Chapter 12.20


12.20.010    Definitions.

12.20.020    Construction – Reconstruction.

12.20.030    Grades and lines.

12.20.040    Inspection.

12.20.050    Interference.

12.20.060    Hazardous or dangerous conditions on public street or right-of-way.

12.20.070    Resolution of necessity – Liability of abutting property.

12.20.080    Notice to construct, reconstruct and/or repair.

12.20.090    Additional abutting property owner’s liability.

12.20.100    Sidewalk replacement minimum criteria.

12.20.110    Construction of chapter.

12.20.010 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the words set out in this chapter shall have the following meanings:

(1) “Abutting property” means all property having a frontage upon the sides or margins of any street. Such property shall be chargeable, as provided in this chapter, for all costs of construction or reconstruction or any form of sidewalk improvement between the margin of said street and the roadway lying in front of and adjacent to such property.

(2) “Hazard” includes and incorporates by this reference the definition of “nuisance” set forth in its entirety in Chapter 9.70 WMC, sidewalks, gutters, curbs and driveways across sidewalks.

(3) Number. The singular shall include the plural.

(4) “Sidewalk” includes sidewalk, or any and all structures or forms of street improvement included in the space between the street margin and the roadway, and specifically includes curbs, gutters and driveways across sidewalks.

(5) “Street” includes boulevard, avenue, street, alley, way, lane, square or place. (Ord. 856 § 1, 1986)

12.20.020 Construction – Reconstruction.

All sidewalks and curbs shall be of such material, and shall be constructed in such a manner, as is prescribed by APWP standards and specifications and amended as may be necessary by the director of public works, and shall be of such width, thickness and cross-section, and in such position, as the director of public works may deem suitable. (Ord. 856 § 1, 1986)

12.20.030 Grades and lines.

After a permit has been secured for construction of any curb, gutter or sidewalk, the director of public works shall, within a reasonable time, proceed to set such grade and alignment stakes as shall indicate to a person competent in construction work the proper grade and alignment for the permitted construction; and any walk or curb construction otherwise may be condemned as defective and ordered replaced as provided in this chapter. The permit fee shall be as designated by city ordinance and shall be issued by the city clerk upon approval by the director of public works. (Ord. 856 § 1, 1986)

12.20.040 Inspection.

Any person constructing, reconstructing or repairing any curb, gutter or sidewalk shall, before commencing work, notify the director of public works in writing of the exact day and time he proposes to commence the work, and shall commence work prior to that time. The director of public works shall cause an inspection to be made of the place and forms in which it is proposed to lay the sidewalks, and of the material and equipment to be used. Should he consider such material or equipment unsuitable or inadequate to perform the work properly, or the forms or the sub-base not properly placed or insufficiently braced or compacted, he shall order work to be suspended, and work so suspended shall not be recommenced until he shall be satisfied that the defects have been remedied; and this he may do at any time during the progress of the work. (Ord. 856 § 1, 1986)

12.20.050 Interference.

Any person who shall interfere with, hinder the progress of or damage the work by walking, defacing, driving upon, moving stakes, or throwing any object on or over the work, or shall permit any child or animal in his control or charge to do so, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. (Ord. 856 § 1, 1986)

12.20.060 Hazardous or dangerous conditions on public street or right-of-way.

It shall be unlawful for the owner and/or any person occupying or having charge or control of any premises abutting upon any public street, right-of-way or alley in the city to construct, place, cause, create, maintain or permit to remain upon any part of the right-of-way located between the curb line or, if there is no curb line, then between the adjacent edge of the traveled portion of such right-of-way and the abutting property line, any condition, structure or object dangerous or hazardous to the use of the right-of-way by members of the general public, including, but not limited to, the following conditions:

(1) Defective sidewalk surface, including, but not limited to, broken or cracked cement, stub-toes or depressions within or between sidewalk joints;

(2) Defective cement surfaces placed adjacent to the public sidewalk, or defects at the juncture between such cement surfaces and such public sidewalks, including stub-toes or depressions at such junction;

(3) Defects in sidewalks or public ways caused or contributed to by the roots of trees or similar growth or vegetation located either on private adjoining property or on the parking strip portion of such street right-of-way;

(4) Defective conditions caused by tree limbs, foliage, brush or grass on or extending over such public sidewalks or right-of-way, to include the obscuring of any vision necessary for the public’s safety. Enforcement of this violation will be controlled by this chapter and Chapter 9.70 WMC;

(5) Defective conditions on the parking strip area between the curb line and the sidewalk, or, if there is no curb line, then between the edge of the traveled portion of the street and the sidewalk, and between the sidewalk and the abutting property line;

(6) Defects resulting from accumulation of ice and snow on public sidewalks or on the right-of-way between the curb line or, if there is no curb line, then between the adjacent edge of the traveled portion of the street roadway and the abutting property line;

(7) Defects consisting of foreign matter on the public sidewalks, including, but not limited to, gravel, oil, grease, or any other foreign subject matter that may cause pedestrians using such sidewalk to fall, stumble or slip by reason of the existence of such foreign matter;

