Chapter 8.16   NUISANCES


8.16.010   Public nuisances declared and prohibited.

It is unlawful for any responsible person to create, permit, maintain, suffer, carry on or allow upon any premises any of the following acts or things which are declared by this chapter to be a public nuisance:


Accumulations of garbage, waste, refuse, litter, debris, ashes, rags, boxes, crates, packing cases, mattresses, scrap iron, tin, pipe, tin cans, bottles, glass cans, small pieces of scrap iron, wire, broken crockery, broken glass, and broken plaster, unless the disposal of such items in such place is specifically authorized by law; retention in lidded containers is permitted;


Any open pit, basin, cistern, quarry, well, storage tank, hole or other excavation which is unguarded and without safeguards or barriers and is dangerous to life, or has been abandoned or is no longer used for the purpose for which it was constructed or maintained;


Any unsound, putrid or unwholesome bone, meat, hide, skin or the whole or parts of any dead animal, fish or fowl, butcher's trimmings and offal or any waste, vegetable or animal matter in any quantity, or human excreta, provided nothing contained in this chapter shall prevent the temporary retention of waste in receptacles in the manner approved by the local disposal company;


Privies, vaults, cesspools, sumps or like places which are not securely protected from flies and rats or which are malodorous or foul;


Noxious, offensive, dangerous or otherwise injurious chemicals or other materials, such as oil, grease, poisons, flammable liquids, explosives, radioactive materials and other similar substances stored in any manner or in any amount other than as provided by Washington state statute or municipal fire code;


Any dead, diseased, decayed, infected, hazardous or dying tree or vegetation/clippings (except a compost pile so covered or concealed so as to not affect the health, safety or value of adjacent property) that may constitute a danger to property or persons and all shrubs, bushes, trees or vegetation which have grown or are in such a condition, whether as a result of flammability or state of decay or disease, to constitute a fire hazard or public safety hazard;


Broken or discarded furniture, furnishings, appliances, household equipment and other similar items in any front yard, side yard, rear yard or vacant lot;


All limbs of trees which are less than nine feet above the surface of any public sidewalk or fourteen feet above the surface of any street;


Any vines, plants growing into, on or over any street, sidewalk, public hydrant, pole or electrolier, standpipe, sprinkler system connection or any other facility provided for fire protection purposes, in such a way as to obstruct the view thereof or impair the access thereto, or obstruct or interfere with the proper diffusion of light from any street lamp, or obstruct the vision of any vehicle or pedestrian traffic;


Any fence or other structure or thing on private property abutting or fronting upon any public street, alley, sidewalk or place which is in a sagging, leaning, fallen, decayed or other dilapidated or unsafe condition;


Vegetation exceeding fifteen inches in height located in a front, side or rear yard of an improved lot, except plants and flowers within a flower bed and shrubs and trees;


All shrubs, bushes, trees or other vegetation which:


Climb or grow onto adjoining property where such climbing or growth unreasonably interferes with the adjoining landowner's peaceful use and enjoyment of his or her property, or


Harbor rats, skunks or other animals to the detriment of adjoining property, or


Constitute a fire hazard to adjoining property;


Any refrigerator, icebox, deep freeze locker, over or other automatic closing container which is discarded, abandoned or left in any place accessible to children and which has not had the door or latching mechanism removed to prevent the latching or locking of the doors;


Animal manure in any quantity which is not securely protected from flies and the elements or which is kept or handled in violation of any ordinance of the city;


Any building or other structure or place for the exercise of any trade, activity, employment or manufacture, which, by occasioning obnoxious, hazardous or toxic exhaust or emissions, offensive smells or otherwise, is offensive or dangerous to the health of individuals or the public;


Except as lawfully permitted by the Black Diamond fire chief, the burning or disposal of any refuse, hay, straw, sawdust, grass, grass clippings, papers, wood, boards, boxes, leaves or other rubbish or material in such a manner as to cause or permit ashes, sawdust, soot or cinders to be cast upon the streets and alleys of the city, or to cause or permit dense smoke, noxious fumes, ashes, soot or gases arising from such burning to become annoying or injurious to the health, comfort or repose of the general public;


Unless otherwise permitted by law, any noises or sounds emanating from property upon which there is ongoing construction activity, and which noises or sounds are audible on residential property beyond the property lines of the premises on which the construction activity is conducted, between the hours of eight p.m. and seven a.m. on weekdays and six p.m. and eight a.m. on Saturdays and six p.m. and nine a.m. on Sundays. For purposes of this section, construction noise and sounds include but are not limited to that resulting from the operation of tractors, backhoes, dump trucks and other construction equipment, in addition to the operation of hammers, drills, saws and other related tools of the trade;


All trees, hedges, billboards, fences or other obstructions which prevent persons from having a clear view of traffic approaching an intersection from cross streets in sufficient time to bring motor vehicle driven at a reasonable speed to a full stop before the intersection is reached;


Any use of property abutting on a public street or sidewalk or any use of a public street or sidewalk which causes any obstruction of traffic or the free use of the street or sidewalk; provided that this subsection shall not apply to events, programs or parades authorized by the city;


