Chapter 16.16


16.16.010    Scope.

16.16.020    Administration.

16.16.030    Definitions.

16.16.040    General minimum maintenance requirements.

16.16.050    Vacant commercial space registration.

16.16.060    Window displays for commercial spaces not occupied for thirty days.

16.16.070    Fees for vacant commercial space registration.

16.16.080    Delinquent registration fees—Collection.

16.16.090    Duty to amend registration statement.

16.16.100    Inspections.

16.16.110    Enforcement.

16.16.120    Annual report.

16.16.010 Scope.

The provisions of this chapter apply to all structures in the urban mixed zone (UM zone), unless otherwise stated. All responsible persons (as defined in Section 16.16.030) shall comply with the requirements of this chapter. (Ord. 3617-18 § 7, 2018: Ord. 3127-09 § 1, 2009)

16.16.020 Administration.

This chapter will be administered by the building official, who may adopt administrative rules and regulations consistent with its terms. The building official (and his designee), or code enforcement officers, or both are authorized to enforce this chapter. (Ord. 3127-09 § 2, 2009)

16.16.030 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter:

“City” means the city of Everett, its officers, employees, and agents.

“Commercial space” means any portion of a structure in the urban mixed zone that is not intended for residential use.

Occupied. A commercial space is considered occupied if a permitted, nonresidential use is physically located and lawfully operating in the space for at least six consecutive months.

“Responsible person” means any person, firm, association, corporation or any agent thereof owning, leasing, renting or having lawful possession of a structure in the urban mixed zone.

“Urban mixed zone” means the UM zone in the city of Everett as defined by the Everett zoning code, Title 19.

“Vacant commercial space” means any portion of a street-level commercial space that, on or after September 1, 2009, is not occupied and has not been occupied during the preceding ninety days. (Ord. 3617-18 § 8, 2018: Ord. 3127-09 § 3, 2009)

16.16.040 General minimum maintenance requirements.

All responsible persons shall perform the following with respect to each structure they own, lease, rent or lawfully possess:

A.    Maintain all exterior surfaces, including but not limited to doors, windows, door and window frames, cornices, porches, trim, balconies, decks, and fences, in good condition.

B.    Protect exterior wood surfaces, other than decay-resistant woods, from the elements and decay with paint or other protective covering or treatment. If protection of the surface is compromised, restore adequate protection within a reasonable time; for example, remove peeling, flaking or chipped paint and repaint the compromised surface.

C.    Cause all siding and masonry joints and joints between the building envelope and the perimeter of windows, doors, and skylights to be weather-resistant and watertight.

D.    Coat all metal surfaces subject to rust or corrosion, except those designed to be stabilized by oxidation, to inhibit rust and corrosion, after first stabilizing any existing rust and corrosion. Remove oxidation stains from exterior surfaces.

E.    Maintain all exterior walls free from moss, algae, dirt, grime, holes, breaks, and loose or decaying materials. Weatherproof and properly coat the surface of all exterior walls when required to prevent deterioration.

F.    Maintain the roof and flashing of all structures so that they are sound, tight, free of moss, algae or defects that admit rain, attract pests or create a public nuisance. Maintain adequate roof drainage to prevent dampness and deterioration in the walls and inside the structure. Maintain roof drains, gutters, and downspouts in good repair and free from obstructions. (Ord. 3127-09 § 4, 2009)

16.16.050 Vacant commercial space registration.

A.    At least one responsible person for each vacant commercial space must register that space with the city within 10 calendar days of the date the space becomes vacant commercial space, as that term is defined in Section 16.16.030, unless:

1.    The space is the subject of a current, valid building permit for repair or rehabilitation and the responsible person provides proof, such as receipts, invoices or executed contracts, that the repair or rehabilitation is proceeding without significant delay; or

2.    The space meets all applicable codes and regulations that apply to a permitted nonresidential use, and the responsible person is actively attempting to sell, lease, or rent the property (which is evidenced, in part, by appropriate signage); or

3.    The property the commercial space is located on is the subject of a land use application for redevelopment for which approval has been granted, but building permits have yet to be issued.

B.    A space will be considered to be registered on the date the city receives, on a form provided by the building official and properly completed and signed by a responsible person, the following information:

1.    The street address and parcel number of the vacant commercial space;

2.    The name, address, and daytime and evening telephone numbers of each responsible person for the vacant commercial space, including any owner or tenant;

3.    The period of time the vacant commercial space is expected to remain vacant;

4.    Any other information requested by the building official for the administration of this chapter.

C.    For every registered vacant commercial space, a responsible person must record a notice that the space is registered with the city as a vacant commercial space with the Snohomish County auditor. The notice must be approved by the building official, and a copy of the recorded notice must be received by the city no later than thirty days from the date the space is registered.

