City of Firebaugh, CA
Fresno County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. #85-1, S1]
This chapter shall be known as the City of Firebaugh Public Nuisance Abatement Ordinance.
[Ord. #85-1, S1]
The council finds and determines as follows:
a. 
That the city has a history and reputation for well kept properties and that the property values and the general welfare of the community are founded, in part, upon the appearance and maintenance of private properties;
b. 
That there is a need for further emphasis on property maintenance and sanitation in that certain conditions, as described in this chapter, have been found from place to place throughout the city;
c. 
That the existence of such conditions as described in this chapter, is injurious and inimical to the public health, safety and welfare of the residents of the city and contributes substantially and increasingly to the deterioration of neighborhoods;
d. 
That unless correct measures are undertaken to alleviate such existing conditions, and assure the avoidance of future problems in this regard, the public health, safety and general welfare and specifically the social and economic standards of the community will be depreciated;
e. 
That the abatement of such conditions will improve the general welfare and image of the city; and
f. 
That the abatement procedures set forth in this chapter are reasonable and afford due process to all affected persons.
[Ord. #85-1, S1]
a. 
ATTRACTIVE NUISANCE shall mean any condition, instrumentality or machine which is unsafe and unprotected and thereby dangerous to young children by reason of their inability to appreciate the peril therein, and which may reasonably be expected to attract young children to the premises and risk injury by playing with, in, or on it.
b. 
DIRECTOR – shall mean the fire chief, building inspector, or other city employee designated by the council or city manager to carry out and enforce the provisions of this chapter.
c. 
LANDOWNER" – shall mean the person to whom land is assessed as shown on the last equalized assessment roll of the county.
d. 
PARK STRIP – shall mean that portion of a street right-of-way which lies between the property line and the outside edge of a gutter or gutter lip, including a driveway approach. Where no curb exists, "park strip" shall mean the area of property from the property line to the edge of the pavement.
e. 
PROPERTY – shall mean any lot or parcel of land. For the purposes of this definition, "lot or parcel of land" shall include any alley, sidewalk, park strip of unimproved public easement abutting such lot or parcel of land. Further, for the purpose of this definition, "unimproved public easement" shall not include an exposed irrigation canal.
[Ord. #85-1, S1]
The director shall be responsible for the administration and enforcement of this chapter. For purposes of declaring and abating fire hazards pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, the director is also authorized to perform the duties imposed on the fire chief and fire marshal pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 16 of this code.
[Ord. #85-1, S1]
It is unlawful for any person to keep, maintain, or deposit on any property in the city any of the following:
a. 
Rubbish or junk, including but not limited to refuse, garbage, scrap metal, concrete, asphalt, tin cans, tires, and piles of earth.
b. 
Combustible material likely to become easily ignited or debris resulting from any fire and which constitutes a fire hazard, as defined in the Uniform Fire Code as adopted by the city pursuant to Chapter 16 of this code.
c. 
Inoperative or abandoned motor vehicles which are not stored within an entirely enclosed space or carport, or unless specifically permitted by the zoning ordinance.
d. 
The following weeds:
1. 
Weeds which bear seeds of a downy or wingy nature.
2. 
Sagebrush, chaparral, and any other brush or weeds which attain such large growth as to become, when dry, a menace to adjacent property.
3. 
Weeds which are otherwise noxious or dangerous.
4. 
Puncture vines and tumbleweed.
5. 
Poison oak and poison ivy when the conditions of growth are such as to constitute a menace to the public health.
6. 
Dry grass and grass likely to become dry, stubble, brush, litter or other flammable material which endangers the public safety creating a fire hazard, as defined in the Uniform Fire Code as adopted by the city pursuant to Chapter 16 of this code.
e. 
Dead, decayed or hazardous trees, residue from a fire or demolition such as concrete or brick foundations and flatwork, and which constitute an unsightly appearance, a fire hazard, or are dangerous to public health and welfare.
[Ord. #85-1, S1; Ord. #08-01, S1]
It is hereby declared a public nuisance for any person owning, leasing, occupying, directly controlling, or having charge of any property in this city to:
a. 
Maintain any condition described in section 16.5-5.
b. 
Maintain any attractive nuisance.
c. 
Exhibit, store or repair merchandise, signs, bicycle racks or other obstructions upon any public sidewalk, street, alley or easement unless an encroachment permit has been obtained from the director; provided, however, that this section shall not prohibit any acts authorized by this code relating to the construction of any awnings or buildings, nor prohibit the erection of telegraph, telephone or electric facilities otherwise authorized by law, and this section shall not apply to goods in actual course of delivery, receipt or removal with reasonable dispatch for a time not longer than two hours, nor to shade trees, nor to the erection of any sign which complies with this code as now existing or as hereafter amended, and for which a permit has been issued.
d. 
