Chapter 9.34
NUISANCES

Sections:

9.34.010    Throwing or depositing debris or waste upon public or private property or waters.

9.34.020    Billposting.

9.34.030    Expectorating prohibited.

9.34.050    Unsafe sidewalks.

9.34.060    Unnecessary noise prohibited.

9.34.070    Uncontrolled weeds.

9.34.080    Nuisances affecting public health.

9.34.900    Statutes incorporated by reference.

9.34.010 Throwing or depositing debris or waste upon public or private property or waters.

It is unlawful for any person to throw, to drop, or to leave any discarded object, debris, or any wastes upon any public or private property in this State, or in any waters in this State unless:

A. Such property is designated by the State or by any of its agencies or political subdivisions for the disposal of garbage and refuse, and such person is authorized to use such property for such purpose;

B. Into a litter receptacle or container installed on such property;

C. He is the owner or a tenant in lawful possession of such property. [Ord. 1519 § 1, 1985; Ord. 1235 § 3, 1979: RCW 9.66.060.]

9.34.020 Billposting.

It is unlawful for any person to post, stick, stamp, paint or otherwise affix, or cause the same to be done by any person, any notice, placard, bill, card, poster, advertisement or other paper or device, calculated to attract the attention of the public, to or upon any sidewalk, crosswalk, curb or curbstone, or any other portion or part of any public way or public place, or any lamp post, light, power, telegraph or telephone pole, or any hydrant, box or fixture of the fire alarm or police communication system, or other public structure or building, or on any private wall, fence, building or other private property without the consent of the owner or person in control thereof. [Ord. 1519 § 1, 1985; Ord. 1235 § 3, 1979: RCW 9.66.063.]

9.34.030 Expectorating prohibited.

It is unlawful for any person to expectorate or spit upon any sidewalk or upon the floor, window, doorstep, or door of any public building or any private building not his own, in the City, or upon any chair, seat or bench in such building. [Ord. 1519 § 1, 1985; Ord. 1235 § 3, 1979: RCW 9.66.067.]

9.34.050 Unsafe sidewalks.

It is unlawful for any person who owns or occupies property lying adjacent to a sidewalk to keep or maintain that portion of the sidewalk in an unsafe or dangerous manner, or maintain said sidewalk other than in good repair and free of any and all impediments or substances which present a hazard or cause a diminution of safety thereon. [Ord. 1519 § 1, 1985; Ord. 1428 § 1, 1984.]

9.34.060 Unnecessary noise prohibited.

A. No person shall make or continue, or cause to be made or continued, nor shall any person in possession or control of property, including motor vehicles or other vehicles, make, continue or cause to be made or continued, or to allow to originate from the property or vehicle, any sound which:

1. Is of such volume to be plainly audible within any dwelling unit which is not the source of the sound, or is generated within 50 feet of any dwelling unit; or

2. Is generated from a motor vehicle audio system, such as tape players, radios and compact disc players, operated at a volume and under conditions so as to be audible greater than 50 feet from the vehicle itself; or

3. The creation of frequent, repetitive, continuous sounds in connection with the starting, operation, repair, rebuilding or testing of any motor vehicle, motorcycle, off-highway vehicle or internal combustion engine within a residential area so as to unreasonably disturb or interfere with the peace, comfort and repose of residential occupants within the area; or

4. Is generated from portable audio equipment, such as a radio, tape player or compact disc player, which is operated at such a volume so as to be audible at a distance of 50 feet or more from the source of the sound; and

5. The noise disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of others. Sound which is plainly audible is sound that can be understood and identified. Volume of noise which exceeds the standards provided above constitutes noise which disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace and safety of others, and thereby constitutes a public nuisance in violation of this section, unless specifically exempted in subsection (B) of this section; or

6. Any construction activity, including excavation and land-clearing work, or erection, demolition, alteration, repair, or relocation of any building or structure, but excluding emergency repairs or City public works activities, which uses powered equipment such as backhoes, trucks, tractors, earth-moving equipment, compressors, motorized or power hand tools, or equipment of a similar nature at any location which produces noise clearly audible from another location in a residential district or at a dwelling in any district, other than between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. The Building Department may, in writing, grant exceptions to these provisions when the work is of urgent necessity in the interest of public safety and convenience.

B. Exemptions. The following sounds are exempt from the provisions of this section:

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

2. Sounds created by safety and protective devices, such as relief valves, where noise suppression would defeat the safety release intent of the device;

3. Sounds created by fire alarms;

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

5. Sounds created by auxiliary equipment on motor vehicles used for highway maintenance;

6. Sounds created by warning devices not operated continuously for more than 30 minutes per incident;

7. Sounds created by the operation of equipment or facilities of surface carriers engaged in commerce by operating on the railroad;

8. Sounds created by refuse removal equipment;

9. Sounds originating from officially sanctioned parades and other public events and sounds originating from officially sanctioned school events;

10. Sounds created by motor vehicles while being driven upon the public highways, except as prohibited in subsection (A) of this section;

