Chapter 7.05
NUISANCES

Sections:

7.05.010    Purpose and intent.

7.05.020    Definitions.

7.05.030    Compliance, authority and administration.

7.05.040    Nuisances prohibited.

7.05.045    Chronic nuisances.

7.05.050    Repealed.

7.05.060    Procedures when probable nuisance violation is identified.

7.05.070    –

7.05.200    Repealed.

7.05.010 Purpose and intent.

The purpose and intent of Chapter 7.05 SVMC is to create and maintain a safe and healthy environment for the citizens of the City by identifying and eliminating the conditions that contribute to injury, illness, devaluation of property, and the incidence of crime through the existence of nuisance conditions on public and private property. (Ord. 18-001 § 2, 2018; Ord. 06-004 § 2, 2006; Ord. 03-083 § 1, 2003).

7.05.020 Definitions.

In addition to any definitions contained in Appendix A, the following words shall, for the purposes of Chapters 7.05 and 17.100 SVMC, be defined as:

“Days” are counted as business days when five or fewer days are allowed to perform an act required by Chapter 7.05 SVMC. “Days” are considered calendar days when more than five days are allowed to perform an act required by Chapter 7.05 SVMC. “Days” are counted by excluding the first day, and including the last day, unless the last day is a holiday, Saturday, or Sunday, pursuant to RCW 1.12.040, as now adopted or hereafter amended.

“Determination of compliance” means a written determination by the city manager or designee that the violation(s) stated in the warning, voluntary compliance agreement, notice and order, stop work order, or other applicable order have been sufficiently abated so as to comply with the SVMC.

“Graffiti” means an unauthorized marking, symbol, inscription, word, figure, design, or other inscribed material that has been placed upon any property through the use of paint, ink, dye, or any other substance capable of marking property.

“Impound” means to take and hold a vehicle in legal custody pursuant to law.

“Inoperable” means incapable of being operated legally on a public highway, including, but not limited to, not having a valid, current registration plate or a current certificate of registration.

“Junk vehicle” means a vehicle meeting at least three of the following criteria:

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.

“Nuisance” means a person’s unreasonable or unlawful use of real or personal property, or unreasonable, indecent, or unlawful personal conduct or omission of conduct which materially interferes with, obstructs, or jeopardizes the health, safety, prosperity, quiet enjoyment of property, or welfare of others, offends common decency or public morality, or obstructs or interferes with the free use of public ways, places, or bodies of water.

“Ongoing criminal activity related to the premises” means that (1) criminal activity is or has been occurring at the premises; or (2) criminal activity is or has been occurring near the premises and such activity has a reasonable and proximate connection to the premises, whether by owners, occupants, or persons visiting such owners or occupants. Examples of conduct or actions that constitute criminal activity occurring at or near the premises of the subject property include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Service of a search warrant by law enforcement personnel; or

2. Arrest of one or more individuals by law enforcement personnel during any 24-hour period; or

3. Commission of a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, or felony at or near the premises and where there is a reasonable and proximate connection between the crime or criminal and the premises, including those visiting the owner or occupants of the premises; or

4. Visits by law enforcement personnel which occur based upon a reasonable belief by law enforcement that a crime is occurring or has occurred, but which do not result in any of the actions identified in subsections (1) through (3) of this definition; provided, that visits alone may not form the sole basis for determining a premises to be a chronic nuisance premises.

For purposes of this definition, service of warrants, arrests, or commission of misdemeanor or felony domestic violence shall not be considered criminal activity.

“Person” means any public or private individual, sole proprietorship, association, partnership, corporation, or legal entity, whether for-profit or not-for-profit, and the agents and assigns thereof.

“Person(s) responsible for a junk vehicle nuisance violation” means any one or more of the following:

1. The land owner where the junk vehicle is located as shown on the last equalized assessment roll; or

2. The last registered owner of the vehicle, unless the owner in the transfer of ownership of the vehicle has complied with state law; or

3. The legal owner of the vehicle.

“Person(s) responsible for a nuisance violation” means the person or persons who caused the violation, if that can be determined, and/or the owner, lessor, tenant, or other person(s) entitled to control, use, and/or occupancy of the property and the abutting public rights-of-way.