Allow graffiti to remain visible on any building, fence, wall or structure for more than seven days. Graffiti shall be removed, covered or painted over in a manner that restores the defaced surface as much as possible to its original condition.
e. 
Allow any vacant commercial or residential structure which has been vacant or unoccupied for a period of six months, to fall into a state of visible or obvious disrepair. Visible or obvious disrepair includes, but is not limited to: boarded up or broken windows or doors; chipping or cracking exterior paint or stucco; the accumulation of trash, construction materials, shopping carts or abandoned vehicles; broken or visibly missing shingles or roofing materials; or, broken or unmaintained fencing.
[Ord. #85-1, S1]
Enforcement of this chapter may be accomplished by the city in any manner authorized by law. The procedures set forth herein shall not be exclusive and shall not in any manner limit or restrict the city from enforcing other city ordinances or abating public nuisances in any other manner provided by law.
[Ord. #85-1, S1]
Whenever the director has inspected or caused to be inspected any property and has found and determined that conditions constituting a public nuisance exist thereon, the director at his discretion may use the procedures set forth in this section for the abatement of such public nuisance.
a. 
The director shall issue a notice and order and mail a copy of such notice and order to the land owner of the property and the person, if other than the land owner, occupying or otherwise in real or apparent charge and control of the property. The notice and order shall contain:
1. 
The street address and a legal description sufficient for identification of the property on which the condition exists.
2. 
A statement that the director has determined that a public nuisance is being maintained on the property with a brief description of the conditions which render the property a public nuisance.
3. 
An order to secure permits as appropriate and to physically commence, within 10 days from the date of service of the notice and order, and to complete within 20 days from such date, the abatement of the described conditions.
4. 
A statement advising that the disposal of materials involved in public nuisances shall be carried forth in a legal manner.
5. 
A statement advising that if the required work is not commenced within the time specified, the director will proceed to cause the work to be done, and bill the persons named in the notice for the abatement costs and/or assess the costs against the property.
6. 
A statement advising that any person having any interest or record title in the property may appeal from the notice and order or any action of the director to the city council provided the appeal is made in writing as provided in this section and filed with the city clerk within 10 days from the date of service of the notice and order.
7. 
A statement advising that the notice and order will be recorded against the property in the office of the county recorder.
b. 
The notice and order, and any amended notice and order, shall be mailed by first class mail, postage prepaid, to each person as required pursuant to the provisions of paragraph a at the address as it appears on the last equalized assessment roll of the county or as known to the director. The address of owners shown on the assessment roll shall be conclusively deemed to be the proper address for the purpose of mailing such notice. The failure of the director to make or attempt service on any person required herein to be served shall not invalidate any proceedings hereunder as to any other person duly served. Service by mail in the manner herein provided shall be effective on the date of mailing. The failure of any person entitled to service to receive such notice shall not affect the validity of any proceedings taken under this chapter.
c. 
Proof of service of the notice and order shall be documented at the time of service by a declaration executed by the person effecting service, declaring the time and manner in which service was made.
d. 
At the time the notice and order is served, the director may file in the office of the county recorder a certificate legally describing the property and certifying that a public nuisance exists on the property and the owner has been so notified. Whenever the corrections ordered shall have been completed so that there no longer exists a public nuisance on the property described in the certificate; or the notice and order rescinded by the council upon appeal; or whenever the city abates the nuisance and the abatement costs have been paid, the director shall file a new certificate with the county recorder that the nuisance has been abated.
[Ord. #85-1, S1]
Upon receipt of a written request from any person required to conform to the order, the director, in his discretion, may grant an extension of time within which to complete said abatement, if the director determines that such an extension of time will not create or perpetuate a situation imminently dangerous to life or property. The director shall have the authority to place reasonable conditions on any extensions he may grant pursuant to this section.
[Ord. #85-1, S1]
Any person aggrieved by the action of the director in issuing a notice and order pursuant to the provisions of this chapter may appeal to the council by filing a written appeal with the city clerk within 10 days of the date of service on the notice and order. If no appeal is filed within the time prescribed the action of the director shall be final.
[Ord. #85-1, S1]
Abatement of the nuisance may in the discretion of the director be performed by city forces or by a contractor retained pursuant to the provisions of this code.
[Ord. #85-1, S1]
a. 
The director may enter upon private property to abate the nuisance pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. No person shall obstruct, impede or interfere with any officer, employee, contractor or authorized representative of the city whenever such person is engaged in the work of abatement, pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, or in performing any necessary act preliminary to or incidental to such work or authorized or directed pursuant to this chapter.
b. 
No officer, agent or employee of the city shall be personally liable for any damage incurred or alleged to be incurred as a result of any act required permitted or authorized to be done or performed in the discharge of his duties pursuant to this chapter.
