Title 23

CODE COMPLIANCE

 

UPDATED:  January 1, 2019

 

Chapters:

23.01     NAME AND PURPOSE

23.02     GENERAL PROVISIONS

23.10     ABANDONED, WRECKED, DISMANTLED OR INOPERATIVE VEHICLES

23.20     CITATIONS

23.24     NOTICE AND ORDERS

23.28     STOP WORK ORDERS

23.32     CIVIL FINES AND CIVIL PENALTIES

23.36     APPEALS AND JUDICIAL ENFORCEMENT

23.40     LIENS

 

23.01  NAME AND PURPOSE

 

Sections:

      23.01.010      Name and purpose.

      23.01.020      Statement of goals.

      23.01.030      Public rules.

 

            23.01.010  Name and purpose.

            A.  This title shall be known as "Code Compliance".  The purpose of this title is to identify processes and methods to encourage compliance with county laws and regulations that King County has adopted pursuant to Article XI, section 11 of the Washington Constitution and other state laws to promote and protect the general public health, safety and environment of county residents.  This title declares certain acts to be civil violations and establishes non-penal enforcement procedures and civil penalties.  This title also declares certain acts to be misdemeanors.

            B.  It is the intention of the county to pursue code compliance actively and vigorously in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of the general public.  This county intention is to be pursued in a way that is consistent with adherence to, and respectful of, fundamental constitutional principles.

            C.  While this title does authorize King County to take action to enforce county laws and regulations, it shall not be construed as placing responsibility for code compliance or enforcement upon King County in any particular case, or as creating any duty on the part of King County to any particular person or class of persons.  (Ord. 13263 § 1, 1998).

 

            23.01.020  Statement of goals. It is the policy of King County to emphasize code compliance by education and prevention as a first step.  This policy is designed to ensure code compliance and timely action that is available to all persons and uniform in its implementation.  While warnings and voluntary compliance are desirable as a first step, enforcement and civil penalties should be used for remedial purposes as needed to assure and effect code compliance.  Abatement or remediation should be pursued when appropriate and feasible.  Uniform and efficient procedures, with consistent application tailored by regulation to each department’s mission, should be used to accomplish these goals.  (Ord. 13263 § 2, 1998).

 

            23.01.030  Public rules.  The department shall adopt public rules pursuant to K.C.C. chapter 2.98 to implement the provisions of this title.  (Ord. 15969 § 1, 2007).

 

23.02  GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

Sections:

      23.02.010      Definitions.

      23.02.030      Declaration of public nuisance, misdemeanor.

      23.02.040      Enforcement authority and administration.

      23.02.050      Guidelines for departmental responses to complaints.

      23.02.060      Initial investigation - notice - procedures.

      23.02.070      Procedures when probable violation identified.

      23.02.080      Service - citation, notice of compliance, notice and order or penalty waiver decision - stop work order.

      23.02.090      Voluntary compliance agreement authority.

      23.02.100      Failure to meet terms of voluntary compliance agreement - notice - appeal – abatement of violation.

      23.02.110      Right of entry.

      23.02.120      Training and rulemaking.

      23.02.130      Obligations of persons responsible for code compliance.

      23.02.140      Improper disposal of solid waste prohibited - penalties, restitution.

      23.02.150      Property owner responsible for handling and disposing solid waste.

      23.02.160      Presumption of responsibility for improperly disposed solid waste containing name.

 

            23.02.010  Definitions.  The words and phrases designated in this section shall be defined for the purposes of this title as follows:

            A.  "Abate" means to take whatever steps are deemed necessary by the director to return a property to the condition in which it existed before a civil code violation occurred or to assure that the property complies with applicable code requirements.  Abatement may include, but is not limited to, rehabilitation, demolition, removal, replacement or repair.

            B.  "Civil code violation" means and includes one or more of the following:

              1.  Any act or omission contrary to any ordinance, resolution, regulation or public rule of the county that regulates or protects public health, the environment or the use and development of land or water, whether or not the ordinance, resolution or regulation is codified; and

              2.  Any act or omission contrary to the conditions of any permit, notice and order or stop work order issued pursuant to any such an ordinance, resolution, regulation or public rule.

            C.  "Contested hearing" means a hearing requested in response to a citation to contest the finding that a violation occurred or to contest that the person issued the citation is responsible for the violation.

            D.  "Director" means, depending on the code violated:

              1.  The department of local services permitting division manager;

              2.  The director of the Seattle-King County department of public health, or “local health officer" as that term is used in chapter 70.05 RCW;

              3.  The director of the department of natural resources and parks;

              4.  The director of any other county department authorized to enforce civil code compliance;

              5.  Authorized representatives of a director, including compliance officers and inspectors whose responsibility includes the detection and reporting of civil code violations; or

              6.  such other person as the council by ordinance authorizes to use this title.

            E.  "Found in violation" means that:

              1.  A citation, notice and order or stop work order has been issued and not timely appealed;

              2.  A voluntary compliance agreement has been entered into; or

              3.  The hearing examiner has determined that the violation has occurred and the hearing examiner's determination has not been stayed or reversed on appeal.

            F.  "Hearing examiner" means the office of the King County hearing examiner, as provided in K.C.C. chapter 20.22.

            G.  "Mitigate" means to take measures, subject to county approval, to minimize the harmful effects of the violation where remediation is either impossible or unreasonably burdensome.

            H.  "Mitigation hearing" means a hearing requested in response to a citation to explain mitigating circumstances surrounding the commission of a violation.

            I.  "Permit" means any form of certificate, approval, registration, license or any other written permission issued by King County. All conditions of approval, and all easements and use limitations shown on the face of an approved final plat map which are intended to serve or protect the general public are deemed conditions applicable to all subsequent plat property owners and their tenants and agents as permit requirements enforceable under this title.

            J.  "Person" means any individual, association, partnership, corporation or legal entity, public or private, and the agents and assigns of the individual, association, partnership, corporation or legal entity.

            K.  "Person responsible for code compliance" means either the person who caused the violation, if that can be determined, or the owner, lessor, tenant or other person entitled to control, use or occupy, or any combination of control, use or occupy, property where a civil code violation occurs, or both.

            L.  "Public rule" means any rule adopted under K.C.C. chapter 2.98 to implement code provisions.

            M.  "Remediate" means to restore a site to a condition that complies with critical area or other regulatory requirements as they existed when the violation occurred; or, for sites that have been degraded under prior ownerships, restore to a condition that does not pose a probable threat to the environment or to the public health, safety or welfare.

            N.  "Resolution" means any law enacted by resolution of the board of county commissioners prior to the establishment of the charter, or any health rule adopted by resolution of the board of health.  (Ord. 18791 § 197, 2018:  Ord. 18230 § 140, 2016:  Ord. 17420 § 124, 2012:  Ord. 16278 § 1, 2008:  Ord. 14309 § 1, 2002:  Ord. 14199 § 246, 2001:  Ord. 13263 § 3, 1998).

 

            23.02.030  declaration of public nuisance, misdemeanor.

            A.  All civil code violations are hereby determined to be detrimental to the public health, safety and environment and are hereby declared public nuisances.  All conditions determined to be civil code violations shall be subject to and enforced pursuant to the provisions of this title except where specifically excluded by law or regulation.

            B.  Any person who willfully or knowingly causes, aids or abets a civil code violation pursuant to this title by any act of commission or omission is guilty of a misdemeanor.  Upon conviction, the person shall be punished by either a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars, imprisonment in the county jail for a term not to exceed ninety days, or both.  Each week (seven days) such violation continues shall be considered a separate misdemeanor offense.  As an alternative, or in addition to any other judicial or administrative remedy provided in this title or by law or other regulation, a director may request that the prosecuting attorney consider filing, and the prosecuting attorney is authorized to file, a misdemeanor complaint against the persons responsible for code compliance when the director has documentation or evidence that the violation was willful and knowing.  (Ord. 16278 § 2, 2008:  Ord. 15969 § 2, 2007:  Ord. 13263 § 4, 1998).

 

            23.02.040  Enforcement authority and administration.

            A.  In order to discourage public nuisances, make efficient use of public resources and otherwise promote compliance with applicable code provisions, a director may, in response to field observations or reliable complaints, determine that civil code violations have occurred or are occurring and may:

              1.  Enter into voluntary compliance agreements with persons responsible for code compliance, and issue notices of noncompliance if the persons responsible fail to comply with the terms of the voluntary compliance agreement;

              2.  Issue citations and assess civil penalties as authorized by K.C.C. chapter 23.20;

              3.  Issue notice and orders, assess civil penalties and fines and recover costs as authorized by K.C.C. chapter 23.24;

              4.  Order abatement by means of a notice and order, and if abatement is not completed in a timely manner by the person responsible for code compliance, undertake the abatement and charge the reasonable costs of such work as authorized by K.C.C. chapter 23.24;

              5.  Allow a person responsible for code compliance to perform community service in lieu of paying civil penalties as authorized by K.C.C. chapter 23.24;

              6.  Order work stopped at a site by means of a stop work order, and if such order is not complied with, assess civil penalties, as authorized by K.C.C. chapter 23.28;

              7.  Suspend, revoke or modify any permit previously issued by a director or deny a permit application as authorized by K.C.C. chapter 23.24 when other efforts to achieve compliance have failed; and

              8.  For de minimis violations, decide not to take enforcement action.

            B.  Should violations occur involving multiple agencies, a lead agency shall be designated by the executive to coordinate the county’s response. Unless otherwise determined by the directors of the affected departments, the department of local services, permitting division, shall serve as the lead agency.

            C.  The procedures set forth in this title are not exclusive.  These procedures shall not in any manner limit or restrict the county from remedying civil code violations or abating civil code violations in any other manner authorized by law.  This title shall not be construed to affect the authority of the King County board of health in enforcement of the King County board of health code or regulations.