“Vehicle,” for the purposes of SVMC 7.05.040(N), 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 bicycles. The term does not include devices other than bicycles moved by human or animal power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks, pursuant to RCW 46.04.670. (Ord. 18-001 § 2, 2018; Ord. 17-004 § 3, 2017; Ord. 12-026 § 1, 2012; Ord. 08-024 § 1, 2008; Ord. 06-004 § 2, 2006; Ord. 05-014 § 2, 2005; Ord. 03-083 § 2, 2003).

7.05.030 Compliance, authority and administration.

In order to discourage public nuisances and otherwise promote compliance with Chapter 7.05 SVMC, the city manager or designee may, in response to field observations, determine that violations of Chapter 7.05 SVMC have occurred or are occurring, and may utilize any of the compliance provisions set forth in Chapter 17.100 SVMC. (Ord. 18-001 § 2, 2018; Ord. 17-004 § 3, 2017; Ord. 12-026 § 2, 2012; Ord. 06-004 § 2, 2006; Ord. 03-083 § 3, 2003).

7.05.040 Nuisances prohibited.

No person, firm, or entity shall erect, contrive, cause, continue, maintain, or permit to exist any public nuisance within the City including on the property of any person, firm, or entity or upon any public rights-of-way abutting a person, firm, or entity’s property. Prohibited public nuisances include, but are not limited to:

A. Vegetation.

1. Any vegetation, or parts thereof, which hang lower than eight feet above any public walkway or sidewalk; or hang lower than 14 feet above any public street; or which are growing in such a manner as to obstruct or impair the free and full use of any public walkway, sidewalk, or street; or violate City clearview triangle regulations. The City shall be responsible for maintaining all vegetation placed by the City adjacent to a public walkway, sidewalk, or street.

2. Any growth of noxious weeds or toxic vegetation shall be subject to Chapter 16-750 WAC as currently adopted and hereafter amended.

B. Buildings, Structures, Fences. Buildings or portions thereof which are deemed dangerous or unfit pursuant to the SVMC (including all building and property maintenance codes and regulations as currently adopted and hereafter amended).

C. Sidewalks.

1. Any protrusion, awning, or overhang that inhibits or obstructs use of a public walkway or sidewalk.

2. Any object, construction, or damage that inhibits or obstructs the surface use of a public walkway or sidewalk.

3. Accumulations of dirt or debris not removed from a public sidewalk.

D. 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’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 but not limited to foodstuffs or dead vegetation (excluding properly maintained residential compost piles).

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. SVMC 7.05.040(D)(4) shall include such machinery and equipment as boats, jet-skis, snowmobiles, aircraft, and the like, but shall not include junk vehicles, which are regulated pursuant to SVMC 7.05.040(N).

E. 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.

F. Toxic or Caustic Substances. Improper storage or keeping of any toxic, flammable, or caustic substances or materials.

G. Smoke, Soot, or Odors. Allowing the escape or emission of any harmful smoke, soot, fumes, gases, or odors which are offensive or harmful to a reasonable person.

H. Bodies of Water.

1. All stagnant, pooled water in which mosquitoes, flies, or other insects may multiply, excluding any City-approved structure related to storm drainage systems.

2. The polluting of any waterway, well, or body of water which is not subject to the jurisdiction of another federal, state, county, special purpose district or city agency.

I. Holes. Any excavated or naturally occurring uncovered holes which are not marked, guarded, or otherwise secured, and which constitute a concealed danger.

J. Attractive Nuisances. Any accessible nuisance which is attractive to children including, but not limited to, unattended machinery or equipment, unsecured abandoned or vacant buildings, open and unattended vehicle trunks, or other unguarded conditions or situations that could injure or trap a child.

K. Noise.

1. Any noise or sound that, originating within a residential zone, intrudes into the property of another person that exceeds the maximum permissible noise levels pursuant to Chapter 173-60 WAC, as currently adopted and hereafter amended. Such noise or sound may include, but is not limited to, noise or sound created by use of a radio, television set, musical instrument, sound amplifier, or other device capable of producing or reproducing noise or sound; or in connection with the starting, operation, repair, rebuilding, or testing of any vehicle, off-highway machinery or equipment, or internal combustion engine.

