Chapter 8.04
NUISANCES

Sections:

8.04.010    Purpose.

8.04.015    Compliance, authority and administration.

8.04.020    Definitions.

8.04.030    Types of nuisances.

8.04.040    Prohibited conduct.

8.04.050    Enforcement.

8.04.051    Voluntary abatement.

8.04.052    Notice and order to abate.

8.04.053    Administrative reviews.

8.04.060    Abatement – Suit.

8.04.070    Chronic nuisances.

8.04.080    Commencement of action –Enforcement – Chronic nuisance.

8.04.081    Each day separate offense.

8.04.090    Civil penalty.

8.04.100    Penalty.

8.04.110    Abatement.

8.04.120    Collection of judgments.

8.04.130    Additional relief.

8.04.140    Conflicts.

8.04.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to exercise the police power relating to public nuisances and the abatement of such nuisances, to protect the public health, safety and welfare, and to promote the city’s economic development. It is also the purpose of this chapter to prevent and prohibit those conditions that reduce private property values, interfere with enjoying public and private property, create and constitute fire and other safety and health hazards, generally create a menace to the public health and welfare, and contribute to the degradation of neighborhood character. It is necessary for the public health, safety and welfare to regulate, prevent and prohibit conditions that may constitute disorderly, unsafe, unsanitary, fly-producing, rat-harboring, and/or disease-causing places, conditions, or objects. It is also necessary for the public social and economic welfare to regulate, prevent, and prohibit conditions that degrade the city’s scenic attractiveness, livability, economic development, and environmental quality.

This chapter is also intended to address chronic nuisances. Chronic nuisances have a negative impact on the quality of life in the neighborhoods in which they are located because of the repeated nuisance occurrences or a property owner’s failure to remedy the nuisance. Chronic nuisances are also a financial burden to the city through repeated calls for service. This chapter intends to address nuisance and chronic nuisance conditions, but is not the exclusive remedy for such nuisances. The city retains all rights and enforcement powers available at law or equity and may be used in conjunction with other laws. (Ord. 2018-014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2016-005 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2001-022)

8.04.015 Compliance, authority and administration.

In order to discourage public nuisances and otherwise promote compliance with the Sequim Municipal Code and this chapter, the city code enforcement officer or designee may, in response to field observations, determine that violations of this chapter have occurred or are occurring and may utilize any of the compliance provisions set forth in this chapter. (Ord. 2018-014 § 1 (Exh. A))

8.04.020 Definitions.

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

A. “Abandoned property” means property that meets the criteria set forth in RCW 7.100.010, as enacted or amended.

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

“Administrative review official” means the city manager or any designee other than the person designated as “enforcement officer” as defined in this section.

B. Reserved.

C. “Chronic nuisance property” means property that, within any 365-day period, has three or more nuisance activities or any abandoned property where a nuisance activity exists.

“Continuing violation” means creating, maintaining, permitting, keeping, allowing, or tolerating a nuisance defined under this chapter for more than four consecutive calendar days.

D. “Disposable package or container” means all packages or containers defined as such by rules and regulations adopted by the Washington State Department of Ecology.

E. “Enforcement officer” means any city official or employee designated by the city manager to enforce the provisions of this chapter.

F. Reserved.

G. Reserved.

H. Reserved.

I. Reserved.

J. Reserved.

K. Reserved.

L. “Litter” means and includes all waste material, including but not limited to disposable packages or containers thrown or deposited on public or private property, including the depositing on public property or cars of handbills, but not including the waste of primary process of mining, logging, sawmilling, farming, or manufacturing.

M. Reserved.

N. “Nuisance activity” means any nuisance that occurs or exists upon a property or, if specified in this section, occurs or exists within 200 feet of a property. To be considered a nuisance activity within 200 feet of the property, the nuisance activity must involve the responsible person and/or any person associated with the responsible person. In residential settings, guests and invitees of the responsible person are considered associated with the responsible person.

