Chapter 17.50


17.50.010    Recovery of Enforcement Costs

17.50.010 Recovery of Enforcement Costs.

Any person responsible for a violation of the LSMC may be assessed costs as provided in this section.

(a)    Costs for Enforcement Actions, Investigations and Corrections. The Code Enforcement Officer may assess the City’s costs and expenses, including attorney fees, for any enforcement actions, investigations, and corrective actions taken under this title.

(b)    Damages. In addition to any penalties or costs that may be imposed, any person violating or failing to comply with any of the provisions of this code shall be liable for all loss or damage to public or private property arising from such violation, including the cost of restoring the affected area to its condition prior to the violation. Administrative costs will be charged as 15 percent of the total amount of liability for costs, expenses, losses, or damages to the City occasioned thereby. This clause does not establish a cause of action that may be asserted by any party other than the City. Penalties, damages, costs, and expenses may be recovered only by the City.

(c)    Special Assessment. Pursuant to RCW 35A.21.405, the City may levy upon the property at issue a special assessment for the expense of any abatement undertaken, or unpaid fines, penalties and costs issued pursuant to this title.

(1)    Prior to levying the special assessment authorized in subsection (c) of this section, the City shall provide the owner and any identifiable mortgage holder with 10 days’ advance written notice that a special assessment will be levied on the property. The notice shall provide the estimated amount of the special assessment. The notice shall be sent by regular mail.

(2)    The special assessment authorized by this section constitutes a lien against the property and is binding upon successors in title only from the date the lien is recorded in the county where the affected real property is located. Up to $2,000 of the recorded lien is of equal rank with State, county, and municipal taxes.

(3)    A property owner or mortgage holder shall be afforded the opportunity to an administrative hearing to contest the Code Enforcement Officer’s determination to levy the special assessment provided for in subsection (c) of this section.

(i)    Any hearing pursuant to this subsection must be requested by the owner or mortgage holder in writing within 20 days of mailing of the notice.

(ii)    The owner’s or mortgage holder’s written request for hearing shall be filed with the City Clerk.

(iii)    Failure to submit a timely notice shall be deemed a failure to exhaust administrative remedies and shall preclude any further review.

(iv)    The City will conduct the hearing within 20 days of the receipt of the request.

(v)    The administrative hearing will be held before the Hearing Examiner. Formal rules of evidence will not apply; provided, however, that the Hearing Examiner will review the existing record, and only the owner and/or mortgage holder and the City will be allowed to present oral testimony and documentary evidence to the Hearing Examiner. The Hearing Examiner will issue a written decision within 10 days of the conclusion of the hearing. The decision of the Hearing Examiner shall be final and conclusive. (Ord. 1122, Sec. 2 (Exh. A), 2021)