Chapter 8.48
ABANDONED VEHICLES

Sections:

8.48.010    Abandoned and junked motor vehicles – Statutes adopted by reference.

8.48.020    Administrative hearings officer.

8.48.030    Abatement and removal of unauthorized junk motor vehicles or parts thereof from private property.

8.48.040    Lien.

8.48.050    Stolen and abandoned vehicles.

8.48.060    Impounding not to prevent prosecution.

8.48.070    Contract with registered disposer to dispose of vehicles.

8.48.080    Unlawful to abandon junk motor vehicles.

8.48.090    Penalties.

8.48.100    Severability.

8.48.010 Abandoned and junked motor vehicles – Statutes adopted by reference.

The following statutes of the state of Washington, including all future amendments thereto including Chapter 311, Session Laws of 1987, are hereby adopted by reference:

RCW

46.55.010    Definitions.

46.55.070    Posting requirements – Exception.

46.55.080    Law enforcement impound, private impound.

46.55.090    Storage, return requirements – Personal belongings – Combination endorsement for tow truck drivers – Authority to view impounded vehicle.

46.55.100    Impound notice – Abandoned vehicle report – Disposition report.

46.55.110    Notice to legal and registered owners.

46.55.120    Redemption of vehicles – Sale of unredeemed vehicles.

46.55.130    Notice requirements – Public auction – Accumulation of storage charges.

46.55.140    Operator’s lien, deficiency claim, liability.

46.55.230    Junk vehicles – Certification, notification, removal, sale.

(Ord. 2711 § 2, 1988)

8.48.020 Administrative hearings officer.

All hearings required under this chapter including the hearing required by RCW 46.55.120(2) shall be conducted by an administrative hearings officer instead of the district court. The chief of police of the city of Wenatchee shall serve as the administrative hearings officer. A decision made by an administrative hearings officer shall be appealable to the district court. (Ord. 2711 § 3, 1988)

8.48.030 Abatement and removal of unauthorized junk motor vehicles or parts thereof from private property.

(1) The storage or retention of an unauthorized junk motor vehicle, as defined in RCW 46.55.010 (5) and 46.55.010(12), on private property is declared to constitute a public nuisance subject to removal and impoundment. The police department shall inspect and investigate complaints relative to unauthorized junk motor vehicles, or parts thereof on private property.

(2) Upon discovery of such nuisance, the police department shall give notice in writing to the last registered owner of record and property owner of record to abate the nuisance or face removal of said vehicle and informing the last registered owner of record and the property owner of record that a hearing may be requested in writing directed to the chief of police of the city of Wenatchee on a form provided for that purpose within 10 days of said notice and that if no hearing is requested within 10 days, the vehicle will be removed.

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

(4) The owner of the land on which the 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 vehicle on the land, with reasons for the denial. If it is determined at the hearing that the vehicle was placed on the land without the consent of the landowner and that he has not subsequently acquiesced in its presence, then the administrative hearing officer and the city of Wenatchee shall not assess costs of administration or removal of the vehicle against the property upon which the vehicle is located or otherwise attempt to collect the cost from the owner.

(5) Costs of removal of vehicles or parts thereof shall be assessed against the last registered owner of the vehicle if the identity of the owner can be determined, unless the owner in the transfer of ownership of the vehicle or automobile hulk has complied with RCW 46.12.101, or the costs may be assessed against the owner of the property on which the vehicle is stored, unless the property owner establishes the facts set forth in subsection (4) of this section.

(6) This section shall not apply to:

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

(b) A 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 is fenced according to RCW 46.80.130.

(7) After notice has been given of the intent of the city of Wenatchee to dispose of the vehicle and after a hearing, if requested, has been held, the vehicle or part thereof shall be removed at the request of the law enforcement officer with notice to the Washington State Patrol and the Department of Licensing that the vehicle has been wrecked. The city of Wenatchee may operate such a disposal site when its governing body determines that commercial channels of disposition are not available or are inadequate, and the city of Wenatchee may make final disposition of such vehicles or parts thereof, or may transfer such vehicles or parts thereof to another governmental body provided such disposal shall be only a scrap. (Ord. 2711 § 4, 1988)

8.48.040 Lien.

The city of Wenatchee shall within 30 days after removal of a junk vehicle or vehicles from private property, file for record with the county auditor to claim a lien for the cost of removal which shall be substantially in compliance with the provisions covering mechanics’ liens as set forth in Chapter 60.04 RCW, and said lien shall be foreclosed in the same manner as set forth in Chapter 60.04 RCW. (Ord. 2711 § 5, 1988)

8.48.050 Stolen and abandoned vehicles.

(1) It shall be the duty of the chief of police to report immediately to the Chief of the Washington State Patrol all motor vehicles reported to him as stolen or recovered, upon forms to be provided by the Chief of the Washington State Patrol.

(2) In the event that any motor vehicle reported as stolen has been recovered, the person so reporting the same as stolen shall be guilty of a misdemeanor unless he shall report the recovery thereof to the chief of police to whom such motor vehicle was reported stolen.

(3) It shall be the duty of the chief of police to report to the Chief of the Washington State Patrol all vehicles found abandoned on a highway or at any other place and the same shall at the direction of a law enforcement officer, be placed in the custody of a registered tow truck operator. (Ord. 2711 § 6, 1988)

8.48.060 Impounding not to prevent prosecution.

The impounding of a vehicle shall not preclude charging the violator with any violation of the law on account of which such vehicle was impounded. (Ord. 2711 § 7, 1988)

8.48.070 Contract with registered disposer to dispose of vehicles.

(1) The city may contract with any tow truck operator who is registered as a registered disposer by the department for the purpose of disposing of junk motor vehicles and abandoned vehicles.

(2) Any registered disposer under contract to the city for the removing and storing of vehicles shall comply with the administrative regulations relative to the handling and disposing of vehicles as may be promulgated by the police chief or the director. (Ord. 2711 § 8, 1988)

8.48.080 Unlawful to abandon junk motor vehicles.

No person shall willfully leave a junk motor vehicle on private property for more than 24 hours without the permission of the person having the right to possession of the property, or upon or within the right-of-way of any highway or other property open to the public for purposes of vehicular travel or parking for 24 hours or longer without notification to the chief of police of the reasons for leaving the motor vehicle in such a place.

For the purposes of this section, the fact that the motor vehicle has been so left without permission or notification is prima facie evidence of abandonment. Any person convicted of violating this chapter shall be assessed any and all costs incurred by the city in disposing of such vehicle. (Ord. 2711 § 9, 1988)

8.48.090 Penalties.

Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of an infraction and shall be punished by a maximum penalty of $250.00, together with costs incurred by the city of Wenatchee in removing and/or disposing of said vehicle. (Ord. 2711 § 10, 1988)

8.48.100 Severability.

If any section, subsection, clause or phrase or word of this chapter is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity or unconstitutionality shall not affect the validity or constitutionality of the remaining portions of this chapter. (Ord. 2711 § 11, 1988)