Chapter 8.36


8.36.010    Public nuisance defined.

8.36.020    Permitting – Maintaining.

8.36.030    Abatement – Order.

8.36.040    Abatement – Failure – Penalty.

8.36.050    Abatement – Immediate.

8.36.060    Abatement by city – Safeguards.

8.36.070    Abatement – Costs.

8.36.080    Appeal.

8.36.090    Enforcement – Reasonableness standard to apply.

8.36.100    Enforcement – Not to be additional.

8.36.110    Enforcement – State law adoption.

8.36.120    Violation – Penalty.

8.36.010 Public nuisance defined.

A. Every act unlawfully done and every omission to perform a duty, which act or omission does any of the following, shall constitute a public nuisance:

1. Annoys, injures or endangers the safety, health, comfort, or repose of the citizens of the city; or

2. Offends public decency; or

3. Unlawfully interferes with, obstructs, or tends to obstruct, or renders dangerous of passage, a public park, street, alley, highway, or other public area; or

4. In any way renders any citizens of the city insecure in life or use of property.

B. The following acts, in addition to any others in violation of subsection A of this section, shall constitute a public nuisance:

1. Throwing, depositing, exposing or causing to be disposed of, in any street or other public place within the city, any garbage, waste, refuse, litter, debris or other offensive material, unless the disposal of such items in such place is specifically authorized by law;

2. Causing or allowing garbage, water, refuse, litter, debris, or other offensive materials to be collected or deposited, or to remain in any place in the city, to the annoyance of any person, unless otherwise permitted by law;

3. Erecting, continuing or using any building, room, property, or other place in the city for the exercise of any trade, employment, or manufacture which results in offensive odors or other annoyances being released, and which annoys, injures or is offensive or detrimental to the health of the individuals there employed or residing, or to the public;

4. Burning of refuse or other material in such a manner as to cause or permit the smoke, ashes, soot or gases arising from such burning to become discomforting or annoying, or to injure or endanger the health of any person or neighborhood;

5. Any building, house, room or other structure or vehicle, maintained or used for the purpose of lewdness, assignation or prostitution;

6. All buildings, houses, rooms or other structures used as a place of resort where disorderly persons are allowed to congregate, or in which drunkenness is carried on or permitted;

7. Any pit, basin, hole or other excavation which is unguarded and dangerous to life, or has been abandoned, or is no longer used for the purpose for which it was construed, or is maintained contrary to law;

8. All obstructions to streets, rights-of-way, or other public ways in the city, and all excavation in or under the same, which are by ordinance prohibited, or which may be made without lawful permission, or which, having been made by lawful permission, are kept and maintained after the purpose thereof has been accomplished, or for an unreasonable length of time;

9. Erecting, maintaining, using, placing, depositing, leaving or permitting to be or remain in or upon any private lot, building, structure, or premises or in or upon any street, alley, sidewalk, park, parkway, or other public or private place in the city, any one or more of, but not limited to, the following conditions or things:

a. Any unsound, putrid or unwholesome bone, meat, hides, skin or the whole or parts of any dead animal or fish, or any unsound, putrid, or unwholesome substance; or the offal, garbage, or other offensive parts of any animals; or any noxious, offensive, dangerous or otherwise injurious, chemicals or other material such as oil, grease, poisons, explosives, radioactive materials and other similar substances in such a manner as to be offensive or injurious to public health, or unpleasant or disagreeable to the adjacent residences or persons,

b. Any cellar vault, drain, sewer, or septic tank to become, from any cause, noxious, foul, offensive or injurious to public health, or unpleasant or disagreeable to the adjacent residences or persons,

c. Any noxious, foul or putrid liquid or substance or any liquid or substance likely to become noxious, foul, offensive or putrid to be discharged, placed or thrown upon or to flow from or out of any premises into or upon any adjacent premises or any public street or alley or to stand, remain or be upon any premises;

10. All premises, buildings and vehicles whereon or wherein intoxicating liquor is manufactured, sold, bartered, exchanged, given away, furnished, disposed of, consumed, or permitted to be consumed, in violation of the laws of the state and the ordinances of the city;

11. All vacant, unused or unoccupied buildings and structures within the city, which are allowed to become or remain open to entrance by unauthorized persons or the general public, because of broken, missing or open doors, windows, or other openings, so that the same may be used by vagrants or other persons in a manner detrimental to the health and welfare of the inhabitants of the city;

12. Any refrigerator, icebox or deep freeze locker having a capacity of one and one-half cubic feet or more or any other container manufactured, custom made or homemade designed for storage which is discarded, abandoned or left in any place accessible to children and which has not had the door or latching mechanism removed to prevent the latching or locking of the door;

13. Any sign, poster or other advertising matter of any nature placed upon a telegraph, telephone or other poles, trees, sidewalks, streets, signs, traffic signs or other traffic control devices or other structures or places within streets, alleys or other public places or rights-of-way;

14. All buildings, or parts thereof, vehicles or other structures wherein any gambling, as defined by Chapter 9.46 RCW, may be found, and any gambling device, as defined by Chapter 9.46 RCW, may be found, except as licensed and within the scope of the license required under state law;

15. The depositing or allowing of irrigation or other water to run by any street, alley or other public place, in such manner as to cause settling or damage to the street, alley, or other public place, or to cause annoyance, damage, or hazard to any user of the street, alley or other public place. (Ord. 728 § 1, 1988)

8.36.020 Permitting – Maintaining.

A. It is unlawful for any person, by himself or by his agent or employees, or as the agent or employee of another person, firm or corporation, to do, or permit to be done, upon any premises over which he has control; or to maintain, carry on, suffer or allow, at any place or places mentioned in NMC 8.36.010 any of the acts or things declared to be nuisances in this chapter; or to do or cause or permit, or suffer to be done, or to maintain, any act or thing which is detrimental or injurious to public health, or offensive to the sense, or contrary to public decency or morality.

