Chapter 9.08


9.08.010    Definitions.

9.08.020    Prohibited conduct.

9.08.030    Types of nuisances.

9.08.040    Enforcement.

*    Code reviser’s note: Ordinance 3317 repealed and reenacted this chapter. Prior to its repeal and reenactment, the chapter was based on the provisions of Ords. 579, 779, 2009, 2952 and 3233.

9.08.010 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms have the meanings set forth in this section, unless a different meaning is clearly indicated by the context:

“Apparently inoperable” means a vehicle that does not appear to comply with requirements for safe and legal operation on public streets or highways with regard to licensing, registration, brakes, lights, tires, safety glass, or other safety equipment; or other circumstances or conditions that are evidence the vehicle is not currently operable, including but not limited to the passenger compartment filled with trash or debris, vegetation growing inside, around or on the vehicle, or other evidence that the vehicle has not been moved for an extended period of time.

“Attractive nuisance” means any object or condition that constitutes a hazard or danger, is accessible to unauthorized persons, and tends to draw attention or entices.

“Director” includes, but is not limited to, the chief of the police department, director of the public works department, the department of planning and community development, and their designee(s).

“Recreational vehicle” means a vehicular-type unit primarily designed for recreational, camping, or travel use that has either its own motive power or is mounted on or drawn by another vehicle. Types of recreational vehicles include but are not limited to travel trailers, truck campers, and motor homes. This term does not include “tiny houses on wheels” as defined in Chapter 17.08 PTMC as amended.

“Vehicle” includes every device capable of being moved upon a public highway and in, upon, or by which any persons or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a public highway, including, but not limited to, automobiles, bicycles, motorcycles, trucks, motorized recreational vehicles, campers, travel trailers, boats on or off trailers, utility trailers, or other vehicles defined as such in RCW Title 46. Campers, if removed from the towing vehicle and stored separately, are counted as a separate vehicle. (Ord. 3317 § 6 (Exh. F), 2023).

9.08.020 Prohibited conduct.

It is unlawful for any person to erect, contrive, cause, continue, deposit, maintain, or permit to exist any nuisance within the city including on the property of any person or upon any public rights-of-way. (Ord. 3317 § 6 (Exh. F), 2023).

9.08.030 Types of nuisances.

The following acts, omissions, places, conditions, and things are declared to be nuisances:

A. Vegetation.

1. Overgrown, uncultivated, or untended vegetation of any type that substantially covers structures on the property or substantially blocks or impedes access to structures on the property.

2. Trees, shrubs, vines, or other vegetation that destroys, impairs, interferes, restricts the visibility, use or access to, or constitutes a danger to streets, sidewalks, public trails, sewers, utility poles, street trees, fire hydrants or any other public improvements.

3. Noxious weeds as defined in Chapter 16-750 WAC, as amended, or as required for removal or control by the Jefferson County noxious weed control board.

4. Accumulation of vegetation waste, including, but not limited to, grass clippings, cut brush, cut trees, and/or cut weeds, except when in an enclosed container or in a managed composting operation.

5. Vegetation, or parts thereof, that hang lower than eight feet above any public walkway, path or sidewalk; or hang lower than 15 feet above any street; or that are growing in such a manner as to obstruct or impair the free and full use of any public walkway, sidewalk, or street.

6. Vegetation within the clear vision area, as defined by PTMC 12.04.030, that blocks or impairs motorist, cyclist, or pedestrian visibility.

7. Grass in the public right-of-way greater than 12 inches in height or other vegetation in the public right-of-way not maintained to requirements established in PTMC 12.04.075(C), as amended.

8. Roadside ditches in which the grass is greater than 12 inches in height; or contains vegetation other than grass that interferes with the city’s periodic maintenance of ditches, unless the vegetation was permitted as a rain garden or stormwater treatment facility.

B. Buildings, Structures, and Improvements.

1. Any building, structure, dwelling, or improvement, or portion thereof, that is decayed, dilapidated, unsafe, damaged, or in disrepair, to the extent that it poses a threat of collapse, structural failure, or falling.

2. Any partially constructed building, structure, dwelling, or improvement, or portion thereof that has been left unattended and unfinished for more than 90 continuous days.

3. Any building, structure, dwelling, or improvement, or portion thereof, used for habitation that does not have functioning electricity, water, or sanitation services.

4. All vacant, unused, or unoccupied buildings, structures, dwellings, or improvements that are allowed to become or to remain open to entrance by unauthorized persons, wildlife, or the general public.

C. Accumulations of Garbage and Materials.

1. Any accumulation, stack, or pile of building or construction materials not associated with a current, in-progress project and not in a lawful storage structure or container.

2. Any accumulation of broken, discarded, inoperable, or neglected items or parts thereof, including, but not limited to, household furniture, furnishings, equipment, appliances, machinery, litter, salvage materials, or junk not in an approved enclosed structure, container, or waste receptacle.

3. Any garbage, waste, refuse, litter, debris, recyclables, rubble, or other materials, or combination thereof, not in an approved enclosed structure, container, or waste receptacle.

4. Any accumulation of materials or objects, including dry vegetation, in a manner that endangers property or safety, or constitutes a fire hazard as determined by the fire code official or East Jefferson Fire and Rescue.

D. The 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 the following disorderly, disturbing, unsanitary, disease-causing places, conditions or things:

1. Any unsound, putrid, or unwholesome bone, meat, hides, skin, or the whole or parts of any dead animal or fish or the offal, garbage, or other offensive parts of any animals.

2. Any materials, garbage, waste, refuse, litter, or debris in which insects may breed or multiply or which may provide harborage for rats or other vermin.

