Chapter 16.14


16.14.010    Abatement.

16.14.020    Summary abatement.

16.14.030    Emergencies and dangerous properties.

16.14.040    Authorized action by the city.

16.14.050    Recovery of costs and expenses related to summary or judicial abatement.

16.14.060    Nuisance abatement – Special assessment and lien.

16.14.070    Interference.

16.14.010 Abatement.

The city may abate the code violation when:

(1) The terms of voluntary correction agreement pursuant to Chapter 16.04 WCC have not been met; or

(2) The code enforcement board’s decision issued pursuant to WCC 16.16.070(2) authorizes the city to abate the violation; or

(3) The condition is subject to summary abatement as provided for in WCC 16.14.020 and 16.14.030. (Ord. 2019-19 § 1; Ord. 2014-02 § 1)

16.14.020 Summary abatement.

Whenever any violation of a Wenatchee City Code or ordinance section causes a condition, the continued existence of which constitutes an immediate and emergent threat to the public health, safety or welfare or to the environment, the city may summarily and without prior notice abate the condition. As soon as reasonably possible after the abatement, written notice of such abatement, including the reason for it, shall be served upon the person responsible for the violation. (Ord. 2019-19 § 1; Ord. 2014-02 § 1)

16.14.030 Emergencies and dangerous properties.

In addition to the remedies provided elsewhere, the administrator is authorized to abate such dangerous buildings, structures and/or associated properties in accordance with the dangerous building procedures set forth in the Uniform Code for Abatement of Dangerous Buildings, as it now exists or may hereafter be amended, with the following modifications:

(1) Due to public safety hazards, utilities may be disconnected;

(2) Building(s) and structures will be inspected to determine compliance with all Wenatchee City Code or ordinance sections;

(3) Building(s) and properties will be posted or otherwise secured against entry; and

(4) No reconnection of utilities or reoccupancy of the building(s), structures or property shall be allowed until the violations have been corrected, and all dangerous conditions abated to the satisfaction of the building official and administrator, and a notice of release for reoccupancy has been issued. (Ord. 2019-19 § 1; Ord. 2014-02 § 1)

16.14.040 Authorized action by the city.

Using any lawful means, the city may enter upon the subject property and may remove or correct the condition that is subject to abatement. The city may seek such judicial process as it deems necessary to effect the removal or correction of such condition including, but not limited to, seeking an order putting the property into receivership in accordance with Chapter 7.60 RCW and thereby recover from the property the reasonable, necessary expenses of abating the nuisance and returning the property to productive use. (Ord. 2019-19 § 1; Ord. 2014-02 § 1)

16.14.050 Recovery of costs and expenses related to summary or judicial abatement.

(1) The owner and person responsible for the violation shall be responsible for the fines, penalties, liquidated damages, and costs, including incidental expenses, of correcting the violation. The term “incidental expense” shall include, but not be limited to, personnel costs, both direct and indirect, including attorney’s fees and court-related costs; costs incurred in documenting the violation; hauling, storage and disposal expenses; and actual expenses and costs of the city in preparing notices, specifications and contracts, and in accomplishing and/or contracting and inspecting the work and the costs of any required printing and mailing.

(2) If the costs incurred by the city for repairs, alterations or improvements, or of vacating and closing, or of demolition and removal are not paid after a written demand upon the owner and/or other persons named as responsible parties, such costs may be collected by the city through such collection efforts as it deems reasonable, which may include an administrative process, a collection agency or judicial action.

(3) If the building or structure is removed or demolished by the city, the administrator shall, if possible, sell the salvable materials from the building or structure and shall apply the proceeds of the sale to the reimbursement of the costs of demolition and removal. Any funds remaining after recovery of the city’s costs and expenses shall be paid to the owner and/or persons responsible for the violations. (Ord. 2019-19 § 1; Ord. 2014-02 § 1)

16.14.060 Nuisance abatement – Special assessment and lien.

(1) As authorized by RCW 35A.21.405, the director of the department of community development, or his or her designee, shall be authorized to levy a special assessment on the land or premises where a public nuisance is situated to reimburse the city for the expense of abatement.

(2) Prior to levying the special assessment authorized in subsection (1) of this section, the city shall provide the owner and any identifiable mortgage holder with 10 days’ advance written notice that a special assessment will be levied on the property. The notice shall provide the estimated amount of the special assessment. The notice shall be sent by regular mail.

(3) The special assessment authorized by this section constitutes a lien against the property, and is binding upon successors in title only from the date the lien is recorded with the Chelan County auditor. Up to $2,000 of the recorded lien is of equal rank with state, county, and municipal taxes.

(4) A property owner or mortgage holder shall be afforded the opportunity to an administrative hearing to contest the director’s determination to levy the special assessment provided for in subsection (1) of this section. Any hearing pursuant to this subsection must be requested by the owner or mortgage holder in writing within 20 days of mailing of the notice. The owner’s or mortgage holder’s written request for hearing shall be filed with the director. Failure to submit a timely notice shall be deemed to be a failure to exhaust administrative remedies and shall preclude any further review. The city will conduct the hearing within 20 days of the receipt of the request. The administrative hearing will be held before the director, or his or her designee. Formal rules of evidence will not apply; provided, however, that the director will review the existing record, and only the owner and/or mortgage holder and the city will be allowed to present oral testimony and documentary evidence to the director. The director will issue a written decision within 10 days of the conclusion of the hearing. The decision of the director shall be final and conclusive. (Ord. 2019-19 § 1; Ord. 2014-02 § 1)

16.14.070 Interference.

No person shall obstruct, impede, or interfere with the city or its agents, or with any person who owns or holds any interest or estate in any property, in performing any acts necessary to correct the violation. Violation of this section shall be a misdemeanor. (Ord. 2019-19 § 1; Ord. 2014-02 § 1)