Chapter 9.14


9.14.010    Purpose and authority.

9.14.020    Definitions.

9.14.030    Nuisances prohibited.

9.14.040    Duty to maintain property.

9.14.050    Tree removal.

9.14.060    Graffiti.

9.14.070    Disposal of animal carcasses.

9.14.080    Enforcement officer – Contract enforcement.

9.14.090    Violation and enforcement.

9.14.010 Purpose and authority.

This chapter is designed to promote a safe, healthy and livable community for citizens and visitors to Friday Harbor by identifying and reducing public nuisances as the same may be defined herein and to provide remedies to address and abate said nuisances consistent with applicable provisions of the Revised Code of Washington, including but not limited to RCW 7.48.220, 35.21.310 and 35.27.410. This chapter (and each section thereof) may be cited and pled as the “Friday Harbor nuisance code” and shall be liberally construed to effect its remedial purposes. (Ord. 1530 § 1, 2014)

9.14.020 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meaning (except where the context requires otherwise) as set out herein. In addition, the definitions set forth in Chapter 1.04 FHMC also apply:

A. “Abate” includes the repair, replacement, removal and/or destruction or other lawful remedial action to address nuisances.

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

C. “Enforcement officer” means the land use administrator or designee.

D. “FHMC” means the Friday Harbor Municipal Code as it currently exists or as it may hereafter be amended.

E. “Garbage” means all discarded putrescible waste matter including waste food, household waste, solid waste not including sewage or human or animal excrement.

F. “Graffiti” means any writing, painting, or drawing of any inscription, figure, or mark of any type on any public or private building or other structure or any real or personal property without the permission of the owner thereof.

G. “Health hazard” means vegetation or garbage providing a harborage or habitat for rats or other rodents; vegetation which is poisonous or noxious; and vegetation which creates a danger of contamination or disease.

H. “Litter” means discarded waste materials including but not limited to discarded or used containers, cans and bottles; paper wrappings, packaging material and other material discarded, abandoned or otherwise disposed of on any property.

I. “Owner” means any person having a legal or equitable interest in real or personal property or a person in possession or control thereof excluding person(s) whose interest is for security only.

J. “Noxious vegetation” means either:

1. Any vegetation that is or is likely to become:

a. A health hazard;

b. A fire hazard; or

c. A traffic hazard because it impairs the view of the public thoroughfare, or otherwise makes use of the thoroughfare hazardous; or

2. The following:

a. Poison oak (Toxicodendron diversiloba);

b. Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans);

c. Russian thistle (Salsola kali);

d. Blackberry bushes extending into a public way, a pathway frequented by children, cross a property line or which is used for a habitation by trespassers;

e. Grass or weeds more than 10 inches high;

f. Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius), English ivy (Hedera helix), hogwood (Heracleum mantegazzianum), knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) and purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria); and

g. All other vegetation regulated by the state under Chapter 17.10 RCW and listed under Chapter 16-750 WAC.

K. “Nuisance” means any item, condition or practice capable of causing a threat to the public health, safety and/or welfare including items or conditions specifically defined as nuisances in FHMC 9.14.030 through and including 9.14.070.

L. “Person” means any natural person, association, trust, partnership, firm, corporation or other entity capable of lawfully holding real or personal property.

M. “Planting strip” or “parking strip” means that part of the right-of-way between the abutting property line and the curb or traveled portion of the street, exclusive of any sidewalk.

N. “Premises” means any lot, parcel, real property (improved or unimproved) or portion thereof including adjacent sidewalks and parking strips.

O. “Responsible person” means the person(s) occupying or having control of premises.

P. “Town” means the town of Friday Harbor. (Ord. 1530 § 1, 2014)

9.14.030 Nuisances prohibited.

No person shall suffer, permit, cause or maintain any of the following within the town:

A. Vegetation.

1. Overhanging limbs less than eight feet above a public walkway or sidewalk or less than 14 feet above a public street;

2. Vegetation obstructing, impairing or otherwise impeding the free use of any public walkway, sidewalk, street, sewer utility or other public improvement;

3. Dead, decaying or diseased trees posing a threat of falling onto public property or the public right-of-way;

4. Noxious vegetation excepting the temporary retention thereof in covered receptacles;

5. Woodpiles not properly stacked or accumulations of wood debris which are or could become a fire hazard; and

6. The planting, setting, placing or installation of any shrub, bush or tree in any public parking strip or other public place except with the prior written approval of the town.

