Chapter 1.20
CODE ADMINISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT

Sections:

Article I. General Provisions

1.20.001    Policy.

1.20.003    Applicability.

1.20.005    Purpose.

1.20.010    Authorization.

1.20.020    Definitions.

1.20.025    Principles of liability.

1.20.030    Right of entry/site inspection.

1.20.040    Abatement, remediation, and restoration proceedings – Authorized.

1.20.050    Provisions not exclusive – Additional relief.

1.20.055    Separate violations.

1.20.060    Criminal penalty.

1.20.065    Civil infraction.

1.20.075    Penalties – Civil assessment schedule – Expenses and costs – Double permit fees.

1.20.080    Stop work order.

1.20.090    Emergency order.

1.20.100    Public nuisance declared.

1.20.105    Complaint log.

Article II. Notices and Orders to Correct and/or Abate

1.20.110    Order to secure voluntary correction.

1.20.115    Civil penalties – Schedules.

1.20.117    Service – Notices and orders, stop work orders.

1.20.120    Notice and order – Issuance.

1.20.127    Obligations of persons responsible for code violation.

1.20.130    Appeal to hearing examiner.

1.20.140    Final order – Enforcement.

Article III. Suspension and Revocation of Permits

1.20.145    Permit in violation of zoning code.

1.20.150    Suspension – Cause.

1.20.160    Revocation – Cause.

Article IV. Recovery of Civil Penalty and Cost of Abatement

1.20.170    Lien – Authorized.

1.20.180    Personal obligation – Authorized.

1.20.190    Lien – Foreclosure.

Article I. General Provisions

1.20.001 Policy.

It is the general policy of the city of Port Townsend to emphasize code compliance by education and prevention as a first step. This policy is designed to ensure code compliance and timely action that is available to all persons and is uniform in its implementation. While warnings and voluntary compliance are desirable as a first step, enforcement and civil penalties should be used, consistent with the criteria set forth below, for remedial purposes as needed to assure and effect code compliance. Abatement or remediation, including restoration of a situation to pre-activity condition, is a primary goal in all cases and pursued when appropriate and feasible.

Abatement or remediation occurs where an owner subsequently brings the activity into code compliance by obtaining required permits and completing work consistent with the permits (however, the owner is still subject to other judicial or administrative remedies, including penalties). There are situations where restoration of a situation to pre-activity condition will not be feasible, for example, damage to or destruction of an older, larger, significant tree. In such situations, remediation based on reasonable replacement criteria would apply (and the owner is still subject to other judicial or administrative remedies, including penalties).

Uniform and efficient procedures, with consistent application tailored by regulation, should be used to accomplish this policy.

Without having attempted to secure voluntary compliance, or where voluntary compliance occurs after a violation, the director shall consider issuing a notice and order with civil penalties and/or a civil infraction with civil penalties under the following circumstances:

A. When an emergency exists; or

B. When a repeat violation occurs (whether or not the same or a similar violation, and whether or not the violation occurred on the project or site in question or occurred on another project or site); or

C. When the director finds the violation to be flagrant or severe; or where the actions have compromised the city’s ability to make reasonable determinations concerning the violation; or

D. When the violation creates a situation or condition that cannot be corrected; or

E. When the person knows or reasonably should have known that the action is in violation of a city regulation. A currently or previously licensed professional, for example, contractor or subcontractor, or person currently or previously involved in the building trades, is presumed to have known that an action is in violation of a city regulation; or

F. The person cannot be contacted or refuses to communicate or cooperate with the city in promptly correcting the violation; or

G. When the violation involves a violation of the city’s critical areas regulations (Chapter 19.05 PTMC) or shoreline management plan (adopted by Ordinance 2938), including any amendments; or

H. When the violation involves damage to a city right-of-way or property. Damage includes damage to vegetation or city improvements (for example, sidewalks, streets, utilities). (Ord. 2952 § 1, 2008).

1.20.003 Applicability.

This chapter applies to the following ordinances and codes, including amendments thereto:

A. Business license code (Chapter 5.08 PTMC);

B. Administrative provisions for business and occupation taxes (Chapter 5.04B PTMC);

C. Health and sanitation code (PTMC Title 6);

D. Nuisance code (Chapter 9.08 PTMC);

E. Parks code (PTMC Title 11);

F. Streets and sidewalks code (PTMC Title 12);

G. Water, sewer, and stormwater (PTMC Title 13);

H. Building and construction code (PTMC Title 16);

I. Zoning code (PTMC Title 17);

J. Subdivision code (PTMC Title 18);

K. Environmental protection code (PTMC Title 19);

L. Shoreline master plan (adopted by Ordinance 2938). (Ord. 2952 § 1, 2008).

1.20.005 Purpose.

A. It is the express purpose of this chapter to provide for and to promote the health, safety, and welfare of the general public, and not to create or otherwise establish or designate any particular class or group of persons who will or should be especially protected or benefited by the terms of this chapter.

