Chapter 8.29
JUNKED VEHICLES

Sections:

8.29.010    Authority and purpose.

8.29.020    Definitions.

8.29.030    Summary removal procedures.

8.29.040    Nuisance abatement procedures.

8.29.050    Exceptions.

8.29.010 Authority and purpose.

(a)    Chapter 46.55 RCW and RCW 46.55.240, as now enacted or hereafter amended, provide the authority for the city to adopt laws relating to the removal of junk vehicles, parts thereof, or automobile hulks as provided in Chapter 46.55 RCW. It is the intent of the city that the greatest possible powers be granted to the city’s police department or code enforcement personnel to facilitate the removal of junk vehicles, or parts thereof, or automobile hulks from any public right-of-way or other publicly owned or controlled property or any private property within the corporate limits of the city of Othello.

(b)    The keeping of junk vehicles, or parts thereof, or automobile hulks on public or private property within the corporate limits of the city is declared to be a public nuisance, except as provided for herein. Such public nuisance may be abated as provided for in this chapter. (Ord. 1321 § 1 (part), 2010: Ord. 848 § 1, 1991).

8.29.020 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the following words shall have the following meanings:

(a)    “Junk vehicles” shall have the same meaning as defined in Chapter 46.55 RCW, as now enacted or hereafter amended.

(b)    “Automobile hulk” means any portion or portions of the motor vehicle which is inoperative and cannot be made mechanically operative without additional vital parts and a substantial amount of labor. (Ord. 848 § 2, 1991).

8.29.030 Summary removal procedures.

(a)    Upon discovery of a junk vehicle, or parts thereof, or automobile hulk, as defined in Chapter 46.55 RCW, as now enacted or hereafter amended, upon the public right-of-way or other publicly owned or controlled property within the corporate limits of the city of Othello, the city’s police department or code enforcement personnel may immediately, consistent with Chapter 46.55 RCW, have such junk vehicle, or parts thereof, or automobile hulk removed by impound.

(b)    Upon discovery of a junk vehicle, or parts thereof, or automobile hulk, as defined in Chapter 46.55 RCW, as now enacted or hereafter amended, upon any private property within the corporate limits of the city of Othello, the city’s police department or code enforcement personnel may contract the landowner, as defined in Chapter 46.55 RCW, as now enacted or hereafter amended, where the junk vehicle, or parts thereof, or automobile hulk is located, and determine if the landowner claims any ownership interest in or bailment responsibility for the junk vehicle, or parts thereof, or automobile hulk. If the landowner claims no ownership or bailment interest, the city’s police department or code enforcement personnel shall have the landowner execute a statement to that effect under penalty of perjury and release to the city all interest of the landowner in said junk vehicle, or parts thereof, or automobile hulk.

(c)    If the landowner claims an ownership interest or bailment responsibility for the junk vehicle, or parts thereof, or automobile hulk located upon the landowner’s property, the city’s police department or code enforcement personnel may proceed to deal with the junk vehicle, or parts thereof, or automobile hulk, as provided in Section 8.29.040 or by other applicable provisions of this code.

(d)    Upon execution by the landowner of the statement of no ownership or bailment interest in the junk vehicle, or parts thereof, or automobile hulk, the city’s police department or code enforcement personnel shall cause a notification form to be mailed to the vehicle’s registered legal owner of record by certified mail. Additionally, the notification shall inform the owner of the city’s intent to dispose of the junk vehicle, or parts thereof, or automobile hulk as permitted under Chapter 46.55 RCW. If the junk vehicle, or parts thereof, or automobile hulk remains unclaimed more than fifteen days after the junk vehicle notification form was mailed, the city’s police department or code enforcement personnel may have the junk vehicle, or parts thereof, or automobile hulk removed, with notice to the Washington State Patrol and the Department of Licensing that the junk vehicle has been wrecked.

(e)    If no information on the owner of the junk vehicle, or parts thereof, or automobile hulk is available after the landowner has executed the statement of no ownership or bailment interest, the city’s police department or code enforcement personnel may place a legal notice of custody and sale in the official newspaper of the city. This notice shall comply with RCW 46.55.230(5), as now enacted or hereafter amended, and shall additionally inform the owner of the city’s intent to dispose of the junk vehicle, or parts thereof, or automobile hulk. If the junk vehicle, or parts thereof, or automobile hulk remains unclaimed more than twenty days after publication of the notice, the city’s police department or code enforcement personnel may have the junk vehicle, or parts thereof, or automobile hulk removed with notice to the Washington State Patrol and Department of Licensing that the junk vehicle has been wrecked. (Ord. 1321 § 1 (part), 2010: Ord. 848 § 3, 1991).

8.29.040 Nuisance abatement procedures.

(a)    The nuisance abatement procedures set forth in this chapter are specific to this process as required by state law. All nuisance abatements are conducted to the fullest extent possible under Chapter 8.26.

(b)    If a landowner claims an ownership interest or bailment responsibility for a junk vehicle, or parts thereof, or automobile hulk located on the landowner’s property, upon contact by the city’s police department or code enforcement personnel as provided in Section 8.29.030(b), the matter shall be referred to the police department or code enforcement personnel for possible further action.