            D.  In addition or as an alternative to using the procedures set forth in this title, a director may seek legal or equitable relief to abate any conditions or enjoin any acts or practices which constitute a civil code violation.

            E.  In addition or as an alternative to utilizing the procedures set forth in this title, a director may assess or recover civil penalties accruing under this title by legal action filed in King County superior court by the prosecuting attorney on behalf of King County.

            F.  The provisions of this title shall in no way adversely affect the rights of the owner, lessee or occupant of any property to recover all costs and expenses incurred and required by this title from any person causing such violation.

            G.  A director may use the services of a collection agency in order to collect any fines, penalties, fees or costs owing under this title.

            H.  In administering the provisions for code enforcement, the director shall have the authority to waive any one or more such provisions so as to avoid substantial injustice by application thereof to the acts or omissions of a public or  private  entity or  individual, or acts or omissions on public or private property including, for example, property belonging to public or private utilities, where no apparent benefit has accrued to such entity or individual from a code violation and any necessary remediation is being promptly provided.  For purposes of this clause, substantial injustice cannot be based on economic hardship.

            I.  The provisions of this title detailing county department administration of code compliance procedures are not to be construed as creating a substantive basis for appeal or a defense of any kind to an alleged violation.

            J.  The provisions of this title authorizing the enforcement of non-codified ordinances are intended to assure compliance with conditions of approval on plats, unclassified use permits, zone reclassifications and other similar permits or approvals which may have been granted by ordinances which have not been codified, and to enforce new regulatory ordinances which are not yet codified.  Departments should be sensitive to the possibility that citizens may not be aware of these ordinances, and should give warnings prior to enforcing such ordinances, except in high risk cases.

            K.  The director of a King County agency that owns property, or is the custodian of public property, is authorized to enforce K.C.C. 23.02.140 and any public rules adopted under this title to implement that section for properties that the director's agency owns or is custodian.  (Ord. 18791 § 198, 2018:  Ord. 17420 § 125, 2012:  Ord. 16278 § 3, 2008:  Ord. 15969 § 2, 2007:  Ord. 13263 § 5, 1998).

 

            23.02.050  Guidelines for departmental responses to complaints.  A department may adopt public rules under K.C.C. chapter 2.98 consistent with the following guidelines that set forth priorities for responding to code compliance complaints:

            A.  High risk investigations needing an urgent response including cases in which:

              1.  There is an imminent likelihood of or actual bodily harm, damage to public resources or facilities, damage to real or personal property, public health exposure, or environmental damage or contamination; or

              2.  The sites or persons responsible for code compliance have a history of prior high or moderate risk violations.

            B.  Moderate risk investigations needing a prompt response including cases in which:

                a.  there is risk of bodily harm, damage to public resources or facilities, damage to real or personal property, or environmental damage or contamination;

                b.  the subject sites or persons responsible for code compliance have a history of prior low risk violations;

                c.  there are ongoing moderate or low risk violations; or

                d.  more than five wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicles are found.

              3.  Low risk investigations needing response as time permits including cases in which:

                a.  the violation is non-emergent, does not fit within the high risk or moderate risk categories and has only minor public impacts; or

                b.  the violation is an isolated incident.

            B.  The priorities set forth in this section are not jurisdictional and failure to meet them in any particular case shall not affect the county’s authority to enforce county code provisions with regard to that case.  (Ord. 16278 § 4, 2008:  Ord. 13263 § 6, 1998).

 

            23.02.060  Initial investigation - notice - procedures.  This section sets forth guidelines for more specific procedures to be used by each department in implementing this title. The guidelines set forth in this section are not jurisdictional, and failure to meet them in any particular case shall not affect the county’s authority to enforce county code provisions with regard to that case.

            A.  Before conducting a field verification, code enforcement personnel shall notify the owner, occupant, or other person responsible for code compliance of a possible violation through any combination of phone, posting and/or mail, that a field verification is to occur.  Code enforcement personnel shall not cross a parcel boundary line onto private property without such prior notification, except in emergencies that pose an imminent threat to environmental health or to the public safety or specifically for the purpose of posting a notice.

            B.  In cases involving a complaint, the code enforcement agency shall provide notice (prior to or concurrent with a field verification) in the following manner:

              1.  The owner, occupant and person responsible for code compliance, if not an owner or occupant, shall be advised by personal contact, phone, posting or mail of any complaint; and

              2.  The complainant should be contacted by phone and, if possible, in person during the field visit.

            C.  To the extent possible, all departments with compliance requirement authority shall record land-based violations in a database system, which should be accessible to all other departments.

            D.  To the extent possible, the department shall check its own records and the records of other agencies for previous violations on the site of the alleged violation or by the owner or occupant of the site or such other person as may be responsible for code compliance.  Each department shall develop and maintain a database system for tracking violations of its codes that is designed, to the extent possible, to be used in coordination with other departments.

            E.  Staff undertaking field investigations shall comply with the provisions of this title regarding right of entry.  This information shall be made available pursuant to subsection C. of this section.  (Ord. 16278 § 5, 2008:  Ord. 15969 § 3, 2007:  Ord. 13263 § 7, 1998).

 

            23.02.070  procedures when probable violation identified.

            A.  The department shall determine, based on information derived from sources such as field observations, the statements of witnesses, relevant documents and data systems for tracking violations and applicable county codes, whether or not a violation has occurred. As soon as a department has reasonable cause to determine that a violation has occurred, it shall document the violation and promptly notify the owner, occupant or other person responsible for code compliance.

            B.  Except as provided in subsection D. of this section, a warning shall be issued verbally or in writing promptly when a field inspection reveals a violation, or as soon as the department otherwise determines that a violation has occurred.  The warning shall inform the person determined to be responsible for code compliance of the violation and shall include a reference to the applicable permit or zoning condition, ordinance or code related to the violation.  The warning shall also allow the person an opportunity to correct the violation or enter into a voluntary compliance agreement as provided for by this title.  Verbal warnings shall be logged and followed up with a written warning within two weeks, and the site shall be reinspected within thirty days.

            C.  The guidelines in this section for warnings, notifications and reinspections are not jurisdictional, and failure to meet them in any particular case shall not affect the county’s authority to enforce county code provisions with regard to that case.

            D.  Nor warning need be issued in cases involving, emergencies that pose an imminent threat to environmental health or to the public safety.

            E.  A department may issue a citation if it determines that the violation is likely to be a one-time occurrence or is likely to be fully corrected in a reasonable period of time.

            F.  A department may issue notice and orders in cases where it determines that the violation is unlikely be fully corrected in a reasonable period of time.

            G.  The department shall use all reasonable means to determine and cite the person or persons actually responsible for the violation occurring when the owner has not directly or indirectly caused the violation.

            H.  If the violation is not corrected or a voluntary compliance agreement is not achieved within a reasonable time, a citation, notice and order or stop work order should be issued. As a guideline, citations should be issued within sixty days from receipt of a complaint, and notice and orders should be issued within one hundred twenty days from receipt of a complaint.  Stop work orders should be issued promptly upon discovery of a violation in progress.

            I.  Any complainant who provides a mailing address and requests to be kept advised of enforcement efforts should be mailed a copy of all written warnings, voluntary compliance agreements, citations, notice and orders, stop work orders and notices of settlement conferences issued by a department with regard to the alleged violation.  Any complainant who is an aggrieved person and who alleges a violation of K.C.C. chapter 9.12, 16.82 or 21A.24 may appeal a citation, notice and order, stop work order or a determination not to issue a citation or order under K.C.C. chapter 20.22.  The appeal under this subsection shall be considered a civil proceeding, and any decision to pursue criminal sanctions shall remain the obligation of the prosecuting attorney, as set out in K.C.C. 23.02.030.  (Ord. 18230 § 141, 2016:  Ord. 16950 § 31, 2010:  Ord. 16278 § 6, 2008:  Ord. 15969 § 4, 2007:  Ord. 14309 § 2, 2002:  Ord. 13263 § 8, 1998).

 

            23.02.080  service - citation, notice of noncompliance, notice and order - stop work order.

            A.  Service of a citation, notice of compliance, notice and order or penalty waiver decision shall be made on a person responsible for code compliance by one or more of the following methods:

              1.  Personal service of a citation, notice of noncompliance, notice and order or penalty waiver decision may be made on the person identified by the department as being responsible for code compliance, or by leaving a copy of the citation or notice and order at that person's house of usual abode with a person of suitable age and discretion who resides there.

              2.  Service directed to either the landowner or occupant of the property, or both, may be made by posting the citation, notice of noncompliance, notice and order or penalty waiver decision in a conspicuous place on the property where the violation occurred and concurrently mailing notice as provided for below, if a mailing address is available.

              3.  Service by mail may be made for a citation, notice of noncompliance notice and order or penalty waiver decision by mailing two copies, postage prepaid, one by ordinary first class mail and the other by certified mail, to the person responsible for code compliance at the person's last known address, at the address of the violation or at the address of the person's place of business.  The taxpayer’s address as shown on the tax records of the county shall be deemed to be the proper address for the purpose of mailing such notice to the landowner of the property where the violation occurred.       B.  For notice and orders only, when the address of the person responsible for code compliance cannot reasonably be determined, service may be made by publication once in a local newspaper with general circulation.

            C.  Service of a stop work order on a person responsible for code compliance may be made by posting the stop work order in a conspicuous place on the property where the violation occurred or by serving the stop work order in any other manner permitted by this section.

            D.  The failure of the director to make or attempt service on any person named in the citation, notice of noncompliance notice and order, stop work order or penalty waiver decision shall not invalidate any proceedings as to any other person duly served. (Ord. 18230 § 142, 2016:  Ord. 17591 § 1, 2013:  Ord. 15969 § 6, 2007:  Ord. 13263 § 9, 1998).

 

            23.02.090  voluntary compliance agreement - authority.