Nuisance activity includes:

1. Any violation of Chapter 15.04 SMC as it relates to minimum standards of a dwelling unit or habitable spaces occurring or existing on a property, or maintaining or allowing abandoned property, in whole or part, that is not securely closed to entry;

2. Any violation of this chapter through Chapter 8.12 SMC, Litter, occurring or existing on a property;

3. Written notification from the Clallam County department of health regarding unlawful discharge of sewage, human excrement, or other wastes;

4. Criminal conduct occurring or existing on or within 200 feet of a property as described in the following RCWs, as enacted or amended:

a. Most serious offenses, serious violent offenses, and violent offenses, as defined in RCW 9.94A.030;

b. Burglary and trespass, as defined in Chapter 9A.52 RCW;

c. Theft of a motor vehicle or mail, or possession of a stolen motor vehicle or stolen mail, as defined in Chapter 9A.56 RCW;

d. Stalking, as defined in RCW 9A.46.110;

e. Harassment, as defined in RCW 9A.46.020;

f. Failure to disperse, as defined in RCW 9A.84.020;

g. Disorderly conduct, as defined in RCW 9A.84.030;

h. Any level or type of assault, as defined in Chapter 9A.36 RCW;

i. Any domestic violence crime, as defined in RCW 10.99.020;

j. Reckless endangerment, as defined in RCW 9A.36.050;

k. Indecent exposure or other prostitution-related crimes as defined in RCW 9A.88.010;

l. Any firearms/dangerous weapons violation, as defined in Chapter 9.41 RCW;

m. Any potentially dangerous dog or dangerous dog violation, as defined in Chapter 6.06 SMC;

n. Any drug-related activity, which means the manufacture, delivery, sale, storage, possession, or giving away of any controlled substance as defined in Chapter 69.50 RCW, legend drug as defined in Chapter 69.41 RCW, or imitation controlled substance as defined in Chapter 69.52 RCW; and

o. Any arrest pursuant to a warrant of arrest, where the responsible person had prior knowledge of the arrestee’s warrant.

5. For purposes of this chapter, “nuisance activity” does not include conduct where the responsible person is the victim of a crime.

O. Reserved.

P. “Person responsible” or “responsible person,” depending on context, means the property owner, and, if different from the owner, another person in actual or constructive possession of a property, including without limitation any agent, lessee, manager, or other person(s) occupying or having charge or control of any premises.

“Premises” means any building, lot, dwelling, rental unit, parcel, real estate, land, or portion of land whether improved, unimproved, abandoned, or unused, and including adjacent sidewalks and parking strips and property used as commercial, residential, or for any other purpose.

Q. Reserved.

R. “Repeat offender” means any responsible person who has had an abatement order issued in that person’s name within the prior 36 months, regardless of the nuisance’s location, except that in the case of a landlord the prior abatement order must have been issued for the same property.

S. Reserved.

T. Reserved.

U. Reserved.

V. Reserved.

W. “Weed,” “vegetable growth” and “horticultural growth” mean and include but are not limited to trees, plants, shrubs, bushes, flowers, garden vegetables and grasses, and further include all growths of every kind and character, whether domestic or wild, causing the obstruction, interference, or detriment prohibited by this chapter. (Ord. 2018-014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2016-005 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2001-022)

8.04.030 Types of nuisances.

Each of the following places, conditions, or things constitutes a public nuisance. Whenever the enforcement officer alleges that any of these conditions exists upon any premises, the officer may require or provide for the abatement thereof pursuant to this chapter:

A. The growing, maintaining, permitting or allowing of any weed, vegetable or horticultural growth that:

1. Overhangs, encroaches upon, obstructs or in any manner interferes with the full and free use by the public of any street, sidewalk or sidewalk area upon which such property so owned or occupied abuts, which includes city vision triangles and sight clearances; or

2. Has grown and died upon any premises owned, occupied or in control of the responsible person and that constitutes a detriment to the public health, safety or welfare, including but not limited to a fire hazard, or may or has become a breeding place or habitation for insects or rodents; or

3. Is so overgrown upon any premises owned, occupied or in control of the responsible person as to cause degradation of the neighborhood’s character, and is an average length of 12 inches or more.

B. Accumulations of Materials, Garbage, Recyclables, Furniture, Machinery.

1. Building and Construction Materials. Any accumulation, stack, or pile of building or construction materials, including but not limited to metal, wood, wire, electrical, or plumbing materials, not associated with a current, in-progress project and not in a lawful storage structure or container. This provision does not apply to a designated contractor or contractor supplier’s yard.

