Chapter 8.20
PUBLIC NUISANCES

Sections:

8.20.010    Purpose and intent.

8.20.020    Public nuisances.

8.20.030    Definitions.

8.20.040    Emergency actions.

8.20.050    Enforcement.

8.20.060    Repealed.

8.20.070    Repealed.

8.20.080    Repealed.

8.20.090    Repealed.

8.20.100    Repealed.

8.20.110    Repealed.

8.20.010 Purpose and intent.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide for the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the city of Bonney Lake by proscribing nuisances that negatively impact the entire community. It is necessary to enact measures to correct the presence of litter, overgrown and/or uncultivated vegetation, and other forms of waste or various hazards. It is the intent of the city council to establish efficient administrative procedures to enforce the regulations of the city, to provide a prompt process to address alleged violations, and to establish standards to be used by the city to abate public nuisances. (Ord. 1380 § 6, 2011).

8.20.020 Public nuisances.

A public nuisance is a thing, act, omission to act, occupation, or use of property which shall unreasonably annoy, injure or endanger the safety, health, comfort or repose of the public; or shall unlawfully interfere with, obstruct or render dangerous for public use a public park, square, street, alley or highway; or shall render the public insecure in life or in use of property. Any violation of the International Property Maintenance Code, as adopted in BLMC 15.04.020, shall constitute a nuisance. 1n addition, public nuisances include, but are not limited to, the following:

A. Carcasses of animals not buried or destroyed within 24 hours after death;

B. Accumulations of manure or rubbish;

C. Privy vaults or outhouses;

D. Dense smoke, noxious fumes, gas and soot, or cinders, in unreasonable quantities;

E. The existence or accumulation of trash, dirt, filth, spilled garbage, waste, stagnant or impure water, decayed or decaying substances, accumulation of lawn or yard trimmings, or other offensive matter, which may cause, or tend to cause, or create a noisome or offensive smell or atmosphere, except in a compost process which adheres to the following:

1. Composting can be completed in one of three following ways:

a. Yard waste shall be composted within a three-sided bin or turning system.

b. Kitchen scraps shall be composted within pest-resistant containers like airtight buckets with spigots, food digesters, and worm bins.

c. Piles shall be limited to one cubic yard and a parcel shall have no more than three such piles, unless zoned for such uses.

2. Composting shall not include domestic septage, sewage sludge, or pet urine or feces.

F. Any accumulation of materials or objects in a location when the same endangers property or safety or constitutes a fire hazard, including piles of wood except neatly stacked firewood;

G. Any litter, unless it is kept in approved covered bins or galvanized receptacles;

H. All snow and ice not removed from public sidewalks within a reasonable time after the snow and ice have ceased to be deposited thereon;

I. All hanging signs, temporary signs, awnings and other similar structures over or placed on streets, public rights-of-way, or sidewalks, or so situated as to endanger public safety;

J. All wells, cisterns or septic tanks without adequate cover while in regular use and all wells and cisterns not filled in with earth when abandoned;

K. Ground vibrations recurrently generated to be perceptible without instruments at any point of the lot line on which the use is located;

L. Emission of an obnoxious or dangerous degree of heat, glare, radiation or smoke;

M. Highly flammable or explosive liquids, solids or gases, unless stored in bulk aboveground. Tanks or drums of fuel directly connected with heating devices or appliances located on the same lot as the tanks or drums of fuel are excluded from this provision;

N. Outdoor storage of fuel containers and construction materials unless screened from view of the adjacent property and rights-of-way by a fence, greenbelt or wall. Construction materials stored outside for up to 60 days as part of an active construction project are excluded from this provision;

O. All materials or waste which might cause fumes or dust which constitute a fire hazard or which may be edible or otherwise be attractive to rodents or insects unless stored outdoors in closed containers;

P. Growth of more marijuana plants in a residence than authorized for personal medical use by RCW 69.51A.210(1) through (3), or growth of an authorized number of personal medical marijuana plants in a manner that can be readily seen by normal unaided vision or readily smelled from a public place or the private property of another;

Q. Any building or structure where construction was commenced and then ceased and the building or structure was left unfinished and the permit or permit application has expired, or any building or structure that has been constructed or modified without required permits;

R. The discharge of sewage or human excrement except through approved public or private disposal systems that are constructed and maintained in accordance with applicable standards;

S. Unused or abandoned refrigerators, freezers, or other large appliances or equipment or any parts thereof; any structurally unsound or unsafe fence or edifice. (Ord. 1610 § 3, 2019; Ord. 1547 § 2, 2016; Ord. 1380 § 6, 2011).

