Chapter 9.60
NUISANCE ACTIVITY

Sections:

9.60.010    Legislative Intent

9.60.020    Nuisances Prohibited

9.60.030    General Definition

9.60.040    Specific Definition

9.60.050    Violations of Land Use Ordinances Constitute Public Nuisances

9.60.055    Nuisance Vehicles

9.60.060    Vehicles and Machinery

9.60.070    Uncovered Trash or Abandoned Materials

9.60.080    Dangerous, Abandoned Buildings, Structures, or Vehicles

9.60.090    Potential Pest, Insect or Disease Carrying Insects harborage

9.60.100    Burning, Disposing or Permitting the Escape of Material in an Annoying Manner

9.60.110    Fire Hazard

9.60.120    Place which Occasions Annoyances

9.60.130    Graffiti

9.60.140    Unguarded Holes or Excavations

9.60.150    Certain Growth

9.60.160    Landscape Maintenance

9.60.170    Growth, Structures of Debris Which Obstructs Public Way

9.60.180    Dead Trees and Infested Vegetation

9.60.190    Disorderly Houses

9.60.200    Places where Disturbance of the Peace Occurs

9.60.210    Liability for Costs of Abatement

9.60.220    Buildings to be Secured

9.60.230    Violation and Penalty

9.60.240    Severability

9.60.010 Legislative Intent.

The quality of the neighborhoods within the City affects the quality of life within the City.

The City strives to balance the rights of the property owner to use their property with the community’s need for safety, peace and tranquility. Corrective action to fix a neighborhood problem is often based upon a complaint from a resident. (Ord. 891, Sec. 1, 2013)

9.60.020 Nuisances Prohibited.

No person, partnership, firm or corporation shall erect, contrive, cause, continue, maintain or permit to exist any nuisance within the City. (Ord. 624, Sec. 2, 2001)

9.60.030 General Definition.

A nuisance is any act, omission, or condition that:

A.    Annoys, injures, or endangers the comfort, repose, health or safety of others; or

B.    Obstructs or interferes with the use of any private or public property; or

C.    Is prohibited by this chapter.

Uses of property in full compliance with Title 14 of the Lake Stevens Municipal Code are not nuisances. (Ord. 680, Sec. 1, 2003; Ord. 624, Sec 2, 2001)

9.60.040 Specific Definition.

A.    The following specific acts, omissions, places, conditions, and things are declared to be nuisances: the erecting, maintaining, using, placing, depositing, causing, allowing, leaving, or permitting to be or remain in or upon any private lot, building, structure or premises, or in or upon any street, avenue, alley, park, parkway, or other public or private place in the City, or any one or more of the following places, conditions, thing, or acts to the prejudice, danger or annoyance of others, as follows in the Section 9.60.040 through 9.60.220.

B.    The nuisances identified in Sections 9.60.040 through 9.60.220 are not exhaustive. Any condition which meets the definition in 9.60.020 or other nuisance definitions in the Lake Stevens Municipal Code is subject to enforcement action by the City.

9.60.050 Violations of Land Use Ordinances Constitute Public Nuisances.

In response to the enactment of the Private Property Regulatory Fairness Act, it is declared that the intent of Title 14 of the Lake Stevens Municipal Code is to create a livable and sustainable City by establishing standards, procedures, and minimum requirements to achieve the following general intentions and purposes for the City of Lake Stevens thus preventing and abating public nuisances. Accordingly, all violations of Title 14 of the Lake Stevens Municipal Code are determined to be detrimental to the public health, safety, and welfare and are public nuisances. All conditions which are determined by a director to be in violation of Title 14 shall either be (a) subject to enforcement pursuant to Title 14 of the Lake Stevens Municipal Code or (b) subject to enforcement pursuant to Title 17 of the Lake Stevens Municipal Code. (Ord. 891, Sec. 2, 2013; Ord. 624, Sec. 2, 2001)

9.60.055 Nuisance Vehicles.

A nuisance vehicle is any vehicle, including, but not limited to motorized vehicles of any kind, boats, watercraft, recreational vehicles and trailers of any size that:

(a)    has characteristics which include, but are not limited to damaged, rusted, partially dismantled, wrecked, flat tire(s), broken window(s) or windshield, or missing wheels, tires, motor, or transmission, expired tabs or an accumulation of natural vegetation or debris on or around the vehicle; and

(b)    is apparently inoperable. (Ord. 680. Sec. 2, 2001)

9.60.060 Vehicles and Machinery.

Except for property licensed and permitted for vehicle storage, repair or sales in accordance with Title 14 of the Lake Stevens Municipal Code, the following are prohibited:

(a)    The storing of one or more nuisance vehicle in excess of 30 days unless such nuisance vehicles are (1) kept in a fully enclosed structure or shielded by a permanent solid fence, and (2) unable to be viewed from neighboring public or private property.