            A.  Whenever the applicable department determines that a code violation has occurred or is occurring, the department shall make reasonable efforts to secure voluntary compliance from the person responsible for code compliance.  Upon contacting the person responsible for code compliance, the department may enter into a voluntary compliance agreement as provided for in this section.

            B.  A voluntary compliance agreement may be entered into at any time after issuance of a verbal or written warning, a citation, a notice and order or a stop work order and before an appeal is decided pursuant to K.C.C. chapter 20.22.

            C.  The voluntary compliance agreement is a commitment by the person responsible for code compliance under which the person agrees to do any combination of abating the violation, remediating the site or mitigating the impacts of the violation. The voluntary compliance agreement shall include the following:

              1.  The name and address of the person responsible for code compliance;

              2.  The address or other identification of the location of the violation;

              3.  A description of the violation and a reference to the provision or provisions of the ordinance, resolution or regulation that has been violated;

              4.  A description of the necessary corrective action to be taken and identification of the date or time by which compliance must be completed.  For the purpose of this subsection C.4, the department may either require that compliance be achieved by a specific date or that compliance be achieved by a date to be determined based on the occurrence of some future event;

              5.  The amount of the civil penalty that will be imposed pursuant to K.C.C. chapter 23.32 if the voluntary compliance agreement is not satisfied;

              6.  An acknowledgment that the voluntary compliance agreement will be recorded against the property in the records and licensing services division, the recording to be accomplished as provided for in notice and order cases;

              7.  An acknowledgment that if the department determines that the terms of the voluntary compliance agreement are not met, the department may issue a notice of noncompliance, and if the notice of noncompliance is not successfully appealed pursuant to K.C.C. 20.22.080, that the county may, without issuing a citation, notice and order or stop work order, impose any remedy authorized by this title, which includes the assessment of the civil penalties identified in the voluntary compliance agreement, abatement of the violation, assessment of the costs incurred by the county to pursue code compliance and to abate the violation, including legal and incidental expenses, and the suspension, revocation or limitation of a development permit;

              8.  An acknowledgment that if any assessed penalty, fee or cost is not paid, a director may charge the unpaid amount as a lien against the property where the civil code violation occurred if owned by the person responsible for code compliance, and that the unpaid amount may be a joint and several personal obligation of all persons responsible for code compliance;

              9.  An acknowledgment that by entering into the voluntary compliance agreement the person responsible for code compliance thereby admits that the conditions described in the voluntary compliance agreement existed and constituted a civil violation; and that the person responsible waives the right to administratively appeal the existence of the conditions and the fact that they constituted a civil code violation, and that if a notice of noncompliance is issued and not successfully appealed, the person is subject to and liable for any remedy authorized by this title, which includes the assessment of the civil penalties identified in the voluntary compliance agreement, abatement of the violation, assessment of the costs incurred by the county to pursue code compliance and to abate the violation, including legal and incidental expenses, and the suspension, revocation or limitation of a development permit; and

              10.  An acknowledgment that the person responsible for code compliance understands that that person knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently waives the right to administratively appeal a citation, notice and order or stop work order for any violation identified in the voluntary compliance agreement.

            D.  Upon entering into a voluntary compliance agreement, a person responsible for code compliance admits that the conditions described in the voluntary compliance agreement existed and constituted a civil code violation; and agrees that if the department issues a notice of noncompliance, and if the notice of noncompliance is not successfully challenged through administrative appeal, that person is liable for the civil penalty available under K.C.C. chapter 23.32.  The person identified in the voluntary compliance agreement is liable for the costs incurred by the county to pursue code compliance and to abate the violation, including legal and incidental expenses as provided for in K.C.C. chapter 23.24 and is subject to all other remedies provided for in this title.

            E.  An extension of the time limit for compliance or a modification of the required corrective action may be granted by the department if the person responsible for code compliance has shown due diligence or substantial progress in correcting the violation, but circumstances render full and timely compliance under the original conditions unattainable.

            F.  The voluntary compliance agreement is not a settlement agreement.  (Ord. 18683 § 60, 2018:  Ord. 18230 § 143, 2016:  Ord. 15971 § 100, 2007:  Ord. 15969 § 5, 2007:  Ord. 14309 § 3, 2002:  Ord. 13263 § 10, 1998).

 

            23.02.100  failure to meet terms of voluntary compliance agreement - notice - appeal - abatement of violation.  If the department determines that terms of the voluntary compliance agreement are not completely met, the director may issue a notice of noncompliance.  A notice of noncompliance shall include a description of all incomplete or untimely corrective or abatement action required under the voluntary compliance agreement.  The notice of noncompliance shall also include the civil penalty to be imposed based upon the failure to comply with the voluntary compliance agreement.  The person or persons responsible for code compliance may appeal the facts and conclusions described in the notice of noncompliance as provided by K.C.C. 20.22.080.  If the director issues a notice of noncompliance, and the notice of noncompliance is not successfully challenged through administrative appeal, the department may abate the violation in accordance with this title, and the person responsible for code compliance may, without being issued a citation, notice and order or stop work order, be assessed a civil fine or penalty, in accordance with the penalty provisions of the voluntary compliance agreement, plus all costs incurred by the county to pursue code compliance and to abate the violation, including legal and incidental expenses as provided for in this title, and may be subject to other remedies authorized by this title. Penalties imposed when a voluntary compliance agreement is not met accrue from the date that notice of noncompliance was issued.  (Ord. 18230 § 144, 2016:  Ord. 15969 § 7, 2007:  Ord. 14309 § 4, 2002:  Ord. 13263 § 11, 1998).

 

            23.02.110  Right of entry.  It is the intention of the council that any entry made to private property for the purpose of inspection for code violations be accomplished in strict conformity with constitutional and statutory constraints on entry and the holdings of relevant court cases regarding entry.  The right of entry granted by this title shall not supersede those legal constraints.  The director is authorized to enter upon any property for the purpose of administering this title only if entry is consistent with the constitutions and laws of the United States and the state of Washington.  If required by the constitutions and laws of the United States or the state of Washington, the director shall apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for a search warrant authorizing access to property for the purpose of administering this title.  The court may upon such application issue the search warrant for the purpose requested.  (Ord. 16278 § 7, 2008:  Ord. 13263 § 12, 1998).

 

            23.02.120  Training and rulemaking.

            A.  In order to ensure strict conformity with the constraints on entry imposed by state and federal law and to ensure that county employees deal with the public in a manner that respects the rights of private property owners, the directors of the department of local services or designee, natural resources and parks and other departments, as needed, shall adopt internal procedures, protocols and training programs governing the conduct of searches by county staff responsible for code compliance.

            B.  Each department operating under this title may approve public rules under K.C.C. chapter 2.98 and procedures to implement the provisions of this title.  Each department shall approve procedures to implement the guidelines set out in this chapter for investigating code violations.  (Ord. 18791 § 199, 2018:  Ord. 17420 § 126, 2012:  Ord. 16278 § 8, 2008:  Ord. 14199 § 247, 2001:  Ord. 13263 § 13, 1998).

 

            23.02.130  Obligations of persons responsible for code compliance.

            A.  It shall be the responsibility of any person identified as responsible for code compliance to bring the property into a safe and reasonable condition to achieve code compliance.  Payment of fines, applications for permits, acknowledgment of stop-work orders and compliance with other remedies does not substitute for performing the corrective work required and having the property brought into compliance to the extent reasonably possible under the circumstances.

            B.  Persons determined to be responsible for code compliance pursuant to a citation or notice and order shall be liable for the payment of any civil fines, penalties and abatement costs, provided, however, that if a property owner affirmatively demonstrates that the action which resulted in the violation was taken without the owner’s knowledge or consent by someone other than the owner or someone acting on the owner's behalf, that owner shall be responsible only for bringing the property into compliance to the extent reasonably feasible under the circumstances.  Should the owner not correct the violation, only those abatement costs necessary to bring the property into a safe and reasonable condition, as determined by the director, shall be assessed by the county.  No civil fines or penalties shall be assessed against such an owner or the owner's property interest.  (Ord. 18683 § 61, 2018:  Ord. 13263 § 14, 1998).

 

            23.02.140  Improper disposal of solid waste prohibited - penalties, restitution.

            A.  No person shall throw, drop, discard, or otherwise dispose or illegally dump, as defined in K.C.C. 10.04.020, or cause solid waste, as defined in K.C.C. 10.04.020, to be disposed or illegally dumped upon any public property, including, but not limited to, any right of way, park, beach, campground, forest land, recreational area, highway, road, street or alley, or in surrounding water, or upon private property not owned by that person or for which they are an agent of the property owner or with the authorization of the owner, unless:

              1.  The property is designated by King County for the disposal of solid waste and the person is authorized to use such property for that purpose; or

              2.  The waste is placed into an approved waste receptacle in a manner that will prevent litter from being carried away or deposited by the elements upon any private or public property or waters.

            B.1.  It is a civil code violation for a person to illegally dump solid waste in any amount.

              2.  In cases involving illegal dumping in an amount greater than one cubic foot but less than one cubic yard, the person responsible for code compliance shall, in addition to civil penalties, pay an illegal dumping cleanup restitution payment equal to twice the actual cost of cleanup, or fifty dollars per cubic foot of material deposited, whichever is greater.  The director shall distribute one-half of the restitution payment to the landowner and one-half of the restitution payment to the enforcement agency investigating the incident.  The director may, in addition to or in lieu of part or all of the cleanup restitution payment, order the person to pick up and remove waste material from the property, with prior permission of the legal owner or, in the case of public property, of the agency managing the property.  The director may suspend or modify the cleanup restitution payment for a first-time offender under this section, if the person cleans up and properly disposes of the waste.