B. Nothing contained in this chapter is intended to be, or shall be, construed to create a duty to enforce this chapter or to form the basis for liability on the part of the city of Port Townsend or its officers, employees, or agents, for any injury or damage resulting from the failure of any person to comply with this chapter. No provision of this chapter is intended to impose any duty upon the city or any of its officers or employees, which would subject them to damage in a civil action. (Ord. 2952 § 1, 2008).

1.20.010 Authorization.

The directors are authorized to use procedures of this chapter in order to enforce against violations of any land use or other ordinance within their administrative jurisdiction. Such procedures are not exclusive but are supplemental to the civil and/or criminal enforcement provisions of applicable state or federal law. Further, nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the building official or fire chief from following the enforcement process and provisions of the International Building Code, the International Fire Code, or any other standardized code duly adopted by the city. (Ord. 2952 § 1, 2008).

1.20.020 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, the words and phrases designated in this section shall be defined as follows:

A. “Director” or “directors” means the department directors with authority to administer code within their respective departments, including director(s) of the department of development services, the department of public works, finance director, and police chief, and shall also include any duly authorized representative of such director(s). The designee may also be referred to as “the inspector.”

B. “Building official” means the person with the powers and duties set forth in the International Building Code, or his or her designee. This official may also be referred to as “the inspector.”

C. “Land use ordinance” includes any existing or future ordinances of the city which regulate the use and development of land, including but not limited to the following ordinances and amendments thereto: the streets and sidewalks code (PTMC Title 12); the fire code (PTMC Title 15); the buildings and construction code (PTMC Title 16); the zoning code (PTMC Title 17); the subdivision code (PTMC Title 18); the environmental protection code (PTMC Title 19), and the shoreline management plan (adopted by Ordinance 2938).

D. “Permit” means any form of certificate, approval, registration, license or other written permission given to any person to engage in any activity as required by law, ordinance or regulation.

All conditions of approval, and all easements and use limitations shown on the face of an approved final plat map that are intended to serve and protect the general public, are deemed conditions applicable to all subsequent plat property owners and their tenants and agents as permit requirements enforceable by the city.

E. “Person,” as used in this chapter, includes any owner, person, firm, organization, corporation, company (including limited liability company) or partnership and their agents, representatives or assigns, successors, and includes the person responsible for the code violation and/or owner, lessor, tenant, or other person entitled to use and/or control of the property.

F. “Person who violates” or “person responsible for violation” means the person who caused the violation, if that can be determined, and/or the owner, lessor, tenant or other person entitled to control, use, and/or occupy property where the civil code violation occurs.

G. “Repeat violation” means conduct that violated a land use ordinance by the same person (or where the person was substantially involved with another person in previous conduct in violation of a land use ordinance) within the preceding five-year period. A repeat violation may but does not need to involve the same project, condition, action, or omission as a previous violation. “Repeat violation” also applies to conduct that violated an ordinance other than a land use ordinance, by the same person (or where the person was substantially involved with another person in previous conduct in violation of an ordinance) within the preceding five-year period.

H. Violation. A “violation” means any act or omission contrary to:

1. Any ordinance, resolution, or public regulation rule of the city that regulates the public health or the use and development of land;

2. The conditions and/or requirements including mitigation requirements of any permit, notice and order, or stop work order issued pursuant to such ordinance, resolution, or public regulation rule. (Ord. 2988 § 1, 2008; Ord. 2952 § 1, 2008).

1.20.025 Principles of liability.

Principles of liability that are set forth in Chapter 9A.08 RCW, and adopted by PTMC 9.02.100, State law adopted – Principles of liability, are adopted for and apply to this chapter as if set forth in full. (Ord. 2952 § 1, 2008).

1.20.030 Right of entry/site inspection.

A. Whenever necessary to make an inspection to enforce or determine compliance with the provisions of any ordinance, or whenever a director has reasonable cause to believe that a violation of any ordinance has been or is being committed, an inspector may enter any building, structure, property or portion thereof at reasonable times to inspect the same.

B. If such building, structure, property or portion thereof is occupied, the inspector shall present identification credentials, state the reasons for the inspection and request entry.

C. If such building, structure, property or portion thereof is unoccupied, the inspector shall first make a reasonable effort to locate the owner or other persons having charge or control of the building, structure, property or portion thereof and request entry. If the inspector is unable to locate the owner or such other persons, or he or she has reason to believe that conditions therein create an immediate and irreparable land use or safety hazard, he or she shall make entry.