All vacant, unused or unoccupied buildings and structures within the city which are allowed to become or remain open to entrance by unauthorized persons or the general public, because of broken, missing or open doors, windows, or other openings, so that the same may be used by vagrants or other persons in a manner detrimental to the health and welfare of the inhabitants of the city;


Any pen, stable or lot in which any hog, cattle or fowl may be confined or kept in such manner as to be foul or offensive;


Deposit, keep, leave or permit to be deposited, kept or left on private property any junk vehicle, or part thereof, as defined in RCW 46.55.010(4). Provided, however, this subsection shall not apply to (i) a vehicle or part thereof that is completely enclosed within a building in a lawful manner where it is not visible from the street or other public or private property or (ii) a vehicle or part thereof that is stored or parked in a lawful manner on private property in connection with the business of a licensed dismantler or licensed vehicle dealer and is fenced according to RCW 46.80.130;


Obstruct or encroach upon or render unsafe for passage any public highway, private way, street, alley, park, square, driveway, lake or stream in the city;


Any nuisance as defined and prohibited in any other provision of this code.

(Ord. 642, § 1, 1998; Ord. 589 § 1, 1996)

8.16.015   Abatement hearing.


With regards to a junk vehicle or a part thereof the owner may request a hearing within the time limits specified in Section 8.16.020. If a request is timely received, then a notice giving the time, location and date of the hearing on the question of abatement and removal of the vehicle or part thereof as a public nuisance shall be mailed by certified mail, with a five-day return receipt requested, to the owner of the land as shown on the last equalized assessment roll and to the last registered and legal owner of record unless the vehicle is in such condition that identification numbers are not available to determine ownership.


The owner of the land on which the vehicle is located may appear in person at the hearing or present a written statement in time for consideration at the hearing and deny responsibility for presence of the vehicle on the land, with his reasons for the denial. If it is determined at the hearing that the vehicle was placed on the land without the consent of the landowner and that he has not subsequently acquiesced in its presence, then the costs of administration or removal of the vehicle cannot be assessed against the property upon which the vehicle is located or otherwise collected from the property owner.


After notice has been given of the intent to declare the vehicle or part thereof a nuisance and to dispose of the vehicle and after a hearing, if requested, has been held, the vehicle or part thereof shall be removed at the request of the Black Diamond chief of police, with notice to the Washington State Patrol and the Department of Licensing that the vehicle has been wrecked.

(Ord. 642 § 3, 1998)

8.16.020   Abatement by city—Resolution to council.

The city administrator or his or her designee shall enforce the provisions of this chapter. If any property owner and/or the registered owner of a junk vehicle fails or refuses to abate any of the nuisances identified in Section 8.16.010, the city administrator may require such property owner and registered owner, in addition to the penalties prescribed by Section 8.16.050, to abate the nuisance by removal or destruction, at the property owner's and registered owner's cost and expense, within a time specified of not less than ten days. If the nuisance is not abated by such owner within the specified time then the city administrator may abate the same as provided in Section 8.16.040.

(Ord. 642 § 2, 1998: Ord. 555 § 1, 1995: Ord. 429 § 2, 1990)

8.16.030   Abatement by city—Notice to owner.

The property owner shall be given at least ten days notice of the requirement to abate the nuisance. Such notice shall be given by the city administrator or his/her designee by mailing a copy of the notice to the owner as shown upon the records of the county treasurer and at the address shown thereon. If no owner and address is shown on such records, a copy of the notice shall be posted upon the property and shall also be published in one issue of the city's official newspaper. The mailing, posting and publication shall be made at least ten days before the abatement is required to be completed. The notice shall describe the property involved, the nature of the hazardous condition constituting the nuisance, the date by which the nuisance will be abated by the city at the property owner's expense if it is not abated to the city administrator's satisfaction by the required date.

(Ord. 555 § 2, 1995: Ord. 429 § 3, 1990)

8.16.035   Recording of notice and order of abatement.


Whenever a notice and order is served on a person responsible for any of the nuisances identified in Section 8.16.010, the city administrator or his or her designee may record a copy of the notice and order with the King County records and elections division, or its successor agency.


When all violations specified in the recorded notice and order have been corrected or abated, the city administrator or his or her designee shall record a certificate of compliance with the King County records and elections 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 penalties or costs of abatement for which liens have been recorded are still outstanding and continue as liens on the property.

(Ord. 810 § 1, 2006)

8.16.040   Abatement by city—Cost to owner.

If the property owner fails to abate the nuisance within the time fixed by the city administrator and to his or her satisfaction, the city administrator or his or her designee may cause the same to be abated and shall submit a bill to the property owner for the total cost to the city of such abatement. Such cost shall constitute a lien against the property which may be foreclosed as provided for in RCW Chapter 60.04. Alternatively, the city may elect to obtain a judgment against the property owner in the amount of such cost. In addition, with regards to junk vehicles, the city may elect to obtain a judgment against the vehicle's registered owner. Costs for purposes of this section shall include the legal and administrative costs to the city, in addition to the actual cost of abating the nuisance.

(Ord. 642 § 4, 1998: Ord. 555 § 3, 1995: Ord. 429 § 4, 1990)

8.16.050   Violation—Penalty.

The failure or refusal to comply with any of the provisions of Section 8.16.010 shall be misdemeanor and penalized as set forth in Section 1.12.010.

(Ord. 429 § 5, 1990)