(b)    Storing or maintaining accumulations of any kind of machinery or parts not (1) kept in a fully enclosed structure or shielded by a permanent solid fence, and (2) unable to be viewed from neighboring public or private property.

(c)    Disassembling, assembling, or repairing more than one vehicle at any one time unless the vehicles are (1) kept in a fully enclosed structure or shielded by a permanent solid fence, and (2) unable to be viewed from neighboring public or private property.

(d)    Repairing, dissembling, or assembling vehicles, machinery or parts in a manner which causes or allows oils, gas, or vehicle fluids to enter or potentially enter any body of water, water system, or sewer system, or to otherwise cause a potential health or safety concern.

(e)    Repairing, restoring, disassembling or assembling vehicles that are not registered to an owner and/or occupant of the property.

(f)    Vehicles left unattended on temporary blocks or jacks or elevated above the ground in an unstable manner, whether on private or public property and accessible to all.

(g)    Recreational or occasional use vehicles, including watercraft, not kept in a clean, safe manner, or that causes the appearance of an accumulation of nuisance vehicles; and

(h)    Storage or repair of a vehicle on any public sidewalk or right-of way, unless in the event of an emergency.

(i)    Selling or displaying for sale more than four vehicles per year.

Nothing in this Chapter shall prevent the repair of motor vehicles that are not in violation of Section 7.16.010 of the Lake Stevens Municipal Code.

(Ord. 811, Sec. 9, 2010; Ord. 680, Sec. 3, 2003; Ord. 624, Sec 2, 2001)

9.60.070 Uncovered Trash or Abandoned Materials.

Accumulations of trash, or broken or decrepit items kept in disarray on a property or not stored in a proper receptacle or permanent structure, which cause the property to appear abandoned or which creates a potential for injury, are prohibited.

9.60.080 Dangerous, Abandoned Buildings, Structures, or Vehicles.

Any vehicle, appliance, machinery, building or structure, or any unoccupied and unfenced lot that contains pooled water, or any other untended object accessible to children that could potentially cause injury, become closed, or trap a child, whether or not the child has permission to be on the property; or any unused, abandoned or apparently abandoned building or structure that could potentially become a site for illegal activity or unauthorized transient person that is not posted and fenced or barricaded to prevent entry is prohibited.

9.60.090 Potential Pest, Insect or Disease Carrying Insects Harborage.

Any condition which, due to lack of maintenance or cleanliness, could potentially attract, harbor, or cause the infestation of pests, vermin or insects, including but not limited to stored refuse, products of livestock keeping, unburied carcasses, animal wastes or animal matter, pooled or stagnant water, improperly functioning or maintained temporary or permanent toilets, or abandoned structures or debris, is prohibited.

9.60.100 Burning, Disposing or Permitting the Escape of Material in an Annoying Manner.

Burning, disposing or permitting the escape of refuse, sawdust or other material in such a manner to cause or permit ashes, sawdust, soot or cinders to be cast upon the streets or alleys of the City, or to cause or permit the smoke, ashes, soot, noxious acids or gases arising from such burning, disposal or escape to become annoying to any considerable number of persons or to injure or endanger the health, comfort or repose of persons is declared to be a nuisance.

9.60.110 Fire Hazard.

Accumulations of wood products, dry vegetation, burnable materials, or improper storage of flammable liquids, which could be a potential fire hazard, are prohibited.

9.60.120 Place which Occasions Annoyances.

The erection, continuance, or use of any building, room or other place in the City for the exercise of any trade, employment or manufacture which, by occasioning noxious exhalations, offensive odors or other annoyances, is discomforting or offensive or detrimental to the health of individuals or of the public is declared to be a nuisance.

A.    Any act or condition, or improper maintenance or disposal of any material, use of property, substances or things, emitting or causing any foul, offensive, or noxious odors which annoys, discomforts, injures or inconveniences the health, safety or well being of any appreciable number of persons within the City is prohibited.

