Chapter 11.09


11.09.010    Definitions.

11.09.020    Utility, recreational, and motor vehicles.

11.09.030    Enforcement.

11.09.040    Service of notice and order.

11.09.050    Hearing by the hearing examiner.

11.09.060    Abatement.

11.09.070    Penalty.

11.09.080    Authorization.

11.09.010 Definitions.

Unless specifically defined below or unless context clearly requires a different meaning, terms used in this chapter shall have the meaning given them by the currently adopted edition of the International Building Code. Gender and number shall be interchangeable. Defined terms or concepts from Titles 11, 12, 14, and 15 of the Yakima Municipal Code shall apply generally to this chapter.

“Abate” means to take whatever steps are deemed necessary to ensure that the property complies with applicable code requirements.

“City council” means the city council for the city of Yakima.

“Code compliance officer” means a regular or specially commissioned officer so designated by the director assigned to enforce the provisions of this chapter.

“Costs” means the city’s actual expenses incurred to correct illegal conditions pursuant to the provisions of this chapter plus the administrative fee provided herein.

“Days” will be counted as business days when five or less days are allowed to do an act required by this chapter. “Days” will be considered calendar days when more than five days are allowed to do an act required by this chapter.

“Director” means the director of community and economic development, or a designee.

“Driveway” means the private traveled path to or through a property which extends in a straight line from a legally established curb cut intended for the access of such driveway. In the case of circular driveways, it is the improved surface that connects one legally established curb cut to another.

“Front yard” means the open area extending along and parallel to the entire length of the front lot line and measured from the property line to the structure.

“Hearing examiner” means the hearing examiner appointed by the Yakima city council, or a designee.

“Improved surface” means a surface covered with gravel, cement, pavers, asphalt, brick, or other material approved in writing by the director.

“Incidental expenses” includes but is not limited to personnel costs, both direct and indirect and including attorneys’ fees; costs incurred in documenting the violation; hauling, storage and disposal expenses; and actual expenses and costs of the city in preparing notices, specifications and contract, and in accomplishing and/or contracting and inspecting the work and the costs of any required printing and mailing.

“Interested person” means any person entitled to receive a notice and order issued by the director under YMC 11.09.030.

“Owner” means any person having any interest in the real estate in question as shown upon the records of a title report and/or the office of the Yakima County assessor, or who establishes his/her interest before the director, board, or city council. For the purpose of giving notice, the term “owner” also includes any person in physical possession.

“Party in interest” means any person entitled to a notice and order issued by the director or a designee.

“Person responsible for a code violation” means the person who allowed the violation, if that can be determined, and/or the owner, lessor, tenant or other person entitled to control, use and/or occupy the property where the code violation occurs.

“Public nuisance” includes: (a) doing an unlawful act defined by statute or ordinance; (b) or omitting to perform a duty; (c) nuisance at common law, either public or private; (d) an attractive nuisance, whether in or on a building, a building premises or an unoccupied lot and whether realty, fixture or chattel, which might reasonably be expected to attract children of tender years and constitute a danger to them, including, but not limited to, abandoned wells, ice boxes or refrigerators with doors and latches, shafts, basements or other excavations, abandoned or inoperative vehicles or other equipment, structurally unsound fences or other fixtures, lumber, fencing, vegetation or other debris; (e) uncleanness or whatever is dangerous to human life or detrimental to health; (f) overcrowding; or (g) abandonment or vacancy.

“Recreational vehicle” means any snowmobile, watercraft, golf cart, motor home, camper, camp trailer, all-terrain vehicle, or other vehicle in which the primary use is recreation and not everyday use.

“Repeat violation” means a violation of the same regulation by the same person at the same location for which compliance has been sought within two years, or for which a notice and order has been issued within two years.

“Subject property” means the dwelling, building, and structure or premises that is the subject of investigation or an enforcement action pursuant to this chapter.

“Utility trailer” means a licensed, nonmotorized vehicle, which is intended to be towed behind another vehicle.

“Violate” means to do or permit to be done upon any premises over which such person, firm, or corporation has control, or to maintain, carry on, suffer, or allow at any place or places mentioned in this chapter any of the acts or conditions prohibited therein. (Ord. 2007-31 § 1 (part), 2007).

11.09.020 Utility, recreational, and motor vehicles.

A.    No utility, recreational, or motor vehicle, and/or utility trailer may be parked upon the front yard of a residence or business unless such vehicle or trailer is parked upon an improved surface driveway.

1.    This provision shall not apply to properties located within the area north of Viola, south of Alder, west of I-82 and east of South 8th Street during the dates set forth for the operation of the Annual Central Washington State Fair and the Fourth of July celebration occurring on the Central Washington State Park Grounds.

2.    This provision shall not apply to licensed motor vehicle repair, sales, storage or other vehicle-oriented businesses.

B.    Leaving vehicles unattended on blocks, jacks, ramps or otherwise elevated above the ground is prohibited, unless, when unattended, the vehicle is enclosed in a garage, surrounded by a fence or screened from view and access by other means. (Ord. 2007-31 § 1 (part), 2007).

