Chapter 7.15


7.15.010    Definitions.

7.15.020    Duty to maintain property.

7.15.030    Declaration of public nuisance.

7.15.040    Enforcement.

7.15.050    Third party liability.

7.15.010 Definitions.

The definitions set forth in Chapter 15.105 SMC, as presently existing or as may subsequently be amended, shall apply to this chapter and, in addition, the following definitions shall apply:

A. “Junk” means discarded, broken or disabled material including, but not limited to, furniture, appliances, discarded lumber, toys, or other items that are not in functioning condition.

B. “Owner” means any person owning property, as shown on the real property records of King County or on the last assessment roll for taxes, and shall also mean any lessee, tenant, occupant or other person having control or possession of the property.

C. “Property” means land and any buildings or structures located thereon.

D. “Trash” means waste food products and other household garbage.

E. “Abate” means to repair, replace, remove, destroy or otherwise remedy a condition which constitutes a violation of this chapter by such means and in such a manner and to such an extent as determined is necessary in the interest of the public health, safety and welfare of the community.

F. “Attractive nuisance” means any object or condition which can reasonably constitute a hazard or danger and which is accessible to unauthorized persons.

G. “Screening,” for the purpose of this chapter, shall include, but not be limited to, solid wood fencing, chain link fencing with slats, and/or solid landscaping capable of concealing storage from sight by standing individuals at or near property lines; however, such screening must be at least six (6) feet in height.

H. “Public nuisance” means an unlawful act, or permitting an action or condition to occur or exist which:

1. Unreasonably annoys, injures, or endangers the comfort, repose, health, or safety of others; or

2. Is unreasonable to the senses; or

3. Unlawfully interferes with, obstructs or tends to obstruct, or renders dangerous for passage, any stream, public park, square, highway, or public right-of-way; or

4. Unlawfully interferes with, damages, or pollutes designated habitat areas, critical areas, open spaces, restoration sites, streams, creeks, lakes, wetlands, wetland buffers, or tributaries, and similar thereto; or

5. In any way renders other persons insecure in life or the use of property; or

6. Creates or permits the existence or continuance of any specific nuisance identified in this chapter. (Ord. 16-1007 § 10: Ord. 15-1013 § 1: Ord. 02-1005 § 1: Ord. 91-1014 § 1)

7.15.020 Duty to maintain property.

No person owning, leasing, renting, occupying, being in possession or having charge of any property in the City, including vacant lots, shall maintain or allow to be maintained on such property, except as may be permitted by any other City ordinance, any of the following conditions visible from any public street or alley, or from any other private property:

A. Storing outside a completely enclosed building items that constitute a threat to the public health, safety or welfare, including but not limited to the following: scrap rope, batteries, paper, tires, used lumber or salvaged wood, iron, steel, household goods or hardware, machinery or appliances or parts of such, vehicular component parts, junk, trash, discarded items or salvage materials;

B. Any accumulation of material including, but not limited to, bottles, cans, glass, plastic, ashes, scrap metal, broken stone or cement, rags, boxes, crates, packing cases, tools, equipment, and packing material;

C. Household items, furniture and appliances intended for indoor use that are stored or used outdoors. For the purposes of this section, decks, carports and open garages are considered outdoors;

D. Shopping or baggage carts;

E. Indoor personal items stored outdoors for more than twenty-four (24) hours including, but not limited to, clothing, bedding, toys, cooking and eating utensils, newspapers and magazines;

F. Building, plumbing, electrical and mechanical materials unless neatly stacked and screened from adjoining properties and public rights-of-way and intended to be used for improvements to the premises on which it is stored, within six (6) months;

G. Firewood unless neatly stacked, cut in lengths of four (4) feet or less, and intended to be used on the premises on which it is stored;

H. Dead, decayed, diseased or hazardous trees, which are dangerous to public health, safety and welfare;

I. Overgrown, uncultivated, unkempt, or potentially hazardous vegetation of any type, including but not limited to shrubs, brush, weeds, blackberry vines and grasses over one (1) foot in height or length, including vegetation which may harbor rodents or transient activity, or encroach onto adjoining public or private properties. Where erosion control issues or indigenous species are present, an exception or modification may be made to these requirements. Where a single parcel or contiguous ownership is undeveloped and over one (1) acre in area, elimination of the fire hazard presented by vegetation may be accomplished by removing the vegetation from the area within twenty (20) feet of abutting, improved properties or public rights-of-way. Regulated wetlands, other environmentally sensitive areas and managed stormwater facilities are exempt from these requirements;

