Chapter 9.08


9.08.005    Provisions of chapter not exclusive.

9.08.010    Definitions.

9.08.020    Types of nuisances.

9.08.030    Prohibited conduct.

9.08.040    Keeping livestock and fowl.

9.08.050    Enforcement – Notice.

9.08.060    Abatement by the city.

9.08.070    Abatement by owner or other responsible person.

9.08.080    Immediate danger – Summary abatement.

9.08.090    Costs and expenses of abatement.

9.08.100    Police chief executive officer.

9.08.110    Duties of health officer.

9.08.120    Fire hazards.

9.08.130    Fire hazard – Notice to abate.

9.08.140    Fire hazard – Failure to pay cost of abatement.

9.08.150    Violation, penalty.

9.08.005 Provisions of chapter not exclusive.

The provisions of this chapter are in addition to and do not limit the provisions of Chapter 9.10 PTMC. (Ord. 2009 § 4, 1985).

9.08.010 Definitions.

The words and phrases used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, shall have the following meanings:

A. “Abate” means to repair, replace, remove, destroy or otherwise remedy the condition in question by such means and in such a manner and to such an extent as the enforcement officer, in his judgment, determines is necessary in the interest of the general health, safety and welfare of the community.

B. “Building materials” means and includes lumber, plumbing materials, wallboard, sheet metal, plaster, brick, cement, asphalt, concrete block, roofing material, cans of paint and similar materials.

C. “Enforcement officer” means the police chief or any alternate designated by him, or designated by the mayor of the city.

D. “Premises” means any building, lot parcel, real estate or land or portion of land whether improved or unimproved, including adjacent sidewalks and parking strips.

E. “Responsible person” means any agent, lessee or other person occupying or having charge or control of any premises, except the owner. (Ord. 2009 § 5, 1985).

9.08.020 Types of nuisances.

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 or in any lake, river, stream, drainageway or wetlands, the officer may require or provide for the abatement thereof pursuant to this chapter:

A. The existence of any weeds, trash, dirt, filth, the carcass of any animal, waste shrubs, accumulation of lawn or yard trimmings or other offensive matter;

B. The existence of any dead, diseased, infested or dying tree that may constitute a danger to street trees, streets or portions thereof;

C. The existence of any tree, shrub or foliage, unless by consent of the city, which is apt to destroy, impair, interfere or restrict:

1. Streets, sidewalks, sewers, utilities or other public improvements;

2. Visibility on, or free use of, or access to such improvements;

D. The existence of any vines or climbing plants growing into or over any street tree, or any public hydrant, pole or electrolier, or the existence of any shrub, vine or plant growing on, around or in front of any hydrant, standpipe, 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;

E. The existence of any accumulation of materials or objects in a location when the same endangers property, safety or constitutes a fire hazard;

F. 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;

G. (Reserved);

H. The burning or disposal of refuse, sawdust or any other material without a permit;

I. The existence of any obstruction to a street, alley, crossing or sidewalk, and any excavation in or under any street, alley, crossing or sidewalk, 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;

J. 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, fly-producing, rat-harboring, disease-causing places, conditions or things:

1. Any putrid, unhealthy or unwholesome bones, meat, hides, skins, the whole or any part of any dead animal, fish or fowl, or waste parts of fish, vegetable or animal matter in any quantity; but nothing herein shall prevent the temporary retention of waste in approved covered receptacles,

2. Any privies, vaults, cesspools, sumps, pits or like places which are not securely protected from flies and rats, or which are foul or malodorous,

3. Any filthy, littered or trash-covered dwellings, cellars, house yards, barnyards, stable yards, factory yards, vacant areas in the rear of stores, vacant lots, houses, buildings or premises,

4. Any animal manure in any quantity which is not securely protected from flies or weather conditions, or which is kept or handled in violation of any ordinance of the city,

