Chapter 8.14


8.14.010    Purpose.

8.14.020    Nuisance – Junk vehicles on private property.

8.14.030    Junk vehicle – Definition.

8.14.040    Investigation and enforcement.

8.14.050    Certification of vehicles as junk.

8.14.070    Exceptions.

8.14.080    Notice of hearing for removal of junk vehicle.

8.14.090    Determination of responsibility.

8.14.100    Abatement and removal.

8.14.110    Assessment of costs and civil action.

8.14.010 Purpose.

This chapter establishes procedures for the abatement and removal as public nuisances of junk motor vehicles pursuant to RCW 46.55.240. (Ord. 784 § 3, 1999)

8.14.020 Nuisance – Junk vehicles on private property.

Parking, storing or abandoning junk vehicles on private property, except as provided in LFPMC 8.14.070, constitutes a nuisance subject to the abatement procedures of this chapter. (Ord. 784 § 4, 1999)

8.14.030 Junk vehicle – Definition.

A vehicle meeting three of the following requirements:

A. Is at least three years old;

B. Is extensively damaged, such damage including but not limited to any of the following: a broken window or windshield or missing wheels, tires, motor, or transmission;

C. Is apparently inoperable; or

D. Has a fair market value equivalent only to the approximate value of the scrap in it. (Ord. 784 § 5, 1999)

8.14.040 Investigation and enforcement.

Preliminary, informal enforcement shall be pursued as follows:

A. The enforcement officer shall investigate any property within the city on which a junk vehicle is believed to be located.

B. If a junk vehicle is located, there shall be served upon the last registered owner and the owner of the property a notice of abatement.

C. The notice of abatement shall:

1. Separately identify each vehicle by vehicle identification number and license plate number, if possible;

2. Identify the applicable criteria defining the vehicle as a junk vehicle;

3. Establish a time by which abatement must be accomplished; and

4. Advise of the right of review.

D. The notice shall be served by regular mail, and by personal service or by certified mail; provided, that unclaimed certified mail shall not bar proceedings hereunder.

E. Whenever possible, a copy of the notice of abatement shall be posted at a conspicuous place on the property.

F. The time for abatement shall be established taking into consideration:

1. The number of vehicles involved;

2. Permits, if any, needed to take corrective action;

3. The difficulty of compliance; and

4. Other circumstances, including cost, deemed relevant by the enforcement officer.

G. The notice of abatement is final, unless a request for review is filed with the enforcement officer within five business days; provided, that the enforcement officer may grant review whenever that officer is satisfied that failure to seek timely review was for good cause.

1. Any person affected by a notice of abatement may obtain administrative review thereof by filing a timely written request with the enforcement officer. Upon receipt of such request the enforcement officer shall notify the person(s) served with the notice of the date, place, and time of the review, which shall be not be less than five days nor more than 10 days after the request is received.

2. The review will be an informal proceeding at which the enforcement officer shall explain the reasons for issuing the notice of abatement and consider information presented by any affected person.

3. The enforcement officer may sustain the notice or withdraw the notice.

4. The enforcement officer shall issue an order containing the decision within five days of the date the review is completed and mail the same to the person requesting the review. If necessary, the decision shall establish a new time for compliance. The decision of the enforcement officer is final.

H. The city shall implement the abatement procedures of this chapter whenever a notice of abatement or final decision is disregarded. (Ord. 784 § 6, 1999)

8.14.050 Certification of vehicles as junk.

Any Lake Forest Park law enforcement officer having jurisdiction or any person authorized by the mayor may inspect and certify in writing that a vehicle meets the requirements of a junk vehicle. The enforcement officer shall record the make of the vehicle and, if available, its identification number and license number and certify that three of the following apply to the vehicle:

A. Its approximate value is equivalent to the approximate value of the scrap in it;

B. It is at least three years old, by listing the approximate year of the vehicle;

C. It is extensively damaged, by identifying such damage including but not limited to any of the following: a broken window or windshield or missing wheels, tires, motor, or transmission; or

D. It is apparently inoperable. (Ord. 784 § 7, 1999)

8.14.070 Exceptions.

This chapter shall not apply to a vehicle or part thereof that:

A. Is completely enclosed within a building in a lawful manner where it is not visible from the street or other public or private property; or

B. Is stored or parked in a lawful manner on private property in connection with the business of a licensed dismantler or licensed vehicle dealer and is fenced according to RCW 46.80.130. (Ord. 784 § 8, 1999)

8.14.080 Notice of hearing for removal of junk vehicle.

A. The last registered vehicle owner of record and the property owner of record shall each be given notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, that a public hearing on the question of abatement and responsibility for cost may be requested before the city’s hearing examiner and that if a hearing is not requested within 15 days from the date of the postmark of the notice, the junk vehicle will be removed.

B. If a request for hearing is timely received, a notice giving the time, location and date of such hearing on the question of abatement and removal of the vehicle or vehicles or part(s) as a public nuisance shall be mailed, by certified mail with a return receipt requested, to the owner of the land as shown on the last equalized assessment roll and to the last registered and legal owner of record of each vehicle, unless the vehicle’s condition renders the identification numbers unavailable or unreadable or the land owner denied the enforcement officer entry to the land to obtain the vehicle identification number. (Ord. 784 § 9, 1999)

8.14.090 Determination of responsibility.

A. The owner of the land on which the vehicle is located may appear in person at the hearing or present a written statement in time for consideration at the hearing and may deny responsibility for the presence of the vehicle on the land stating the reason for such denial.

B. If the hearing examiner determines that the vehicle was placed on the land without the land owner’s consent and that the land owner has not subsequently acquiesced in its presence, then costs of administration or removal of the vehicle shall not be assessed against either the property nor otherwise collected from the land owner.

C. Nothing in this chapter shall relieve the property owner from any civil penalties which may accrue from any zoning code violation related to the improper placement, parking, or storage of vehicles or parts thereof. (Ord. 784 § 10, 1999)

8.14.100 Abatement and removal.

After notice has been given that the city intends to dispose of the vehicle or vehicles or part(s) thereof, and after a hearing has been held, if one is requested, the vehicle(s) or part(s) thereof shall be removed at the request of a law enforcement officer and disposed of at a licensed vehicle wrecker, hulk hauler or scrap processor with notice given to the Washington State Patrol and to the Department of Licensing that the vehicle has been wrecked. (Ord. 784 § 11, 1999)

8.14.110 Assessment of costs and civil action.

A. The costs of removal and disposal shall be assessed against either the registered owner of the vehicle if known, unless the owner transferred ownership of the vehicle in compliance with RCW 46.12.101, or against the owner of the property on which the vehicle is stored, subject to the provisions of LFPMC 8.14.090.

B. The Lake Forest Park municipal court shall have jurisdiction over any civil action brought by the city to recover costs assessed pursuant to this chapter. The action shall be brought in the name of the city and shall be commenced and proceeded upon according to the Civil Rules for Courts of Limited Jurisdiction. (Ord. 784 § 12, 1999)