Chapter 8.05


8.05.010    Purpose.

8.05.020    Definitions.

8.05.030    Exemptions.

8.05.040    Abatement and removal of junk vehicles on private property.

8.05.050    Violation – Penalty.

8.05.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to preserve the character and safety of the city’s neighborhoods by eliminating as nuisances junk vehicles from private property and to provide procedures for the removal of junk vehicles as authorized by RCW 46.55.240. (Ord. 2001-022)

8.05.020 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, the following words shall have the following meaning:

A. “Junk vehicle” means any vehicle meeting at least three of the following requirements (RCW 46.55.010(4)):

1. Is three years old or older;

2. Is extensively damaged, such damage including, but not limited to, any of the following: a broken window or windshield or missing wheels, tires, motor or transmission;

3. Is apparently inoperable;

4. Has an approximate fair market value equal only to the approximate value of the scrap in it.

B. “Enforcement officer” means the city manager or any city official or employee designated by him.

C. “Landowner” means an owner of private property or a person in possession or control of private property. (Ord. 2001-022)

8.05.030 Exemptions.

The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to:

A. A vehicle or part thereof which is completely enclosed within a building in a lawful manner, or where it is not visible from the street or other public or private property; or

B. A vehicle or part thereof which is stored or parked in a lawful manner on private property in connection with the business of a licensed dismantler or licensed vehicle dealer and is fenced according to the provisions of RCW 46.80.130. (Ord. 2001-022)

8.05.040 Abatement and removal of junk vehicles on private property.

A. The storage or retention of junk vehicles on private property is declared to constitute a public nuisance subject to abatement by removal and disposal. The enforcement officer shall inspect and investigate complaints relative to junk vehicles, or parts thereof, on private property. Upon discovery of such nuisance, the enforcement officer shall cause the police department to inspect said vehicle to determine if the same meets the requirements of RCW 46.55.010(4). If the inspection by the police department confirms that the vehicle in question meets the criteria of RCW 46.55.010 (4), then the enforcement officer shall give notice in writing to the last registered owner of record of the junk vehicle and also to the property owner of record that a public hearing may be requested before the city council or other administrative hearings officer as shall be designated by the city council, and that if no hearing is requested within 10 days, the junk automobile will be removed. Costs of removal may be assessed against the last registered owner of the junk vehicle if the identity of such owner can be determined, or the costs may be assessed the landowner of the property on which the junk vehicle is stored.

B. If a request for a hearing is received, a notice giving the time, location and date of such hearing on the question of the abatement of the junk vehicle or part thereof as a public nuisance shall be mailed, by certified or registered mail with a five-day return receipt requested, to the owner of the land as shown on the last equalized assessment roll of the county assessor and to the last registered and legal owner of record of the junk vehicle unless the junk vehicle is in such condition that the identification numbers are not available to determine ownership.

C. The owner of the land on which the junk vehicle is located may appear in person at the hearing or present a written statement in time for consideration at the hearing, and deny responsibility for the presence of the junk vehicle on the land, with his reasons for such denial. If it is determined at the hearing that the junk automobile was placed on the land without the consent of the landowner and that he has not subsequently acquiesced in its presence, then the city council shall not assess costs of administration or removal of the junk vehicle against the property upon which the junk vehicle is located or otherwise move to collect such costs from the property owner.

D. After notice has been given of the intent of the city to dispose of the junk vehicle, and after a hearing, if requested, has been held, the junk vehicle, or part thereof, shall be removed, at the request of a police officer, and disposed of by a registered tow truck operator with notice to the Washington State Patrol and the Department of Licensing that the vehicle has been wrecked.

E. The city may, after removal of the junk vehicle from private property, file or record with the county auditor a claim for lien for the costs of removal and disposal, which shall be in accordance with the provisions covering mechanics’ liens in Chapter 60.04 RCW, and said lien shall be foreclosed in the same manner as such liens. The city may alternatively choose in its sole discretion to collect any unpaid charges utilizing whatever legal options are available to the city, including but not limited to turning the matter over to a collection agency, filing a small claim court action, or filing a civil lawsuit in district or superior court. (Ord. 2001-022)

8.05.050 Violation – Penalty.

A. Any person, firm or corporation violating the provisions of this chapter, in addition to any penalty which may be provided in SMC Title 9, may, in the sound discretion of the court in which conviction is obtained, be directed by the court to abate and remove from any public street or highway or public or private right-of-way or public park, or any private property any or all debris and waste deposited thereon by anyone prior to the date of the conviction.

B. Each day a violation of this chapter continues shall constitute a separate offense under this chapter. (Ord. 2001-022)