5. Any poison oak or poison ivy, Russian thistle or other noxious weeds, whether growing or otherwise; but nothing herein shall prevent the temporary retention of such weeds in approved covered receptacles,

6. Any bottles, cans, glass, ashes, small pieces of scrap iron, wire, metal articles, bric-a-brac, broken stone or cement, broken crockery, broken glass, broken plaster and all such trash or abandoned material, unless it is kept in approved covered bins or galvanized iron receptacles,

7. Any trash, litter, rags, accumulations of empty barrels, boxes, crates, packing cases, mattresses, bedding, excelsior, packing hay, straw or other packing material, lumber not neatly piled, scrap iron, tin or other metal not neatly piled or anything whatsoever in which flies or rats may breed or multiply or which may be a fire hazard;

K. The depositing or burning or causing to be deposited or burned in any street, alley, sidewalk, park, parkway or other public place which is open to travel, of any hay, straw, paper, wood, boards, boxes, leaves, manure or other rubbish or material;

L. The storage or keeping on any premises for more than 30 days of any used or unused building materials as defined in PTMC 9.08.010(B), whose retail cost new would exceed $100.00; provided, that nothing herein shall:

1. Prohibit such storage without a permit when done in conjunction with a construction project for which a building permit has been issued and which is being prosecuted diligently to completion,

2. Prohibit such storage without a permit upon the premises of a bona fide lumber yard, dealer in building materials or other commercial enterprise when the same is permitted under the zoning ordinance and other applicable laws,

3. Make lawful any such storage or keeping when it is prohibited by other ordinances or laws;

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

N. 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, house trailers, boats, tractors or other vehicle or machinery of any kind, or for the storing or leaving of worn out, wrecked, inoperative or abandoned automobiles, trucks, trailers, housetrailers, 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;

O. 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;

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

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

R. 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;

S. The keeping or harboring of a dog or other animal which by frequent or habitual howling, yelping, barking or the making of other noises, or the keeping or harboring of any fowl which by frequent habitual crowing or the making of other noises shall annoy or disturb a neighborhood or any considerable number of persons;

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

U. All acts or omissions defined as a public nuisance pursuant to Chapter 9.10 PTMC;

V. Throwing, placing, attaching, hanging, posting or depositing upon any motor vehicle, 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.

W. 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. (Ord. 3233 § 1 (Exh. A), 2019; Ord. 2009 § 2, 1985).

9.08.030 Prohibited conduct.

A. It is unlawful for any responsible person or owner to permit, maintain, suffer, carry on or allow, upon any premises or in any lake, river, stream, drainageway or wetlands, any of the acts or things declared by this chapter to be a public nuisance.

B. It is unlawful for any person to create, maintain, carry on or do any of the acts or things declared by this chapter to be a public nuisance. (Ord. 2009 § 3, 1985).

9.08.040 Keeping livestock and fowl.

Whoever shall keep, use or maintain 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, or as from any cause to be an annoyance to any community, family or person, shall be deemed guilty of a nuisance, and, in conviction, shall be punished according to the provisions of PTMC 1.01.020. (Ord. 579 § 4, 1895).

9.08.050 Enforcement – Notice.

The enforcement officer appointed by the mayor, having knowledge of any public nuisance, shall cause any owner or other responsible person to be notified of the existence of a public nuisance on any premises and shall direct the owner or other responsible person to abate the condition within 10 days after notice or other reasonable period. The notice shall be substantially in the following form:


(Name and address of person notified)

As owner, agent, lessee or other person occupying or having charge or control of the building, lot or premises at ________ you are hereby notified that the undersigned pursuant to Chapter six of the Port Townsend City Municipal Code has determined that there exists upon or adjoining said premises the following condition contrary to the provisions of subsection _____ of Section _________:

You are hereby notified to abate said condition to the satisfaction of the undersigned within 10 days of the date of this notice. If you do not abate such condition within ____ days the city will abate the condition at your expense.

