Chapter 8.18


8.18.010    Purpose.

8.18.020    Declaration of nuisance.

8.18.030    Definitions.

8.18.040    Public nuisances declared.

8.18.050    Prohibited conduct.

8.18.060    Chapter not to exempt individual from obtaining necessary licenses.

8.18.070    Liability for continuing nuisance.

8.18.080    Enforcement, violations and penalties.

8.18.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to define what constitutes a nuisance; to set forth an efficient system to abate such nuisances; to provide for the general welfare of the citizens and to declare all actions which endanger the citizens of Buckley as nuisances. (Ord. 07-14 § 5, 2014).

8.18.020 Declaration of nuisance.

All violations of development, land use, and public health ordinances are found and declared to be detrimental to the public health, safety, and welfare, and further found and declared to be nuisances. Such nuisances create conditions conducive to public harm. Prevention and correction of nuisances is necessary to prevent public harm. (Ord. 07-14 § 5, 2014).

8.18.030 Definitions.

The words and phrases in this chapter shall have the following meanings, unless the context otherwise indicates:

(1) “Abate” means to repair, replace, remove, destroy or otherwise remedy a condition that constitutes a civil violation by such means, in such manner, and to such an extent as the code enforcement officer or city administrator or designee determines is necessary in the interest of the general health, safety and welfare of the community.

(2) “Building materials” means and includes lumber, plumbing materials, wallboard, sheet metal, plaster, brick, cement, asphalt, concrete block, roofing material, cans of paint and similar materials.

(3) “City administrator” means the individual appointed by the mayor to oversee day-to-day operations of the city.

(4) “Enforcement officer” means the city’s code enforcement officer(s) or any other person or persons assigned or directed by the city administrator, or his or her designee, to enforce the regulations subject to the provisions of this chapter.

(5) “Fire hazard” means vegetation which is dry and combustible, including but not limited to weeds, grass or clippings, dead bushes or trees or their parts, and other combustible vegetative materials, but specifically excluding small logs and kindling used for firewood, vegetative materials used as compost for fertilizer and decaying vegetation in wetlands and fish and wildlife habitat areas. For purposes of this chapter, weeds, grass, or other dead or dying vegetation which is greater than 12 inches in height and located within 20 feet of any building shall be considered a menace to the public health, safety and welfare.

(6) “Health hazard” means any of the following:

(a) Vegetation or refuse which provides a harborage for rats or other pests;

(b) Vegetation which is poisonous, including but not limited to poison ivy, poison oak, poison hemlock, poison sumac, and nightshade;

(c) Vegetation which is noxious, including gorse, Japanese knotweed, purple loosestrife, giant hogweed, tansy ragwort, knapweed, Dalmatian toadflax, and any other plant which may be determined to be noxious, in accordance with RCW Title 17;

(d) Vegetation, refuse or feces which create a danger of contamination or disease; and

(e) Any breeding place for mosquitoes which exists by reason of any use made of the land on which it is found or of any artificial change in its natural condition.

(7) “Infestation” means a situation where a structure or undeveloped area is overrun in large numbers with harmful or unpleasant animals, including common vermin such as mice and rats, or insects, including termites.

(8) “Property” or “premises” means any building, lot, parcel, real estate or land or portion of land, whether improved or unimproved, including adjacent sidewalks, public rights-of-way, and parking strips and any lake, river, stream, drainage way or wetland.

(9) “Public nuisance” and “nuisance” each mean and consist of doing an unlawful act, or omitting to perform a duty, or suffering or permitting any condition or thing to be or exist, which act, omission, condition or thing either:

(a) Unreasonably injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health or safety of others;

(b) Offends public decency;

(c) Is offensive to the sense of reasonable persons; or

(d) In any way renders other persons insecure in life or use of property.

(10) “Responsible person” means any owner, tenant, agent, lessee, purchaser or other person occupying or having charge or control, or having the right to control, any premises.