B. Noise. See Chapter 9.08 FHMC, Situational Noise Limitations.

C. Sidewalks or Streets.

1. Any protrusion, awning or overhang inhibiting or obstructing the free use of a public walkway or sidewalk;

2. Any object, construction or damage inhibiting use of a public walkway, sidewalk or space without preexisting lawful permission of the town;

3. Any trailer, boat or recreational vehicle parked or stored and thereby obstructing the public sidewalk;

4. A sidewalk (or any portion thereof) maintained or suffered by the owner of the adjacent premises to be in a condition so as to unreasonably interfere with the public use of the sidewalk or walkway including failing to timely remove ice, snow, rock, sand, bark dust, compost, lumber, yard trimmings, leaves or other debris so as to eliminate hazardous conditions resulting therefrom;

5. The depositing of any material, including paper, garbage or litter, in any street, alley, sidewalk, park, parkway or other public place;

6. Signs placed illegally within the public right-of-way;

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

8. Drainage onto or over any sidewalk, walkway or other similar walkway without an appropriate town-issued permit;

9. Depositing of oil, chemicals, soaps and/or detergents on to public streets or in storm drains; and

10. Any excavation endangering the lateral support of public rights-of-way or other public property.

D. Motor Vehicles. See Chapter 8.08 FHMC, Junk Vehicles.

E. Graffiti. Graffiti or other defacement of public and/or private property (including walls, rocks, bridges, buildings, fences, gates, vehicles, signs, road surfaces and other structures, trees, and all other real and personal property within the town) inconsistent with FHMC 9.14.060.

F. Furniture and Appliances.

1. All broken or discarded household furniture, furnishings or equipment, or any appliances in the front, side, or back yard of a property and not in an approved enclosed structure; or

2. All refrigeration appliances not having the doors secured or removed, or any enclosure that can entrap humans or animals.

G. Attractive Nuisances. Any accessible attractive nuisance to children including, but not limited to, unattended machinery or equipment, unsecured abandoned or vacant buildings, open and unattended vehicle trunks, or other unguarded conditions or situations that could injure or trap a child.

H. Debris and Trash. Accumulations of broken or neglected items, litter, salvage materials, and junk not in an approved enclosed structure.

I. Holes, Pits, and Excavations. All uncovered holes, pits or excavations not marked or guarded.

J. Machinery and Equipment. Broken, inoperable accumulations of, or parts of, machinery or equipment not in an approved enclosed structure, in the front, back, or side yards of the property.

K. Building and Construction Materials. The storage or keeping of used or unused building materials (the new retail cost exceeding $100.00) for more than 30 days without a permit from the building official; provided, that nothing herein:

1. Prohibits such storage without a permit when done in conjunction with a construction project for which a building permit has been issued and which is being prosecuted diligently to completion;

2. Prohibits such storage without a permit upon the premises of a bona fide lumber yard, dealer in building materials or other commercial enterprise when the same is permitted under the zoning ordinance and other applicable laws; or

3. Makes lawful any such storage or keeping when it is prohibited by other provisions of the Friday Harbor Municipal Code or other laws.

L. Miscellaneous.

1. The burning or disposal of garbage, litter, sawdust or any other material without a permit;

2. Allowing or causing flooding to occur on private property that is likely to or does result in damage to persons or property;

3. The existence on any premises of any abandoned or unused well, cistern or storage tank without first demolishing or removing from the town such storage tank or securely closing and barring any entrance or trapdoor thereto or without filling any well or cistern or capping the same with sufficient security to prevent access thereto by children;

4. Cesspool(s) or septic tank(s) which are in an unsanitary, malfunctioning or unsafe condition, or which cause an offensive odor;

5. Premises in a state or condition causing offensive odors or in an unsanitary condition;

6. 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; but nothing in this chapter prevents the temporary retention of waste in approved covered receptacles;

7. Except for notices posted by the town, state or federal government, no person may attach or cause to be attached any bill, placard, poster or sign upon real or personal property (whether public or private) without first securing permission from the owner thereof. This provision is not to be construed as an amendment to or a repeal of any town development code regulation of the use and location of signs;