2. Garbage, Recyclables, Compost, and Infestations.

a. Garbage or recyclables not properly stored in a receptacle with a tight-fitting lid.

b. Any accumulation of broken or neglected items, litter, salvage materials, or junk not in an approved enclosed structure.

c. Creating or maintaining any accumulation of matter, including without limitation foodstuffs or dead vegetation (excluding properly maintained residential compost piles).

d. Structures or exterior property that has or may become habitat for rodent infestation.

3. Furniture, Appliances, Furnishings, and Equipment.

a. Any broken or discarded household furniture, furnishings, equipment, or appliance not in an approved enclosed structure.

b. Any enclosure which may entrap a human or an animal, including accessible refrigeration appliances that have not had the doors secured or removed.

4. Machinery and Equipment. Any broken or inoperable accumulation of, or part of, machinery or equipment not in an approved enclosed structure. This section includes such machinery and equipment as boats, jet-skis, snowmobiles, aircraft, and the like, but does not include junk vehicles, which are regulated pursuant to Chapter 8.05 SMC.

C. Fire Hazards. Any stack or accumulation of newspapers, dead vegetation (excluding properly maintained compost piles), overgrown vegetation, cardboard, or any other paper, cloth, or wood products left in a manner that poses a substantial risk of combustion or the spread of fire, as determined by the fire marshal or designee.

D. Development Code Violations. Any violation pursuant to SMC Title 13, 17, 18, or 19.

E. The maintaining, permitting or existence of any unsightly and unsafe, partially destroyed building or structure, that has not been repaired or removed within a reasonable period. For purposes of this section a “reasonable period” is more than 60 calendar days and less than 180 calendar days, unless a longer time is allowed pursuant to a valid city permit and the permit applicant is diligently working on the building or structure.

F. To obstruct or encroach upon public roads, streets, alleys, trails, or other publicly owned ways, or to otherwise materially impede ingress and egress on any such publicly owned ways. For purposes of this section, obstruction of the city’s vision triangle as described in SMC 18.44.030 as enacted or amended also constitutes a nuisance. (Ord. 2018-014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2016-005 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2001-022)

8.04.040 Prohibited conduct.

A. It is unlawful for any responsible person(s) to create, permit, maintain, tolerate, carry on, or allow, upon the responsible person’s premises, 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. 2018-014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2016-005 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2001-022)

8.04.050 Enforcement.

The following procedures are available in the event of any violation of this chapter:

A. Voluntary abatement pursuant to SMC 8.04.051;

B. Notice and order to abate pursuant to SMC 8.04.052;

C. Civil infraction pursuant to SMC 8.04.090; and

D. Abatement pursuant to SMC 8.04.060 or 8.04.110.

These enforcement procedures are not mutually exclusive. Exercise of one procedure does not prevent use of another procedure. The enforcement officer has the right and authority to determine which enforcement procedure(s) to employ and to combine enforcement procedures to effect the purposes of this chapter and Chapter 1.13 SMC – Code Enforcement. (Ord. 2019-013 (Exh. B); Ord. 2018-014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2016-005 § 1 (Exh. A))

8.04.051 Voluntary abatement.

When it has been determined that a violation has occurred or is occurring, the city may enter into a voluntary correction agreement, which is a contract between the city and the responsible person under which such person agrees to abate the violation within a specified time and according to specified conditions. Repeat offenders as defined in this chapter are not eligible to enter into voluntary correction agreements. The voluntary correction agreement must include the following:

A. The name and address of the person responsible for the violation; and

B. The street address or other description sufficient for identification of the building, structure, premises, or land upon or within which the violation has occurred or is occurring; and

C. A description of the violation and a reference to the regulation which has been violated and whether the building or structure constitutes abandoned property; and

D. The necessary corrective action to be taken, and a date or time by which correction must be completed; and

E. An agreement by the person responsible for the violation that the city may inspect the premises as necessary to determine compliance with the voluntary correction agreement; and

F. A statement of understanding that if the terms of the voluntary correction agreement are not satisfied, the city may abate the violation and recover its costs and expenses (including without limitation attorney fees, expert witness fees, and court costs) from the person responsible for the violation, and/or they may be subject to a monetary penalty; and

G. A statement of understanding that by entering into the voluntary correction agreement, the person responsible for the violation agrees a violation exists and waives the right to a hearing on the matter. A statement of understanding that the person responsible may get an extension of the time limit for correction or a modification of the required corrective action if the person responsible for the violation has shown due diligence and/or substantial progress in correcting the violation, but unforeseen circumstances delay correction under the original conditions.