(c)    The city’s police department or code enforcement personnel may issue an administrative notice of violation and order to correct as provided in Chapter 1.20. Such notice and order shall inform any landowner keeping a junk vehicle, or parts thereof, or automobile hulk within the city, in any zone, that such vehicle is a public nuisance and said nuisance must be abated by the landowner within fifteen days or the city will proceed to abate the nuisance by removal of the junk vehicle, or parts thereof, or automobile hulk from the landowner’s property and the costs of such removal, including administrative costs, shall be charged against the landowner and/or the last registered owner of the junk vehicle, or parts thereof, or automobile hulk unless the owner, in the transfer of ownership of the vehicle or automobile hulk, has complied with RCW 46.12.650. This notice and order shall be delivered to the last registered owner of the junk vehicle, or parts thereof, or automobile hulk and to the property owner of record by certified mail, with a five-day return receipt requested. Such notice and order shall also inform the registered owner and the landowner of the right to challenge the notice and order by requesting a hearing to contest the city’s proposed removal of the junk vehicle, or parts thereof, as provided in Chapter 1.20 before the hearing examiner.

(d)    Such notice and order shall be substantially in the following form:

CITY OF OTHELLO

NOTICE OF VIOLATION AND ORDER TO CORRECT OR CEASE ACTIVITY

TO:    (Name of Landowner and Vehicle Owner)

    (Address of each separately)

NOTICE OF VIOLATION

Provisions of the City of Othello Code Violated: 8.29.030-.040

 

Street Address of Violation:

Brief Legal Description of Property Where Violation Exists: [include parcel number from county records]

Owner of Real Property per records of Adams County:

YOU ARE HEREBY ORDERED TO CORRECT OR CEASE THE ACTIVITY AS FOLLOWS:

Action Necessary to Correct Violation:

A junk vehicle(s), or parts thereof, or automobile hulk(s) described:

____________________________________

____________________________________

has been discovered by the City of Othello located at the above referenced address.

All of you are informed such junk vehicle(s), or parts thereof, or automobile hulk(s) is a public nuisance and unless such nuisance is abated as provided by Othello Municipal Code Chapter 8.29, the City of Othello will proceed to abate such public nuisance by removal of the listed junk vehicle(s), or parts thereof, or automobile hulk(s) fifteen (15) days after the date of this notice. Cost of such removal, including administrative costs, will be charged against the registered owner, unless the owner can demonstrate compliance with RCW 46.12.101 at the time of transfer of ownership, and/or against the landowner.

Time by Which Violation is to be Corrected or Activity Ceased:

15 days from the date of this Order, [state date]

YOU ARE FURTHER NOTIFIED THAT THE OTHELLO CITY CODE PROVIDES FOR THE FOLLOWING PENALTIES:

(1)    Any violation for which a Notice of Violation and Order to Correct or Cease Activity has been issued but which has not been corrected within the time specified shall incur a civil penalty of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) per day up to a sum of five thousand dollars ($5,000), beginning on the day the correction was to be completed. The cumulative penalty provided for in this paragraph shall not accrue while an appeal is pending, nor shall the penalty preclude the initiation of appropriate legal action to correct the violation. [1.20.050(E)(1)].

(2)    If a penalty has been assessed pursuant to 1.20.050(E)(1), a Court shall assess that penalty and any additional penalty the Court considers appropriate plus court costs and attorney’s fees.

YOU MAY APPEAL THIS NOTICE AND ORDER TO THE HEARING EXAMINER WITHIN 10 DAYS PURSUANT TO SECTION 2.16.130 OF THE OTHELLO CITY CODE AND BY PAYMENT OF A $750 FEE. IF YOU DO NOT APPEAL, THE JUNK VEHICLE(S), OR PARTS THEREOF, OR AUTOMOBILE HULK(S) WILL BE REMOVED BY THE CITY OF OTHELLO AND THE COSTS THEREOF, INCLUDING ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS, SHALL BE ASSESSED AGAINST ALL OR ANY ONE OF YOU.

YOU ARE FURTHER NOTIFIED THAT, IF THE AFOREMENTIONED VIOLATION IS NOT CORRECTED AS SPECIFIED HEREIN, THIS MATTER WILL BE REFERRED TO THE CITY ATTORNEY FOR CIVIL ENFORCEMENT BY INJUNCTION OR OTHER APPROPRIATE ACTION.

Date this ____ day of ______________, 20__.

________________________________

Code Enforcement/Police Officer

(e)    If either the last known registered owner of the junk vehicle, or parts thereof, or automobile hulk, or the landowner requests a hearing to contest the city’s determination that the junk vehicle, or parts thereof, or automobile hulk constitutes a public nuisance and the abatement thereof, or that either or both the registered owner and landowner is legally responsible for the junk vehicle, or parts thereof, or automobile hulk, such hearing shall be conducted after a written notice of the date, time, and place of such hearing is mailed, by certified mail, with a five-day 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 unless the vehicle is in such condition that identification numbers are not available to determine ownership. Such hearing shall be held within thirty days of receipt of a written request for a hearing. No action shall be taken to remove the junk vehicle, or parts thereof, or automobile hulk during the pendency of a hearing except pursuant to a court order. The landowner may appear in person at said hearing or present a written statement in time for consideration at said hearing, and deny responsibility for the presence of the vehicle on the land, with his reasons for the denial.

(f)    After the expiration of the fifteen days provided for in the notice to the registered owner and landowner above, if no hearing has been requested, or after a hearing, if requested, the police department or code enforcement personnel may proceed to have the junk vehicle, or parts thereof, or automobile hulk removed and the costs of such removal, including administrative costs, shall be taxed against the registered owner and/or landowner jointly and severally. (Ord. 1321 § 1 (part), 2010: Ord. 848 § 4, 1991).

8.29.050 Exceptions.

The provisions of this chapter shall not apply under the following conditions:

(a)    If a vehicle or part thereof 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)    If a vehicle or part thereof 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. 848 § 5, 1991).