Chapter 8.20


8.20.010    Vegetation deemed nuisance when – Abatement.

8.20.020    Lien authorized – Procedure.

8.20.010 Vegetation deemed nuisance when – Abatement.

A. Trees, plants, shrubs or vegetation or parts thereof which so overhang any sidewalk or street or which are growing thereon in such a manner as to obstruct or impair the free and full use of the sidewalk or street by the public are public nuisances. Grass, weeds, shrubs, bushes, trees or vegetation growing or which has grown and died upon any property and is a fire hazard or menace to public health, safety or welfare is likewise a public nuisance.

B. It is the duty of the owner of the property wherein or whereon any such nuisances exist to abate the nuisance by destroying, removing or trimming the growth.

C. Any person violating any of the provisions of this section shall be deemed to have committed a civil infraction and shall be subject to the penalties set forth in SMC 1.16.010, including restitution as deemed appropriate by the Court. Procedures applicable to enforcement under this section are as follows:

1. Issuance of Warning Notice. If the Property Maintenance Facilitator determines, upon an on-site investigation, that violation of this section is occurring, the Property Maintenance Facilitator shall issue a written warning notice which shall include the following: (a) location of the violation(s), including street address if applicable; (b) name(s) of owner and/or occupant of the property; (c) date(s) of violation; (d) description of the violation(s); (e) a statement that the violation(s) must be abated or corrected within an amount of time deemed reasonable by the Property Maintenance Facilitator; and (f) that failure to make such abatement or correction will result in issuance of a civil infraction.

2. Issuance of Civil Infraction. If the violation is not corrected within the time specified in the warning notice, the Property Maintenance Facilitator shall issue a notice of civil infraction with mandatory appearance before the Court.

3. Remedies. In addition to the monetary assessment authorized pursuant to SMC 1.16.010, the Court shall have authority to require the person found to have committed the infraction to abate or correct the violation. In the event the violation is not abated or corrected pursuant to Court order, the Court may authorize the City to abate or correct such violation and impose restitution in favor of the City in the amount of such abatement or correction costs incurred by the City. In any case in which the person receiving the notice of infraction fails to appear before the Court, the Court, in addition to finding that the infraction occurred, may authorize the City to abate or correct such violation(s) and seek recovery of its costs and expenses incurred through any appropriate remedy under law, including but not limited to filing of a lien pursuant to SMC 8.20.020. [Ord. 2018 § 10, 2000; 1956 Code § 9-501, § 1.]

8.20.020 Lien authorized – Procedure.

As a remedy additional to the remedies provided in SMC 8.20.010, the City may file a lien against the property of any person found to have committed a violation of this chapter to recover the costs and expenses incurred by the City in abating or correcting such violation(s) upon failure or refusal of the property owner to accomplish such abatement or correction. Such remedy is subject to the following procedures:

A. Initiation. Upon finding that any infraction has been committed, and after a determination by the Court that the person committing the infraction has failed to pay any restitution ordered by the Court, the Court will so advise the City.

B. Notice to Property Owner. If the City thereupon determines that the lien should be sought against the property to recover costs and expenses incurred by the City in abating or correcting the violation, the City will notify in writing the property owner and any other persons having any interest of record in such property that the City will seek to file a lien. Notice shall be deemed delivered upon personal service or deposit in the United States Postal Service mail, addressed to the last known address of owner and other parties in interest. Such notice will be delivered at least 14 days prior to consideration by the City Council as described in subsection (C) of this section.

C. Resolution by City Council. After delivery of notice as described in subsection (B) of this section, the City Council, at quasi-judicial hearing, will consider all evidence and testimony presented and determine whether a lien should be filed and recorded against the subject property and the amount of such lien. Such lien shall include unreimbursed costs incurred by the City in abating or correcting the subject violations, together with costs of enforcement incurred therein, and interest at the rate authorized by law. If the City Council finds and determines that a lien should issue, it shall approve a resolution authorizing preparation and recording of a lien against the subject property. Such lien shall thereafter be prepared and recorded, and may be foreclosed and enforced as provided by law for liens for labor and materials.

D. Release of Lien. Such lien shall be released upon payment in full of all amounts secured thereby. [Ord. 2018 § 12, 2000; Ord. 1980 § 10, 1999; Ord. 1599 § 1, 1987; Ord. 1505 § 1, 1985; 1956 Code § 9-501, § 3.]