D.    A responsible person must post the following notice inside every vacant commercial space so as to be clearly visible to all potential tenants, lessees, renters or buyers upon entering the space but not visible from outside the space:

This Vacant Commercial Space is registered with the City of Everett.

This Vacant Commercial Space may not meet all applicable codes and regulations, which may include codes and regulations required to occupy the space for a permitted use in the Urban Mixed Zone.

The Vacant Commercial Space was registered on [date]

E.    A responsible person must renew the registration of each vacant commercial space on or before January 1st of each year that the space remains vacant. A responsible person must submit the renewal application to the city on forms provided by the building official.

F.    Upon satisfactory proof to the building official that the vacant commercial space is occupied as defined in Section 16.16.030, the vacant commercial space will be unregistered. Proof of physical occupation may include, but is not limited to, usable furniture, office equipment, retail inventory or other equipment and inventory in the space that are consistent with the unit’s intended use, and persons regularly present at and using the space for its intended use. Proof of physical occupancy must also include documentation, which may include, but is not limited to, a current, executed lease agreement, paid utility receipts reflecting payments for six consecutive months from the month the space is occupied, or valid state and local business licenses, federal income tax or city business and occupation tax statements indicating the subject space is the official business address of the person or business claiming occupancy.

G.    The determination of the number of vacant commercial spaces a structure contains will be at the reasonable discretion of the building official. (Ord. 3617-18 § 9, 2018; Ord. 3127-09 § 5, 2009)

16.16.060 Window displays for commercial spaces not occupied for thirty days.

When commercial space is unoccupied for more than thirty days, a responsible person must take steps to maintain a vibrant streetscape and avoid adverse impacts on neighborhood character by applying at least one of the following measures to all ground-floor windows that face sidewalks, streets, or public open space:

A.    Paint windows with visually appealing scenes depicting or suggesting business or cultural activities;

B.    Display works of art or provide other displays of cultural or educational value, using background panels or other methods to screen views from the street of the unoccupied space;

C.    Other measures consistent with these examples approved by the building official. (Ord. 3127-09 § 6, 2009)

16.16.070 Fees for vacant commercial space registration.

A.    At least one responsible person shall pay an annual registration fee for each registered vacant commercial space. At least one responsible person must pay the fee to the city at the time the space is registered and on January 1st of each year that the space remains vacant. The fee will be based on the duration of the vacancy as determined by the following scale:

1.    Two hundred fifty dollars for each space vacant for less than one year;

2.    Five hundred dollars for each space vacant for at least one year but less than two years;

3.    Seven hundred fifty dollars for each space vacant for at least two years but less than three years;

4.    One thousand dollars for each space vacant for at least three years and for each year thereafter until the building is occupied.

B.    The fees are intended to defray the costs of administering this section through Section 16.16.120 and may be changed by resolution of the council to meet these costs. (Ord. 3127-09 § 7, 2009)

16.16.080 Delinquent registration fees—Collection.

If a responsible person fails to pay the registration fee by the due date, the city is authorized to take action to collect the registration fee, including filing civil actions or turning the matter over to collection, in which case costs incurred by the city as a result of the collection process will be assessed to the responsible person or responsible persons in addition to the registration fee. (Ord. 3127-09 § 8, 2009)

16.16.090 Duty to amend registration statement.

Responsible persons for any registered vacant commercial space shall advise the building official, in writing, of any changes to the information on the registration form within thirty days of the occurrence of the change. (Ord. 3127-09 § 9, 2009)

16.16.100 Inspections.

The building official (and his designee), or code enforcement officers, or both are authorized to conduct inspections to enforce the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 3127-09 § 10, 2009)

16.16.110 Enforcement.

A.    Enforcement of the provisions of this chapter will be performed in accordance with Chapter 1.20.

B.    No responsible person may violate or fail to comply with any provisions of this chapter. Each responsible person commits a separate offense for each and every day they commit, continue or permit a violation of any provision of this chapter.

C.    All responsible persons for a commercial space are jointly and severally responsible with respect to that commercial space for compliance with the provisions of this chapter and for any payments that they may be required to make to the city under this chapter. If the commercial space is subject to a lease, the city shall have discretion to determine whether to enforce this chapter against the commercial space owner, the tenant or both of them, but the city shall consider in this determination whether the lease provides that the compliance with this chapter is the responsibility of the commercial space owner or the tenant. (Ord. 3127-09 § 11, 2009)

16.16.120 Annual report.

The building official shall make a report to the city council in January of every odd year on the status of the vacant commercial space registration program. (Ord. 3127-09 § 12, 2009)