D. It is unlawful for any owner or occupant or any other person having charge, care or control of any building, structure, property or portion thereof to fail or neglect after proper request has been given to permit prompt entry where the inspector has reason to believe that conditions therein create an immediate and irreparable land use or safety hazard.

E. Unless entry is consented to by the owner or person in control of any building, structure, property or portion thereof or conditions are believed to exist which create an immediate and irreparable land use or safety hazard, the inspector, prior to entry, shall obtain a search warrant as authorized by applicable law.

F. Any person submitting an application for any land use permit shall be deemed to have consented to on-site inspection of their property for the purpose of assessing compliance with city land use ordinances. (Ord. 2952 § 1, 2008).

1.20.040 Abatement, remediation, and restoration proceedings – Authorized.

A. In addition to or as an alternative to any other judicial or administrative remedy provided in this chapter or by law or other ordinance, a director is authorized to and should order a land use or other ordinance violation to be abated, remediated and/or corrected or restored. A director is authorized to and should order any person who creates or maintains a violation to commence corrective work and to complete the work within such time as the director determines reasonable under the circumstances. If the required corrective work is not commenced or completed within the time specified, the director is authorized to and should proceed to abate the violation and cause the work to be done.

In cases involving a violation of the city’s critical areas regulations (Chapter 19.05 PTMC) or shoreline management plan (adopted by Ordinance 2938), including any amendments, a director shall order a violation to be abated, remediated and/or corrected or restored. In cases involving a violation of the city’s critical areas regulations (Chapter 19.05 PTMC) or shoreline management plan (adopted by Ordinance 2938), including any amendments, a director is authorized to and shall order any person who creates or maintains a violation to commence corrective work and to complete the work within such time as the director determines reasonable under the circumstances. In cases involving a violation of the city’s critical areas regulations (Chapter 19.05 PTMC) or shoreline management plan (adopted by Ordinance 2938), including any amendments, if the required corrective work is not commenced or completed within the time specified, the director is authorized to and shall proceed to abate the violation and cause the work to be done.

B. 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, or to the environment, the director shall have the authority to summarily and without prior notice abate the same. Notice of such abatement shall be given to the person responsible for the violation as soon as reasonably possible after the abatement.

C. The city may seek a judicial abatement order from the Jefferson County superior court to abate a condition which continues to be a violation where other methods of remedial action have failed to produce compliance.

D. In any abatement action, the city shall be entitled to recover the costs and expenses of such abatement, including those costs specified in PTMC 1.20.075. The obligation constitutes a lien against the property, and is both a joint and/or separate obligation of the owner and/or any person who is in violation. (Ord. 2952 § 1, 2008).

1.20.050 Provisions not exclusive – Additional relief.

The provisions of this chapter are not exclusive, and may be used cumulatively and in addition to other enforcement provisions authorized by the Port Townsend Municipal Code except as precluded by law.

The payment of a civil penalty pursuant to this chapter does not relieve a person of the duty to correct or remediate the violation as ordered by a director.

Notwithstanding the existence or use of any other remedy, a director may seek legal or equitable relief to enjoin any acts or practices or abate any conditions which constitute or will constitute a violation of any land use or other ordinance or rules and regulations adopted under such ordinance when civil or criminal penalties are inadequate to effect compliance. (Ord. 2952 § 1, 2008).

1.20.055 Separate violations.

Each and every day or portion thereof during which any violation is committed, continued, allowed or not corrected shall be deemed a violation for purposes of this chapter. (Ord. 2952 § 1, 2008).

1.20.060 Criminal penalty.

As an alternative to and in addition to any other judicial or administrative remedy provided in this chapter, any person who willfully or knowingly violates or fails to comply with any stop work order or emergency order, issued by a director pursuant to this chapter, is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment for not more than 180 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Each day such violation or failure to comply continues shall be considered an additional misdemeanor offense. (Ord. 2952 § 1, 2008).

1.20.065 Civil infraction.

As an alternative to and in addition to any other judicial or administrative remedy provided in this chapter, the applicable department director may issue a notice of civil infraction pursuant to Chapter 7.80 RCW. Civil infractions are not crimes. The provisions of Chapter 7.80 RCW, including any amendments thereto, are adopted by reference as and for a portion of the code of the city as if set forth in full. “Enforcement officer” in Chapter 7.80 RCW is the director defined in this chapter, and also includes the chief of police (and shall also include any duly authorized representative of such director or chief of police). (Ord. 2952 § 1, 2008).

