Chapter 6.08
NUISANCES

Sections:

6.08.010    Definitions.

6.08.020    Public nuisance declared.

6.08.030    Prohibited conduct.

6.08.040    Enforcement notice.

6.08.050    Appeal.

6.08.060    Abatement by the city.

6.08.070    Abatement by owner or other responsible person.

6.08.080    Immediate danger--Summary abatement.

6.08.090    Violations.

6.08.100    Remedies nonexclusive.

6.08.010 Definitions.

Unless the context requires otherwise, the following means:

(1)    "Nuisance" or "public nuisance" means an occupation, use of property, a thing, unlawfully doing an act, or omitting to perform a duty, which occupation, use, thing, act or omission:

(A)    Unreasonably annoys, injuries, or endangers the comfort, repose, health, or safety of the public or others; or

(B)    Unreasonably offends decency; or

(C)    Unlawfully or unreasonably interferes with, obstructs or tends to obstruct, or renders dangerous for passage or use, any lake, stream, canal, or basin, or any public park, square, street, alley, or highway; or

(D)    In any way renders other persons unreasonably insecure in life or the use of property; or

(E)    Unreasonably obstructs the free use of property so as to essentially interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life and property.

(2)    "Person" means a natural person, firm, partnership, association, or corporation, whether he is acting for himself or as representative or agent of another.

(3)    "Person in charge of property" means an agent, lessee, contract purchaser, or other person having possession or control of property or the supervision of any construction project.

(4)    "Person responsible" means the person responsible for abating a nuisance and shall include:

(A)    The owner;

(B)    The person in charge of property, as defined in subsection 3 of this section;

(C)    The person who caused to come into or continue in existence a nuisance as defined in this chapter or another ordinance of this city.

(5)    "Officer," "enforcement officer," or "designated person means the director of community development, the police chief, or fire chief or their respective designees, as may be applicable under the circumstances and as from time to time assigned by the mayor and further subject to the provisions of RCW 35A.12.100.

(6)    "Premises" means and includes property, landscaping, plantings, trees, bushes, fences, buildings, fixtures and exterior storage of personal property, equipment, supplies, and vehicles.

(7)    "Public place" means a building, public street, alley or right-of-way, place or accommodation, whether publicly or privately owned, open and available to the general public. (Ord. 1433 §1, 2000).

6.08.020 Public nuisance declared.

(a)    Each of the following conditions, unless otherwise permitted by law, is declared to constitute a public nuisance, and whenever the enforcement officer determines that any of these conditions exist upon any premises, the officer may require or provide for the abatement thereof pursuant to the ordinance codified in this chapter:

(b)    The construction, maintaining, using, placing, depositing, causing, allowing, leaving, or permitting to be or remain in or upon any private or public lot, building, structure, or premises, on, in, or upon any street, avenue, alley, park, parkway, or other public or private place in the city, any one or more of the following places, conditions, things, or acts to the prejudice, danger, or unreasonable annoyance of others:

(1)    Accumulations of manure, rubbish, or other solid waste, provided that, a compost pile so covered or concealed as not to affect the health, safety, or value of adjacent property shall not be so deemed;

(2)    Pollution of a body of water, spring, stream, or drainage ditch by sewage, industrial wastes, or other substances that cause harmful material to pollute the water or are in any manner contrary to state law;

(3)    All limbs or trees overhanging a public sidewalk or alley which are less than nine feet above the surface of such sidewalk or overhanging a city street which are less than fourteen feet above the surface of such street;

(4)    Premises or residences:

(A)    Which are in such a state of decay as to cause an offensive odor, or

(B)    Which are in an unsanitary condition as determined by the health department, or

(C)    Which create or constitute an unreasonable risk of fire or public safety hazard for adjoining property owners, whether public or private;

(5)    Ponds or pools of stagnant water, except those areas of wetlands as designated by city, federal, or state laws, rules, or regulations;

(6)    Privies, vaults, cesspools, sumps, pits, or like places which are not securely protected from flies and rats or which are foul or malodorous or which are not covered in such a manner as to prevent humans or animals from falling into them;

(7)    All unused, abandoned, or discarded refrigerators, ice boxes, or like containers without their doors having been removed which are left in any place exposed or accessible to children, or any water closet, bath tub, or other appliance;

(8)    All places not properly fenced which are used or maintained as junk yards or dumping grounds, or for the wrecking, disassembling, repair, or rebuilding of automobiles, trucks, tractors, or machinery of any kind, or for the storing or leaving of worn-out, wrecked, or abandoned automobiles, trucks, tractors, or machinery of any kind or of any of the parts thereof, or for the storing or leaving of any machinery or equipment used by contractors or builders or by other persons, which such places are kept or maintained so as to essentially and unreasonably interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property by others;

(9)    Deposit, keep, or leave or to permit to be deposited, kept, or left in any place accessible to children, or in any place viewable from a public street or alley, any abandoned, unused, unlicensed, nonrunning, or discarded automobile, trailer, truck, or other such vehicle, or any vehicle hulk or any part thereof. For the purposes of this subsection, "abandoned," "unused," or "nonrunning" refers to a vehicle which is not movable under its own power and which has been in a stationary position for more than thirteen out of fourteen consecutive days.