              3.  In cases involving illegal dumping in an amount of one cubic yard or more, the person responsible for code compliance shall, in addition to civil penalties, pay a cleanup restitution payment equal to twice the actual cost of cleanup, or one hundred dollars per cubic foot of material dumped, whichever is greater.  The director shall distribute one-half of the cleanup restitution payment to the landowner and one-half of the cleanup restitution payment to the enforcement agency investigating the incident.  The landowner and the enforcement agency may be one and the same.  The director may, in addition to or in lieu of part or all of the cleanup restitution payment, order the person to pick up and remove waste from the property, with prior permission of the legal owner or, in the case of public property, of the agency managing the property.  The director may suspend or modify the cleanup restitution payment for a first-time offender under this section, if the person cleans up and properly disposes of the litter.  (Ord. 16278 § 9, 2008).

 

            23.02.150  Property owner responsible for handling and disposing solid waste.  The owner, operator or occupant of any dwelling, business establishment or industry shall be responsible for the satisfactory and legal arrangement for the handling and disposing of all solid waste generated or accumulated on the property.  Releasing solid waste to a transporter does not end owner responsibility for solid waste handling.  (Ord. 16278 § 10, 2008).

 

            23.02.160  Presumption of responsibility for improperly disposed solid waste containing name.  Whenever solid wastes dumped in violation of this chapter or any other provision of the King County Code contains three or more items bearing the name of one individual, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the individual whose name appears on such items committed the illegal dumping.  (Ord. 16278 § 11, 2008).

 

23.10  ABANDONED, WRECKED, DISMANTLED OR INOPERATIVE VEHICLES

 

Sections:

      23.10.010      Purpose.

      23.10.030      Certification.

      23.10.040      Wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicles -- prohibited activity.

      23.10.060      Notice required.

      23.10.070      Determination of responsibility.

      23.10.090      Abatement and removal authorized.

      23.10.100      Costs of abatement and removal.

 

            23.10.010  Purpose.  The purpose of this chapter is to establish procedures for the abatement and removal  as public nuisances of abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicles pursuant to RCW 46.55.  (Ord. 12024 § 3, 1995).

 

            23.10.030  Certification.  Any enforcement officer of the department of local services, permitting division, may inspect and certify that a vehicle is a "wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicle or an abandoned vehicle" as those terms are defined in K.C.C. Title 21A.  The certification shall be made in writing.  (Ord. 18791 § 200, 2018:  Ord. 17420 § 127, 2012:  Ord. 12024 § 4, 1995).

 

            23.10.040  Wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicles -- prohibited   activity.  No person may park, store or abandon a wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicle, or part thereof as those terms are defined in K.C.C. chapter 21A.06, on private property, except where the following conditions apply:

            A.  A vehicle or vehicle part is completely enclosed within a building in a lawful manner where it is not visible from the street or from other public or private property; or

            B.  A vehicle is stored or parked in a lawful manner on private property in connection with the business of a licensed dismantler, licensed auto repair business or licensed vehicle dealer and is fenced as required by state law.  (Ord. 16278 § 12, 2008:  Ord. 14309 § 11, 2002:  Ord. 12024 § 13, 1995).

 

            23.10.060  Notice required.

            A.  Whenever a vehicle has been determined to be a wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicle or as an abandoned vehicle, the last registered vehicle owner of record and the land owner of record where the vehicle is located shall each be given notice by certified mail that a public hearing may be requested before the hearing examiner.  If no hearing is requested within ten days from the certified date of receipt of the notice, the vehicle shall be removed by the county.

            B.  If a request for hearing is received within ten days, a notice giving the time, location and date of the hearing on the question of abatement and removal of the vehicle or vehicles shall be mailed by certified or registered mail, with five-day return receipt requested, to the land owner as shown on the last equalized assessment roll and to the last registered and legal owner of record of each vehicle unless the vehicle identification numbers are not available to determine ownership.  (Ord. 14309 § 12, 2002:  Ord. 12024 §§ 5 and 6, 1995).

 

            23.10.070  Determination of responsibility.

            A.  The owner of the land on which the vehicle is located may appear in person at the hearing or present a written sworn statement in time for consideration at the hearing.  The owner may deny responsibility for the presence of the vehicle on the land stating the reason for such denial.  If it is determined by the hearing officer that the vehicle was placed on the land without consent of the land owner and that the land owner has not subsequently acquiesced in its presence, then costs of administration or removal of the vehicle shall not be assessed against the property upon which the vehicle is located nor otherwise be collected from the land owner.

            B.  Nothing in this chapter shall relieve the landowner of any civil penalties which may accrue from any zoning code violation related to the improper placement, parking or storage of vehicles or parts thereof to which the landowner has consented or acquiesced.

            C.  In addition to determination of responsibility as provided for in paragraph A, the hearing examiner shall receive and examine evidence on other relevant matters, including whether a public nuisance as defined in this chapter exists.  The decision of the hearing examiner shall be final.  Any further appeal shall be as prescribed in K.C.C. 20.22.270.B.  (Ord. 18230 § 145, 2016:  Ord. 12024 § 7, 1995).

 

            23.10.090  Abatement and removal authorized.  The county may remove any abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicle, automobile hulk or part thereof, after complying with the notice requirements of this chapter. The proceeds of any such a disposition shall be used to defray the costs of abatement and removal of any such a vehicle, including costs of administration and enforcement.  (Ord. 14309 § 13, 2002:  Ord. 12024 § 8, 1995).

 

            23.10.100  Costs of abatement and removal.

            A.  The costs of abatement and removal of any such vehicle or remnant part, including costs of administration and enforcement, shall be collected from the last registered vehicle owner if the identity of such owner can be determined, unless such owner in the transfer of ownership thereof has complied with RCW 46.12.101.

            If the vehicle owner cannot be established, the costs of abatement and enforcement shall be collected from the land owner on which the vehicle or remnant part is located, unless the landowner has shown in a hearing that the vehicle or remnant part was placed on such property without the landowner's consent or acquiescence.

            B.  Costs of administration for the removal and disposal of vehicles or remnant parts may be recovered according to the lien and personal obligation provisions of Title 23.  (Ord. 12024 § 9, 1995).

 

23.20  CITATIONS

 

Sections:

      23.20.010      Authority.

      23.20.020      Effect.

      23.20.030      Contents.

      23.20.040      Revocation.

      23.20.050      Remedy - civil fines.

      23.20.060      Response to citation - presumption of violation if no response.

      23.20.070      Mitigating circumstances hearing - notice - conduct - determination - finding.

      23.20.080      Violation contest hearing - notice - conduct - determination - finding.

 

            23.20.010  Authority.  Whenever a director has determined, based on investigation of documents and/or physical evidence, that a civil code violation has occurred, the director may issue a citation to any person responsible for code compliance.  The director shall make a determination whether or not to issue a citation within sixty days of receiving a complaint alleging a violation or otherwise discovering that a violation may potentially exist.  Subsequent complaints shall be treated as new complaints for purposes of this section.  (Ord. 13263 § 15, 1998).

 

            23.20.020  Effect.

            A.  A citation represents a determination that a civil code violation has been committed and that the person cited is a person responsible for code compliance.  The determination is final unless contested as provided in this title.

            B.  Subject to K.C.C. 23.02.130, a citation subjects the person responsible for code compliance to the civil fine prescribed by K.C.C. chapter 23.32.

            C.  Subject to K.C.C. 23.02.140, a citation may subject the person responsible for code compliance to an illegal dumping cleanup restitution payment.

            D.  The person issued a citation shall respond to the citation as provided in K.C.C. 23.20.060 and 23.20.070 within seventeen days of the date of service of the citation.

            E.  Failure to respond to the citation within seventeen days shall render the citation a final determination that the conditions described in the citation existed and constituted a civil code violation and that the person cited is liable as a person responsible for code compliance.

            F.  Imposition of a civil fine creates a joint and several personal obligation in all persons responsible for code compliance who are served with the citation.  The prosecuting attorney on behalf of King County may collect the civil fines assessed by any appropriate legal means.

            G.  Issuance of a citation in no way limits a director's authority to issue a notice and order or stop work order to the same person responsible for code compliance pursuant to this title.  Payment of the civil fine assessed under the citation does not relieve a person responsible for code compliance of that person's duty to correct the violation or to pay any and all civil penalties accruing under a notice and order or stop work order issued pursuant to this title.  (Ord. 18683 § 62, 2018:  Ord. 18230 § 146, 2016:  Ord. 16278 § 14, 2008:  Ord. 13263 § 16, 1998).

 

            23.20.030  Contents.  A citation shall contain the following:

            A.  A reasonable description of the location of the property on which the violation occurred;

            B.  The name and address of the person responsible for code compliance;

            C.  A brief description of the violation or violations found;

            D.  A statement of the specific ordinance, resolution, regulation, public rule, permit condition, notice and order provision, or stop work order provision that was violated;

            E.  The date that the citation was served;

            F.  A statement that the citation represents a determination that a civil code violation has occurred and that the person cited is subject to civil fines;

            G.  A statement of the amount of the civil fine assessed;

            H.  A statement of the options provided in this title for responding to the citation and the procedures necessary to exercise these options;

            I.  A statement that, at any hearing to contest the determination that a civil code violation has occurred, the county has the burden of proving, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the violation was committed;

            J.  A statement that, at any hearing requested for the purpose of explaining mitigating circumstances surrounding the commission of the violation, the person cited will be deemed to have committed the violation;

            K.  A statement that the person cited must respond to the citation as provided in this chapter within seventeen days;

            L.  A statement that failure to respond to the citation or to appear at a requested hearing renders the citation a final determination that the conditions described in the citation existed and constituted a civil code violation and  that the person cited is liable as a person responsible for code compliance;

            M.  A statement advising that a failure to respond to the citation or appear at a requested hearing may be referred to the prosecuting attorney for prosecution; and

            N.  A statement, made under penalty of perjury as provided in RCW 9A.72.085, setting forth facts supporting issuance of the citation.  (Ord. 18230 § 147, 2016:  Ord. 16278 § 15, 2008:  Ord. 13263 § 17, 1998).