1.20.075 Penalties – Civil assessment schedule – Expenses and costs – Double permit fees.

A. Civil penalty: $250.00 for each day of violation.

B. Criminal penalty: $1,000 and/or 180 days in jail. See PTMC 1.20.060.

C. Expenses and Costs. Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall, in addition to the remedies, sanctions and penalties provided herein, be liable for and shall promptly reimburse the city for any and all expenses incurred by the city in attempting to obtain the violator’s compliance with applicable city regulations. Said expenses include, but are not limited to, administrative staff time, photocopying charges and vehicle mileage, expert, consultant, or contractor fees, equipment rental charges, attorneys’ fees, photocopying charges, legal costs, recording fees, filing fees, mailing and postage charges, and vehicle mileage. All city costs and expenses shall include a 20 percent city overhead fee.

1. Reimbursement rates for administrative staff time, photocopying charges and vehicle mileage shall be as established by internal city policy based on the staff person’s salary plus benefits, plus 20 percent city overhead fee.

2. Reimbursement rates for postage charges, recording fees and filing expenses shall be at actual cost, plus 20 percent city overhead fee.

3. Reimbursement rates for equipment rental and for any expert, consultant or contractor, or attorney retained by the city to assist in compliance monitoring, site analysis, abatement or other enforcement-related function shall be at the rate actually charged to the city therefor, plus 20 percent city overhead fee.

D. Double Permit Fees – Work Commencing Before Permit Issuance. Any person who commences work where a permit is required under a land use or other ordinance before obtaining the necessary permit(s) shall be subject to payment of double the required permit fee. The director may waive payment of the double permit fees if the director determines the factors set forth in PTMC 1.20.001 do not apply.

E. Additional Penalty. In addition to the civil assessments and penalties set forth in this section, violations may also be assessed penalties at an amount reasonably determined by a director to be equivalent to:

1. The economic benefit that the violator derives from the violation, as measured by the greater of the resulting increase in market value of the property or the value received by the violator; and/or

2. Savings of construction costs realized by the violator; and/or

3. Reasonable value of property damaged.

F. Enhanced Penalty. In addition to other penalties and civil assessments set forth in this section, additional daily penalties, according to the following schedule, may be added where there is:

(A) Public health or safety risk; emergency

Plus $500.00 – $2,500 depending on severity

(B) Environmental damage (1)

Plus $500.00 – $2,500 depending on severity

(C) Damage to property

Plus $500.00 – $2,500 depending on severity

(D) History of similar violations (less than three)

Plus $1,000

(E) History of similar violations (three or more)

Plus $2,500

(F) Economic benefit to person responsible for violation

Plus $1,000

(G) Flagrant or severe violation

Plus $500.00 – $2,500 depending on severity

(H) When the violation causes a situation or condition that cannot be corrected

Plus $500.00 – $2,500 depending on severity

The above penalties may be offset by the following credits for efforts to comply:

(A) Entering into a voluntary compliance agreement

25% of enhanced penalty

(B) Full compliance with voluntary compliance agreement and no history of prior violations

Plus 50% of enhanced penalty [Total of (A) and (B) equals 75% of enhanced penalty]

(C) Full compliance with voluntary compliance agreement and a history of prior violations

Plus 25% of enhanced penalty [Total of (A) and (C) equals 50% of enhanced penalty]

The enhanced penalties are further cumulative; for example, a violation which constitutes (B) environmental damages and (E) history of similar violations may have added additional daily penalties under both categories.

(1) Environmental damage means a violation of the city’s critical areas regulations (Chapter 19.05 PTMC) or shoreline management plan (adopted by Ordinance 2938), including any amendments; and damage to vegetation within city rights-of-way and property.

G. Other.

1. Imposition or payment of a civil penalty pursuant to this chapter does not relieve a person of the duty to correct or remediate the violation as ordered by a director. See PTMC 1.20.040, Abatement, remediation, and restoration proceedings – Authorized.

2. In addition to any other penalty under this section, a director is authorized to suspend or revoke any permits issued pursuant to any land use ordinance as further set forth in this chapter.

3. A civil assessment or penalty may be imposed and constitutes a separate penalty for each day or portion of a day during which a violation occurs or exists. Civil penalties for violation of any formal notice and order to correct the violation, stop work order, emergency order or any other order issued by a director pursuant to this chapter (except an order to secure voluntary correction) shall begin to accrue on the first day the order is served and shall cease on the day the violation is actually stopped or the correction is completed, or arrangements are made for completion that are satisfactory to the director (for example, if correction includes plantings, but planting should not occur until later due to season).