H. If the violation involves abandoned property, the enforcement officer must also notify the mortgage servicer as set forth in Chapter 7.100 RCW. (Ord. 2018-014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2016-005 § 1 (Exh. A))

8.04.052 Notice and order to abate.

A. When it is determined that a violation has occurred or is occurring and the city is unable to secure voluntary correction or a voluntary agreement is not applicable, the city may issue a “notice and order” to the person responsible for the violation. A “notice and order” must include the following:

1. The name and address of the person responsible for that violation; and

2. The street address or description sufficient for identification of the building, structure, premises, or land upon or within which the violation has occurred or is occurring and a notation as to whether the property is abandoned property; and

3. A description of the violation and a reference to the provision(s) of the city regulation(s) which have been violated; and

4. The required corrective action and a date and time by which the correction must be completed, after which the city may abate the unlawful condition using all legal means; and

5. A statement that the order may be appealed by filing a written request for hearing with the director of the department of community development within 15 days of issuance of the order. Failure to timely file a notice of appeal constitutes a waiver of the right to appeal the determination of the order. An appeal hearing, timely requested, will be set no less than 20 days but no more than 60 days from the date the notice and order is issued; and

6. A statement indicating that the hearing will be canceled and no monetary penalty will be assessed, other than city costs and expenses, if the required corrective action is completed prior to the hearing; and

7. A statement that the costs and expenses of abatement incurred by the city and a monetary penalty in an amount per day for each violation may be assessed against the person to whom the notice of civil violation is directed as specified and ordered by the court.

B. Service on the person responsible for the violation may be done personally or by mailing a copy of the citation or the notice and order by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, to such person at the person responsible’s last known address. If the person responsible for the violation cannot be personally served within Clallam County and if an address for mailed service cannot be ascertained, notice must be served by posting a copy of the citation or the notice and order conspicuously on the affected property or structure. Proof of service must be made by a written declaration under penalty of perjury executed by the person effecting the service, declaring the time and date of service, the manner by which the service was made and, if by posting, the facts showing the attempts to serve the person personally or by mail.

C. If the violation involves abandoned property, the enforcement officer must also notify the mortgage servicer as set forth in Chapter 7.100 RCW. (Ord. 2018-014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2016-005 § 1 (Exh. A))

8.04.053 Administrative reviews.

A. General. A person who receives a notice and order may request an administrative review.

B. How to Request Administrative Review. A person, firm, or corporation may request an administrative review of the notice and order for a nuisance(s) by filing a written request with the administrative review official listed as the contact within the notice and order within 10 calendar days of the notification date of violation. The request must state the reasons the administrative review official should review the notice and order and provide all evidence supporting the request. Failure to state the basis for the review in writing is cause for dismissal of the review. Upon receipt of the request for administrative review, the official will review the information provided. The administrative review official will provide a written decision within 30 calendar days of receipt of the request for review, unless extended in writing by the administrative review official. The decision will outline the reasons supporting the administrative review official’s conclusion and, if applicable, set appropriate timelines for achieving compliance. (Ord. 2018-014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2016-005 § 1 (Exh. A))

8.04.060 Abatement – Suit.

Whenever a public nuisance exists, pursuant to SMC 8.04.050, the city may proceed by a suit in the Clallam County superior court to enjoin and abate it in the manner provided by Chapter 7.48 RCW as amended; or it may elect to enforce the provisions of this chapter by complaint, citation and/or warrant in any court with jurisdiction. (Ord. 2018-014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2016-005 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2001-022)

8.04.070 Chronic nuisances.

A. When the police chief or the chief’s designee(s) (“chief”) or the community development director or the director’s designee (“director”) receives documentation confirming the occurrence of three or more nuisance activities within a 365-day period on or near any property, the chief and director may review such documentation to determine whether sufficient facts and circumstances exist to support finding the property a chronic nuisance. Upon such a finding, the chief will warn the responsible person for such property, in writing, that the property is in danger of being declared a chronic nuisance property.

