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CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM NO. 4

Meeting Date: June 10, 2003

Subject/Title: Approve the second reading of Ordinance No. 749 expanding what is a public nuisance to include the development, attraction or harborage of mosquitoes and other vectors that may carry virus or other diseases

Submitted by: Dennis Beougher, City Attorney

RECOMMENDATION
Approve the second reading of Ordinance No. 749 expanding what is a public nuisance to include the development, attraction or harborage of mosquitoes and other vectors that may carry virus or other diseases.

BACKGROUND
The emergence of the West Nile Virus, as well as the continuing presence of vectors such as rodents and skunks, has resulted in the advisability of ensuring effective enforcement powers to allow timely abatement of conditions that could result in the spread of the virus and other diseases. While the District has the authority to abate public nuisances, it is recommended that the cities adopt provisions that will assist the District in addressing any appearance of the virus and other diseases in the County.

The existing statutory definitions concerning “public nuisance” are broad and useful, but the State Legislature has adopted a new principal act for mosquito and vector control districts that contains definitions of “public nuisance” and “vector” that help advance the efforts of the District to counter such threats as the virus. The District understands that most, if not all cities have adopted a nuisance definition. It would assist the District, however, for the cities to re-examine their existing enactments to make certain that their ordinances include a definition of “public nuisance” that would clearly encompass situations supporting the development, attraction or harborage of mosquitoes and other vectors that may carry the virus or other diseases. Accordingly, the following language is proposed for your consideration.

Attachment:
Ordinance

ORDINANCE NO. 749
AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BRENTWOOD AMENDING BRENTWOOD MUNICIPAL CODE SECTION 8.00.010 AND 8.00.040
WHEREAS, the emergence of the West Nile Virus, as well as the continuing presence of vectors such as rodents and skunks, has resulted in the advisability of ensuring effective enforcement powers to allow timely abatement of conditions that could result in the spread of the virus and other diseases; and

WHEREAS, the District has the authority to abate public nuisances, it is recommended that the cities adopt provisions that will assist the District in addressing any appearance of the virus and other diseases in the County; and

WHEREAS, the existing statutory definitions concerning “public nuisance” are broad and useful, but the State Legislature has adopted a new principal act for mosquito and vector control districts that contains definitions of “public nuisance” and “vector” that help advance the efforts of the District to counter such threats as the virus; and

WHEREAS, it would assist the District, however, for the cities to re-examine their existing enactments to make certain that their ordinances include a definition of “public nuisance” that would clearly encompass situations supporting the development, attraction or harborage of mosquitoes and other vectors that may carry the virus or other diseases.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the City Council of the City of Brentwood, as follows:

Section 1. The foregoing recitals are true and correct, and this City Council so finds and determines.
Section 2. Section 8.00.010 shall be amended to read as follows:
8.00.010 Nuisance defined.
(a) It shall be a violation of this ordinance for anyone to create, cause, commit, or maintain a public nuisance, which is hereby defined as any one or more of the following:
(1) anything that is injurious to health, or is indecent, or offensive to the senses, or an obstruction to the free use of property, so as to interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property by an entire community or neighborhood, or by any considerable number of persons, or that unlawfully obstructs the free passage or use, in the customary manner, of any navigable lake, or river, bay, stream, canal, or basin, or any public park, square, street, or highway;

(2) any act which declared to be a nuisance by the provisions of Title 1 of Part 3 of the Civil Code of the State of California, or by any other provisions of the laws of the State of California, or of this code.

(3) any violation of this code and any condition of property which renders any property within the City of Brentwood dangerous or harmful to property or persons who may occupy or go upon the property.

(4) any artificial alteration of property, excluding water, from its natural condition, resulting in it supporting the development, attraction, or harborage of vectors, with the presence of vectors in their developmental stages on property being prima facie evidence that the property is a public nuisance;

(5) any water that is a breeding place for vectors, with the presence of vectors in their developmental stages in the water being prima facie evidence that the water is a public nuisance; or

(6) any activity that supports the development, attraction, or harborage of vectors, or that facilitates the introduction or spread of vectors.

(b) For the purposes of the foregoing, "vector" means any animal capable of transmitting the causative agent of human disease or capable of producing human discomfort or injury, including, but not limited to, mosquitoes, flies, mites, ticks, other arthropods, and rodents and other vertebrates.
Section 3. Section 8.00.040 is amended as follows:
“8.00.040 Summary abatement of nuisance.
Notwithstanding and in addition to any other remedy available under this Ordinance or other federal, state or local law or regulation, if a public nuisance as defined in this Ordinance exists and constitutes an immediate threat to public health or safety, the City may summarily and without notice or hearing abate such nuisance at the expense of the persons creating, causing, committing, or maintaining the nuisance. The expense of abatement of the nuisance shall be a lien against the property on which it is maintained and a personal obligation against the property owner, in accordance with Section 38773.1 or 38773.5 of the California Government Code and Section 8.00.034 of the Municipal Code.

In such event, the provisions of Sections 8.00.020 to 8.00.34 shall not apply, but the City may nevertheless proceed to make the cost of such abatement a special assessment against the property as provided in this section and 8.00.034, and the expense of the abatement of such nuisance shall constitute a personal obligation of the owner.”

PASSED, APPROVED AND ADOPTED by the City Council of the City of Brentwood at a regular meeting on the 27th day of May, 2003, by the following vote:

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