H. Monetary Penalty – Significant Trees. The monetary penalty for damaging, cutting or removing significant trees as defined in PTMC 12.04.150 shall be the greater of:

1. Five hundred dollars for each tree damaged, cut or removed; or

2. The value of each tree damaged, cut or removed, with the value to be determined under methods described in the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers’ “Guide for Plant Appraisal,” published by the International Society of Arboriculture, as now or hereafter amended, using the value method (replacement value method, trunk-formula method, or other recognized method) that in the opinion of the public works director represents a fair and appropriate valuation.

The monetary penalty is in addition to other penalties and assessments set forth in this section. (Ord. 2988 § 2, 2008; Ord. 2952 § 1, 2008).

1.20.080 Stop work order.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, whenever a continuing violation of any land use or other ordinance will materially impair a director’s ability to secure compliance with the ordinance, when the continuing violation threatens the health or safety of the public, or when the continuing violation threatens or harms the environment, the director shall issue a stop work order specifying the violation and prohibiting any work or other activity at the site related to the violation. If other work at the site can continue without interfering with the director’s ability to secure compliance and avoid threat to the health or safety of the public or threat or harm to the environment, the director need not stop work of the entire site where work is occurring in accordance with city codes and regulations.

The order should be posted on the subject property or served on persons engaged in any work in violation of this chapter, and a copy provided to the owner. The effect of such order shall be to require the immediate cessation of such work or activity, unless and until authorized by the director to proceed. In the event the director issues a stop work order, the voluntary correction procedures of PTMC 1.20.110 and the formal notice and order provisions of PTMC 1.20.120 shall not apply. A failure to comply with a stop work order shall constitute a violation of this chapter. (Ord. 2952 § 1, 2008).

1.20.090 Emergency order.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, whenever any use or activity in violation of any land use or other ordinance threatens the health and safety of the occupants of the premises or property, any member of the public or the environment, a director shall issue an emergency order directing that the use or activity be discontinued and the condition causing the threat to the public health and safety or threat and harm to the environment be corrected. The emergency order shall specify the time for compliance and shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the property, if posting is physically possible. In the event the director issues an emergency order, the voluntary correction procedures of PTMC 1.20.110 and the formal notice and order provisions of PTMC 1.20.120 shall not apply. A failure to comply with an emergency order shall constitute a violation of this chapter. (Ord. 2952 § 1, 2008).

1.20.100 Public nuisance declared.

Pursuant to the authority granted in RCW 35.23.331 and 35.23.440(10) as well as any other applicable statutory or constitutional provision, all violations of land use or other ordinances or any failure to comply with a notice and order, stop work order or emergency order issued pursuant to this chapter are determined to be detrimental to the public health, safety and welfare and are declared public nuisances. All conditions which are determined by a director to be in violation of any land use or other ordinance shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter and shall be corrected by any reasonable and lawful means, as provided in this chapter. (Ord. 2952 § 1, 2008).

1.20.105 Complaint log.

Each department director responsible to administer the code shall create a log of code violations within his or her administration, with the following information: name; location; violation (or alleged violation); responsible department; outcome; staff comment or explanation of outcome; and source of complaint. (Ord. 2952 § 1, 2008).

Article II. Notices and Orders to Correct and/or Abate

1.20.110 Order to secure voluntary correction.

A. Issuance. Whenever a director determines that a violation has occurred or is occurring, such director may, if he or she deems it appropriate under the circumstances, and after considering the factors in PTMC 1.20.001, pursue reasonable attempts to secure voluntary correction, failing which he/she may order correction and pursue civil penalties pursuant to PTMC 1.20.120.

B. Content. The director shall include the following in the order to secure voluntary correction:

1. Location of property sufficient for identification of where the violation occurred or is located, which identification may include but is not limited to the street address or a legal description of real property;

2. A statement that the director has found the person to be in violation of a land use or other ordinance, with a brief and concise description of the conditions found to be in violation and a reference to the city regulation(s) which has been violated;

3. A statement setting forth the corrective action required to be taken and a date or time by which correction is to be completed; provided, however, that in no event shall the time given for voluntary correction of the violation be greater than 60 calendar days, except as provided in subsection D of this section; and

4. A statement that if the violation is not corrected voluntarily within the time period stated, civil enforcement action shall be taken against the violator, to include monetary civil penalties, and/or abatement proceedings enforceable as a lien against the property and as a joint and personal obligation of any person who is in violation, and/or such other enforcement action as deemed appropriate by the director.

C. Service of Order. A director shall serve the order to voluntarily correct violation in the manner allowed by PTMC 1.20.117.