 

            23.20.040  Revocation.  A director may revoke or modify a citation issued under this title if the original citation was issued in error or if a party to a citation was incorrectly named.  Such revocation or modification shall identify the reasons and underlying facts for revocation.  (Ord. 13263 § 18, 1998).

 

            23.20.050  Remedy - civil fines. A citation shall carry a civil fine to be determined with reference to the schedule contained in K.C.C. chapter 23.32.  The payment of civil fines does not relieve a person responsible for code compliance of any obligation to cure, abate or stop a violation.  (Ord. 13263 § 19, 1998).

 

            23.20.060  Response to citation - presumption of violation if no response.

            A.  A person issued a citation must respond within seventeen days after service of the citation in one of the following ways:

              1.  If the person issued the citation does not contest the determination, the person shall pay the amount of the civil penalty plus cleanup restitution payment, if applicable, specified in the citation.  The record shall show a finding that the person cited is the person responsible for code compliance.

              2.  If the person issued the citation does not contest the determination, but wishes to explain the circumstances surrounding the commission of the violation, the person shall request in writing a mitigation hearing and provide a mailing address to which notice of the hearing may be sent; or

              3.  If the person issued the citation wishes to contest the determination that a violation occurred or that the person issued the citation is responsible for the violation, the person shall request in writing a contested hearing and provide a mailing address to which notice of the hearing may be sent.

            B.  The person issued the citation shall respond to the citation by mail to the address provided on the citation.  The response shall be postmarked not later than seventeen days after the date the citation was served.

            C.  If a person fails to respond to a citation within seventeen days, the person shall be deemed to have committed the violation stated in the citation.  The department may assess the penalty and restitution payment specified in the citation.  (Ord. 18230 § 148, 2016:  Ord. 16278 § 16, 2008).

 

            23.20.070  Mitigating circumstances hearing - notice - conduct - determination - finding.

            A.  If a person requests a hearing in response to a citation to explain mitigating circumstances surrounding the commission of the violation, the department shall notify the hearing examiner that a mitigation hearing has been requested.  The office of the hearing examiner shall:

              1.  Schedule a hearing to be held within thirty days after the department provides notice of the request; and

              2.  At least ten days before the date of the hearing, provide notice of the time, place and date of the hearing by first class mail to the address provided in the request for hearing.

            B.  The hearing examiner shall conduct an informal nonevidential hearing.  The person cited may produce witnesses, but witnesses may not be compelled to attend.  A representative of the department may also attend and provide additional information, but no such attendance is required.

            C.  The hearing examiner shall determine whether the person's explanation justifies reduction of the civil penalty or restitution.  In considering whether to reduce the civil penalty or restitution, the hearing examiner may consider mitigating factors necessary to achieve an equitable result and further the legitimate interests of the department.

            D.  After hearing the explanation of the person cited and any other information presented at the hearing, the hearing examiner shall enter an order finding that the person cited committed the violation and assessing civil penalties and cleanup restitution payment, if applicable, in an amount determined by the hearing examiner.  The hearing examiner's decision constitutes the final agency action.  (Ord. 16278 § 17, 2008).

 

            23.20.080  Violation contest hearing - notice - conduct - determination - finding.

            A.  If a person requests a hearing in response to a citation to contest the finding that a violation occurred or to contest that the person issued the citation is responsible for the violation, the department shall notify the hearing examiner that a contested hearing has been requested.  The office of the hearing examiner shall:

              1.  Schedule a hearing to be held within sixty days after the department provides notice of the request; and

              2.  At least twenty days before the date of the hearing, provide notice of the time, place and date of the hearing by first class mail to the address provided in the request for hearing.

            B.  Except as otherwise provided in this section, contested hearings shall be conducted pursuant to K.C.C. chapter 20.22 and the rules of procedure of the hearing examiner.  The hearing examiner may issue subpoenas for witnesses and order limited discovery.  The requirements relating to prehearing conferences do not apply to the contested hearing.

            C.  If the rights of the alleged violator to receive notice that meets due process requirements are not prejudiced:

              1.  A citation shall not be deemed insufficient by reason of formal defects or imperfections, including a failure to contain a detailed statement of the facts constituting the specific violation which the person cited is alleged to have committed; and

              2.  A citation may be amended prior to the conclusion of the hearing so as to conform to the evidence presented.

            D.  The burden of proof is on the county to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the violation was committed.  The hearing examiner shall consider the citation and any other written report made as provided in RCW 9A.72.085, submitted by the person who issued the citation or whose written statement was the basis for the issuance of the citation in lieu of that person's personal appearance at the hearing as prima facie evidence that a violation occurred and that the person cited is responsible.  The statement and any other evidence accompanying the report shall be admissible without further evidentiary foundation.  Any additional certification or declarations authorized under RCW 9A.72.085 shall also be admissible without further evidentiary foundation.  The person cited may rebut the evidence and establish that the violation did not occur or that the person contesting the citation is not responsible for the violation.

            E.  If the citation is sustained at the hearing, the hearing examiner shall enter an order finding that the person cited committed the violation.  If an ongoing violation remains uncorrected, the hearing examiner shall impose the applicable penalty.  The hearing examiner may reduce the penalty as provided in K.C.C. 23.20.070 if the violation has been corrected.  If the hearing examiner finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the violation did not occur, an order shall be entered dismissing the citation.

            F.  The hearing examiner’s decision shall be final and conclusive unless an appeal is timely filed with the appropriate court or tribunal.

            G.  A cited person's failure to appear for a scheduled hearing shall result in an order being entered that the person cited is the person responsible for code compliance and assessing the applicable civil penalty and if applicable, cleanup restitution payment. (Ord. 18230 § 149, 2016:  Ord. 16278 § 18, 2008).

 

23.24  NOTICE AND ORDERS

Sections:

      23.24.010      Authority.

      23.24.020      Effect.

      23.24.030      Contents.

      23.24.040      Recording.

      23.24.050      Supplementation, revocation, modification.

      23.24.060      Administrative conference.

      23.24.070      Remedies - civil penalties - authority and general provisions.

      23.24.080      Remedies - community service.

      23.24.090      Remedies - cost recovery.

      23.24.100      Remedies - suspension, revocation or limitation of permit - suspension of review.

      23.24.110      Remedies - denial of permit

      23.24.120      Remedies - abatement - authorized.

      23.24.130      Remedies - abatement cost recovery.

 

            23.24.010  authority.  Whenever a director has reason to believe, based on investigation of documents and/or physical evidence, that a civil code violation exists or has occurred, or that the civil code violations cited in a citation have not been corrected, or that the terms of a voluntary compliance agreement have not been met, the director is authorized to issue a notice and order to any person responsible for code compliance.  The director shall make a determination whether or not to issue a notice and order within one hundred twenty days of receiving a complaint alleging a violation or otherwise discovering that a violation may potentially exist, or within thirty days of the end of a voluntary compliance agreement time period which has not been met.  Subsequent complaints shall be treated as new complaints for purposes of this section.  Issuance of a citation is not a condition precedent to the issuance of a notice and order.  (Ord. 13263 § 20, 1998).

 

            23.24.020  effect.

            A.  Subject to the appeal provisions of K.C.C. chapter 23.36, a notice and order represents a determination that a civil code violation has been committed, that the person cited is a person responsible for code compliance, and that the violations set out in the notice and order require the assessment of penalties and costs and other remedies including cleanup restitution payment, if applicable, specified in the notice and order.

            B.  Failure to correct the civil code violation in the manner prescribed by the notice and order subjects the person to whom the notice and order is directed to the use of any of the compliance remedies provided by this title, including:

              1.  Additional civil penalties and costs;

              2.  A requirement that abatement, remediation or mitigation be performed;

              3.  An agreement to perform community service as prescribed by this chapter;

              4.  Permit suspension, revocation, modification or denial as prescribed by this chapter; or

              5.  Abatement by a director and recovery of the costs of abatement according to the procedures described in this chapter.

            C.  Any person identified in the notice and order as responsible for code compliance may appeal the notice and order according to the procedures in K.C.C. chapter 23.36.

            D.  Failure to appeal the notice and order within the applicable time limits shall render the notice and order a final determination that the conditions described in the notice and order existed and constituted a civil code violation, and that the named party is liable as a person responsible for code compliance.

            E.  Issuance of a notice and order in no way limits a director's authority to issue a citation or stop work order to a person previously cited through the notice and order process pursuant to this title.  Payment of the civil penalties assessed under the notice and order does not relieve a person found to be responsible for code compliance of that person's duty to correct the violation and/or to pay any and all civil fines or penalties accruing under citations or stop work orders issued pursuant to this title.  (Ord. 18683 § 63, 2018:  Ord. 18230 § 150, 2016:  Ord. 16278 § 19, 2008:  Ord. 13263 § 21, 1998).