11. Sounds created by unamplified human voices from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.;

12. Sounds created by lawn and garden equipment from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.;

13. Sounds created by lawfully established commercial and industrial uses, except that commercial and industrial uses, including but not limited to mobile vendors, vending businesses and carts as defined in Chapter 5.21 SMC operated within residential areas of the City are subject to the prohibitions and limitations of subsection (A) of this section; and

14. Sounds created by the operation of chain saws from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

C. Variances. The City Council or its designee may, upon written application filed with the City Clerk, grant a variance from the provisions of this section and authorize the issuance of a special permit for an activity when it finds that such variance is in the public interest, or when it finds the activity will have a substantial public participation; provided, that any such variance granted by the City Council or its designee is hereby subject to the following condition:

In the event the Police Department or police officer determines that the activity poses an immediate threat to the health, safety and welfare or adversely affects the value of the property or the quality of the environment of the citizens of the City of Sunnyside, such department or police officer may immediately take all necessary and appropriate action to abate or terminate such noise. Any person or entity granted a variance will notify the Police Department of the time, date and location of the event, and will advise the Police Department of the time that any sound amplification equipment will be tested and amplification levels set for the event. Any person, firm or corporation who violates or refuses to comply with such action ordered by the enforcing agency shall be deemed to be in violation of this chapter and subject to the penalty prescribed in subsection (E) of this section. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to limit the authority of the City Council to impose any other condition on such variance as determined appropriate and necessary by the City Council.

D. Complaints. Upon receipt of a complaint or complaints from members of the public regarding unnecessary noise prohibited by this section, the agency of the City charged with enforcing the provisions of this section may take all necessary and appropriate actions to enforce the provisions of this section; provided, if the agency of the City charged with enforcing this section determines that any unnecessary noise in violation of this section poses an immediate threat to the health, safety and welfare, or adversely affects the value of the property or the quality of the environment of the citizens of the City of Sunnyside, such enforcement agency may immediately take all necessary and appropriate action to enforce the provisions of this chapter without regard to the number of citizen complaints received. This chapter shall be for the benefit of the public as a whole and shall not create any duty to any individual.

E. Penalty. Any person, firm or corporation who violates the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a civil infraction, punishable by a penalty not to exceed $1,000.

The court may waive, reduce, or suspend the monetary penalty prescribed for the civil infraction. If the court determines that a person has insufficient funds to pay the monetary penalty, the court may order performance of a number of hours of community restitution in lieu of a monetary penalty, at the rate of the then state minimum wage per hour.

F. No Amplification of Sound Within Central Park – Exceptions. There shall be no electrical or power-generated amplification of music within Central Park, except for the following:

1. The prohibition of electrical or power-generated amplification of music shall not apply to necessary and appropriate sound amplification to facilitate the safe and efficient operations of the City pool, and activities within such pool.

2. Electrical or power-generated amplification of music within Central Park may be allowed for an “outdoor musical assembly,” as such is defined in Chapter 5.08 SMC, subject to the following conditions:

a. In addition to any license required pursuant to Chapter 5.08 SMC, the applicant must obtain prior approval of the Parks and Recreation Commission of the City of Sunnyside; and

b. The outdoor musical assembly must be a concert, musical festival or other similar event, which is open to the public and without admission fee; and

c. The hours and duration of the event shall be as approved by the Parks and Recreation Commission; provided, however, in no event shall any outdoor musical assembly using electrical or power-generated amplification of music continue past 9:00 p.m., or commence earlier than 10:00 a.m., on any day. [Ord. 2013-9 § 1, 2013; Ord. 2012-21 § 1, 2012; Ord. 2075, 2004; Ord. 1981 § 1, 1999; Ord. 1955 § 1, 1998; Ord. 1893 § 1, 1995; Ord. 1871 § 1, 1994; Ord. 1815 § 1, 1993; Ord. 1519 § 1, 1985; Ord. 1442 § 1, 1984.]

9.34.070 Uncontrolled weeds.

A. Uncontrolled Weeds. It is unlawful for any person to permit or allow weeds to become uncontrolled on any property within the City over which he or she has ownership, occupancy or control. “Uncontrolled weeds” shall be defined as follows:

1. Any noxious weeds, or any undesired, uncultivated and unsightly plants growing in profusion so as to crowd out desired plant growth or disfigure a lawn; or

2. Any weeds, grass or plants, other than trees, bushes, flowers or other ornamental plants, growing to a height exceeding 12 inches; or

3. Any vegetation growth which obstructs or impedes full and free use of any street or sidewalk within the City or otherwise creates a fire or safety hazard.

B. Maintenance of Yards. Every occupant of a dwelling unit located in the City shall keep the yard space thereof reasonably neat and clean and free of uncontrolled weeds, uncut grass, weeds, uncultivated and unsightly plants, bushes and debris so as to prevent rodent, insect or other pest infestation and so as to prevent a fire hazard.

C. Vacant Lot, Buildings. Every owner of a vacant lot or building, whether occupied or vacant, shall keep the premises reasonably neat and clean and free of uncontrolled weeds, uncut grass, weeds, uncultivated foliage, bushes and debris, so as to prevent rodent, insect or other pest infestation and so as to prevent a fire hazard.

