Chapter 29.70 Costs and Penalties


29.70.005 Generally.

In order to defray the costs of enforcement of, and to encourage compliance with, this Title, the Director shall impose penalties on those properties which are found to be in violation of this Title.


29.70.010 Enforcement Fees or Penalties for Nuisance, Housing and Dangerous and Derelict Buildings.

(Amended by Ordinance Nos. 176528, 181699, 182488 and 183793, effective May 19, 2010.)

 

A.  The City may charge a penalty in the form of a monthly enforcement fee for each property found in violation of Chapters 29.20, 29.30, 29.35 or 29.40 of this Title that meets the following conditions:

 

1.  The property is a subject of a notice of violation of this Title as described in Section 29.60.050; and

 

2.  A response period of 30 days has passed since the effective date of the initial notice of violation; and

 

3.  The property remains out of compliance with the initial notice of violation or any subsequent notice of violation.

 

B.  The amount of the monthly enforcement fee shall be charged as set forth in the Enforcement Fee and Penalty Schedule as approved by City Council.  If all violations are not corrected within three months from the date of the initial notice of violation, subsequent enforcement fees or penalties shall be twice the amount listed in the Enforcement Fee and Penalty Schedule as approved by City Council.

 

C.  Whenever the property owner believes that all violations have been corrected, the property owner shall so notify the Director.  Upon receipt of such notice, the Director shall promptly schedule an inspection of the property and shall notify the property owner if any violations remain uncorrected.

 

D.  Once monthly enforcement fees or penalties begin, they shall continue until all violations have been corrected, inspected and approved.

 

E.  When a property meets the conditions for charging an enforcement fee or penalty, the Director shall file a statement with the City Auditor that identifies the property, the amount of the monthly fee or penalty, and the date from which the charges are to begin.  The City Auditor shall then:

 

1.  Notify the property owner(s) of the assessment of enforcement fees or penalties and the 10 percent City Auditor charge; and

 

2.  Record a property lien in the Docket of City Liens; and

 

3.  Bill the property owner(s) monthly for the full amount of enforcement fees or penalties owing, plus additional charges to cover administrative costs of the City Auditor; and

 

4.  Maintain lien records until:

 

a.  The lien and all associated interest, penalties, charges and costs are paid in full; and

 

b.  The Director certifies that all violations listed in the original or any subsequent notice of violation have been corrected.

 

F.  When a property meets the conditions for assessment of fees or penalties as described in this Title, the Director may also cause appropriate collection measures, including legal action in a court of competent jurisdiction, to be instituted against the property owner in order to collect the assessed fees or penalties.


29.70.020 Costs and Penalties for Abatement of Nuisances, Disable Vehicles, and Re-occupancy in Violation.

(Replaced by Ordinance No. 176528; amended by Ordinance Nos. 176955 and 183793, effective May 19, 2010.)

 

A.  Nuisances.

 

1.  Whenever a nuisance is abated by the City, the Director shall keep an accurate account of all expenses incurred for each nuisance abated including but not limited to abatement costs, civil penalties, fees, administrative costs, recorders fees and title report charges as set forth in the Enforcement Fee and Penalty Schedule as approved by City Council.

 

2.  When the City has abated a nuisance maintained by any owner of real property, for each subsequent nuisance which is abated by the City within 2 consecutive calendar years concerning real property, owned by the same person, an additional civil penalty as set forth in the Enforcement Fee and Penalty Schedule shall be added to the costs, charges and civil penalties.  The additional civil penalty shall be imposed without regard to whether the nuisance abated by the City involved the same real property or are of the same character.

 

3.  Costs and penalties resulting from nuisance abatement shall be assessed as a lien upon the real property as provided in Subsection D.

 

B.  Disabled Vehicles.

 

1.  Whenever a vehicle is removed from real property by the City, the Director shall keep an accurate account of all expenses incurred for each disabled vehicle removed including but not limited to abatement costs, civil penalties, administrative costs, inspection fees, recording fees, and title report charges as set forth in the Enforcement Fee and Penalty Schedule as approved by City Council.

 

2.  Whenever a vehicle, which has been tagged by the City, is removed from real property and placed on the public right-of-way, the owner of the real property shall be responsible for that vehicle. The Director shall remove the vehicle from the right-of-way and keep an accurate account of all expenses incurred for each disabled vehicle removed including but not limited to abatement costs, civil penalties, administrative costs, fees, recording fees and title report charges as set forth in the Enforcement  Fee and Penalty Schedule as approved by City Council.

 

3.  Costs and penalties resulting from the abatement of disabled vehicles shall be assessed as a lien upon the real property as provided in Subsection D.

 

C.  Occupancy of Property After Notice of Violation.

 

1.  Whenever a property owner causes or permits a vacant structure or portion thereof to be occupied in violation of this Title, a penalty as set forth in the Enforcement Fee and Penalty Schedule as approved by City Council shall be imposed per structure or portion thereof.

 

2.  Costs and penalties resulting from the occupancy of property after notice of violation shall be assessed as a lien upon the real property as provided in Subsection D.

 

D.  When a property meets the conditions for assessment of fees or penalties as described in Subsections A., B. or C. above, the Bureau of Development Services shall file a statement of such  fees or penalties with the City Auditor.  Upon receipt of the statement, the City Auditor shall mail an assessment notice to the property owner.  The notice shall include the amount due plus 10 percent charges to cover the administrative costs of the City Auditor.  At the same time the notice is mailed by the City Auditor, the City Auditor shall enter the amount due or the amount of the unpaid balance, plus charges to cover the administrative cost of the City Auditor, in the Docket of City Liens which shall thereafter constitute a lien against the property.  The property owner is responsible for paying all liens assessed against the property.

 

E.  When a property meets the conditions for assessment of fees or penalties as described in this Title, the Director may also cause appropriate collection measures, including the legal action in a court of competent jurisdiction, to be instituted against the property owner in order to collect the assessed fees or penalties.


29.70.030 Building Demolition Costs and Penalties.

(Amended by Ordinance Nos. 176528 and 183793, effective May 19, 2010.)

 

A.  Whenever a building is demolished by the City, the Director shall keep an accurate account of all expenses incurred for each building demolished, including but not limited to abatement costs, civil penalties, administrative costs, recorders fees and title report charges as set forth in the Enforcement Fee and Penalty Schedule as approved by City Council.

 

B.  Costs and penalties resulting from demolition by the City of any structure pursuant to this Title plus 10 percent charges to cover the administrative costs of the City Auditor shall be assessed as a lien upon the real property on which the structure was located pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 22.06 of City code.

 

C.  When a property meets the conditions for assessment of fees or penalties as described in this Title, the Director may also cause appropriate collection measures, including legal action in a court of competent jurisdiction, to be instituted against the property owner in order to collect the assessed fees or penalties.


29.70.040 Chronic Offender.

(Added by Ordinance No. 181699, effective April 25, 2008.)

 

A.   A Chronic Offender is any person whose property has accumulated, within any 12-month period, multiple violations under Title 29 which have a negative impact on the public health or welfare and cause repeat inspections and enforcement efforts by the Director.

 

B.   The Director shall adopt policies and procedures setting forth the type and number of Title 29 violations that result in a Chronic Offender designation.

 

C.    The Director may pursue any of the following actions against a Chronic Offender:

 

1.     Refer the Chronic Offender to the Code Hearings Officer, as provided in Title 22 of the City Code, for additional sanctions; or

 

2.   Refer the Chronic Offender for Criminal Prosecution and criminal penalties of a fine of up to $500 per violation or six (6) months in jail as provided for in City Code Chapter 1.01.