 

            23.24.030  Contents.  The notice and order shall contain the following information:

            A.  The address, when available, or location of the civil code violation;

            B.  A legal description of the real property or the King County tax parcel number where the violation occurred or is located, or a description identifying the property by commonly used locators;

            C.  A statement that the director has found the named person to have committed a civil code violation and a brief description of the violation or violations found;

            D.  A statement of the specific provisions of the ordinance, resolution, regulation, public rule, permit condition, notice and order provision or stop work order that was or is being violated;

            E.  The dollar amount of the civil penalty per separate violation;

            F.  A statement advising that any costs of enforcement that exceed the amount of the penalty may also be assessed against the person to whom the notice and order is directed;

            G.  A statement advising that the notice and order will be recorded against the property in the records and licensing services division subsequent to service;

            H.  A statement of the corrective or abatement action required to be taken and that all required permits to perform the corrective action must be obtained from the proper issuing agency;

            I.  A statement advising that, if any required work is not commenced or completed within the time specified by the notice and order, a director may proceed to abate the violation and cause the work to be done and charge the costs thereof as a lien against the property and as a joint and several personal obligation of any persons responsible for code compliance;

            J.  A statement advising that, if any assessed penalty, fee or cost is not paid on or before the due date, a director may charge the unpaid amount as a lien against the property where the civil code violation occurred if owned by a person responsible for code compliance and as a joint and several personal obligation of all persons responsible for code compliance;

            K.  A statement advising that any person named in the notice and order or having any record or equitable title in the property against which the notice and order is recorded may appeal from the notice and order to the hearing examiner within twenty-four days of the date of service of the notice and order;

            L.  A statement advising that a failure to correct the violations cited in the notice and order could lead to the denial of subsequent King County permit applications on the subject property;

            M.  A statement advising that a failure to appeal the notice and order within the applicable time limits renders the notice and order a final determination that the conditions described in the notice and order existed and constituted a civil code violation, and that the named party is liable as a person responsible for code compliance; and

            N.  A statement advising the person responsible for code compliance of that person's duty to notify the director of any actions taken to achieve compliance with the notice and order.  (Ord. 18683 § 64, 2018:  Ord. 18230 § 151, 2016:  Ord. 15971 § 101, 2007:  14309 § 5, 2002:  Ord. 13263 § 22, 1998).

 

            23.24.040  Recording.

            A.  Whenever a notice and order is served on a person responsible for code compliance, the director shall record a copy of the notice and order with the records and licensing services division, or its successor agency.

            B.  When all violations specified in the notice and order have been corrected or abated, the director shall record a certificate of compliance with the records and licensing services division, or its successor agency.  The certificate shall include a legal description of the property where the violation occurred and shall state that any unpaid civil penalties for which liens have been recorded are still outstanding and continue as liens on the property.  (Ord. 15971 § 102, 2007:  Ord. 14176 § 5, 2001:  Ord. 13263 § 23, 1998).

 

            23.24.050  Supplementation, revocation, modification.

            A.  Whenever there is new information or a change in circumstances, a director may add to, rescind in whole or part or otherwise modify a notice and order by issuing a supplemental notice and order.  The supplemental notice and order shall be governed by the same procedures applicable to all notice and orders contained in this title.

            B.  A director may revoke or modify a notice and order issued under this title if the original notice and order was issued in error or if a party to an order was incorrectly named. The revocation or modification shall identify the reasons and underlying facts for revocation and shall be recorded with the records and licensing services division, or its successor agency.  (Ord. 15971 § 103, 2007:  Ord. 14176 § 6, 2001:  Ord. 13263 § 24, 1998).

 

            23.24.060  Administrative conference.  An informal administrative conference may be conducted by a director at any time for the purpose of facilitating communication among concerned persons and providing a forum for efficient resolution of any violation.  Interested parties shall not unreasonably be excluded from such conferences.  (Ord. 13263 § 25, 1998).

 

            23.24.070  Remedies - civil penalties - authority and general provisions.

            A.  Failure to correct a civil code violation in the manner and within the time frame specified by the notice and order subjects the person responsible for code compliance to civil penalties calculated with reference to the schedule contained in K.C.C. chapter 23.32.

            B.  Civil penalties assessed create a joint and several personal obligation in all persons responsible for code compliance.  The prosecuting attorney on behalf of King County may collect the civil penalties assessed by any appropriate legal means.

            C.  Civil penalties assessed also authorize King County to take a lien for the value of civil penalties imposed against the real property of the person responsible for code compliance.

            D.  The payment of penalties does not relieve a person responsible for code compliance of any obligation to cure, abate or stop a violation.  (Ord. 13263 § 26, 1998).

 

            23.24.080  Remedies - community service.  A director is authorized to allow a person responsible for code compliance who accumulates civil penalties as the result of a notice and order to voluntarily participate in community service projects in lieu of paying all or a portion of the assessed civil penalties.  Community service may include, but is not limited to, abatement, restoration or education programs.  The amount of community service will reasonably relate to the comparable value of penalties assessed against the violator.  The director shall take into consideration the severity of the violation, any history of previous violations and practical and legal impediments in considering whether to allow community service in lieu of paying penalties.  (Ord. 13263 § 27, 1998).

 

            23.24.090  Remedies - cost recovery.

            A.  In addition to the other remedies available under this title, a director may charge the costs of pursuing code compliance and abatement incurred to correct a code violation to the person responsible for code compliance, including legal and incidental expenses to the extent these costs exceed the amount of the penalty paid.  Such costs are due and payable thirty days from mailing of the invoice.

            B.  For purposes of this section, "legal and incidental expenses" shall include but are not limited to:

              1.  personnel costs, both direct and indirect, including attorney's fees and costs incurred to document the violation as soon as the violation occurs;

              2.  hauling, storage and disposal expenses;

              3.  Actual expenses and costs of the county in preparing notices, specifications and contracts and in accomplishing or contracting and inspecting the work and the costs of any required printing or mailing; and

              4.  Interest on the costs of abatement incurred by the county.

            C.  All costs assessed by the county in pursuing code compliance and/or abatement create a joint and several personal obligation in all persons responsible for code compliance.  The prosecuting attorney on behalf of King County may collect the costs of code compliance efforts by any appropriate legal means.

            D.  King County may take a lien for the value of the costs of pursuing code compliance against the real property of the person responsible for code compliance.  (Ord. 13263 § 28, 1998).

 

            23.24.100  Remedies - suspension, revocation or limitation of permit - suspension of review.

            A.  A director may suspend, revoke or limit any permit issued by that director whenever:

              1.  The permit holder has committed a code violation in the course of performing activities subject to that permit;

              2.  The permit holder has interfered with a director in the performance of the director's duties relating to that permit;

              3.  The permit was issued in error or on the basis of materially incorrect information supplied to the county;

            4.  Permit fees or costs were paid to the county by check and returned from a financial institution marked nonsufficient funds (NSF) or canceled;

            5.  For a permit or approval that is subject to critical areas review, the applicant has failed to disclose a change of circumstances on the development proposal site which materially affects an applicant's ability to meet the permit or approval conditions or which makes inaccurate the critical areas study that was the basis for establishing permit or approval conditions; or

            6.  For a permit or approval for which fees that have been billed are sixty days or more past due.  If the applicant has filed a timely written notice for a fee waiver under K.C.C. 27.02.040, the permit shall not be suspended, revoked or otherwise limited under this subsection A.6. until at least seventeen days after the fee waiver decision has been issued.

            B.  A suspension, revocation or modification authorized by subsection A of this section shall be carried out through the notice and order provisions of this chapter and shall be effective upon the compliance date established by the notice and order.  The revocation, suspension or cancellation may be appealed to the hearing examiner using the appeal provisions of this title.

            C.  Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, a director may immediately suspend operations under any permit by issuing a stop work order pursuant to K.C.C. chapter 23.28.  (Ord. 18683 § 65, 2018:  Ord. 18230 § 152, 2016:  Ord. 14683 § 35, 2003:  Ord. 13263 § 29, 1998).

 

            23.24.110  Remedies - denial of permit.

            A.  The county may deny a development proposal permit, when, with regard to the site or project for which the permit application is submitted:

              1.  Any person has been found in violation and remains in violation of any ordinance, resolution, regulation or public rule of the county that regulates or protects the public health or the use and development of land or water, whether or not such ordinance, resolution, regulation or public rule is codified;

              2.  Any person has been found in violation and remains in violation of the conditions of any permit, notice and order or stop work order issued pursuant to any such ordinance, resolution, regulation or public rule;

              3.  For any property which has been found in violation and remains in violation of K.C.C. chapters 21.54* or 21A.24 or of any rule, permit, approval, order, easement, plan or agreement issued thereunder; or

              4.  Any combination of the above.

            B.  In order to further the remedial purposes of this title, such denial may continue until the violation is cured by restoration accepted as complete by the county and by payment of any civil penalty imposed for the violation, except that permits or approvals shall be granted to the extent necessary to accomplish any required restoration or cure.  (Ord. 16278 § 20, 2008:  Ord. 13263 § 30, 1998).

 

*Reviser's note:  The reference to K.C.C. chapter…21.54 appears erroneous.  K.C.C. chapter 21.54 was repealed by Ordinance 12824, 1997.

 

            23.24.120  Remedies - abatement - authorized.  In addition to or as an alternative to any other judicial or administrative remedy, a director may use the notice and order provisions of this title to order any person responsible for code compliance to abate the violation and to complete the work at such time and under such conditions as a director determines reasonable under the circumstances. If the required corrective work is not commenced or completed within the time specified, a director may proceed to abate the violation.  (Ord. 13263 § 31, 1998).

 

            23.24.130  Remedies - abatement cost recovery.

            A.  Abatement costs may be recovered pursuant to this chapter.

            B.  The director shall keep an itemized account of costs incurred by the county in the abatement of any violation under this title. Upon completion of any abatement work, the director shall prepare a report specifying a legal description of the real property where the abatement work occurred, the work done for each property, the itemized costs of the work, including legal and incidental expenses, and interest accrued.  (Ord. 13263 § 32, 1998).

 

23.28  STOP WORK ORDERS

 

Sections:

      23.28.010      Authorized.

      23.28.020      Effect.

      23.28.030      Remedy - civil penalties.

 

            23.28.010  Authorized. A director is authorized to issue a stop work order to a person responsible for code compliance.  Issuance of a citation or a notice and order is not a condition precedent to the issuance of the stop work order.  (Ord. 13263 § 34, 1998).

 

            23.28.020  Effect.

            A.  A stop work order represents a determination that a civil code violation has occurred and that any work or activity that is causing or contributing to the violation on the property where the violation has occurred or is occurring must cease.