(11) “Safety hazard” means anything with the potential to cause personal injury or illness. In addition to injuring humans, a hazard poses potential of damage to property or the environment.

(12) “Vegetation” means trees, shrubs, grass, weeds, bushes, vines and other plant materials, including but not limited to clippings, fallen leaves, fruit or branches. (Ord. 06-16 § 4, 2016; Ord. 07-14 § 5, 2014; Ord. 9-88 § 1, 1988. Formerly 8.18.010).

8.18.040 Public nuisances declared.

Each of the following conditions, unless otherwise permitted by law, is declared to constitute a public nuisance:

(1) Erecting, continuing or using any building or other place in the city for the exercise of any trade, employment or manufacturing operation, which by occasioning noxious exhalation, offensive smells or other annoyances, becomes injurious and dangerous to the health, comfort or property of individuals or the public;

(2) Keeping or maintaining any dangerous, decaying, falling, or damaged dwelling, or other structure;

(3) Keeping, using or maintaining any pen, stable, lot, place or premises in which any animal may be confined or kept, in such a manner to be noxious, foul or offensive to individuals or the public;

(4) Obstructing or encroaching upon or rendering unsafe for passage any public highway, private street, street, alley, sidewalk, crossing, park, square, driveway, lake, or stream in the city; provided, that this subsection shall not apply to events, parades, or the use of the streets or public rights-of-way when authorized by the city;

(5) Any fence or other structure or thing on private property abutting or fronting upon any public street, sidewalk or place which is in a sagging, leaning, fallen, decayed or other dilapidated condition causing an unsafe condition on the public street or sidewalk;

(6) Making or keeping any explosive or combustible substance in the city, or carrying it through the streets thereof, in a quantity or manner prohibited by Chapter 70.74 RCW and any explosive or flammable substances, stored in any manner or in any amount other than as provided by Washington State statute or city fire code; or poisons, acids, caustic substances located in areas open to the public; provided, nothing prevents storing poisons, acids or caustics in closed containers in buildings open to the public for purposes of retail sales;

(7) Placing, depositing, keeping, having or leaving in or upon any private lot, building, structure or premises or in or upon any street, avenue, park, sidewalk, waterway, parkway or public or private place in the city any one or more of the following conditions, places or things:

(a) Any putrid, unhealthy or unwholesome bones, meat, hides, skins, or the whole or any part of any dead animal, fish or fowl, or waste parts of fish, vegetable or animal matter in any quantity; but nothing herein shall prevent the temporary retention of waste in approved covered receptacles;

(b) Privies, vaults, drains, sewer and septic tanks, cesspools, sumps, pits or like places which are not securely protected from flies or rats, or which are noxious, foul, malodorous or injurious to the public health;

(c) Any vegetation which:

(i) Harbors rats, skunks or other animals to the detriment of adjoining property;

(ii) Constitutes a fire hazard or a health hazard;

(iii) Overhangs a street, sidewalk or alley in such a way as to impede the free and full use of said street, sidewalk or alley, and vegetation which obstructs the vision of drivers such that traffic regulation signs or view of an intersection is obstructed from a position of 30 feet or closer to the intersection, and vegetation which creates injury to or other opportunity or risk of injury to passersby of the general public;

(iv) Is growing into or over any street, public hydrant, pole or in front of any hydrant, stand pipe, sprinkler system connection or any other appliance or facility provided for fire protection purposes in such a way as to obscure the view thereof or impair the access thereto, or obstruct or interfere with the proper diffusion of the light from any street lamp;

(v) Is climbing or growing onto adjoining property where such climbing or growth unreasonably interferes with the adjoining landowners’ peaceful use and enjoyment of their property;

(d) Any dead, diseased, infested or dying tree that may constitute a danger to property or persons by breaking or by harboring disease that could be transmitted to other trees;