D. Parking of Vehicles. No vehicle shall be parked on any front yard of any dwelling unit unless on a designated and approved driveway, in order to facilitate fire access and emergency services response.

E. Garbage Cans and Receptacles. Every occupant of a dwelling unit located in the City shall maintain appropriate garbage cans and receptacles in compliance with the “garbage collection and disposal” codes, Chapter 8.04 SMC, and shall store such garbage cans and receptacles on such occupant’s property at least 20 feet from the roadway except when necessary to facilitate scheduled garbage pickup and collection.

F. Penalty. Every person who violates any provision of this section shall be deemed to have committed a civil infraction, and assessed the monetary penalty authorized pursuant to SMC 1.16.010, together with restitution deemed appropriate by the Court. Each day the violation occurs or continues shall constitute a separate violation. As an additional remedy, the Court may authorize the City to abate or correct the violation(s) in the event the person receiving the notice of infraction fails to appear before the Court or if such person fails or refuses to accomplish such abatement or correction within the time ordered by the Court. Costs and expenses incurred by the City to accomplish such abatement or correction shall be included in the amount of restitution ordered by the Court. [Ord. 2018 § 15, 2000; Ord. 1980 § 3, 1999; Ord. 1519 § 1, 1985; Ord. 1490 § 1, 1985.]

9.34.080 Nuisances affecting public health.

The following specific acts, omissions, places and conditions and things are declared to be nuisances: the erecting, maintaining, using, placing, depositing, causing, allowing, leaving or permitting to be or remain in or upon any private lot, building, structure or premises, or in or upon any street, avenue, alley, park, parkway or other public or private place in the City, any one or more of the following places, conditions, things or acts to the prejudice, danger or annoyance of others:

A. Privies, vaults, cesspools, sumps, pits, wells or cisterns or like places which are not securely protected from flies or rats, or constitute a hazard, or are otherwise prohibited.

B. Filthy, littered or trash-covered premises, including all buildings and structures thereon and areas adjacent thereto.

C. Tin cans, bottles, glass, cans, ashes, small pieces of scrap iron, wire, metal, articles, bric-a-brac, broken stone or cement, broken crockery, broken glass, broken plaster and all other trash or abandoned material unless the same are kept in covered bins or metal receptacles approved by the City; provided, that any such receptacles approved by the Yakima County Health District or designee shall be deemed approved by the City.

D. Trash, litter, rags, debris, accumulations of empty barrels, boxes, crates, packing cases, mattresses, bedding, excelsior, packing hay, straw or other packing material, lumber not neatly piled, scrap iron, tin and other metal not neatly piled which provides harborage for rodents and other pests.

E. Any unsightly or dangerous building, billboard or structure.

F. Junk vehicles and junk vehicle parts, in violation of Chapter 8.28 SMC.

G. Garbage disposed of in any manner other than provided in the “garbage collection and disposal” code, Chapter 8.04 SMC.

H. Garbage cans which are not impervious to rodent gnawing or do not have tight-fitting lids.

I. Any putrid, unsound or unwholesome bones, meat, hides, skins or the whole or any part of any dead animal, fish or fowl, butchers’ trimmings and offal, or any waste vegetable or animal matter in any quantity, garbage, human excreta or other offensive substance; provided, nothing in this subsection shall prevent the temporary retention of waste in a manner consistent with the “garbage collection and disposal” codes, Chapter 8.04 SMC.

J. Foliage or any tall grass or weeds that provides harborage for rodents or otherwise constitutes a fire hazard.

K. Grass clippings, cut brush or cut weeds which may cause a fly or rodent harborage.

L. Nests, colonies, hives or apiaries of bees, Africanized honeybees, yellow jackets, hornets or wasps which are not in full compliance with Chapter 15.60 RCW or Chapter 16-602 WAC.

M. Any accumulation of combustible, explosive or flammable substances which are stored in a way that poses a threat or danger to life or property.

N. Noxious weeds as defined in Chapter 8.20 SMC.

O. Penalty. Except as otherwise provided in specific chapters and sections referenced above, every person who violates any provision shall be deemed to have committed a civil infraction and shall be assessed the monetary penalties authorized pursuant to SMC 1.16.010, including restitution as deemed appropriate by the Court. Each day the violation occurs or continues shall constitute a separate violation. As an additional remedy, the Court may authorize the City to abate or correct the violation(s) in the event the person receiving the notice of infraction fails to appear before the Court, or if such person fails or refuses to accomplish such abatement or correction within the time ordered by the Court. Costs and expenses incurred by the City to accomplish such abatement or correction shall be included in the amount of restitution ordered by the Court. [Ord. 2018 § 16, 2000; Ord. 1980 § 2, 1999)

9.34.900 Statutes incorporated by reference.

The following statutes are incorporated in this chapter by reference:

RCW

9.66.010    Public Nuisance

9.66.020    Unequal Damages

9.66.030    Maintaining or Permitting a Nuisance

9.66.040    Abatement of Nuisance

9.66.050    Depositing of Unwholesome Substance

70.93.060    Littering

[Ord. 1519 § 1, 1985.]