This subsection shall not apply to junk kept in a duly licensed junk yard, automobile wrecking yard, automobile sales lots, or automobile repair shop.

The term "junk" as used in this subsection includes all motor vehicles not currently licensed, old, or unusual motorized or nonmotorized vehicles or vehicle parts, abandoned automobiles, old machinery, old machinery parts, old appliances, or parts thereof, old iron or other metal, glass, paper, lumber, wood, or other waste or discarded material. For purposes of this chapter, a motor vehicle shall be deemed to not be currently licensed if the license upon it has been expired for more than three calendar months;

(10)    An open pit, quarry, cistern, or other excavation without safeguards or barriers to prevent such places from being accessed or used by children.

This subsection shall not apply to authorized construction projects with reasonable safeguards to prevent injury or death to playing children;

(11)    The depositing or burning of or causing to be deposited or burned in any street, alley, sidewalk, park, parkway, or other public place which is open to travel, any hay, straw, grass, grass clippings, papers, wood, boards, boxes, leaves, manure, or other rubbish or material except by permission of the fire marshal;

(12)    The existence of any dead, diseased, infested, or dying tree that may constitute a danger to property or persons. No tree on property which abuts upon a street or public sidewalk shall interfere with street or sidewalk traffic;

(13)    All shrubs, bushes, trees, or vegetation which have grown and are in such a condition, whether as the result of size, flammability, or state of decay, as to constitute a fire hazard;

(14)    Any tin cans, bottles, glass, cans, ashes, small pieces of scrap iron, wire, pipe, metal articles, plaster, and all other trash or abandoned material, unless the same is kept in covered bins or metal receptacles or in such other manner as may be approved by the director of community development, and further, except for recyclables kept in approved containers;

(15)    Any trash, litter, rags, accumulations of empty barrels, boxes, crates, packing cases, mattresses, bedding accessories, packing hay, straw, or other packing material, scrap iron, tin, pipe, and other metal not neatly piled and stored in such a manner as to not constitute an unreasonable hazard to humans or animals and not in violation of the zoning code;

(16)    Lumber, roofing or siding materials, logs, or pilings not so stacked, piled, or arranged as to be free from being dangerous to and/or accessible to children;

(17)    Any of the following not properly secured from access by the public, provided that the building official shall have concurrent jurisdiction in relation to any covered structures:

(A)    Any dangerous building, billboard, or other structure, or

(B)    Any abandoned, or partially destroyed building or structure, or

(C)    Any building or structure commenced and left unfinished for a period of more than six months from the date of the last completed work pursuant to the authority of an applicable valid building permit, or

(D)    Storage of vehicles, materials, or other objects contrary to the provision of any applicable section of this code;

(18)    Repair upon the public streets, alleys or other public property of the city, of any automobile, truck, or other motor vehicle or any other device required to possess a license issued by the Department of Motor Vehicle/Licenses of this state or the state of its registration except for emergency repairs not to exceed forty-eight hours in any seven-day period and only so long as it is so located as to not constitute a hazard or unreasonable interference to pedestrian or motor vehicle travel or the placement or storage upon these sites of vehicles, materials, or other objects contrary to the provision of any applicable section of this code;

(19)    Any putrid, unsound, or unwholesome bones, meat, hides, skins, skeletons, or other whole or part of any dead animal, fish, or fowl, butcher's trimmings and offal, or any waste, vegetable or animal matter, in any quantity, garbage, human excreta, or other offensive substance, provided nothing contained in this chapter shall prevent the temporary retention of waste in receptacles in the manner approved by the director of community development of the city or the local disposal company;

(20)    Except to the extent allowed by the lawful terms of a permit issued by the governmental authority having jurisdiction thereof, burning or disposal 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 dense smoke, noxious fumes, ashes, soot, or gases arising from such burning to become annoying or injurious to the health, comfort, or repose of the general public;

(21)    The existence of any vines, plants growing into or over any street, sidewalk, public hydrant, pole, or electrolier, or the existence of any shrub, vine, or plant, growing on, around, or in front of any hydrant, stand pipe, sprinkler system connection, or any other appliance or facility provided for fire protection purposes in such a way as to obscure the view thereof or impair the access thereto, or obstruct or interfere with the proper diffusion from the light from any street lamp, or obstruct the vision of vehicle or pedestrian traffic;