(8) Defective handrails or fences or other similar structures within or immediately adjacent to such right-of-way area. (Ord. 856 § 1, 1986)

12.20.070 Resolution of necessity – Liability of abutting property.

Whenever a portion, not longer than one block in length, of any street is not improved by the construction of a sidewalk thereon, or the sidewalk thereon has become unfit or unsafe for purposes of public travel, and the street adjacent to both ends of such portion is so improved and in good repair, and the city council, by resolution, finds that the improvement of such portion by such street by the construction or reconstruction of a sidewalk thereon is necessary for the public safety and convenience, the duty, burden and expense of constructing or reconstructing such sidewalk shall devolve upon the property directly abutting upon such portion; provided, that such abutting property shall not be charged with any costs of construction or reconstruction under this chapter in excess of 50 percent of the valuation of such abutting property, exclusive of improvements thereon, according to the valuation last placed upon it for the purpose of general taxation. (Ord. 856 § 1, 1986)

12.20.080 Notice to construct, reconstruct and/or repair.

When the city council has adopted such resolution as set forth in WMC 12.20.070, it shall cause a notice to be served on the owner of the property directly abutting on such portion of such street, instructing the owner to construct or reconstruct a sidewalk on such portion in accordance with plans and specifications which shall be attached to the notice. The notice shall be deemed sufficiently served if delivered in person to the owner, or if left at the home with a person of suitable age and discretion then resident therein, or with an agent of such owner authorized to collect rentals on such property, or, if such owner is a nonresident of the state, by mailing a copy to his last known address, or if he is unknown or if his address is unknown, then by posting a copy in a conspicuous place on such portion of the street where the improvement is to be made. The notice shall specify a reasonable time within which such construction or reconstruction shall be made, and shall state that in case the owner fails to make the same within such time, the city will proceed to make it through the officer or department thereof charged with the inspection of sidewalks, and that such officer or department will report to the city council, at a subsequent date to be definitely stated in the notice, an assessment roll, showing the lot or parcel of land directly abutting on such portion of the street so improved, the cost of the improvement, and the name of the owner, if known; and that the city council, at the time stated in the notice or at the time or times to which the same may be adjourned, will hear any and all protest against the proposed assessment. Upon the expiration of the time fixed within which the owner is required to construct or reconstruct such sidewalk, if the owner has failed to perform such work, the city may proceed to perform it, and the officer or department of the city performing the work shall, within the time fixed in the notice, report to the city council an assessment roll showing the lot or parcel of land directly abutting on such portion of the street so improved, the cost of the work, and the name of the owner, if known. The city council shall, at the time in such notice designated, or at an adjourned time or times, assess the cost of such improvement against said property, and shall fix the time and manner for payment thereof, which assessment shall become a lien upon such property and shall be collected in the manner as is provided by law for collection of local improvement assessments under this title. (Ord. 856 § 1, 1986)

12.20.090 Additional abutting property owner’s liability.

The following shall be the liability of the abutting property owner with reference to this chapter:

Whenever any public right-of-way in the city has been improved by the construction of a sidewalk along either side thereof, the duty and expense of the maintenance, cleaning, repair and renewal of the sidewalk, including the erection or maintenance of suitable barriers along the outer margin of the sidewalk where the elevation of the same is more than four inches above or below the abutting property, shall be upon the owner of the abutting property. (Ord. 1216 § 1, 1996; Ord. 856 § 1, 1986)

12.20.100 Sidewalk replacement minimum criteria.

(1) Step 1. The city council adopts sidewalk replacement minimum criteria as found in Exhibit A attached to the ordinance codified in this section and incorporated herein by this reference.

(2) Step 2. As sidewalk correction problems are identified, the following letter will be sent to the property owner:

(a) Letter to the property owner is issued stating:

(i) Problems with the existing sidewalk;

(ii) Provide city ordinance from standards;

(iii) Identify time and place of city council meeting for final resolution for correction. Citizen input can be made at this time.

(3) Step 3. City council adopts a resolution of necessity on the specific property.

(a) A hearing will be held followed by the adoption of a resolution for correction.

(4) Step 4. The final resolution of necessity is sent to the owner, correction of the sidewalk to follow by owner within the specific time limit as specified by the resolution.

(5) Step 5. If correction is not completed within 120 days the city will start correction procedures on its own.

(a) Staff obtains information on property – lot number, owner, costs, etc.;

(b) Schedule hearing and council resolution of assessment.

(6) Step 6. After the public hearing, city council will adopt the resolution of assessment. City crews will cause correction to be completed and the property owner will be assessed the cost of correction. (Ord. 1031 § 1, 1991)

12.20.110 Construction of chapter.

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to limit or repeal any existing powers of the city with reference to the construction, reconstruction, and/or repair of sidewalk or the improvement or maintenance of streets, but the power and authority herein set forth is to be exercised concurrent with or as an extension of powers and authority now existing. This chapter is intended to implement the provisions of and comply with the provisions of RCW 35.69.010 through 35.69.050 of the laws of the state, which said laws are, insofar as they are applicable and appropriate, herein incorporated by reference. (Ord. 1031 § 1, 1991; Ord. 856 § 1, 1986)