Chapter 8.07


8.07.010    Findings and purpose.

8.07.020    Prohibited acts.

8.07.030    Definitions.

8.07.040    Public nuisance defined.

8.07.050    Determination of public nuisance.

8.07.060    Administrative abatement of nuisance on public property.

8.07.070    Abatement of a public nuisance.

8.07.080    Summary abatement.

8.07.090    Abatement by City – Safeguards.

8.07.100    Abatement cost collection.

8.07.110    Public nuisance – Criminal offense.

8.07.120    Remedies not exclusive.

8.07.010 Findings and purpose.

(1) It is hereby found that there sometimes exist within the City of Woodinville conditions which are inimical to the health and welfare of the public.

(2) The purpose of this chapter is to set forth procedures to address nuisances and to protect, promote and preserve the health, security, general welfare and safety of the public. (Ord. 686 § 7 (Att. A), 2019)

8.07.020 Prohibited acts.

(1) It is unlawful for any responsible party to permit, maintain, suffer, carry on or allow, upon any premises or in any lake, river, stream, drainage way or wetlands, any of the acts or things declared by this chapter to be public nuisances.

(2) It is unlawful for any person to create, maintain, carry on or do any of the acts or things declared by this chapter to be a public nuisance. (Ord. 686 § 7 (Att. A), 2019)

8.07.030 Definitions.

(1) Words in this chapter used in the singular shall include the plural, and the plural shall include the singular, unless the context clearly indicates the contrary.

(2) The following definitions shall apply to this chapter:

“City” means City of Woodinville.

“City Manager” means the person appointed pursuant to WMC 2.09.010.

“Code Enforcement Officer” means the Director, or a person or persons designated by the Director, to enforce this chapter.

“Costs” means, but is not limited to, contract expense and City employee labor expense incurred in abating a nuisance, a rental fee for City equipment used in abatement, costs of storage, disposal or destruction, legal expenses and attorneys’ fees associated with civil judicial enforcement of abatement orders or in seeking abatement orders, and any other costs incurred by the City excluding, however, fees and expenses associated with appeals authorized by this chapter or by State law.

“Director” means the person or persons designated by the City Manager to administer this chapter.

“Graffiti” means unauthorized markings, visible from premises open to the public, that have been placed upon any property through the use of paint, ink, dye or any other substance capable of marking property.

“Omission” means a failure to act.

“Responsible parties” means, as applicable, the owners of the property constituting the nuisance, the owners of the property upon which the nuisance is occurring and any other persons, corporations or other entities responsible for creating, allowing, maintaining or continuing the nuisance.

“Restoration” means to take steps determined necessary by the Code Enforcement Officer to return a property to the condition in which it existed before a violation occurred.

“Violation” means an act or omission contrary to an adopted regulation. A violation continues to exist until abated and each day, or a portion thereof, that a violation exists constitutes a separate and distinct offense. (Ord. 686 § 7 (Att. A), 2019)

8.07.040 Public nuisance defined.

The following activities and conditions that annoy, injure, or endanger the health, welfare, safety, or comfort of the public are declared to constitute public nuisances:

(1) Depositing or disposing of any junk, trash, garbage, litter, discarded lumber or other offensive material in any public space or area that is visible from the public right-of-way or other private property;

(2) Any attractive nuisance located outside of a building dangerous to children including, but not limited to:

(a) Abandoned, broken or neglected equipment;

(b) Potentially dangerous machinery;

(c) Refrigerators and freezers and other appliances;

(d) Excavations, wells or shafts that are not properly secured or covered;

(3) Broken or discarded furniture or household equipment located outside of a building, which is visible from the public right-of-way or other private property;

(4) The accumulation of any materials or objects in a location when the same endangers property, safety or constitutes a fire hazard;

(5) Graffiti on the exterior of any building, fence or other structure in any front yard, side yard, rear yard or on any object in a vacant lot, which is visible from the public right-of-way or other private property;

(6) Vehicle parts or other articles of personal property which are discarded or left in a state of disrepair in any front yard, side yard, rear yard or vacant lot, which is visible from the public right- of-way or other private property;

(7) Permitting or maintaining vacant, unused or unoccupied buildings and structures within the City in a manner detrimental to the health, welfare or safety of the public;

(8) Performing any trade, employment, or manufacture in the City which results in offensive odors, hazardous wastes, or other annoyances and which annoys, injures or is offensive or detrimental to the health, welfare or safety of employees or to members of the public;

(9) Storing, maintaining, or using, in or upon any public or private place in the City so as to be offensive or injurious to the health, welfare or safety of the public, or unpleasant or disagreeable to the adjacent residences or persons, any unsound, putrid or unwholesome substance; any structure, drain, sewer or septic tank; or any noxious, offensive, hazardous or otherwise dangerous chemicals or substances;

(10) Maintaining or operating premises, buildings and vehicles whereon or wherein intoxicating liquor or marijuana is manufactured, sold, furnished, or consumed, in violation of the laws of the State or the ordinances of the City;

(11) Maintaining buildings, vehicles or other structures, or any parts thereof, wherein any gambling, as defined by RCW 9.46.020, may be found, and any gambling device, as defined by RCW 9.46.020, may be found, except as licensed and within the scope of the license required under State or City law;

(12) Unlawfully interferes with, obstructs, or tends to obstruct, or renders dangerous for passage, a public park, street, alley, highway, or other public area;

(13) The existence of any tree, shrub or foliage which is apt to destroy, or to substantially impair, interfere or restrict:

(a) Streets, sidewalks, sewers, utilities or other public improvements;

