption. A violation of a term or condition of any agreement with the city made pursuant to the police power includes, but is not limited to, any development agreement, owner participation agreement, disposition and development agreement, road maintenance agreement, any easement, license, or other real property use agreement, or any agreement made with the city to implement any ordinance, plan, permit, entitlement, or review approved by the city.

B. Each and every day a violation exists constitutes a separate and distinct offense.

C. A civil fine shall be assessed by means of an administrative citation issued by the enforcement officer and shall be payable directly to the city of Solana Beach.

D. Fines shall be assessed in the amounts specified by resolution of the city council, or, where no amount is specified:

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

2. A fine not exceeding $200.00 for a second violation of the same ordinance, term, or condition within one year from the date of the first violation;

3. A fine not exceeding $500.00 for each additional violation of the same ordinance, term or condition within one year from the date of the first violation. (Ord. 283 § 2, 2002)

1.18.040 Service procedures.

An administrative citation on a form approved by the city manager may be served upon any responsible person by an enforcement officer in the following manner:

A. Personal Service. In any case where an administrative citation is issued:

1. The enforcement officer shall attempt to locate and personally serve the responsible person and obtain the signature of the responsible person on the administrative citation.

2. If the responsible person served refuses or fails to sign the administrative citation, the failure or refusal to sign shall not affect the validity of the administrative citation or of subsequent proceedings.

B. Service of Citation by Mail. If the enforcement officer is unable to locate a responsible person, the administrative citation shall be mailed to the responsible person by certified mail, postage prepaid with a requested return receipt. Simultaneously, the citation may be sent by first class mail. If the citation is sent by certified mail and returned unsigned, then service shall be deemed effective pursuant to first class mail, provided the citation sent by first class mail is not returned.

C. Service of Citation by Posting Notice. If the enforcement officer does not succeed in personally serving a responsible person, or by certified mail or regular mail, the enforcement officer shall post the administrative citation on any real property within the city in which the city has knowledge that the responsible person has a legal interest, and such posting shall be deemed effective service. (Ord. 283 § 2, 2002)

1.18.050 Contents of notice.

Each administrative citation shall contain the following information:

A. The date of issuance of the citation and the date, approximate time, and address or definite description of the location where the violation(s) was observed, where applicable;

B. The code sections or conditions violated and a description of the violation(s);

C. An order to the responsible person to correct the violations within the time specified, and an explanation of the consequences of failure to correct the violation(s);

D. The amount of the fine for the violation(s);

E. An explanation of how the fine shall be paid and the time period by which it shall be paid;

F. Identification of the right of appeal, including the time within which the citation may be contested and the place to obtain a request for hearing form to contest the administrative citation; and

G. The name and signature of the enforcement officer and, if possible, the signature of the responsible person. (Ord. 283 § 2, 2002)

1.18.060 Satisfaction of administrative citation.

Upon receipt of a citation, the responsible person must do both of the following:

A. Pay the fine to the city within 15 days from the correction date of the administrative citation.    All fines assessed shall be payable to the city of Solana Beach. Payment of a fine shall not excuse or discharge the failure to correct the violation(s) nor shall it bar further enforcement action by the city.

B. Remedy the violation(s), if the violation(s) is of such a nature that it can be remedied. If the violation(s) is corrected before the date provided on the citation, no fine shall be payable. If the responsible person fails to correct the violation(s), subsequent administrative citations may be issued for the same violation(s). The amount of the fine for failure to correct the violation shall increase at a rate specified in this chapter or by resolution. (Ord. 283 § 2, 2002)

1.18.070 Appeal of administrative citation.

Any recipient of an administrative citation may contest that there was a violation of any ordinance, regulation, permit, entitlement, or agreement covered by this chapter, or that he or she is the responsible person, by completing a request for hearing form and returning it to the city within 15 days from the date of issuance of the administrative citation, together with a deposit in the amount of the fine. Any administrative citation deposit shall be refunded within 10 days of a determination, after a hearing, that the person charged in the administrative citation was not responsible for the violation(s) or that there was no violation(s) as charged in the administrative citation. (Ord. 283 § 2, 2002)

1.18.080 Hearing officer.

The Solana Beach city manager shall designate the hearing officer for the administrative citation hearing. The hearing officer shall not be a city employee. The compensation of the hearing officer, if any, shall be paid by the city. Compensation shall not be directly or indirectly conditioned upon whether or not administrative citations are upheld by the hearing officer. (Ord. 283 § 2, 2002)

1.18.090 Hearing procedure.

A. No hearing to appeal an administrative citation before a hearing officer shall be held unless and until a request for hearing form has been completed and submitted, and the deposit has been made.