3. Any open drain, sewer, or septic tank that emits any noxious, foul, offensive, injurious, unpleasant, or disagreeable odor or substance.

4. Any noxious, foul, or putrid substance.

E. Dangerous or Hazardous Conditions.

1. The existence on any outdoor premises, in a place accessible to children, of any unattended or discarded icebox, refrigerator or other large appliance;

2. Any excavated or naturally occurring hole, vault, sump, pit, well, or any other similar condition, that is not fenced or otherwise secured to prevent access.

3. Allowing, creating or maintaining the existence of an attractive nuisance.

4. The existence on any premises of any abandoned or unused well, cistern or storage tank without first demolishing or removing from the city such storage tank or securely closing and barring any entrance or trapdoor thereto or without filling any well or cistern or capping the same with sufficient security to prevent access thereto by children.

F. Streets, Sidewalks, and Public Rights-of-Way.

1. Any condition in which the abutting property owner fails to maintain the public right-of-way, including but not limited to vegetation maintenance, litter removal, and sidewalk maintenance, from the frontage directly adjacent to their property and extending to the centerline of the adjacent right-of-way, excluding street surface of city maintained streets.

2. Any protrusion, awning, or overhang that inhibits or obstructs use of a public walkway or sidewalk unless otherwise permitted.

3. Any object, construction, damage, condition, or act that interferes with, inhibits, obstructs, or renders dangerous the use of a public walkway, sidewalk, street, alley and rights-of-way.

4. Any fence, wall, arbor, hedge or other partially or totally sight-obscuring installation or feature over 30 inches in height within a clear vision area, defined as a 20-foot-by-20-foot sight triangle measured from the edge of the road surface.

5. The existence of a sidewalk or a portion of a sidewalk adjacent to any premises which is out of repair, and in a condition to endanger persons or property, or in a condition to interfere with the public convenience in the use of such sidewalk, including but not limited to snow or ice uncleared within 24 hours.

6. The existence of any obstruction to a street, alley, crossing or sidewalk, or public right-of-way, and any excavation in or under any street, alley, crossing or sidewalk, or public right-of-way, which is by ordinance prohibited, or which is made without lawful permission, or which, having been made by lawful permission, is kept and maintained after the purpose thereof has been accomplished, and for an unreasonable length of time.

7. The existence of any drainage onto or over any sidewalk or public pedestrian way.

G. Animals.

1. Feeding of wild geese, ducks, gulls, deer, and other wildlife, which feeding results in aggressive behavior toward humans or other animals, or in the deposit of refuse, debris, fecal matter, or other offensive substance in any place in the city, to the prejudice or annoyance of any person, or which impedes the safe flow of vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

2. Keeping, using or maintaining within the city any pen, stable, lot, place or premises in which any hogs, cattle, or fowls may be confined or kept in such manner as to be nauseous, foul or offensive to a reasonable person.

3. Riding or leading horses upon the sidewalks or parking strips anywhere within the city limits.

H. Throwing, placing, attaching, hanging, posting or depositing upon any motor vehicle belonging to another person, telephone pole, power pole, street light pole or similar utility pole or structure, any handbill, poster, printed or written matter, any sample, advertising matter, circular, leaflet, pamphlet, paper, booklet or any other printed or otherwise reproduced original or copy of any matter of literature, except that this provision shall not be construed to:

1. Prohibit the identification of a firm or its products on a vehicle; and

2. Prohibit signs upon utility poles for utility identification or similar purposes.

I. Motor Vehicles.

1. The existence or maintenance on any premises of a storage area, junk yard or dumping ground for the wrecking or disassembling of automobiles, trucks, trailers, recreational vehicles, boats, tractors or other vehicle or machinery of any kind, or for the storing or leaving of worn out, wrecked, junk, apparently inoperable, or abandoned automobiles, trucks, trailers, recreational vehicles, boats, tractors or other vehicles or machinery of any kind or of any major parts thereof; except as allowed by the other ordinances of the city.

2. Storage of the following on a single-family residential parcel:

a. A recreational vehicle or boat greater than 12 feet in height stored within five feet of a side or rear property line. (Ord. 3317 § 6 (Exh. F), 2023).

9.08.040 Enforcement.

A. Director’s Authority. Whenever the enforcement officer determines that a condition exists in violation of this chapter or any standard required to be adhered to by this chapter, or in violation of any permit issued hereunder, the enforcement officer is authorized to enforce the provisions of this chapter.

B. Chapter 1.20 PTMC Applicable. All violations of any provision of this chapter or incorporated standards, or of any permit or license issued hereunder, are declared nuisances and made subject to the administration and enforcement provisions of Chapter 1.20 PTMC, including any amendments, and including but not limited to abatement, criminal penalty, and civil penalty as set forth in Chapter 1.20 PTMC, which are incorporated by reference as if set forth herein.

C. In addition to the provisions of Chapter 1.20 PTMC, any person maintaining a minor public nuisance after receiving 21 days’ notice shall be deemed to have committed a civil infraction as established in Chapter 7.80 RCW and subject to the procedures set forth in Chapter 7.80 RCW and applicable court rules.

1. Minor Nuisance Criteria. Any violation of this chapter that is minor in nature can typically be abated in one to three days’ effort, and can typically be abated within the 21 days’ notice.

2. The penalty for a first minor nuisance violation shall be $66.00. The penalty for a second minor nuisance violation within a one-year period shall be $114.00. The penalty for a third minor nuisance violation within a one-year period shall be $209.00. The penalties may be reduced, suspended or deferred in the discretion of the court. (Ord. 3317 § 6 (Exh. F), 2023).