D. Extension. Upon written request received prior to the correction date, a director may, for good cause shown, grant an extension of the date set for correction for an amount of time as deemed reasonable by the director. The director may only consider as good cause (1) substantial completion of the necessary correction, or (2) unforeseeable circumstances not caused by the person so as to make completion impossible by the date established.

E. The voluntary compliance order is optional with a director, and is not a prerequisite to using the enforcement provisions described in this chapter. (Ord. 2952 § 1, 2008).

1.20.115 Civil penalties – Schedules.

A. Any person who violates any land use ordinance or other ordinances to which this chapter is applicable, or rules or regulations adopted under such ordinance, or the conditions and/or mitigation measures of any permit issued pursuant to such ordinance, rule or regulation, or the conditions of any final SEPA determination (MDNS or EIS) or who, by any act or omission, procures, aids or abets such violation shall be subject to civil penalties assessed by the director as provided in this section.

1. Civil penalties may be directly assessed by a director by means of a formal notice and order issued pursuant to this chapter or may be recovered by legal action filed in Jefferson County superior court by the city attorney on behalf of the city of Port Townsend.

2. Civil penalties assessed by means of a formal notice and order shall be collected in accordance with the lien, personal obligation and other procedures specified in this chapter. Civil penalties assessed in a legal action in superior court shall be collected in the same manner as judgments in civil actions.

3. Civil penalties shall be a cumulative penalty in the amount set forth in PTMC 1.20.075. (Ord. 2952 § 1, 2008).

1.20.117 Service – Notices and orders, stop work orders.

A. Service of a notice of violation or notice and order shall be made on a person responsible for code violation by one or more of the following methods:

1. Personal service of a notice of violation or notice and order may be made on the person identified by the city as being responsible for the code violation, or by leaving a copy of the notice of violation or notice and order at the person’s house of usual abode with a person of suitable age and discretion who resides there;

2. Service directed to the landowner and/or occupant of the property may be made by posting the notice of violation or notice and order in a conspicuous place on the property where the violation occurred and concurrently mailing notice as provided for below, if a mailing address is available;

3. Service by mail may be made for a notice of violation or a notice and order by mailing two copies, postage prepaid, one by ordinary first class mail and the other by certified mail, to the person responsible for the code violation (a) at his or her last known address (for example, the address of the applicant shown on a permit application), or (b) at the address of the violation, or (c) at the address of the place of business of the person responsible for the code violation.

The taxpayer’s address as shown on the tax records of Jefferson County shall be deemed to be the proper address for the purpose of mailing such notice to the landowner of the property where the violation occurred. Service by mail shall be presumed effective upon the third business day following the day upon which the notice of violation or notice and order was placed in the mail.

B. For notice and orders only, when the address of the person responsible for the code violation cannot be reasonably determined, service may be made by publication once in the city’s newspaper of record. Service by publication shall conform to the requirements of Civil Rule 4 of the Rules for Superior Court.

C. Service of a stop work order on a person responsible for a code violation may be made by posting the stop work order in a conspicuous place on the property where the violation occurred or by serving the stop work order in any other manner permitted by this chapter.

D. The failure of the city to make or attempt service on any person named in the notice of violation, notice and order or stop work order shall not invalidate any proceedings as to any other person duly served. (Ord. 2952 § 1, 2008).

1.20.120 Notice and order – Issuance.

A. Whenever the voluntary correction process set forth in PTMC 1.20.110 is unsuccessful, or a director believes that the violation will be most promptly and equitably terminated by an immediate administrative notice and order proceeding (also referred to as a “formal notice and order”), he or she shall issue a written notice and order directed either to the owner or operator of the source of the violation, the person in possession of the property where the violation originates or the person otherwise causing or responsible for the violation.

B. The formal notice and order shall contain:

1. Location of property sufficient for identification of where the violation occurred or is located, which identification may include but is not limited to the street address or a legal description of real property;

2. A statement that the director has found the person to be in violation of a land use or other ordinance, with a brief and concise description of the conditions found to be in violation and a reference to the city regulation(s) which has been violated;

3. A statement of the corrective action required to be taken. If the director has determined that corrective work is required, the notice and order shall require that all required permits be secured, that work physically be commenced and that the work be completed within such times as the director determines are reasonable under the circumstances;

4. A statement specifying the amount of any civil penalty assessed on account of the violation and, if applicable, the conditions on which assessment of such civil penalty is contingent;

5. Statements advising that:

a. If any required work is not commenced or completed within the times specified, the director will proceed to cause abatement of the violation and cause the work to be done and charge the costs as a lien against the property and as a joint and separate personal obligation of any person in violation;

b. If any assessed civil penalty is not paid, the director will charge the amount of the penalty as a lien against the property and as a joint and separate personal obligation of any person in violation;

c. The notice and order may be appealed within 14 calendar days from the date of the notice and order to the Port Townsend hearing examiner, pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 1.14 PTMC;

d. The appeal shall be accompanied by an appeal fee in an amount set forth in PTMC 20.09.010;

e. Any per-day civil penalty shall not accrue during the pendency of such administrative appeal, unless the hearing examiner determines that the appeal is frivolous or intended solely to delay compliance; and

f. A failure to file a timely and complete appeal will constitute a waiver of all rights to an administrative appeal under city code.