B. The warning must contain:

1. The street address or a legal description sufficient for identification of the property and a notation of whether the property is abandoned property;

2. A concise description of the nuisance activities that exist or that have occurred on the property;

3. A demand that the responsible person for such property respond to the chief within 10 days of service of the warning to create an abatement action plan pursuant to subsection E of this section;

4. A statement explaining that if legal action is sought and the property is declared a chronic nuisance, the property could be subject to closure; civil penalties could be assessed at up to $250.00 per day for each day from the date of the warning; and/or the city’s costs could be assessed against all responsible persons; and

5. A statement that the responsible person may appeal the determination by submitting a written request for administrative review in accordance with this chapter.

6. If the violation involves abandoned property, the mortgage servicer must also receive notice as set forth in Chapter 7.100 RCW.

C. The chief will serve or cause to be served such warning in accordance with the procedures set forth in SMC 8.04.052(B).

D. If the responsible person fails to respond to the warning within the time prescribed, the chief may issue a notice declaring the property to be a chronic nuisance property and post such notice at the property. The chief will then refer the matter to the city attorney.

E. If the responsible person responds as required by the warning and agrees to abate the nuisance activity, the chief and the responsible person will work out an agreed action plan to abate the nuisance activity within a reasonable amount of time. If the action plan does not result in the abatement of the nuisance activities or if no agreement concerning abatement is reached, the chief may issue and post a notice as set forth in subsection D of this section; however, if the chief or the city attorney determines that the responsible person has taken reasonable steps to abate the nuisance activity, the city attorney will not commence an enforcement action under this chapter, despite the continuance of the nuisance activity.

F. Regardless of whether the nuisance activities are discontinued pursuant to a warning or action plan, the chief may refer the matter to the city attorney for enforcement if, within six months of service of the warning as set forth in this section, the chief receives additional documentation of the occurrence or existence of a nuisance activity as defined in SMC 8.04.020.

G. It is a defense to an action for chronic nuisance that the responsible person, at all material times, could not, in the exercise of reasonable care or diligence, determine that the property had become a chronic nuisance property, or could not, in spite of the exercise of reasonable care and diligence, control the conduct leading to the determination that the property is a chronic nuisance property.

H. The city will offer services or work with appropriate agencies to provide services to a responsible person with known mental or physical disabilities to facilitate such persons taking all lawful and reasonable corrective action necessary to abate the nuisance.

I. An owner who receives a copy of a notice pursuant to subsection B of this section describing a chronic nuisance property committed by a person responsible, other than the owner or owner’s agent, must promptly take all reasonable steps requested in writing by the police chief to assist in abatement of the nuisance property. Such reasonable steps may include the owner taking all acts and pursuing all remedies, including pursuing eviction of the responsible person pursuant to any lease or other agreement in a manner consistent with all applicable Washington State and local law, including without limitation RCW 59.18.580, the victim protection limitation on landlord’s rental decisions. (Ord. 2018-014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2016-005 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2001-022. Formerly 8.04.080)

8.04.080 Commencement of action –Enforcement – Chronic nuisance.

A. Upon referral pursuant to this section, the city attorney may initiate an action in any court of competent jurisdiction to abate a chronic nuisance property, to impose penalties pursuant to this chapter, to seek alternative remedies under city or Washington State laws, and to seek any other relief authorized by law.

B. In determining whether a property is a chronic nuisance property and subject to the court’s jurisdiction, the city has the initial burden of proving by a preponderance of evidence that the property is a chronic nuisance property. The city may submit official police reports and affidavits outlining the information that led to arrest(s) and other chronic nuisance activity, reports from other city departments, and reports from other regulatory authorities. Failure to prosecute or convict an individual of a crime is not a defense to a chronic nuisance action.