[Ord. #85-1, S1]
Whenever the director determines that a public nuisance is so imminently dangerous to life or adjacent property that such conditions must be immediately corrected, or isolated, he may institute the following procedures:
a. 
The director shall attempt to make contact through a personal interview, or by telephone with the record owner of the building or premises, or the person, if any, occupying or otherwise in real or apparent charge and control thereof. In the event contact is made, the director shall notify such person, or persons, of the danger involved and require that such condition be immediately removed, repaired or isolated so as to preclude harm to any person or property.
b. 
In the event the director is unable to make contact as hereinabove noted, or if the appropriate persons, after notification by the director, do not take action as specified by such official, within 72 hours, then the director may take all steps deemed necessary to remove or isolate such dangerous condition or conditions. The director, or his authorized representative, may enter the premises upon which the dangerous condition exists and proceed to remove or isolate such condition, or conditions, with the use of city forces or a contractor retained pursuant to the provisions of this code.
c. 
The director shall keep an itemized account of all costs incurred by the city in removing or isolating such condition, or conditions. Such costs may be recovered in the same manner that abatement costs are recovered pursuant to this chapter.
[Ord. #85-1, S1]
The director shall keep an itemized account of the costs incurred by the city in the abatement of any public nuisance under this chapter. Upon completion of the abatement work, the director shall prepare a report specifying the work done, the itemized costs of the work for each property, including direct, indirect and administrative costs, a description of the real property, and the names and addresses of the persons entitled to service pursuant to section 16.5-8 of this code. Any such report may include costs on any number of properties, whether or not contiguous to each other. Each person named in the notice shall be jointly and severally liable for such abatement costs and the amount of such costs shall be a debt owed to the city.
[Ord. #85-1, S1]
a. 
When any charges levied pursuant to this chapter remain unpaid for a period of 60 days or more after the date on which they were billed, the director, in his discretion, may forward the abatement costs report described in section 16.5-14 of this code to the city clerk.
b. 
Upon receipt of the abatement costs report, the clerk shall fix a time and place for hearing and passing upon the report. The clerk shall cause notice of the amount of the proposed assessment, as shown in this report, to be given in the manner and to the persons specified in section 16.5-8 of this chapter. Such notice shall contain a description of the property sufficient to enable the persons served to identify it, and shall specify the day, hour and place when the council will hear and pass upon the report, together with any objections or protests, if any, which may be raised by any property owner liable to be assessed for the costs of such abatement. Such notice of the hearing shall be so given not less than 15 days prior to the time fixed by the council for the hearing, and shall also be published one time, at least 15 days prior to the date of the hearing, in a daily newspaper published and circulated in the city.
c. 
Any interested person may file a written protest with the city clerk at any time prior to the time set for the hearing on the report of the director. Each such protest shall contain a description of the property in which the person signing the protest is interested and the grounds of such protest. The city clerk shall endorse on every such protest the date and time of filing, and shall present such protest to the council at the time set for hearing.
[Ord. #85-1, S1]
Upon the day and hour fixed for the hearing the council shall consider the report of the director, together with any protests which have been filed with the city clerk as hereinabove provided. The council may make such revision, correction, or modification in the report as it may deem just, and when the council is satisfied with the correctness of the assessment, the report, and proposed assessment, as submitted or as revised, corrected, or modified, shall be confirmed. Notwithstanding, the provisions of this section, if the nuisance proceeding involves an abandoned vehicle and the council determines 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 costs of abatement shall not be assessed against the property or otherwise collected from the owner. The decision of the council on the report and the assessment and on all protests shall be final and conclusive. The council may adjourn the hearing from time to time.
[Ord. #85-1, S1]
The validity of any assessment levied under the provisions of this chapter shall not be contested in any action or proceeding unless such action or proceeding is commenced within 30 days after the assessment is confirmed by the council.
[Ord. #85-1, S1]
a. 
Immediately upon the confirmation of the assessment by the council, the director shall execute and file in the office of the County Recorder of Fresno County a certificate in substantially the following form:
NOTICE OF LIEN
Pursuant to the authority vested in the Director by the provisions of Chapter 16.5 of the Firebaugh Municipal Code, said Director did on or about the _____ day of __________, 20 _____, assess the cost of such abatement upon the Firebaugh real property hereinafter described, and the same has not been paid nor any part thereof, and the said City does hereby claim a lien on said real property for the net expense of the doing of said abatement in the amount of said assessment, to wit: the sum of $__________, and the same shall be a lien upon said real property until the sum has been paid in full and discharged of record.
The real property hereinabove mentioned, and upon which a lien is claimed, is that certain parcel of land lying and being in the City of Firebaugh, County of Fresno, State of California, and particularly described as follows:
(DESCRIPTION OF PROPERTY)
Dated: This _____ day of ___________________________, 20_____.