C. Service of the notice and order shall be made upon all persons identified in the notice and order in the manner allowed by PTMC 1.20.117. (Ord. 2952 § 1, 2008).

1.20.127 Obligations of persons responsible for code violation.

It shall be the responsibility of any person responsible for the code violation to bring the property into a condition that achieves code compliance as determined by the director. Payment of fines, applications for permits, acknowledgment of stop work orders, and compliance with other remedies does not substitute for performing the corrective work required and having the property brought into compliance as determined by the director.

Persons determined to be responsible for the code violation pursuant to a notice of infraction, notice and order, or stop work order shall be liable for the payment of any civil fines, penalties, and abatement costs.

If a property owner demonstrates that the action that resulted in the violation was taken without the owner’s knowledge or consent or by someone other than the owner or someone acting on the owner’s behalf, then that owner shall be responsible only for bringing the property into compliance to the extent feasible under the circumstances, and no civil fines or penalties shall be assessed against such an owner or his or her property interest for the code violation except as follows: the owner is responsible, in addition to costs of abatement and related expenses and costs, for civil penalties for the owner’s failure, following notice and order to abate, to bring the property into compliance as determined by the director. (Ord. 2988 § 3, 2008).

1.20.130 Appeal to hearing examiner.

A. Appeal. A person to whom a formal notice and order or an abatement order is directed may appeal such order by filing a written notice of appeal with the applicable department within 14 calendar days from the date of the notice and order to the hearing examiner pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 1.14 PTMC.

B. Fee. The appeal shall be accompanied by an appeal fee in an amount set forth in PTMC 20.09.010.

C. Stay. Any per-day civil penalty shall not accrue during the pendency of such administrative appeal unless the hearing examiner determines that the appeal is frivolous or intended solely to cause delay. Enforcement of any formal notice and order or abatement order of a director issued pursuant to this chapter shall be stayed during the pendency of any appeal under this chapter, except when the director issues an emergency order and/or stop work order pursuant to PTMC 1.20.080 and 1.20.090.

D. Waiver. Failure to file a timely and complete appeal will constitute a waiver of all rights to an administrative appeal under city code.

E. Administrative Conference – Supplemental Notice and Order. At any time prior to the convening of an appeal hearing of a formal notice and order issued pursuant to PTMC 1.20.120, an informal administrative conference may be conducted by a director for the purposes of bringing communications between concerned parties and providing a forum for efficient resolution of any violation. A director may call a conference on his or her own initiative or in response to a request from the appellant. As a result of information developed at the conference, the director may affirm, modify or revoke the order. If the order is to be modified, a supplemental notice and order shall be issued which shall be subject to the same procedures applicable to all notices and orders contained in this chapter. The administrative conference is optional with a director, and is not a prerequisite to utilization of any of the enforcement provisions described in this chapter. (Ord. 2952 § 1, 2008).

1.20.140 Final order – Enforcement.

If, after any order duly issued by a director has become final, the person to whom such order is directed fails, neglects or refuses to obey such order, including refusal to pay a civil penalty assessed under such order, the director may:

A. Institute any appropriate action to collect a civil penalty assessed under this chapter; and/or

B. Abate the land use or other violation using the procedures of this chapter; and/or

C. File in the Jefferson County auditor’s office a certificate describing the property and the violation and stating that the owner has been so notified; and/or

D. Pursue criminal penalties as set forth in PTMC 1.20.060; and/or

E. Pursue any other appropriate remedy at law or equity under this chapter. (Ord. 2952 § 1, 2008).

Article III. Suspension and Revocation of Permits

1.20.145 Permit in violation of zoning code.

Any permit or license issued by the city which was not in conformity with provisions of the ordinance then in effect is null and void. (Ord. 2952 § 1, 2008).