(b) Visibility on, or free use of, or access to such public improvements;

(c) Reasonable visibility to vehicular traffic at intersections;

(14) Stagnant water that affords a breeding place for mosquitoes and other insect pests;

(15) Any business within the City that is operated either in violation of City or State law or has been found to violate Federal law;

(16) Any act, omission, or property which includes, causes, or involves one or more violations of any City ordinance, including but not limited to those code violations subject to Chapter 1.06 WMC, adopted to further the public interest in protecting, maintaining, or restoring the physical and natural environment; or

(17) The existence of every other thing, substance or act that is determined by the City Council to be injurious or detrimental to the public health, safety or welfare of the City. (Ord. 686 § 7 (Att. A), 2019)

8.07.050 Determination of public nuisance.

The Director shall determine whether the act, omission or property complained of, or otherwise discovered, constitutes a public nuisance. (Ord. 686 § 7 (Att. A), 2019)

8.07.060 Administrative abatement of nuisance on public property.

(1) A public nuisance found upon a right-of-way, public easement or other public property shall be abated summarily by the Director by removal and disposal or destruction at the Director’s discretion.

(2) Private property removed and not disposed of or destroyed may be held by the City or its designee for 30 days from the date removed. Thereafter, if the property is unclaimed, the property may be sold by auction and the proceeds from the sale may be retained by the City. The owner of the property may claim the property until sold by paying all costs incurred by the City in removing and holding the property. (Ord. 686 § 7 (Att. A), 2019)

8.07.070 Abatement of a public nuisance.

(1) A Code Enforcement Officer having knowledge of any public nuisance may cause any owner or other responsible person to be notified of the existence of a public nuisance on any premises and shall direct the owner or other responsible person to abate the condition within a reasonable period.

(2) Applicable enforcement provisions for a notice of violation, including penalties and appeals as set forth in Chapter 1.06 WMC, and as supplemented by this chapter, shall apply in abating a public nuisance.

(3) In all cases where the Code Enforcement Officer has determined to proceed with abatement, 10 working days after giving notice, the City shall acquire jurisdiction to abate the condition at the person’s expense as herein provided.

(4) If and when responsible party shall undertake to abate a public nuisance, whether by order of the Code Enforcement Officer or otherwise, all needful and legal conditions pertinent to the abatement may be imposed by the Code Enforcement Officer. It is a violation of this chapter for a responsible party to fail to comply with such conditions.

(5) Nothing in this chapter shall relieve a responsible party of the obligation of obtaining any required permit to do any work incidental to the abatement.

(6) Upon the abatement of the condition or any portion thereof by the City, all the expenses thereof shall constitute a civil debt owing to the City jointly and severally by such of the persons who have been given notice as herein provided. The debt shall be collectable in the same manner as any other civil debt owing to the City. (Ord. 686 § 7 (Att. A), 2019)

8.07.080 Summary abatement.

Whenever any condition on or use of property causes or constitutes or reasonably appears to cause or constitute an imminent or immediate danger to the health or safety of the public or a significant portion thereof, the Director shall have the authority to summarily and without notice abate the same. The expenses of such abatement shall become a civil debt against the owner or other responsible party and may be collected as provided herein or in any other manner allowed by law. (Ord. 686 § 7 (Att. A), 2019)

8.07.090 Abatement by City – Safeguards.

Any abatement of a nuisance by the City must be implemented with due care so as to minimize risk of injury to persons or unnecessary destruction of property. In all cases the City employee abating the nuisance is authorized to employ such assistance and adopt such means as may be necessary to effect the abatement of the nuisance. (Ord. 686 § 7 (Att. A), 2019)

8.07.100 Abatement cost collection.

(1) The Code Enforcement Officer shall forward to the responsible parties, by registered or certified mail, a notice setting forth the total costs of abatement.

(2) If the abatement costs are not paid within 30 days from the date of the notice, at the Director’s discretion, the costs of abatement and fines shall be a lien against and collected from the sale of the property constituting the nuisance, the responsible parties, who shall be jointly and severally liable for the costs, or both.

(3) The City shall maintain an account of all costs incurred in performing an abatement.

(4) In addition to other powers given in this chapter to collect abatement costs, the City Attorney may bring suit for recovery of the costs of any abatement in any court of competent jurisdiction, in the name of the City, against the subject property or the responsible parties. (Ord. 686 § 7 (Att. A), 2019)

8.07.110 Public nuisance – Criminal offense.

(1) Any person who creates, causes, allows, maintains, or continues a public nuisance is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(2) Additionally, any person(s) subject to a final order of abatement who fails to abate the nuisance as provided in a final order of abatement shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor, and each day the nuisance is maintained shall be a separate offense.

(3) In addition to such other penalties as may be imposed, a court entering a judgment of guilty under subsection (1) or (2) of this section may order as a condition of sentence: (a) the abatement of the public nuisance on such terms and conditions as may be just and equitable; and (b) the reimbursement of the City for any abatement costs as defined in this chapter.

(4) For purposes of subsection (2) of this section, a “final order” means an order of abatement that was not appealed, or an order of abatement affirmed on appeal and from which affirmance no further appeal is or could be taken. (Ord. 686 § 7 (Att. A), 2019)

8.07.120 Remedies not exclusive.

The remedies provided in this chapter, including but not limited to fines, recovery of costs and criminal prosecution, are not exclusive and the City retains the right to pursue all other rights or remedies that might be available. Further, the remedies provided in this chapter, and any other rights or remedies available, are cumulative and any or all may be pursued concurrently or at any separate time. (Ord. 686 § 7 (Att. A), 2019)