11.09.030 Enforcement.

A.    Notice and Order. When it is determined that a violation has occurred or is occurring, the city may issue a notice and order to the person responsible for the code violation and the owner of the property, if different. A notice and order shall include the following:

1.    The name and address of the person(s) responsible for the violation;

2.    The street address or other description sufficient for identification of the subject property upon or within which the violation has occurred or is occurring;

3.    A description of the violation and a reference to the regulation which has been violated;

4.    The required corrective action and a date and time by which the correction must be completed, after which the city may abate the unlawful condition using all legal means; and/or issue a notice of civil infraction in the amount of two hundred fifty dollars for each day the unlawful condition is allowed to continue;

5.    A statement that the notice and order may be appealed to the hearing examiner upon filing a written request for hearing with the city clerk within fifteen days of issuance of the order. Failure to timely file a notice of appeal shall constitute a waiver of the right to appeal the determination of the order. An appeal hearing, timely requested, shall be set before the hearing examiner no less than twenty days but no more than sixty days from the date of the notice and order, unless such date is continued by the hearing examiner for good cause or by agreement of the parties;

6.    A statement indicating that the hearing will be canceled and no monetary penalty will be assessed, other than city costs and incidental expenses, if the required corrective action is completed and approved by the city prior to the hearing; and

7.    A statement that the costs and incidental expenses of abatement incurred by the city may be assessed against the person(s) to whom the notice and order is directed as specified and ordered by the court. (Ord. 2007-31 § 1 (part), 2007).

11.09.040 Service of notice and order.

Service of the notice and order to the person responsible for the violation and/or the property owner may be done either personally or by mailing a copy of the notice of civil violation by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, to such person at their last known address and pursuant to Yakima County assessor’s records and/or the residence property address. If the person responsible for the violation cannot be personally served within the city of Yakima and if an address for mailed service cannot be ascertained, notice shall be served by posting a copy of the notice and order conspicuously on the affected property. Proof of service shall be made by a written declaration under penalty of perjury executed by the person effecting the service, declaring the time and date of service, the manner by which the service was made and, if posting, the facts showing the attempts to serve the person personally or by mail. (Ord. 2007-31 § 1 (part), 2007).

11.09.050 Hearing by the hearing examiner.

A.    A person who receives a notice and order may request a hearing by filing the request with the city clerk no later than fifteen calendar days after said notice and order is issued.

B.    If a hearing is requested, the hearing examiner will conduct the hearing required by this chapter.

C.    If a request for a hearing is received, the hearing examiner shall mail a notice giving the time, location, and date of the hearing, by certified mail, with five-day receipt requested, to person(s) whom the notice and order was directed.

D.    The hearing examiner shall conduct a hearing on the unlawful condition. The director, as well as the person(s) to whom the notice and order was directed, may participate as parties in the hearing, and each party may call witnesses. The city shall have the burden of proof to establish, by a preponderance of the evidence, that a violation has occurred and that the required corrective action is reasonable.

E.    The hearing examiner shall determine whether the city has established, by a preponderance of the evidence, that a violation has occurred and that the required corrective action is reasonable and shall affirm, modify, or vacate the director’s decision(s) regarding the alleged violation and/or the required corrective action, with or without written conditions.

F.    The hearing examiner shall issue a final order which contains the following information:

1.    The decision regarding the alleged violation including findings of facts and conclusion based thereon;

2.    The required corrective action, if any;

3.    The date and time after which the city may proceed with abatement or other corrective remedies if the required corrective action is not completed;

4.    A statement of any appeal remedies;

5.    A notice that if the city proceeds with abatement, a lien for the costs of said abatement may be assessed against the property if the costs of abatement are not paid in accordance with the provision of this chapter.

G.    If the person to whom the notice and order was directed fails to appear at the scheduled hearing, the hearing examiner will enter an order finding that the violation has occurred and that abatement or other corrective remedies may proceed.

H.    The order shall be served on the person by one of the methods stated in YMC 11.09.040.

I.    A final order of the hearing examiner may be appealed to a court of competent jurisdiction no more than ten calendar days after its issuance. (Ord. 2007-31 § 1 (part), 2007).

11.09.060 Abatement.

The city may seek judicial process, as it deems necessary to abate a condition, which was caused by or continues to be a violation of the city of Yakima municipal code and other methods of remedial action failed to produce compliance. An order of abatement is issued through the appropriate court of jurisdiction.

The costs, including the incidental expenses of correcting the violation, shall be billed to the person responsible for the violation and/or the owner, lessor, tenant or other person entitled to control, use and/or control of the property and shall become due and payable to the city within ten calendar days. All such costs and expenses shall constitute a lien against the affected property and may be subject to collection following a court judgment.

The lien shall be subordinate to all previously existing special assessment liens imposed on the same property and shall be superior to all other liens, except for state and county taxes, with which it shall be on a parity.

The city of Yakima may cause a claim for lien to be filed for record within ninety days from the date that either the monetary penalty is due, the work is completed, or the nuisance abated, whichever is later. The claim of lien shall contain sufficient information regarding the notice of violation, a description of the property to be charged with the lien, and the owner of record, and the total of the lien. Any such claim of lien may be amended from time to time to reflect changed conditions. Any such lien shall bind the affected property for the period as provided for by state law. (Ord. 2007-31 § 1 (part), 2007).

11.09.070 Penalty.

A.    At the discretion of the director, any person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter may be cited with a civil infraction punishable by a fine of up to two hundred fifty dollars, as an alternative to the abatement process referenced in this chapter, upon a determination that a public nuisance exists.

B.    Each day the violation(s) described in the notice and order continues shall constitute a new offense. (Ord. 2007-31 § 1 (part), 2007).

11.09.080 Authorization.

A.    Law enforcement agencies and the director or the director’s designee are authorized to enforce the provisions of this chapter.

B.    Upon receiving a limited commission from the chief of police, the director, code enforcement officers and their supervisor shall have the power to issue notice of infraction citations based on probable cause for violations of this chapter. (Ord. 2007-31 § 1 (part), 2007).