(e) Any poison oak, poison ivy, deadly nightshade or any other noxious or toxic weed upon or within five feet of public property;

(f) Refuse or feces which constitute a health hazard;

(g) Animal manure in any quantity which is not securely protected from flies and/or the elements, or which is kept or handled in violation of any ordinances of the city. Spreading of manure on agricultural lands is permitted if done in compliance with all applicable laws;

(h) An accumulation of material, including but not limited to tin cans, bottles, glass, plastic, scrap metal, ashes, wire, bric-a-brac, broken crockery, broken glass, broken plaster, trash, litter, weeds, grass, rags, garbage, accumulations of empty barrels, boxes, crates, packing cases, mattresses, bedding, excelsior, packing straw, or other packing materials or building materials which are not properly stored or neatly piled, and all such trash or abandoned material unless the same be kept in covered bins or galvanized iron receptacles approved by the enforcement officer; provided, however, this section shall exclude residential composting piles not greater than 25 square yards in area;

(i) Broken or discarded furniture, furnishings, appliances, household equipment and other similar items, in any front yard, back yard, side yard or vacant lot;

(j) Any abandoned, unattended or discarded icebox, refrigerator, freezer or other container having an air-tight door or lid and a snap lock or other locking device which may not be easily released from the inside when such lid or door is in a closed position;

(k) In a place accessible to children, any attractive nuisance dangerous to children, including but not limited to any abandoned, broken or neglected equipment, machinery, refrigerator, freezer or other large appliance;

(l) Any unfenced excavation adjacent to a street, sidewalk, alley, trail or public right-of-way;

(m) Any abandoned or unused well, pit, shaft, cistern, or storage tank without first demolishing or removing from the premises such storage tanks, 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;

(8) Discharging directly or indirectly into the city’s storm drain system or into the waters of any stream, lake, or wetland or similar area within the city any material that shall cause or tend to cause a polluted condition or contribute to the violation of applicable water quality standards. Utility maintenance and firefighting activities by city personnel shall not be considered nuisances;

(9) Allowing or causing flooding to occur on private property that is likely to or does result in damage to persons or property;

(10) Failure to Maintain Community Property. The failure to maintain, repair or replace open space, drainage systems, private roads, recreational facilities or any other community facilities required or approved for a development permit such that the facility becomes nonfunctional or otherwise can no longer serve its purpose, or creates a safety, fire or health hazard (including a breeding ground for mosquitoes) or aesthetic blight. Any person with an ownership interest in the community facility shall be subject to this subsection. (Ord. 07-14 § 5, 2014; Ord. 09-00, 2000. Formerly 8.18.020).

8.18.050 Prohibited conduct.

It is a violation of this chapter for any responsible person to create, permit, maintain, suffer, carry on or allow any of the acts or things, as defined in BMC 8.18.030(9) or 8.18.040 to be a public nuisance. (Ord. 07-14 § 5, 2014; Ord. 9-88 § 3, 1988. Formerly 8.18.030).

8.18.060 Chapter not to exempt individual from obtaining necessary licenses.

Nothing in this chapter relieves a responsible person from the duty to procure all licenses necessary to abate a nuisance. (Ord. 07-14 § 5, 2014; Ord. 9-88 § 7, 1988. Formerly 8.18.070).

8.18.070 Liability for continuing nuisance.

Every successive owner or occupant of property who neglects to abate a continuing nuisance upon or in the use of such property caused by a former owner is liable in the same manner as the owner who created it. (Ord. 07-14 § 5, 2014; Ord. 09-00 § 4, 2000. Formerly 8.18.100).

8.18.080 Enforcement, violations and penalties.

Any person violating or failing to comply with any of the provisions of this title shall be subject to the notice requirements, enforcement, violations and/or penalty provisions of Chapter 1.12 BMC. (Ord. 07-14 § 5, 2014; Ord. 09-00 § 5, 2000. Formerly 8.18.120).