Abatement is to be accomplished in the following manner:

Dated ______________
(Name of enforcement officer)


(Ord. 2009 § 5, 1985).

9.08.060 Abatement by the city.

In all cases where the enforcement officer has determined to proceed with abatement, 10 days after giving notice 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 of the persons who have been given notice as herein provided. The debt shall be collectable in the same manner as any other civil debt owing to the city. (Ord. 2009 § 6, 1985).

9.08.070 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 needful 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. 2009 § 7, 1985).

9.08.080 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. The expenses of such abatement shall become a civil debt against the owner or other responsible party and be collected as provided. (Ord. 2009 § 8, 1985).

9.08.090 Costs and expenses of abatement.

Every person guilty of any nuisance shall be liable for all costs and expenses of abating the same, which when such nuisances have been removed by any city officer the costs and expenses shall be taxed as a part of the costs of any prosecution against the party liable and be recovered as other costs are recovered after the same shall have been ascertained, when done by the city under authority of the chief of police, provided, that in such cases the city shall be liable in the first instance to pay the same, and in all cases where the chief of police or other officer shall abate any such nuisance he shall keep an account of all expenses attending such abatement, and, in addition to other powers herein given to collect such costs and expenses, may forthwith bring suit for the same in any court of competent jurisdiction in the name of the city against the person creating, keeping or maintaining the nuisance so abated, and upon the collection of the same by such suit he shall pay the same to the city treasurer. (Ord. 579 § 9, 1895).

9.08.100 Police chief executive officer.

The chief of police shall be the executive officer to execute and carry out the orders and directions of the health officer, except when otherwise provided by ordinance or the orders or directions of the health officer. (Ord. 579 § 10, 1895).

9.08.110 Duties of health officer.

The health officer shall be vigilant in the discharge of his duties and order the abatement of all nuisances seriously affecting the health of the locality, and apply such remedies as may be necessary to remove the danger and renovate the place, and when corporations or persons have or permit nuisances on their premises detrimental to health, it shall be the duty of the health officer to cause such corporations or persons to be notified to abolish, abate and remove the same, and if such corporation or person shall fail, neglect or refuse to abate and remove the same within three days after receiving such notice such nuisance may be removed and abated by and under the order of the health officer, and the corporation or person whose duty it was to so abate or remove the same shall become indebted to the city for the damages, costs and charges incurred by the city by reason of the existence and removal of the nuisance and be punished also as provided for by PTMC 9.08.010 through 9.08.110. (Ord. 579 § 11, 1895).

9.08.120 Fire hazards.

The ruins of any house, stable, shop, or other building within the city limits of the city, that cannot be occupied or rented and is offensive to the sight or increases the danger of incendiarism, and all moss on buildings within the city limits, that may tend to increase the danger from fire are hereby declared nuisances. (Ord. 779 § 1, 1910).

9.08.130 Fire hazard – Notice to abate.

Whenever it shall appear to the satisfaction of the chief of the fire department that any of the nuisances enumerated in PTMC 9.08.120 exist, he shall notify the owner, lessee, occupant, or agent for such owner, lessee or occupant, of any premises on which such nuisance or nuisances exist, to abate such nuisance and if the same is not abated within 10 days after such notice he shall cause the police chief to abate the same at the expense of the owner, lessee, occupant or agent. (Ord. 779 § 2, 1910).

9.08.140 Fire hazard – Failure to pay cost of abatement.

All costs and expenses attending the abatement of such nuisance shall be collected as fines and penalties, and if any such person becoming liable for the payment of such costs and expenses as hereinbefore provided, shall fail or refuse to pay the same within 24 hours after demand made by the police chief, he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished according to the provisions of PTMC 1.01.020. (Ord. 779 § 3, 1910).

9.08.150 Violation, penalty.

A. Director’s Authority. Whenever the chief of police or his or her designee (“director”) 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, he or she 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. (Ord. 2952 § 3, 2008; Ord. 2009 § 9, 1985).