1.20.150 Suspension – Cause.

A. A director may temporarily suspend any permit issued under a land use or other ordinance, and if in the director’s judgment is necessary to secure compliance and does not interfere with a permit required to be issued as a matter of right, and withhold the issuance of additional permits in connection with the property or related to the project which gave rise to the suspension, for:

1. Failure of the holder to comply with the requirements of any land use or other ordinance, or rules or regulations adopted thereunder; or

2. Failure to comply with any order issued pursuant to this chapter; or

3. Failure to comply with the conditions and/or mitigation measures of any land use permit; or

4. The permit was issued in error or on the basis of materially incorrect information supplied to the city; or

5. Permit fees, costs, or penalties were paid to the city by check and returned from a financial institution marked insufficient funds or cancelled, or are otherwise unpaid and due and owing.

In addition, for any of the reasons listed above, the finance director may temporarily suspend the business license of a person. In the event of a license suspension under this chapter, the applicant or license holder shall be responsible to pay administrative reinstatement fees of $100.00 prior to reinstatement of the business license and/or issuance of a new license to the business (or successor business) of the person responsible for the code violation.

Upon correction and compliance as determined by the director, and payment of reinstatement fees, the suspension or withholding of permit(s) would terminate.

B. Such permit suspension shall be carried out through the notice and order provisions of this chapter and shall be effective upon service of the notice and order upon the holder or operator. The holder or operator may appeal the suspension as provided by PTMC 1.20.130.

C. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, whenever a director finds that a violation of any land use or other ordinance, or rules and regulations adopted thereunder, has created immediate and irreparable hazard, he or she may, without service of a written notice and order, immediately suspend and terminate operations under the permit. (Ord. 2952 § 1, 2008).

1.20.160 Revocation – Cause.

A. A director may permanently revoke any permit issued by such director for:

1. Failure of the holder to comply with the requirements of any land use or other ordinance, or rules or regulations promulgated thereunder; or

2. Failure of the holder to comply with any order issued pursuant to this chapter; or

3. Interference with a director in the performance of his/her duties; or

4. Discovery by a director that a permit was issued in error or on the basis of materially incorrect information supplied to the city;

5. Permit fees, costs, penalties were paid to the city by check and returned from a financial institution marked insufficient funds or cancelled, or are otherwise unpaid and due and owing.

In addition, for any of the reasons listed above, the finance director may revoke the business license of a person.

In the event of a license suspension under this chapter, the applicant or license holder shall be responsible to pay administrative reinstatement fees of $100.00 prior to reinstatement of the business license and/or issuance of a new license to the business (or successor business) of the person responsible for the code violation.

B. Such permit revocation shall be carried out through the notice and order provisions of this chapter and shall be effective upon service of the notice and order upon the holder or operator. The holder or operator may appeal such revocation as provided by PTMC 1.20.130.

C. A permit may be suspended pending its revocation or a related hearing. (Ord. 2952 § 1, 2008).

Article IV. Recovery of Civil Penalty and Cost of Abatement

1.20.170 Lien – Authorized.

The city of Port Townsend shall have a lien for any civil penalty imposed or for the cost of any abatement work done pursuant to this chapter, or both, against the real property on which the civil penalty was imposed or any of the abatement work was performed. (Ord. 2952 § 1, 2008).

1.20.180 Personal obligation – Authorized.

The civil penalty and the cost of abatement are also joint and separate personal obligations of any person in violation. The city attorney on behalf of the city of Port Townsend may collect the civil penalty and abatement work costs by use of all appropriate legal remedies. (Ord. 2952 § 1, 2008).

1.20.190 Lien – Foreclosure.

A. Filing. A director shall cause a claim for lien to be filed for record in the Jefferson County auditor’s office within 90 days from the date the civil penalty is due or within 90 days from the date of completion of the abatement work performed pursuant to this chapter.

B. Contents. The claim of lien shall contain the following:

1. The authority for imposing a civil penalty or proceeding to abate the violation, or both;

2. A brief description of the civil penalty imposed or the abatement work done, or both, including the violations charged and the duration thereof, including the time the work is commenced and completed and the name of the persons or organizations performing the work;

3. A legal description of the property to be charged with the lien;

4. The name of the known or reputed owner, and, if not known, the fact shall be alleged; and

5. The amount, including lawful and reasonable costs, for which the lien is claimed.

C. Verification. A director or his/her authorized representative shall sign and verify the claim by oath to the effect that the affiant believes the claim is just.

D. Amendment. The claim of lien may be amended in case of action brought to foreclose same, by order of the court, insofar as the interests of third parties shall not be detrimentally affected by amendment.

E. Foreclosure. The lien provided by this chapter may be foreclosed and enforced by a civil action in a court having jurisdiction. All persons who have legally filed claims of liens against the same property prior to commencement of the action shall be joined as parties, either plaintiff or defendant. (Ord. 2952 § 1, 2008).