2. The following shall be exempt from the provisions of SVMC 7.05.040(K)(1):

a. Normal use of public rights-of-way;

b. Sounds created by motor vehicles when regulated by Chapter 173-62 WAC;

c. Sounds originating from aircraft in flight and sounds that originate at airports which are directly related to flight operations;

d. Sounds created by surface carriers engaged in commerce or passenger travel by railroad;

e. Sounds created by warning devices not operating continuously for more than five minutes, or bells, chimes, or carillons;

f. Sounds created by safety and protective devices where noise suppression would defeat the intent of the device or is not economically feasible;

g. Sounds created by emergency equipment and work necessary in the interest of law enforcement or for health, safety or welfare of the community;

h. Sounds originating from officially sanctioned parades and other public events;

i. Sounds created by watercraft, except to the extent that they are regulated by other City or state regulations;

j. Sounds created by motor vehicles licensed or unlicensed when operated off public highways, except when such sounds are made in or adjacent to residential property where human beings reside or sleep;

k. Sounds originating from existing natural gas transmission and distribution facilities;

l. Sounds created in conjunction with public work projects or public work maintenance operations executed at the cost of the federal government, state or municipality;

m. Sounds created in conjunction with the collection of solid waste;

n. Sounds created in conjunction with military operations or training;

o. Sounds originating from organized activities occurring in public parks, playgrounds, gymnasiums, swimming pools, schools, and other public facilities and public recreational facilities during hours of operation;

p. Sounds originating from agricultural activities.

3. The following shall be exempt from provisions of SVMC 7.05.040(K)(1) between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.:

a. Sounds originating from residential property relating to temporary projects for the repair or maintenance of homes, grounds, and appurtenances;

b. Sounds created by the discharge of firearms on authorized shooting ranges;

c. Sounds created by blasting;

d. Sounds created by aircraft engine testing and maintenance not related to flight operations; provided, that aircraft testing and maintenance shall be conducted at remote sites whenever possible;

e. Sounds created by the installation or repair of essential utility services.

4. The following shall be exempt from the provisions of SVMC 7.05.040(K)(1) between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., or when conducted beyond 1,000 feet of any residence where human beings reside and sleep at any hour:

a. Sounds originating from temporary construction sites as a result of construction activity;

b. Sounds originating from the quarrying, blasting and mining of minerals or materials, including, but not limited to, sand, gravel, rock and clay, as well as the primary reduction and processing of minerals or materials for concrete batching, asphalt mixing and rock crushers;

c. Sounds originating from uses on properties which have been specifically conditioned to meet certain noise standards by an appropriate City hearing body.

L. Dust. Any disturbance of any land area, or permitting the same, without taking affirmative measures to suppress and minimize the blowing and scattering of dust, which unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort, or repose of a reasonable person. This provision does not include permitted agricultural activities.

M. Yard Sales. The holding or permitting of either:

1. A yard sale on the same lot for (a) more than seven consecutive days; (b) more than two consecutive weekends; or

2. More than three separate yard sale events in one calendar year.

The prohibition under this Section SVMC 7.05.040(M) shall only apply to dwellings, including but not limited to single family, multifamily, and duplex dwellings.

N. Junk Vehicles. All junk vehicles, or parts thereof, placed, stored, or permitted to be located on private property within the City limits. SVMC 7.05.040(N) does not apply to:

1. Any vehicle or part thereof that is completely enclosed within a lawful structure so that it is not visible from the street or other public or private property;

2. Any vehicle or part thereof that 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 the private property is fenced pursuant to RCW 46.80.130;

3. A junk vehicle does not include a vehicle which is in the process of being repaired, as evidenced by the good faith efforts of the vehicle owner. This exception shall include having up to one “parts” vehicle, from which parts are being salvaged concurrent with the repair process for the vehicle being excepted from compliance in this section. Good faith efforts of repair may include producing invoices showing work or parts purchased for repair or renovation within 30 days prior to issuance of the notice of violation, or a declaration under penalty of perjury that the vehicle is in the process of being repaired and has been worked on within 30 days prior to issuance of the notice of violation. This exception allows up to 60 days for good faith repair. Upon good cause shown, the city manager or designee shall have the discretion to grant one additional 60-day exception period pursuant to SVMC 7.05.040(N). Under no circumstance shall any good faith efforts of repair extend for more than 120 days, after which time this exception shall no longer apply. This exception shall apply to one vehicle and one parts vehicle per parcel of land per calendar year;

4. There shall be allowed as exceptions to SVMC 7.05.040(N) up to two junk vehicles in R-1, R-2, and R-3 zones, so long as they are completely sight-screened by maintained landscaping, a maintained landscaped berm, or fencing, as allowed pursuant to any currently adopted SVMC landscaping, berm, or fencing requirements.