            B.  A stop work order requires the immediate cessation of the specified work or activity on the named property.  Work or activity may not resume unless specifically authorized by the director issuing the stop work order.

            C.  A stop work order may be appealed according to the procedures prescribed by K.C.C. chapter 23.36.

            D.  Failure to appeal the stop work order within the applicable time limits renders the stop work order a final determination that the civil code violation occurred and that work was properly ordered to cease.

            E.  Failure to comply with the terms of a stop work order subjects the person responsible for code compliance to civil penalties and costs.  (Ord. 13263 § 35, 1998).

 

            23.28.030  Remedy - civil penalties.

            A.  In addition to any other judicial or administrative remedy, a director may assess civil penalties for the violation of any stop work order according to the civil penalty schedule established in K.C.C. chapter 23.32.

            B.  Civil penalties for the violation of any stop work order shall begin to accrue on the first day the stop work order is violated and shall cease on the day the work is actually stopped.

            C.  Violation of a stop work order shall be a separate violation from any other civil code violation. Civil penalties assessed create a joint and several personal obligation in all persons responsible for code compliance.  The prosecuting attorney on behalf of King County may collect the civil penalties assessed by any appropriate legal means.

            D.  Civil penalties assessed also authorize King County to take a lien for the value of civil penalties imposed against the real property of the person responsible for code compliance.  (Ord. 13263 § 36, 1998).

 

23.32  CIVIL FINES AND CIVIL PENALTIES

 

Sections:

      23.32.010      Assessment schedule.

      23.32.030      Duty to comply.

      23.32.040      Civil penalty - critical areas.

      23.32.050      Waivers.

      23.32.100      Civil penalty - invoice - appeal notice.

      23.32.110      Civil penalty - appeal - hearing - decision.

      23.32.120      Civil penalty - appeal - scope governing law - tolling and application.

 

            23.32.010  Assessment schedule.

            A.1.  Civil fines and civil penalties for civil code violations shall be imposed for remedial purposes and shall be assessed for each violation identified in a citation, notice and order, voluntary compliance agreement or stop work order pursuant to the following schedule:

    a.  citations

 

      (1)  with no previous similar code violations

$100

      (2)  with no previous code violations of K.C.C. chapter 12.86 within the past twelve months

$125

      (3)  with one previous code violation of K.C.C. chapter 12.86 within the past twelve months

$250

      (4)  with one or more previous similar code violations, or with two previous code violations of K.C.C. chapter 12.86 within the past twelve months

$500

      (5)  with two or more previous violations of K.C.C. Title 10, or three or more previous code violations of K.C.C. chapter 12.86 within the past twelve months

Double the rate of the previous penalty

    b.  violation of notice and orders and stop work orders:

 

      (1)  stop work order basic penalty

$500

      (2)  voluntary compliance agreement and notice and order basic penalty

$25

      (3)  additional initial penalties may be added in the following amounts for violations where there is:

 

        (a)  public health risk

$15

        (b)  environmental damage risk

$15

        (c)  damage to property risk

$15

        (d)  one previous similar code violation

$25

        (e)  two previous similar code violations

$50

        (f)  three or more previous similar code violations

$75

        (g)  economic benefit to person responsible for violation

$25

    c.  cleanup restitution payment:  as specified in K.C.C. 23.02.140.

 

    d.  reinspection following the issuance of a notice and order, if the violation has not been abated in accordance with the notice and order:

 

      (1)  first reinspection, which shall occur no sooner than the day following the date compliance is required by the notice and order

$150

      (2)  second reinspection, which shall occur no sooner than fourteen days following the first reinspection

$300

      (3)  third reinspection, which shall occur no sooner than fourteen days following the second reinspection

$450

      (4)  reinspection after the third reinspection, which shall only be conducted immediately preceding an administrative or court ordered abatement or at the direction of the prosecuting attorney for the purpose of presenting evidence in the course of litigation or administrative hearing against the person  responsible for code compliance

$450

              2.  For the purposes of this section, previous similar code violations that can serve as a basis for a higher level of civil penalties include violations of the same chapter of the King County Code.  Any citation, stop work order or notice and order previously issued by the department shall not constitute a previous code violation for the purposes of this section if that stop work order or notice and order was appealed and subsequently reversed.

            B.  The penalties assessed pursuant to this section for any failure to comply with a notice and order or voluntary compliance agreement shall be assessed daily, according to the schedule in subsection A of this section, for the first thirty days following the date the notice and order or voluntary compliance agreement required the code violations to have been cured.  If after thirty days the person responsible for code compliance has failed to satisfy the notice and order or voluntary compliance agreement, penalties shall be assessed daily at a rate of double the rate for the first thirty days.  Penalties may be assessed daily until the person responsible for code compliance has fully complied with the notice and order.

            C.  Penalties based on violation of a stop work order shall be assessed, according to the schedule in subsection A. of this section, for each day the department determines that work or activity was done in violation of the stop work order.

            D.  Citations and cleanup restitution payments shall only be subject to a one-time civil penalty.

            E.  The director may suspend the imposition of additional civil penalties if the person responsible for code compliance has entered into a voluntary compliance agreement.  If the person responsible for code compliance enters into a voluntary compliance agreement and cures the code violations, the director may also waive all or part of the accrued civil penalties in accordance with K.C.C. 23.32.050.  Penalties shall begin to accrue again pursuant to the terms of the voluntary compliance agreement if any necessary permits applied for are denied, canceled or not pursued, or if corrective action identified in the voluntary compliance agreement is not completed as specified.

            F.  The civil penalties in this section are in addition to, and not in lieu of, any penalties, sanctions, restitution or fines provided for in any other provisions of law.  (Ord. 18000 § 96, 2015:  Ord. 16278 § 22, 2008:  Ord. 14309 § 6, 2002:  Ord. 13263 § 37, 1998).

 

            23.32.030  duty to comply.

            A. Persons responsible for code compliance have a duty to notify the director of any actions taken to achieve compliance with the notice and order.  For purposes of assessing civil penalties, a violation shall be considered ongoing until the person responsible for code compliance has come into compliance with the notice and order, voluntary compliance agreement, or stop work order and has notified the director of this compliance.  (Ord. 13263 § 39, 1998).

 

            23.32.040  Civil penalty - critical areas.

            A.  The code compliance provisions for critical areas are intended to encourage compliance with K.C.C. chapter 21A.24, to protect critical areas and the general public from harm and to further the remedial purposes of this title.  To achieve this, persons responsible for code compliance will not only be required to restore damaged critical areas, insofar as that is possible and beneficial, but will also be required to pay a civil penalty for the redress of ecological, recreation, and economic values lost or damaged due to their unlawful action.

            B.  The provisions in this section are in addition to and not in lieu of any other penalty, sanction or right of action provided by law for other related violations.

            C.  Where feasible, the owner of the land on which the violation occurred shall be named as a party to the notice and order.  In addition to any other persons who may be liable for a violation, and subject to the exceptions provided in K.C.C. 23.02.130, the owner shall be jointly and severally liable for the restoration of a site and payment of any civil penalties imposed.

            D.  For the purposes of this section, violation of the critical area ordinance means:

              1.  The violation of any provision of K.C.C. chapter 21A.24 or rules adopted thereunder;

              2.  The failure to obtain a permit required for work in a critical area; or

              3.  The failure to comply with the conditions of any permit, approval, terms and conditions of any critical area tract or setback area, easement or other covenant, plat restriction or binding assurance or any notice and order, stop work order, mitigation plan, contract or agreement issued or concluded pursuant to the above-mentioned provisions.

            E.  Any person in violation of the critical areas ordinance may be subject to civil penalties, costs and fees assessed as follows:

              1.  According to the civil penalty schedule included in this chapter of this title, provided that the exact amount of the penalty per violation shall be determined by the department based on the physical extent and severity of the violation; or

              2.  The greater of

                a.  An amount determined to be equivalent to the economic benefit that the person responsible for code compliance derives from the violation measured as the total of:

                  (1)  the resulting increase in market value of the property;

                  (2)  the value received by the person responsible for code compliance; and

                  (3)  the savings of construction costs realized by the person responsible for code compliance as a result of performing any act in violation of the chapter; or

                b.  Code compliance costs not to exceed $25,000.00 incurred by the county to enforce the critical areas ordinance against the person responsible for code compliance.  (Ord. 16278 § 24, 2008:  Ord. 13263 § 40, 1998).

 

            23.32.050  Waivers.

            A.  The invoice for newly assessed civil penalties imposed under this title shall include a statement advising the person responsible for code compliance that there is a right, within twenty-four days from service of the invoice, to request a waiver from the director of some or all of the penalties.

            B.  Civil penalties, in whole or in part, may be waived or reimbursed to the payer by the director, with the concurrence of the director of the department of executive services, under the following circumstances:

              1.  The citation, notice and order, notice of noncompliance or stop work order was issued in error;

              2.  The civil penalties were assessed in error; or

              3.  Notice failed to reach the property owner due to unusual circumstances.

            C.  Civil penalties, in whole or in part, may be waived by the director, with the concurrence of the director of the department of executive services or its successor agency, under the following circumstances:

              1.  The code violations have been cured under a voluntary compliance agreement;

              2.  The code violations which formed the basis for the civil penalties have been cured, and the director finds that compelling reasons justify waiver of all or part of the outstanding civil penalties; or

              3.  Other information warranting waiver has been presented to the director since the citation, notice and order, notice of noncompliance, stop work order or newly assessed penalty invoice was issued.

            D.  In cases where additional penalties may be assessed and liens issued, or where compliance or other factors may provide a later ground for waiver, the director may postpone consideration of the waiver request.  New penalties may be assessed as warranted, but interest shall not accrue on, and collection shall not be pursued for, penalties subject to a pending waiver request.

