Chapter 20.28
PENALTIES SCHEDULE

Sections:

20.28.010    Penalties schedule.

20.28.020    Penalties schedule for sensitive areas.

20.28.030    Penalty waivers.

SOURCE:    ADOPTED:

Ord. 812    04/03/07

20.28.010 Penalties schedule.

(1) Penalties will be assessed in accordance with the following schedule:

(a) Penalties for noncommercial violations shall be assessed at the rate of $100 per day per violation. Any person engaged in the development, management, sale, rental, or use of property solely for the purpose of residential occupancy by the person or his or her immediate family is engaged in a noncommercial action for purposes of this chapter.

(b) Penalties for commercial violations shall be assessed at the rate of $250 per day per violation. Any violation other than a noncommercial violation is a commercial violation.

(2) Each and every day or portion thereof during which any violation is committed, continued, not permitted, or not corrected shall be a violation for purposes of this chapter. Penalties for failure to obtain any required permit shall begin to accrue on the first day activity subject to the permit requirement is commenced and shall cease to accrue on the day the permit is obtained. Penalties for the violation of any stop work order shall begin to accrue on the first day the stop work order is violated and shall cease on the day the work is actually stopped. Penalties for failure to correct the violation by the date set forth in a notice and order or a voluntary compliance agreement shall begin to accrue on the first day after said date.

(3) Second, third, or repeated but separate violations of a like nature by the same person may be described as a repeat violation. Penalties for repeat violations shall be double the rates identified in subsection (1) of this section. For the purposes of this section, the term “of a like nature” means a violation of the same Clallam County Code title or chapter.

(4) The Director may waive accrued but unpaid penalties in accordance with the provisions of this title only.

(5) Penalties assessed create a joint and several obligation in all persons responsible for code compliance. Such penalties are due and payable 30 calendar days from assessment. The Director may collect assessed penalties by any appropriate legal means, including forwarding the same to a collection agency for collection. A lien for penalties may be recorded if penalties remain unpaid, according to the provisions of this title. A lien for penalties shall run with the subject land (if owned by the person responsible for code compliance), and shall accrue interest at six percent per annum from the date of recording the lien until paid in full.

20.28.020 Penalties schedule for sensitive areas.

(1) The code compliance provisions as applied to sensitive areas are intended to encourage compliance with Chapter 27.12 CCC, Clallam County Critical Areas Code, CCC Title 32, Floodplain Management, and Chapter 35.01 CCC, Shoreline Management, to protect sensitive areas and the general public from harm, and to further the remedial purposes of this title. To achieve this, persons responsible for code compliance will not only be required to restore damaged sensitive areas, insofar as that is possible and beneficial, but will also be required to pay a civil penalty for the redress of ecological, recreation, and economic values lost or damaged due to their unlawful action.

(2) The penalty provisions of this section are in addition to, and not in lieu of, the penalty provisions of CCC 20.28.010.

(3) For the purposes of this section, a “sensitive area” is any area that is subject to the provisions of Chapter 27.12 CCC, Clallam County Critical Areas Code, CCC Title 32, Floodplain Management, and/or Chapter 35.01 CCC, Shoreline Management.

(4) For the purposes of this section, “violation of a sensitive area ordinance” means:

(a) The violation of any provision of Chapter 27.12 CCC, Clallam County Critical Areas Code, CCC Title 32, Floodplain Management, or Chapter 35.01 CCC, Shoreline Management;

(b) The failure to obtain a permit required for work in a sensitive area;

(c) The failure to comply with the conditions of any permit, notice and order, stop work order, voluntary compliance agreement, mitigation plan, or any other written approval issued pursuant to the above-mentioned provisions;

(d) The failure to disclose a change of circumstances which makes inaccurate any sensitive area study that was the basis for establishing permit or approval conditions.

(5) Any person in violation of a sensitive areas ordinance is subject to a sensitive area penalty, which is in addition to the penalty imposed under CCC 20.28.010, in an amount that is the higher of either:

(a) The amount of penalties imposed pursuant to CCC 20.28.010; or

(b) The amount of economic benefit that such person derives from the violation, if such amount can be objectively documented. Such economic benefit shall be calculated as the total of any or all of the following:

(i) The resulting increase in market value of the subject property; and/or

(ii) The value received by the person responsible for code compliance; and/or

(iii) The savings of construction costs realized by the person responsible for code compliance as a result of performing any act in violation of the chapter.

(6) All sensitive area penalties assessed under this section shall be payable to Clallam County and placed in a special revenue fund for the enhancement of shorelines and critical areas.

20.28.030 Penalty waivers.

Penalties may be waived by the Director under the following circumstances and to the following extent only:

(1) If a citation, notice and order, or stop work order was issued in error, or if penalties were assessed in error, the Director may adjust the penalties to the correct amount. The Director shall document the circumstances under which a decision was made to adjust penalties and such a statement shall become part of the public record unless privileged.

(2) If the code violation has been fully corrected according to the terms of a duly executed voluntary compliance agreement under this title, then the Director shall waive a portion of the accrued but unpaid penalties, and associated interest, according to the table set forth herein, which amount shall be specifically memorialized in said voluntary compliance agreement:

If the date of the voluntary compliance agreement is:

Portion of accrued but unpaid penalties to be waived:

Within 90 calendar days of imposition of penalties

75 percent

After 90 calendar days of imposition of penalties

50 percent

Within 90 calendar days of recording lien for penalties

50 percent

After 90 calendar days of recording lien for penalties

25 percent

Within 45 calendar days of the acquisition date of the subject property by new owners (including inheritance)

75 percent

After 45 calendar days of the acquisition date of the subject property by new owners (including inheritance)

25 percent

This partial waiver of penalties shall only apply to unpaid penalties and associated interest. Under no circumstances shall anything in this section be construed to mean that the Department or Clallam County shall owe reimbursement of penalties and/or interest already paid.

(3) In partially waiving penalties and interest, the Director must follow the above table and may not deviate from the same. This objective waiver of penalties serves to further the overriding public purpose of bringing properties into code compliance, and recognizes the environmental and public health benefits to the County of bringing properties into code compliance.

(4) The Director shall not waive any assessed costs of code compliance or actual abatement costs incurred by the County, including associated interest thereon. Actual abatement costs are funds spent by the County to achieve physical abatement of the violation.

(5) Upon a determination that the violation has been corrected according to the terms of the voluntary compliance agreement, the Director shall record a certificate of correction together with an amended lien that reflects the partial waiver of penalties and associated interest pursuant to the provisions of this title.

(6) Within 30 calendar days of full payment of any remaining penalties, costs, and associated interest, the Director shall record a lien satisfaction.