B. If the owner or agent of any premises has actual or constructive knowledge of the maintenance on or in his premises of any nuisance, as defined in this chapter, he shall be deemed one of the persons in control of the premises. (Ord. 728 § 2, 1988)

8.36.030 Abatement – Order.

A. Upon the discovery of a nuisance, the chief of police or other official of the city may order the owner or other person creating, keeping, maintaining or permitting the same to abate it, and in default thereof to undertake the abatement on behalf of the city. At least 10 days before he commences abatement, save in the cases of immediate necessity, the officer shall notify the person creating, keeping, maintaining or permitting the nuisance, the property owner and any person in possession of the property, if known, of his intentions, the notice shall be served personally or by first class mail and shall describe with particularity the nature of the violation, the sections of this code or other law which are being violated and specifying a reasonable time within which the abatement must be accomplished. Such an order is subject to review in accord with NMC 8.36.080.

B. In addition to such other penalties as may be imposed, a court entering a judgment of guilty to a charge of creating a public nuisance may order the abatement of the same on such terms and conditions as may be just and equitable. (Ord. 728 § 3, 1988)

8.36.040 Abatement – Failure – Penalty.

Any person creating, keeping or maintaining any nuisance, or permitting, allowing, or suffering any nuisance to be maintained, who neglects or fails to abate or remove the nuisance within 24 hours next after so creating, keeping, or maintaining the nuisance, or permitting, allowing, or suffering the same to be maintained shall, for each 24 hours thereafter during which the nuisance is maintained, be guilty of a separate violation of maintaining a public nuisance. (Ord. 728 § 4, 1988)

8.36.050 Abatement – Immediate.

Whenever any nuisance is within a public way or easement, or of such character and so situated that it can be abated without the invasion or destruction of property or the prejudice of any right, and the further continuance is likely to result in expense to the city or injury to any person or party, the chief of police or other official of the city may abate and remove the nuisance summarily. (Ord. 728 § 5, 1988)

8.36.060 Abatement by city – Safeguards.

In any case where a nuisance is to be abated by the chief of police or any other official it shall be the duty of such officer to proceed with due care and without unnecessary destruction of property. He shall in all cases be authorized to employ such assistance and adopt such means as may be necessary to effect the entire abatement of the nuisance. (Ord. 728 § 6, 1988)

8.36.070 Abatement – Costs.

Every person, firm or corporation maintaining a nuisance, or permitting, allowing or suffering a nuisance to be maintained, as prohibited by this chapter or otherwise, shall be liable for all costs and expenses for abating the same when the nuisance has been abated by any officer of the city. The costs and expenses may be assessed as a part of any prosecution against the party liable and may be recovered as other costs are recovered after they have been assessed; provided, that in such case, the city shall have been liable in the first instance to pay all costs of the abatement. In all cases where the chief of police or other officer abates any nuisances he shall keep an account of all expenses attending such abatement and, in addition to the powers given in this chapter to collect such other costs and expenses, may forthwith bring suit for recovery of the costs in any court of competent jurisdiction, in the name of the city, against the person maintaining, keeping, creating, or permitting, allowing or suffering the nuisance abated and, upon the collection of the costs by such suit, he shall pay the same to the city clerk/treasurer. The provisions of this chapter relative to the abatement of nuisances are not exclusive, and all other rights or remedies of the city, or any citizen thereof, relative to abatement of nuisances are declared to remain in full force and effect. (Ord. 728 § 7, 1988)

8.36.080 Appeal.

A. The appeal will be heard at the next regular council meeting by the city council, who will make findings of fact and enter an order repealing, affirming or changing the order of abatement.

B. An order of the city council may be appealed to the Superior Court of the state of Washington, in Pend Oreille County, if the appeal is filed within 10 business days of the decision rendered by the city council. The Superior Court may hear the matter on the record and take whatever additional testimony and evidence it deems necessary to effectuate the ends of justice and equity. (Ord. 728 § 8, 1988)

8.36.090 Enforcement – Reasonableness standard to apply.

Wherever applicable, the reasonable person standard shall apply throughout this chapter to all sections, definitions and requirements imposed by the chapter. (Ord. 728 § 12, 1988)

8.36.100 Enforcement – Not to be additional.

This chapter shall be an alternative to enforcement under other city ordinances but shall not be enforced in addition to any enforcement effort under other city ordinances. (Ord. 728 § 10, 1988)

8.36.110 Enforcement – State law adoption.

Chapter 141 of the 1988 Regular Session Laws of the state of Washington as now and later codified and all future amendments thereto are adopted by reference as though fully set forth in this chapter as alternative nuisance enforcement for the city. (Ord. 728 § 11, 1988)

8.36.120 Violation – Penalty.

It shall be a misdemeanor, punishable by not more than a $500.00 fine, for any person to fail to abate a nuisance after being ordered to abate the nuisance and failing to so abate and having completed appeal procedures or failed to perfect an appeal as set forth in NMC 8.36.080. Each day’s violation constitutes a separate offense. (Ord. 728 § 9, 1988)