B. A hearing before the hearing officer shall be set for a date that is not sooner than 15 and not more than 60 days from the date that the request for hearing is filed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. If First Amendment rights are involved, the hearing shall be within five days from the date of such request. The person requesting the hearing shall be notified of the time and place set for the hearing at least 10 days prior to the date of the hearing.

C. The hearing officer shall only consider evidence that is relevant to whether the violation(s) occurred and whether the responsible person has caused or maintained the violation(s). Courtroom rules of evidence shall not apply. Relevant hearsay evidence and written reports may be admitted whether or not the speaker or author is present to testify if the hearing officer determines that the evidence is reliable. Admission of evidence and the conduct of the hearing shall be controlled by the hearing officer in accordance with the fundamentals of due process. The hearing officer may limit the total length of the hearing to one hour, and shall allow the appellant at least as much time to present its case as is allowed the city.

D. The responsible person contesting the administrative citation shall be given the opportunity to testify and present witnesses and evidence concerning the administrative citation. The city’s case shall be presented by an enforcement officer or by the city attorney. The appellant may be represented by counsel.

E. The failure of the appellant to appear at the hearing shall constitute a forfeiture of the fine and a failure to exhaust administrative remedies.

F. The administrative citation and any additional documents prepared by the city in connection with the violation(s) may be submitted by the enforcement officer and shall constitute prima facie evidence of the respective facts contained in those documents.

G. If the enforcement officer submits any additional documents concerning the administrative citation to the hearing officer for consideration at the hearing, then, whenever possible, a copy of such documents shall be served by mail on the person requesting the hearing at least five days prior to the date of the hearing.

H. The hearing officer may continue the hearing and request additional information from the enforcement officer or the appellant prior to issuing a written decision. (Ord. 283 § 2, 2002)

1.18.100 Hearing officer’s decision.

A. After considering all of the testimony and evidence submitted at the hearing, the hearing officer shall issue a written decision within 10 days of the hearing to uphold or deny the administrative citation and shall list in the decision the reasons for that decision. The decision of the hearing officer shall be final. If First Amendment rights are involved, the decision shall be issued orally at the conclusion of the hearing and shall be effective immediately. A written decision shall thereafter be issued as provided herein below.

B. If the hearing officer determines that the administrative citation should be upheld, then the deposit with the city shall be retained by the city.

C. If the hearing officer determines that the administrative citation was improperly issued, then the city shall promptly refund the deposit.

D. The appellant and the enforcement officer shall each be served by mail with a copy of the hearing officer’s written decision. (Ord. 283 § 2, 2002)

1.18.110 Failure to pay fines.

The failure of any person to pay the civil fines imposed by an administrative citation within the time specified on the citation may result in the filing of a claim with the small claims court for recovery of the fine. The only issue to be adjudicated by the small claims court shall be whether or not the fines were paid. A person cited may only obtain judicial review of the validity of the citation by first requesting and participating in an administrative hearing before a hearing officer. In the small claims court action, the city may also recover its collection costs, including the cost of the hearing officer, and any small claims court fees, according to proof. (Ord. 283 § 2, 2002)

1.18.120 Right to judicial review.

A. Either the city or the appellant aggrieved by a decision of a hearing officer on an administrative citation may obtain review of the decision by filing a Petition for Review with the San Diego Superior Court in accordance with the timelines and provisions as set forth in California Government Code Section 53069.4(b). Said procedure shall be available for all judicial review under this chapter, notwithstanding that the term or condition being enforced pursuant to this chapter may not be a matter covered by Section 53069.4(a). Judicial review of a citation shall not be available without first participating in a hearing as provided in this chapter.

B. Failure to receive any notice specified in this chapter does not affect the validity of proceedings conducted hereunder. (Ord. 283 § 2, 2002)