O. Graffiti. Any graffiti on public or private property.

P. Development Code Violations. Any violation pursuant to SVMC Titles 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, and/or 25. (Ord. 18-001 § 2, 2018; Ord. 17-010 § 1, 2017; Ord. 17-004 § 3, 2017; Ord. 12-026 § 3, 2012; Ord. 08-024 § 2, 2008; Ord. 06-004 § 2, 2006; Ord. 05-014 § 3, 2005; Ord. 04-038 § 3, 2004; Ord. 03-083 § 4, 2003).

7.05.045 Chronic nuisances.

A. No person, firm, or entity shall erect, contrive, cause, continue, maintain, or permit to exist any chronic nuisance within the City including on the property of any person, firm, or entity or upon any public rights-of-way abutting a person’s, firm’s, or entity’s property. A parcel or lot of real property, a building, including but not limited to the structure or any separate part of portion thereof, whether permanent or not, or the ground itself, a unit within a building, or a mobile home, manufactured home, or recreational vehicle (collectively referred to as “property”) shall constitute a chronic nuisance when any of the following conditions occur:

1. During any continuous 12-month period, the property in question:

a. A final determination has been made by the City that conditions on the property constitute a nuisance pursuant to Chapters 7.05 and 17.100 SVMC; and

b. Has four or more occurrences of ongoing criminal activity related to the premises; or

2. During any 12-month period, the property in question has five or more occurrences of ongoing criminal activity related to the premises.

B. Defenses. It shall be a defense against a declaration of chronic nuisance if the person alleged to be responsible for the nuisance (1) affirmatively engages in reasonable and ongoing efforts to remedy the nuisance and/or ongoing criminal activity; and (2) is not the perpetrator nor allows the perpetration of the nuisance or ongoing criminal activities. (Ord. 19-014 § 2, 2019; Ord. 18-001 § 2, 2018).

7.05.050 Initial investigation.

Repealed by Ord. 18-001. (Ord. 17-004 § 3, 2017; Ord. 12-026 § 4, 2012; Ord. 06-004 § 2, 2006; Ord. 03-083 § 5, 2003).

7.05.060 Procedures when probable nuisance violation is identified.

The City shall follow procedures pursuant to Chapter 17.100 SVMC to identify nuisances, enforce the provisions of, and to remedy and abate any of the nuisances prohibited under Chapter 7.05 SVMC. (Ord. 18-001 § 2, 2018; Ord. 17-004 § 3, 2017; Ord. 12-026 § 5, 2012; Ord. 06-004 § 2, 2006; Ord. 03-083 § 6, 2003).

7.05.070 Voluntary compliance agreements.

Repealed by Ord. 06-004. (Ord. 03-083 § 7, 2003).

7.05.080 Notice of violation – Civil monetary penalty.

Repealed by Ord. 06-004. (Ord. 03-083 § 8, 2003).

7.05.090 Notice and orders.

Repealed by Ord. 06-004. (Ord. 03-083 § 9, 2003).

7.05.100 Abatement.

Repealed by Ord. 06-004. (Ord. 03-083 § 10, 2003).

7.05.110 Service – Notice of violation, notice and order.

Repealed by Ord. 06-004. (Ord. 03-083 § 11, 2003).

7.05.120 Obligations of persons responsible for nuisance violation.

Repealed by Ord. 06-004. (Ord. 03-083 § 12, 2003).

7.05.130 Determination of compliance.

Repealed by Ord. 06-004. (Ord. 03-083 § 13, 2003).

7.05.140 Civil penalties.

Repealed by Ord. 06-004. (Ord. 03-083 § 14, 2003).

7.05.150 Cost recovery.

Repealed by Ord. 06-004. (Ord. 03-083 § 15, 2003).

7.05.160 Collection of civil penalties, fees and costs.

Repealed by Ord. 06-004. (Ord. 03-083 § 16, 2003).

7.05.170 Nuisance abatement fund – Authorized.

Repealed by Ord. 06-004. (Ord. 03-083 § 17, 2003).

7.05.180 Violation – Misdemeanor.

Repealed by Ord. 06-004. (Ord. 03-083 § 18, 2003).

7.05.190 Administrative appeals.

Repealed by Ord. 06-004. (Ord. 03-083 § 19, 2003).

7.05.200 Judicial enforcement.

Repealed by Ord. 06-004. (Ord. 03-083 § 20, 2003).