J. Inappropriate disposal or accumulation of vegetation waste, including, but not limited to, grass clippings, cut brush, cut trees and branches, cut weeds, and/or cut wood, except as kept in a compost pile not to exceed two (2) cubic yards;

K. Regardless if visible from adjacent property or public rights-of-way, any attractive nuisances dangerous to unauthorized persons, including but not limited to equipment, machinery, unused refrigerators and freezers, excavations or naturally occurring holes, wells, privies, vaults, cesspools, pits, shafts or any other similar condition which constitutes a concealed danger;

L. All unused, abandoned or discarded refrigerators, freezers, large appliances or similar containers which are left in any place exposed or accessible to children, whether such is outside any building or dwelling or within any unoccupied or abandoned building, dwelling or other structure;

M. Any poisonous or hazardous liquids or materials, so as to allow access to it by any animal or person;

N. All places used, maintained, or appearing as dumps, junk yards, or automobile or machinery disassembly yards or buildings, not licensed and/or located in an improper use zone, or which are operating outside of specific conditions set forth for the operation of such business;

O. The existence of any screening which is in a falling, decayed, dilapidated, or unsafe condition or any screening which is not maintained in accordance with the provisions of the SeaTac Municipal Code;

P. Any abandoned or deteriorated building or structure, or any building or structure constructed with inappropriate materials or improperly fastened together or anchored against the forces of nature;

Q. Any building or structure where construction was commenced and the building or structure was left unfinished or any building or structure that has been constructed or modified without permits. This shall include any unauthorized work or noncompliant work taking place on private property or in the public right-of-way, with or without a permit, or which is otherwise in violation of City ordinance;

R. Animal waste, manure or excreta in sufficient quantity which is not securely protected from flies and the elements and which is likely to become putrid, offensive, and injurious to the health, safety and welfare of the general public;

S. Animal parts or wastes which are improperly handled, contained, or removed from the premises, including bones, meats, hides, skins, or any part of any dead animal, fish, or fowl;

T. The parking or storage of vehicles on single-family residential parcels in violation of the parking standards. It shall be required that all land use codes relative to residential parking also be adhered to;

U. Graffiti as defined, which is visible from any adjoining properties or public rights-of-way;

V. Vegetation and overgrowth including but not limited to tree limbs, branches, hedges, vines and shrubs that encroach the public right-of-way must be maintained to create a clear unobstructed passage to a height of eight (8) feet above sidewalks and pedestrian walkways and fourteen (14) feet above streets and vehicular traffic areas;

W. The discharge of sewage, human excrement, or other wastes in any location or manner, except through approved public or private systems constructed and maintained for conveyance of such;

X. The storage or placement of any solid waste or recyclable containers within the public right-of-way for more than seventy-two (72) consecutive hours. (Ord. 15-1013 § 2: Ord. 02-1005 § 2: Ord. 95-1024 § 1; Ord. 91-1014 § 2)

7.15.030 Declaration of public nuisance.

Any property found to be maintained in violation of SMC 7.15.020 is hereby declared to be a public nuisance and shall be abated by rehabilitation, removal, trimming, demolition or repair. (Ord. 91-1014 § 3)

7.15.040 Enforcement.

The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced pursuant to Ordinance No. 90-1048, codified in Chapter 1.15, as amended by Ordinance No. 90-1075, as both presently exist or as may subsequently be amended. (Ord. 91-1014 § 4)

7.15.050 Third party liability.

A. It is expressly the purpose of this chapter to provide for and 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 benefitted by the terms of this chapter.

B. It is the specific intent of this chapter to place the obligation of complying with its requirements upon the property owner or owners and no provisions nor term used in this chapter is intended to impose any duty whatsoever upon the City or any of its officers and employees, for whom the implementation or enforcement of this chapter shall be discretionary and not mandatory.

C. Nothing contained in this chapter is intended to be, nor shall be, construed to create or form the basis for any liability on the part of the City, or its officers, employees or agents, for any injury or damage resulting from the failure of a property owner to comply with the provisions of this chapter, or by reason or in consequence of any inspection, notice, order, certificate, permission or approval authorized or issued or done in connection with the implementation or enforcement of this chapter, or by reason of any action or inaction on the part of the City related in any manner to the enforcement of this chapter by its officers, employees or agents. (Ord. 91-1014 § 5)