9.60.130 Graffiti.

Allowing graffiti or any other unauthorized defacement of any surface visible to the public to remain for more than ten (10) days after discovery by the property owner and/or occupant or notification by the Lake Stevens Police Department is prohibited.

9.60.140 Unguarded Holes or Excavations.

Any unmarked, unfenced or unguarded accessible hole, pit, well, cistern, storage tank, shaft, or excavation, which creates the potential for injury, is prohibited.

9.60.150 Certain Growth.

Poison oak, poison ivy, deadly nightshade, or any noxious or toxic weed or uncultivated plant, whether growing or otherwise, weeds, tall grass, uncultivated shrubs or growth higher than two feet, are declared to be a nuisance.

9.60.160 Landscape Maintenance.

It constitutes a nuisance for anyone to fail to maintain landscaping, including but not limited to lawns, shrubs, trees, and other plantings, whether of native growth or domestic vegetation in commercial, industrial, or multiple dwelling residential areas of the City, and it is a nuisance to fail to maintain landscaping as required pursuant to Chapter 14 of the Lake Stevens Municipal Code.

9.60.170 Growth, Structures or Debris Which Obstructs Public Way.

A.    Trees, plants, shrubs or vegetation or parts thereof, which so overhang any sidewalk or street or which are growing thereon in such a manner as to obstruct or impair the free and full use of the sidewalk or street by the public are public nuisances.

B.    Any structure, construction, fencing, objects or materials that obstruct or interfere with the free use of a sidewalk, walkway or public right-of-way is prohibited.

C.    It is the duty of the owner of the property wherein or whereon any such nuisances exist to abate the nuisance by destroying, removing or trimming the growth and debris.

9.60.180 Dead Trees and Infested Vegetation.

A.    Allowing the existence of dead, decayed, unstable or rotting trees that could potentially cause harm or substantial property damage from the falling of the tree or its limbs is prohibited.

B.    Allowing uncontrolled, diseased or infested vegetation which could spread to an adjacent property is prohibited, unless all reasonable efforts to control such infestation have failed.

9.60.190 Disorderly Houses.

All premises or places of business where prostitution, lewdness, the sale or possession of illegal drugs, underage consumption of alcohol, the harboring of runaway juveniles or wanted persons, or at which there is a pattern of criminal activity are declared to be prohibited nuisances.

9.60.200 Places where Disturbance of the Peace Occurs.

Any premises, place or business establishments where drunkenness, fighting or breaches of the peace are carried on or permitted or tolerated, or where loud noises are carried on or permitted in such a way as to disturb the peace and tranquillity of the neighborhood is declared to be a nuisance.

9.60.210 Liability for Costs of Abatement.

Any person, firm or corporation which keeps or maintains a nuisance as provided in this chapter shall be liable for all costs and expenses of abating the same, when the nuisance has been abated by any officer of the City, and the costs and expenses shall be taxed as part of the costs of said prosecution against the party liable, to be recovered as other costs are recovered; provided that in such cases the City shall be liable in the first instance to pay the same, and in all cases where the Chief of Police or other officer shall abate any such nuisance he shall keep an account of all expenses attending the abatement. In addition to other powers herein given to collect such costs and expenses, the City may bring suit for the same in any court of competent jurisdiction against the person, firm or corporation creating, keeping, or maintaining the nuisance so abated.

9.60.220 Buildings to be Secured.

Every agent or owner of any unoccupied building in the City shall keep the same securely closed at all times against persons who may enter and commit a nuisance therein.

9.60.230 Violation and Penalty.

Failure to comply with any provision of this chapter, or violation of any provision of this chapter is an infraction for the first offense and for a second offense within a 365 day period. A third or subsequent offense within a 365 day period shall either be 1) a misdemeanor subject to a jail term of not more than one year, a fine of not more than $1,000.00, or both such fine and imprisonment or 2) subject to enforcement pursuant to Title 17 of the Lake Stevens Municipal Code

9.60.240 Severability.

If any section, sentence, clause or phrase of this chapter should be held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity or unconstitutionality shall not affect the validity or constitutionality of any other section, sentence, clause or phrase of this chapter.

(Ord. 624, Sec. 2, 2001: Ord. 604, Sec. 8, 1999; Ord. 481, 1995: Ord Nos. 42, 231, and 448 Section 2(b) Chapter 9.60 renumbered from 9.34)