(22)    Any poisonous or harmful substance which is reasonably accessible to persons or to animals;

(23)    The existence of any fence or other structure or thing on private property abutting or fronting upon any public street, alley, sidewalk, or place which is in a sagging, leaning, fallen, decayed, or other dilapidated or unsafe condition;

(24)    Poultry which creates a nuisance;

(25)    To dispose of animals within the city;

(26)    All trees, hedges, billboards, fences, or other obstructions which prevent persons from having a clear view of traffic approaching an intersection from cross streets in sufficient time to bring a motor vehicle driven at a reasonable speed to a full stop before the intersection is reached;

(27)    All explosives, inflammable liquids, and other dangerous substances stored in any manner or in any amount other than that provided by ordinance or applicable state law, rule, or regulation;

(28)    For any person to obstruct or encroach upon public highways, streets, private ways, alleys, and ways open to the public, including cemeteries, or to unlawfully obstruct or impede the flow of municipal transit vehicles, as defined in RCW 46.04.355, as now existing or hereafter amended or succeeded, or passenger traffic, or to otherwise interfere with the provision or use of public transportation services, or obstruct or impede a municipal transit driver, operator, employee, or supervisor in the performance of that individual's duties;

(29)    For any person to erect, continue, or use any building or other structure or place for the exercise of any trade, activity, employment, or manufacture, which, by occasioning obnoxious, hazardous, or toxic exhausts or emissions, offensive smells, or otherwise, is unreasonably offensive or dangerous to the health of individuals or the public;

(30)    For any person to cause or allow the obstruction or impeding, without legal authority, the passage or flow of any stream, canal, or body of water;

(31)    Any place wherein intoxicating liquors or controlled substances are kept for unlawful use, sale, or distribution. (Ord. 1433 §3, 2000).

6.08.030 Prohibited conduct.

It is unlawful for any responsible person or owner to create, permit, maintain, suffer, carry on, or allow upon any premises any of the acts or things declared by this chapter to be a public nuisance. (Ord. 1433 §4, 2000).

6.08.040 Enforcement notice.

(a)    The enforcement officer, upon receiving a written complaint from any neighbor, person, citizen, or other source, or becoming aware that a nuisance may exist, shall investigate the complaint or information with all reasonable dispatch.

(b)    The enforcement officer, upon finding any condition in violation of this chapter, shall cause any owner or other responsible person to be notified in writing of the existence of the public nuisance, including posting of a notice on the premises where the nuisance exists, directing the owner or person in charge of the property to abate the condition within ten calendar days after notice or other reasonable period. If not personally served, the written notice shall be mailed to the last known address of the owner or other responsible person, with copies being transmitted by first class post and certified mail.

(1)    At the time of posting, if in the determination by the enforcement officer said property appears abandoned, a copy of such notice shall be forwarded by certified mail to the legal owner or designated guardian, postage paid, and, if known or disclosed from official public records of the tax assessor's office, to the holder of any other legal interest in the building or land created by contract, deed of trust, mortgage, or deed.

(2)    The notice shall be substantially in the following form and may contain such other information as may be deemed appropriate by the issuing official:

NOTICE TO ABATE UNSAFE OR UNLAWFUL CONDITION

(Name and address of person notified)

As owner, agent, lessees, or other person occupying or having charge or control of the building, lot, or premises located at ______________, you are hereby notified that the undersigned, pursuant to Ordinance Number/Code Section ______ of the City of Montesano has determined that there exists upon or adjoining said premises the following condition contrary to the provisions of subsection __________ of Ordinance Number/Code Section ____________.

An Administrative Hearing shall be conducted by the Mayor. The Administrative Hearing shall be conducted in Council Chambers, at Montesano City Hall, 112 N. Main Street, Montesano, Washington. The Hearing is scheduled to begin at _____________ on the ________ day of _____________ 201_. The purpose of the Hearing is to review the above Notice to Abate and provide you the opportunity to Appeal and/or discuss compliance with City Code. You may file a written answer to this notice with the Enforcement Officer by mailing or delivering it to his or her address listed below. Failure to answer and/or come to the hearing may result in you being required to take the action described in the previous paragraph or, failing that, paying for the City of Montesano to take that action. A finding against you will authorize the City to file a lien to recover any costs incurred to abate said condition. The decision of the Mayor as to the existence of a Public Nuisance shall be final, and only appealable to Montesano City Council within 10 days of the Hearing.

You are hereby notified to abate or correct said condition to the satisfaction of the undersigned within ten (10) days of the date of this notice. If you do not abate, correct or appeal such condition within ten (10) days, the City may, without further notice to you, abate the condition at your expense.