8.20.030 Definitions.

Unless otherwise specified, for purposes of this chapter, certain terms, phrases, words, and their derivatives shall be defined as follows:

A. “Abate” means to repair, replace, remove, destroy, or otherwise remedy a condition which constitutes a violation of this chapter by such means and in such a manner and to such an extent as the public official determines is necessary in the interest of the public health, safety, and welfare of the community.

B. “Control” means the ability to regulate, restrain, dominate, counteract, or govern property or conduct that occurs on a property.

C. “Hearing officer” shall mean the city mayor or his or her designated representative.

D. “Litter” shall include, but is not limited to, debris in the form of cans, bottles, glass, ashes, plastic materials, packaging, garbage, wastepaper, printed materials, packing material, scrap iron, wire, metal articles, discarded furniture and appliances, junk, broken stone or cement, scrap wood, pallets, tires, discarded building materials, inoperable bicycles, or bicycle parts, rags, boxes, crates, packing cases, mattresses, bedding, tree and vegetation trimmings, and all other trash, including abandoned inflammable materials, that is a fire hazard or a menace to the public health, safety, or welfare.

E. “Owner” means any person, including any natural person, joint venture, partnership, association, club, company, corporation, business trust, or organization, or the manager, lessee, agent, officer, or employee of any of them, having any interest in the real estate in question as indicated in the records of the office of the Pierce County assessor or through another reliable source. Joint owners of all residential dwellings, commercial establishments, and/or real estate upon which a violation of this chapter is found shall be jointly and severally responsible for compliance with this chapter and jointly and severally liable for any damages or costs incurred and awarded under this chapter.

F. “Premises” and “property” may be used by this chapter interchangeably and mean any building, lot, tax parcel, dwelling, rental unit, real estate, or land, or portion thereof, including, but not limited to, property used as residential or commercial property, and may include the adjacent “public right-of-way” as defined herein.

G. “Public official” means an official designated by the mayor to carry out duties assigned by this chapter or any law enforcement officer.

H. “Public right-of-way” includes the area of land, the right of possession of which is secured by the city for right-of-way purposes, and includes the traveled portion of the public streets and alleys, as well as the border area, which includes, but is not limited to, any sidewalks, driveway approaches, planting strips, traffic circles, parkways, or medians, or that area between the sidewalk and the curb line.

I. “Screening,” for the purposes of this chapter, shall include, but not be limited to, solid wood fencing, chain link fencing with slats, and/or solid landscaping capable of concealing storage from sight by standing individuals at or near the property lines; however, such screening must be at least six feet in height. Tarps and plastic sheeting are not permissible means of screening.

J. “Vegetation” shall include, but not be limited to, all grass, weeds, blackberry vines, brush, shrubs, bushes, or trees, either growing or which have died, or any plant that is determined to be noxious in accordance with RCW Title 17, including aquatic plants. (Ord. 1380 § 6, 2011).

8.20.040 Emergency actions.

If the public official determines that a nuisance exists which is a severe and imminent threat to public health, safety, or welfare, and constitutes an emergency requiring immediate abatement, the city may perform any emergency action necessary to abate the nuisance with or without prior notice to the owner or consent to enter the property. (Ord. 1380 § 6, 2011).

8.20.050 Enforcement.

This chapter shall be subject to the enforcement provisions of Chapter 14.130 BLMC. (Ord. 1610 § 4, 2019; Ord. 1380 § 6, 2011).

8.20.060 Civil penalty.

Repealed by Ord. 1610. (Ord. 1380 § 6, 2011).

8.20.070 Alternative enforcement – Voluntary correction agreement.

Repealed by Ord. 1610. (Ord. 1380 § 6, 2011).

8.20.080 Hearing by the hearing officer.

Repealed by Ord. 1610. (Ord. 1380 § 6, 2011).

8.20.090 Abatement process.

Repealed by Ord. 1610. (Ord. 1380 § 6, 2011).

8.20.100 Recovery of costs and expenses.

Repealed by Ord. 1610. (Ord. 1380 § 6, 2011).

8.20.110 Alternative enforcement – Civil infraction – Misdemeanor.

Repealed by Ord. 1610. (Ord. 1436 § 1, 2012).