C. Once a court determines the property is a chronic nuisance under this chapter, the court may impose a civil penalty against any or all persons responsible for the property and may order any other relief deemed appropriate. A civil penalty may be assessed for up to $250.00 per day for each day the nuisance activity continues to occur following the date of the original warning by the chief, as described in SMC 8.04.100. In assessing the civil penalty, the court may consider the following factors, citing to those found applicable:

1. The actions taken by the responsible person to mitigate or correct the nuisance activity;

2. The repeated or continuous nature of the nuisance activity;

3. The statements of the neighbors or those affected by the nuisance activity; and

4. Any other factor deemed relevant by the court.

D. The court that determines the property is a chronic nuisance property may also assess costs against the responsible person in the amount it cost the city to abate, and/or attempt to abate, the nuisance activities.

E. If the court determines the property is a chronic nuisance property, the court may take one or more of the following actions:

1. Order the property closed and secured against all unauthorized access, use, and occupancy for a period up to one year;

2. Make any order that will reasonably abate nuisance activities, including ordering the property into receivership in accordance with Chapter 7.60 RCW and recovering all reasonable and necessary expenses, without limitation, of abating the nuisance from the property and returning the property to productive use;

3. Authorize the city to take reasonable action to abate and prevent further nuisance activities;

4. Order that the chief has the right to inspect the property at reasonable times to determine whether the court’s orders have been complied with;

5. Impose a civil penalty and costs;

6. Order the responsible person to pay relocation assistance to any tenant who must relocate because of the abatement order and who the court finds has not participated in any nuisance activities at the premises; and

7. Order any other further relief deemed appropriate by the court.

F. Once a determination has been made by the court that the chronic nuisance property is subject to closure, the court may authorize the city to physically secure the premises and initiate such closure. Costs for such closure, or any other court-authorized abatement activity by the city, will be submitted to the court for review. Any civil penalty and/or costs awarded to the city may be filed with the city finance department which may cause the same to be filed as a lien on the property with the Clallam County treasurer’s office. The city will file a formal lis pendens notice when an action for abatement is filed in the court.

G. The court may retain jurisdiction during any period of closure or abatement of the property. (Ord. 2018-014 § 1 (Exh. A))

8.04.081 Each day separate offense.

Each day a violation of this chapter continues constitutes a separate offense under this chapter. (Ord. 2018-014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2016-005 § 1 (Exh. A). Formerly 8.04.082)

8.04.090 Civil penalty.

A. When it is determined that a violation or offense has occurred or is occurring, and the city is unable to secure voluntary correction or a voluntary agreement is not applicable, the city may issue a notice of civil violation and file the same in municipal court or other court having jurisdiction. The notice must be in the form used for issuing infraction citations and is subject to the civil rules for infractions.

B. Service on the person responsible for the violation may be done personally or by any method authorized by law for serving infraction citations. (Ord. 2018-014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2016-005 § 1 (Exh. A). Formerly 8.04.100)

8.04.100 Penalty.

A. Violation of, or failure to comply with, any provision of this chapter is a civil offense subject to a fine of $250.00 for each offense.

B. Any person creating, keeping, or maintaining any nuisance, or permitting, allowing, or tolerating any nuisance to be maintained, who neglects or fails to abate or remove the nuisance within 24 hours after creating, keeping, or maintaining the nuisance, or permitting, allowing, or suffering the maintenance of the same, is guilty of maintaining a public nuisance. Each 24-hour period constitutes a separate violation. On the fourth consecutive day that the violation is maintained or allowed to exist, the violation constitutes a continuing offense.

C. A continuing offense or subsequent violation of the same or like provision committed within a 24-month period constitutes a misdemeanor crime and is punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 or 90 days in jail, or both. Such fine and jail are in addition to any civil remedy for abatement and collection for the cost and expense thereof.

D. Regardless of any penalties that may be imposed, the person responsible has a continuing duty to correct violations of this chapter. (Ord. 2018-014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2016-005 § 1 (Exh. A). Formerly 8.04.110)

8.04.110 Abatement.

Any property on which there continues to be a violation of any of the provisions of this chapter is subject to abatement by the city.