Dated: _____________________________.

By (Name of Enforcement Officer)

(Ord. 1587 §1, 2015: Ord. 1433 §5, 2000).

6.08.050 Appeal.

(a)    Within the time allowed after posting and mailing of such notice, as provided in Section 6.08.040, the person responsible shall remove the nuisance or within the same ten-day time period show that no nuisance exits unless an appeal/protest is taken as provided in this section.

(1)    An owner or person responsible protesting that no nuisance exists shall file with the director of community development a written statement which shall specify the basis for so protesting within the ten-day period allowed for removal pursuant to Section 6.08.040. The statement shall set out with reasonable specificity the factual matters which are the basis of the protest.

(2)    The statement shall be referred to the mayor for administrative review. In undertaking such a review, the mayor may consider such materials as are within the file, including those submitted by the party protesting the decision. The mayor may also undertake a personal view of the site or condition at issue. If determined necessary and appropriate by the mayor, an informal conference may be held at which the protestor and all other interested parties and persons may present such factual and legal information as is determined relevant by the mayor. Following such administrative review, the mayor shall thereupon determine whether or not a nuisance in fact exists, and the determination shall be entered in the official records of the city. An administrative review shall be required only in those instances where a written statement has been filed as provided within this section.

(3)    If the administrative review determines that a nuisance does in fact exist, the person responsible shall, within the time specified after the administrative determination, abate the nuisance.

(b)    If more than one person is a person responsible, they shall be jointly and severally liable for abating the nuisance, and for the costs incurred by the city in abating the nuisance.

(c)    If, within the time allowed, the nuisance has not been abated by the person or persons responsible, the city may cause the nuisance to be abated. (Ord. 1433 §6, 2000).

6.08.060 Abatement by the city.

In all cases where the mayor has determined to proceed with abatement, the city shall acquire jurisdiction to abate the condition at the person's expense as herein provided. Upon the abatement of the condition or any portion thereof by the city, all the expenses thereof shall constitute a civil debt owing to the city jointly and severally by such persons who have been given notice as herein provided. The debt shall be collectible in the same manner as any other civil debt owing to the city. To the extent allowed by law, whether statute, ordinance, rule, or regulation, including, but not limited to, the provisions of the building code, fire code, or uniform code relating to the abatement of abandoned or dangerous buildings, it shall become a lien against the property and may be collected in such manner as may be allowed by law. (Ord. 1433 §7, 2000).

6.08.070 Abatement by owner or other responsible person.

If and when an owner or other responsible person shall undertake to abate any condition described in this chapter, whether by order of the enforcement officer or otherwise, all necessary and legal conditions pertinent to the abatement may be imposed by the enforcement officer. It is unlawful for the owner or other responsible person to fail to comply with such conditions. Nothing in this chapter shall relieve any owner or other responsible person of the obligation of obtaining any required permit to do any work incidental to the abatement. (Ord. 1433 §8, 2000).

6.08.080 Immediate danger--Summary abatement.

Whenever any condition on or use of property causes or constitutes or reasonably appears to cause or constitute an imminent or immediate danger to the health or safety of the public or a significant portion thereof, the enforcement officer shall have the authority to summarily and without notice abate the same to the extent and subject to the provisions of applicable law, including by way of representation, RCW 35A.12.100, as now existing, amended, or succeeded. The expenses of such abatement shall become a civil debt against the owner or other responsible party and be collected as provided in Section 6.08.060. (Ord. 1433 §9, 2000).

6.08.090 Violations.

(a)    Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to the following penalty or punishments:

(1)    In the event of a first violation within any six-month period, be issued a notice of infraction and, upon a finding of committed, be subject to a penalty of up to two hundred fifty dollars;

(2)    In the event of a second violation within any six-month period, be issued a notice of infraction and, upon a finding of committed, be subject to a penalty of up to five hundred dollars, one hundred fifty dollars of which may be neither suspended nor deferred;

(3)    In the event of a third and subsequent violation within any six-month period, be subject to issuance of a criminal citation, and upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to punishment by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars, two hundred fifty dollars of which shall be neither suspended nor deferred, by imprisonment in jail not to exceed ninety days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

(b)    In addition to any other penalty, fine, or imprisonment which may be imposed, the court may direct the correction or elimination of the nuisance and in the event the party fails to timely correct, order such correction to be carried out and require the party to pay the costs related to such correction or elimination. In the event that summary abatement has been carried out pursuant to the authority in Section 6.08.080, the costs incurred by the city in so acting may be imposed. (Ord. 1433 §10, 2000).

6.08.100 Remedies nonexclusive.

The remedies prescribed in this chapter are in addition to all other remedies provided or authorized by law, whether ordinance, statute, or regulation. (Ord. 1433 §11, 2000).