City of Firebaugh
b. 
Immediately upon the recording of the notice of lien the assessment shall constitute a lien on the real property assessed. Such lien shall, for all purposes, be upon a parity with the lien of State, county and city taxes.
[Ord. #85-1, S1]
a. 
The notice of lien, after recording shall be delivered to the Auditor of Fresno County, who shall enter the amount thereof on the county assessment book opposite the description of the particular property and the amount shall be collected together with all other taxes thereon against the property. The notice of lien shall be delivered to the auditor before the date fixed by law for the delivery of the assessment book to the county board of equalization.
b. 
Thereafter the amount set forth in the notice of lien shall be collected at the same time and in the same manner as ordinary city taxes are collected, and shall be subject to the same penalties and interest and to the same procedure under foreclosure and sale in case of delinquency as provided for ordinary city taxes. All laws applicable to the levy, collection and enforcement of city taxes are hereby made applicable to such assessment.
[Ord. #85-1, S1]
The council may order a refund of all or part of a tax paid pursuant to this chapter if it finds that all or part of the tax has been erroneously levied. A tax or part thereof shall not be refunded unless a claim is filed with the city clerk on or before November 1 after the tax became due and payable. The claim shall be verified by the person who paid the tax, or his guardian, executor or administrator.
[Ord. #85-1, S1]
The provisions of this chapter shall in no way adversely affect the right of the owner, lessee or occupant of any such lot to recover all costs and expenses required by this chapter from any person causing such nuisance.
[Ord. #00-05, S1; Ord. #01-07, S2]
a. 
The city may, pursuant to the provisions of this section and in lieu of the provisions of subsections 16.5-14 through 16.5-19, collect any fee, cost, or charge incurred in (1) the abatement of public nuisances; (2) the correction of any violation of any law or regulation that would also be a violation of section 1941.1 of the Civil Code; (3) the enforcement of zoning ordinances adopted pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with section 65800) of Division 1 of Title 7 or any other constitutional or statutory authority; (4) inspections and abatement of violations of Article 1 (commencing with section 13100) of Part 2 of Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code; (5) inspections and abatement of violations of the State Housing Safety Code and regulations adopted pursuant thereto; (6) inspections and abatement of violations of the California Building Standards Code, Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations; or (7) inspections and abatement related to local ordinances and regulations that implement any of the foregoing, if the fee, cost or charge has not been paid within 45 days of notice thereof, and the city does hereby make the amount of the unpaid fee, cost, or charge a lien against the property that is the subject of the enforcement activity.
b. 
Except as provided in subsection 16.5-22a, the amount of the proposed lien shall be collected at the same time and in the same manner as property taxes are collected. All laws applicable to the levy, collection, and enforcement of ad valorem taxes shall be applicable to the proposed lien, except that if any real property to which the lien would attach has been transferred or conveyed to a bona fide purchaser for value, or if a lien of a bona fide encumbrancer for value has been created and attaches thereon, prior to the date on which the first installment of taxes would become delinquent, then the lien that would otherwise be imposed by this section shall not attach to real property and the costs of enforcement relating to the property shall be transferred to the unsecured roll for collection.
c. 
The amount of any fee, cost, or charge shall not exceed the actual cost incurred performing the inspections and enforcement activity, including permit fees, fines, late charges, and interest.
d. 
This section shall not apply to owner-occupied residential dwelling units.
e. 
This section does not apply to any enforcement, abatement, correction, or inspection activity regarding a violation in which the violation was evident on the plans that received a building permit.
f. 
The city shall provide the owner of the property with written notice in plain language of the proposed lien, a description of the basis for the amounts comprising the lien, a minimum of 45 days after notice to pay the fee, cost or charge, and an opportunity to appear before the city council and be heard regarding the amount of the proposed lien.
g. 
The city council may delegate the following of the hearing required by subsection 16.5-22f to a hearing board designated by the city council. The hearing board shall make a written recommendation to the city council which shall include factual findings based on evidence, notice of hearing, or may set the matter for a de novo hearing before the city council. Notice in writing of the de novo hearing shall be provided to the property owner at least 10 days in advance of the scheduled hearing.
h. 
If the city council determines that the lien authorized pursuant to subsection 16.5-22a shall become a lien, the body may also cause a notice of lien to be recorded. This lien shall attach upon recordation in the office of the county recorder and shall have the same force, priority, and effect as a judgment lien, not a tax lien. The notice shall, at a minimum, identify the record owner or possessor of the property, set forth the last known address of the record owner or possessor, set forth the date upon which the lien was created against the property, and include a description of the real property subject to the lien and the amount of the lien.