Chapter 6.02





6.02.040    VIOLATION - PENALTY.


It is a violation of this chapter for any person to permit, create, maintain, or allow, upon any premises, any of the acts or things declared in BMC 6.02.020 to be a public nuisance. As used herein, "public nuisance" means a nuisance which affects equally the rights of an entire community or neighborhood, although the extent of the damage may be unequal. (Ord. 5147 §2 (in part), 2011: Ord. 4824, Added, 11/15/2002. Formerly 9.16.010)


Each of the following conditions, unless otherwise permitted by law, is declared to constitute a public nuisance, and whenever the Director determines that any of these conditions exist upon any premises, the Director may provide for the abatement thereof and monetary penalties may be assessed pursuant to Chapter 1.04 BMC, Code Enforcement:

(a)    Erecting, maintaining, using, placing, depositing, leaving or permitting to be or remain in or upon any premises, which may be viewed or smelled from without the premises, or in or upon any street, alley, sidewalk, park, parkway or other public or private place in the City, any of the following disorderly, disturbing, unsanitary, fly-producing, rat-harboring, disease-causing places, conditions or things:

(1)    Any putrid, unhealthy or unwholesome bones, meat, hides, skins, the whole or any part of any dead animal, fish or fowl, or waste parts of fish, vegetable or animal matter in any quantity; the carcass of any animal, manure, human urine and/or excrement, decayed waste or discarded food, meat, fish, animal or vegetable refuse or any putrid or offensive animal or vegetable matter; but nothing herein shall prevent the temporary retention of waste in approved appropriate covered receptacles; or

(2)    Any privies, vaults, cesspools, open containers of stagnant water, sumps, pits or like places which are not securely protected from flies and rats, or which are malodorous; or

(3)    An accumulation of material including, but not limited to, bottles, cans, glass, plastic, ashes, scrap metal, wire, bric-a-brac, broken stone, broken crockery, broken glass, broken plaster, litter, rags, empty barrels, boxes, crates, packing cases, mattresses, bedding, packing hay, straw or other packing material or building materials including lumber, plumbing materials, wallboard, sheet metal, plaster, brick, cement, asphalt, concrete block, roofing material, cans of paint and similar materials which are not properly stored or neatly piled or are offensive to a reasonable person or in which flies or rats may breed or multiply; or

(4)    Accumulation of any garbage and refuse as defined in Chapter 6.04 BMC; or

(5)    Accumulation of yard trimmings, excluding properly maintained yard compost, or other matter which is offensive to a reasonable person; except for such yard debris that is properly contained for the purpose of composting and concealed so as not to affect the health, safety or depreciation of adjoining property.

(b)    The existence of any fence or other structure on private property abutting or fronting upon any public street, sidewalk or place which is in a sagging, leaning, fallen, decayed or other dilapidated or unsafe condition.

(c)    The existence of wrecked or disassembled trailers, house trailers, boats, tractors or other vehicle, appliance or machinery of any kind, or any major parts thereof.

(d)    The existence on any premises of any abandoned or unused well, pit, shaft, cistern or storage tank without first demolishing or removing from the premises such storage tank, or securely closing and barring any entrance or trapdoor thereto or without filling any well, pit, shaft or cistern or capping the same with sufficient security to prevent access thereto.

(e)    The existence in a place accessible to children of any attractive nuisance dangerous to children, including but not limited to any abandoned, broken or neglected equipment, machinery, refrigerator, freezer, or other large appliance.

(f)    Any use of property abutting on a public street or sidewalk or any use of a public street or sidewalk which causes people to gather in numbers sufficient to obstruct vehicular or pedestrian traffic. This subsection shall not apply to events, programs or parades authorized by the City.

(g)    Any poisonous or harmful substance which is reasonably accessible to persons or to animals.

(h)    Soils contaminated by dangerous waste, hazardous substances or hazardous wastes as those terms are defined in RCW 70.105.010.

(i)    Nuisance vegetation as defined in Chapter 6.08 BMC.

(j)    Lumber, wood, cardboard or other flammable material of any kind including, but not limited to, any hazardous materials or waste oil, gasoline or diesel products stored in such a manner as to constitute a fire or safety hazard.

(k)    Scrap metal, appliances, rubber, tools, implements, or parts or portions thereof, batteries, rope, rags, or plastic.

(l)    The maintenance of signs and/or sign structures relating to uses no longer conducted or products no longer sold on vacant commercial, industrial or institutional buildings or lots more than forty-five (45) days after the building becomes vacant or event or purpose for which the sign or structure was erected has passed.

(m)    Buildings or structures which are abandoned, vandalized, partially destroyed, or permitted to remain in a state of partial construction or partial demolition in such a state as to constitute an attractive nuisance.

(n)    The failure to safely and completely close, maintain and secure all doorways, windows or other openings into vacant structures or to secure broken windows to secure the structure from unauthorized entry.

(o)    Every building or unit within a building used for the purpose of unlawfully manufacturing, delivering, selling, storing or giving away any controlled substance as defined in Chapter 69.50 RCW, legend drug as defined in Chapter 69.41 RCW, or imitation controlled substance as defined in Chapter 69.52 RCW, and every building or unit within a building wherein or upon which such acts take place.

(p)    Unprotected and/or hazardous foundations and excavations.

(q)    Land or property which because of conditions on site (whether its natural state or as a result of grading, surface water drainage or acts of nature such as earthquakes, rain, landslides, sinkholes and so forth) presents problems of such magnitude as to be injurious or potentially injurious to the public health, safety and welfare, including to adjacent property owners.

(r)    The existence of any graffiti. As used in this subsection, “graffiti” means the writing, drawing, or script located on any public or private buildings, structures, places, walls, fences, windows, signs or other open printable spaces which damages or defaces the structure or other surface and which is visible from any public right-of-way or public property. (Ord. 5147 §2 (in part), 2011: Ord. 4824, Added, 11/15/2002. Formerly 9.16.020)


No act which is done or maintained under the express authority of a statute or ordinance can be deemed a public nuisance. (Ord. 5147 §2 (in part), 2011: Ord. 4824, Added, 11/15/2002. Formerly 9.16.030)


(a)    Any violation of any provision of this chapter constitutes a civil violation under Chapter 1.04 BMC for which a monetary penalty may be assessed and abatement may be required as provided therein.

(b)    In addition to or as an alternative to any other penalty provided in this chapter or by law, any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor pursuant to Section 1.12.020(2) BMC.

(c)    As an alternative to any other penalty provided in this chapter, pursuant to a violation of BMC 6.02.020(o), abatement proceedings may be instituted under Chapter 7.43 RCW. (Ord. 5147 §2 (in part), 2011: Ord. 4824, Added, 11/15/2002. Formerly 9.16.040)