8. Maintaining an occupied travel trailer, motor home, camper (or other vehicle or trailer modified for sleeping) at any location other than a licensed recreational vehicle park except travel trailers and motor homes used by visitors for a period not to exceed 14 days in any consecutive six-month period;

9. Connection of any electric, water, sewer, gas or telephone line to a motor home, travel trailer, camper or utility trailer if any portion of such line extends over, across or under any public right-of-way or portion thereof;

10. Any other activity which has been declared a public nuisance by ordinances of the town as they currently exist or may hereafter be amended unless such otherwise declared nuisance has a specific penalty or remedial provision associated with it; and

11. Recreational fires as defined in Chapter 9.16 FHMC, in a state or condition causing excessive smoke or offensive odors that carry beyond the premises. (Ord. 1693 § 2, 2020; Ord. 1530 § 1, 2014)

9.14.040 Duty to maintain property.

Every person owning or otherwise in control of any premises within the town is required to maintain said premises and any adjoining public right-of-way as follows:

A. Maintain plantings contained in a planting strip abutting the responsible person’s premises;

B. Abate existing nuisance(s) by:

1. Removing or trimming vegetation encroaching on or overhanging an abutting sidewalk;

2. Which is dead; or

3. Is noxious vegetation;

C. In the case of undeveloped lots having an area of more than one acre, noxious vegetation shall be eliminated by removal from areas within 20 feet of abutting improved premises. (Ord. 1530 § 1, 2014)

9.14.050 Tree removal.

A. Any person desiring to remove any tree partially or fully within a public right-of-way, including undeveloped or unopened public rights-of-way, shall apply to the town administrator for a permit to do so. A permit may be issued when:

1. The tree constitutes a fire, safety or health hazard or is otherwise deemed in the public’s best interest to have removed; and

2. The applicant has executed a hold harmless agreement (in a form satisfactory to the town administrator) indemnifying the town from claims resulting from the applicant’s removal of said tree.

B. This chapter does not preclude the town from either removing or maintaining vegetation (including trees) in public rights-of-way if the town deems it appropriate and such decision/action does not create an ongoing obligation on the town to maintain such vegetation in the future. (Ord. 1530 § 1, 2014)

9.14.060 Graffiti.

A. When the enforcement officer reasonably determines graffiti to exist on any public or private premises and/or other place visible to the public from a right-of-way, he/she shall notify the owner thereof that the graffiti is to be removed within 10 days of the owner’s receipt of said notice or the town may cause abatement thereof.

B. In the event an owner fails, refuses or neglects to cause timely abatement of graffiti after notice by the enforcement officer, the town may cause the abatement and the town’s agents and/or employees are authorized to enter upon the premises for such purposes should the owner fail to authorize entry. All reasonable efforts are to be taken to minimize damage from the entry and any material or substance used to abate the graffiti shall be applied in a manner that the premises’ background appearance is generally maintained. In any event, the town shall neither authorize nor undertake for abatement of any more area than is reasonably necessary in order to effect the graffiti’s removal. (Ord. 1533 § 1, 2014; Ord. 1530 § 1, 2014)

9.14.070 Disposal of animal carcasses.

Every person owning or having charge of any animal that has died or been killed is responsible for burying the carcass thereof at a place approved by the county health officer or cause the carcass to be consumed by fire either of which is to occur within a reasonable period not to exceed 48 hours. No person shall sell or offer to sell or give away the carcass of any animal which died or was killed as a result of disease unless done for legitimate scientific or forensic purposes. (Ord. 1530 § 1, 2014)

9.14.080 Enforcement officer – Contract enforcement.

A. The enforcement officer is charged with enforcement of this chapter and may call upon police, fire, health or other appropriate town or county departments to assist in that enforcement. The town may also contract with any duly formed public entity for enforcement of this chapter.

B. This chapter shall be enforced for the benefit of the health, safety and welfare of the general public and not for the benefit of any particular person or class of persons. (Ord. 1530 § 1, 2014)

9.14.090 Violation and enforcement.

A. The violation of any provision of the Friday Harbor nuisance code is declared both a public nuisance and Class I civil infraction and each day a violation exists can be treated as a separate infraction.

B. Violations of this chapter may be enforced as set forth in Chapter 1.18 FHMC but said enforcement is not exclusive and the town reserves to itself the ability to seek enforcement and compliance with this chapter in any court of competent jurisdiction. (Ord. 1530 § 1, 2014)