A. Immediate Abatement. Whenever a nuisance violation causes a condition, the continued existence of which constitutes an immediate and emergent threat to the public health, safety, or welfare of the environment, the city may summarily and without prior notice abate the condition. Notice of such abatement, including the reason for it, must be given to the person responsible for the violation as soon as reasonably possible after the abatement.

B. Abatement – Public Right-of-Way/Easement. Nuisances within a public way or easement, or of such a character and so situated that they can be abated without the invasion or destruction of property or the prejudice of any right, may be abated by the enforcement officer without notice when continuance of the nuisance is likely to result in expense to the city or injury to any person or property.

C. Abatement by City – Safeguards. In any case where a nuisance is to be abated by the enforcement officer, it is the officer’s duty to proceed with due care and without unnecessary destruction of property. In all cases, the enforcement officer is authorized to employ such assistance and adopt such means as may be necessary to effect the entire abatement of the nuisance.

D. Judicial Abatement. The city may seek judicial process, as it deems necessary, to abate a condition that was caused by or continues to be a violation of the Sequim Municipal Code when other methods of remedial action have failed to produce compliance. When an order of abatement is issued through the appropriate court, the costs, including incidental expenses, of correcting the violation will be charged to the person responsible for the violation and/or the owner, lessor, tenant or other person entitled to use and/or control of the property.

E. Liens. For purposes of this section, the term “incidental expenses” includes but is not limited to personnel costs, both direct and indirect and including resonable attorney’s fees; costs incurred in documenting the violation; hauling, storage and disposal expenses; and actual expenses and costs of the city in preparing notices, specifications and contracts, and in accomplishing and/or contracting and inspecting the work; and the costs of any required printing and mailing. All such costs and expenses constitute a lien against the affected property and may be subject to collection following a court judgment. The lien is subordinate to all previously existing special assessment liens imposed on the same property and is superior to all other liens, except for state and county taxes, with which it is on a parity. The city may cause a claim for lien to be filed for record within 90 days from the later of the date that the monetary penalty is due or the date the work is completed or the nuisance abated. The claim of lien must contain sufficient information regarding the notice of civil violation, a description of the property to be charged with the lien, and the owner of record, and the total of the lien. Any such claim of lien may be amended from time to time to reflect changed conditions. Any such lien binds the affected property for the period as provided for by state law.

F. Abatement – Cost. Every person maintaining a nuisance, or permitting, allowing, or suffering a nuisance to be maintained, as prohibited by this chapter or otherwise, is liable for all costs and expenses for abating the same. The costs and expenses may be assessed as a part of any prosecution against the party liable and may be recovered as other costs are recovered after they have been assessed. In all cases where the enforcement officer abates any nuisance, such officer will keep an account of all expenses attending such abatement. The city, in addition to other powers given in this chapter, may forthwith bring suit for recovery of the costs in any court of competent jurisdiction against the person maintaining, keeping, creating, or permitting, allowing, or suffering the nuisance abated. Collection of the costs by such suit will be directed to the city finance department.

G. The provisions of this chapter relative to the abatement of nuisances are not exclusive, and all other rights or remedies of the city, or any citizen thereof, relative to abatement of nuisances, are declared to remain in full force and effect. (Ord. 2018-014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2016-005 § 1 (Exh. A). Formerly 8.04.120)

8.04.120 Collection of judgments.

If the person cited fails to pay a penalty imposed pursuant to this chapter, the penalty or abatement costs may be referred to a collection agency. The city’s cost for the collection services will be added as costs to the amount to be collected. Alternatively, the city may pursue collection in any other manner allowed by law. (Ord. 2018-014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2016-005 § 1 (Exh. A). Formerly 8.04.130)

8.04.130 Additional relief.

The city may seek any legal or equitable relief available at any time to mitigate any acts or practices that violate the provisions of this chapter or abate any condition that constitutes a nuisance. (Ord. 2018-014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2016-005 § 1 (Exh. A). Formerly 8.04.140)

8.04.140 Conflicts.

All city ordinances, in whole or in part, in conflict with this chapter are repealed and/or superseded. (Ord. 2018-014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2016-005 § 1 (Exh. A). Formerly 8.04.150)