            E.  When the director reaches a final determination on a waiver request, the department shall provide a written decision to the person filing the waiver request, either in person or by mail.  The written decision shall inform the person of the right to appeal the waiver decision and shall provide notice of the appeal deadlines and requirements established in this chapter.

            F.  The director shall document the circumstances under which a decision was made to waive penalties and such a statement shall become part of the public record unless privileged.  (Ord. 18230 § X, 2016:  Ord. 17591 § 2, 2013:  Ord. 14309 § 7, 2002:  Ord. 13263 § 41, 1998).

 

            23.32.100  Appeal of penalty waiver decision - process - notice - failure renders decision final. 

            A.  A person who filed a penalty waiver request under K.C.C. 23.32.050 may appeal the director's decision denying all or a portion of the request waiver.

            B.  In order to be effective, a written notice and statement of appeal must be received by the department within seventeen days from service of the director's penalty waiver decision.  The statement of appeal must include:

              1.  The identity of the person filing the appeal;

              2.  The address of the property where the violations were determined to exist;

              3.  A description of the actions taken to achieve compliance and, if applicable, the date of compliance; and

              4.  Any other reasons why the person believes the penalties are erroneous or excessive under the circumstances.

            C.  Failure to effectively appeal the director's penalty waiver decision within the applicable time limits renders the decision final.  (Ord. 18230 § 154, 2016:  Ord. 17591 § 3, 2013:  Ord. 17191 § 55, 2011).

 

            23.32.110  Appeal - burden - hearing - decision.  The burden is on the appellant to demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that civil penalties were assessed after achieving compliance or that the penalties are otherwise erroneous or excessive under the circumstances.  If the hearing examiner grants the appeal, in whole or in part, the examiner shall modify the assessment of civil penalties accordingly.  If the hearing examiner denies the appeal in full, the assessed civil penalties shall be reinstated in full.  The hearing examiner’s decision is final.  (Ord. 18230 § 155, 2016:  Ord. 17591 § 4, 2013:  Ord. 17191 § 56, 2011).

 

            23.32.120  Civil penalty - appeal - scope governing law - tolling - new penalties - application.

            A.  In an appeal of the assessment of civil penalties, the appellant may not challenge findings, requirements or other items that could have been challenged during the appeal period for a citation, notice and order, notice of noncompliance, stop work order or earlier penalty.

            B.  The appeal of the assessment of civil penalties to the hearing examiner shall be governed by K.C.C. chapters 20.22 and 23.36, except that where specific provisions in this chapter conflict with K.C.C. chapter 20.22 or 23.36, this chapter shall govern.

            C.  Upon the timely receipt of a statement of appeal, the assessment of civil penalties shall be tolled pending the hearing examiner’s decision.  New penalties may be assessed and liens issued as warranted, but interest shall not accrue on, and collection shall not be pursued for, penalties subject to a pending appeal.  Should the hearing examiner deny or dismiss the appeal, the civil penalties shall be applied retroactively from the date that compliance was required in the notice and order, stop work order, voluntary compliance agreement or the compliance dates set in the hearing examiner’s decision on an appeal of a notice and order.  (Ord. 18230 § 156, 2016:  Ord. 17591 § 5, 2013:  Ord. 17191 § 57, 2011).

 

23.36  APPEALS AND JUDICIAL ENFORCEMENT

 

Sections:

      23.36.010      Administrative appeal - filing requirements.

      23.36.020      Administrative appeal - procedures.

      23.36.030      Administrative appeal - final order.

      23.36.040      Judicial enforcement - petition for enforcement.

      23.36.050      Judicial enforcement - limitation on defenses.

 

            23.36.010  Administrative appeal - filing requirements.

            A.  Any person named in a notice and order or stop work order and any owner of the land where the violation occurred for which a notice and order or stop work order is issued may appeal the notice and order or stop work order in accordance with K.C.C. 20.22.080.

B.  Any complainant who has alleged a violation of K.C.C. chapter 9.12, 16.82 or 21A.24, who is an aggrieved person under K.C.C. Title 20 and who requests to be kept advised in accordance with K.C.C. 23.02.070.H. may appeal a citation, notice and order, stop work order or a determination not to issue a citation or order in accordance with K.C.C. 20.22.080.

            C.  Any person issued a citation shall respond to the citation as provided in K.C.C. chapter 23.20.

            D.  A statement of appeal shall comply with the form, content and service requirements of K.C.C. chapters 20.20 and 20.22 and adopted public rules.  (Ord. 18230 § 157, 2016:  Ord. 16950 § 32, 2010:  Ord. 16278 § 25, 2008:  14309 § 8, 2002:  Ord. 13263 § 43, 1998).

 

            23.36.020  Administrative appeal - procedures.

            A.  The appeal hearing shall be conducted as provided for in K.C.C. chapter 20.22, except that where specific provisions in this title conflict with K.C.C. chapter 20.22, the provisions of this title shall govern.

            B.  Enforcement of any notice and order of a director issued pursuant to this title shall be stayed as to the appealing party during the pendency of any administrative appeal under this title, except when a director determines that the violation poses a significant threat of immediate and/or irreparable harm and so states in any notice and order issued.

            C.  Enforcement of any stop work order of a director issued pursuant to this title shall not be stayed during the pendency of any administrative appeal under this title.

            D.  When multiple citations, stop work orders, or notices and orders have been issued simultaneously for any set of facts constituting a violation, only one appeal of all the enforcement actions shall be allowed.  (Ord. 18230 § 158, 2016:  Ord. 13263 § 44, 1998).

 

            23.36.030  Administrative appeal - final order.

            A.  Following review of the evidence submitted, the hearing examiner shall make written findings and conclusions and shall affirm or modify the notice and order or stop work order previously issued if the examiner finds that a violation has occurred.  The examiner shall uphold the appeal and reverse the order if the examiner finds that no violation has occurred.

            B.  If an owner of property where a violation has occurred has affirmatively demonstrated that the violation was caused by another person or entity not the agent of the property owner and without the property owner’s knowledge or consent, the property owner shall be responsible only for abatement of the violation.  Strict compliance with permit requirements may be waived regarding the performance of such an abatement in order to avoid doing substantial injustice to a non-culpable property owner.

            C.  The hearing examiner’s final order shall be final and conclusive unless proceedings for review of the decision are properly commenced in superior court within the time period specified by state law.

            D.  A final order by the hearing examiner affirming or reinstating a citation, notice and order or stop work order renders such citation, notice and order or stop work order a final agency order.  (Ord. 13263 § 45, 1998).

 

            23.36.040  Judicial enforcement - petition for enforcement.

            A.  In addition to any other judicial or administrative remedy, the prosecuting attorney on behalf of King County may seek enforcement of a director's order by filing a petition for enforcement in King County superior court.

            B.  The petition must name as respondent each alleged person against whom the director seeks to obtain civil enforcement.

            C.  A petition for civil enforcement may request monetary relief, declaratory relief, temporary or permanent injunctive relief and other civil remedy provided by law, or any combination of the foregoing.  (Ord. 13263 § 46, 1998).

 

            23.36.050  Judicial enforcement - limitation on defenses.  A respondent in a proceeding by petition for enforcement may not assert as a defense any fact or issue that the respondent had an opportunity to assert before the hearing examiner and did not, or upon which the final determination of the hearing examiner was adverse to the respondent.  (Ord. 13263 § 47, 1998).

 

23.40  LIENS

 

Sections:

      23.40.010      Filing and contents.

      23.40.020      Supplemental.

      23.40.030      Abatement lien - tax bill authorized.

      23.40.040      Limitation of action - duration.

 

            23.40.010  Filing and contents.

            A.  Within ninety days from the date any civil penalty, civil fine, abatement cost, or enforcement cost is due pursuant to this title, a director may record a lien against the property of a person responsible for code compliance for the amount owing with the records and licensing services division, or its successor agency.

            B.  The lien shall contain the following information:

              1.  the King County Code provision;

              2.  a brief description of the violation and its duration at the date of recording;

              3.  a brief description of the abatement work done, if any, and who performed the abatement work;

              4.  the owner of the property, if known, or a statement that the owner is not known;

              5.  a legal description of the property;

              6.  the amount of penalties, fines or costs that are owing; and

              7.  a sworn statement signed by a director that the director believes the claim is just.  (Ord. 15971 § 104, 2007:  Ord. 14176 § 7, 2001:  Ord. 13263 § 48, 1998).

 

            23.40.020  Lien - supplemental.  A director may record supplemental liens with the records and licensing services division, or its successor agency, to update information regarding penalties, fines, costs or fees contained in any existing lien.  (Ord. 15971 § 105, 2007:  Ord. 14176 § 8, 2001:  Ord. 13263 § 49, 1998).

 

            23.40.030  Abatement lien - tax bill authorized.

            A.  The metropolitan King County council finds that there exist within the unincorporated areas of the county dwellings that are unfit for human habitation, and buildings, structures and premises or portions thereof that are unfit for other uses due to conditions that are inimical to the health and welfare of county residents.

            B.  In the case of such unfit dwellings, buildings, structures, and premises or portions thereof, a director, as an alternative to any other remedy provided in this title, may have abatement costs certified, entered and collected by the King County finance division as taxes according to the procedures and limitations set forth in RCW 35.80.030.  (Ord. 13263 § 50, 1998).

 

            23.40.040  Lien - limitation of action - duration.

            A.  No lien created by this title binds the property subject to the lien for a period longer than ten years after the lien claim has been recorded, unless an action to enforce that lien is commenced in the proper court within ten years after the recording.

            B.  When all penalties or abatement costs, or both, assessed against the property owner have been paid, the director shall expeditiously record a satisfaction of lien with the records and licensing services division, or its successor agency.  The satisfaction shall include a legal description of the property where the violation occurred.  (Ord. 16950 § 33, 2010:  Ord. 15971 § 106, 2007:  Ord. 14176 § 9, 2001:  Ord. 13263 § 51, 1998).