City of Brentwood
Home PageContact Us!Back

City Administration

2010 Council Goals and Strategic Plan | City Council Members | Calendar of Events | Elections
eNotification | Sub-Committees| Pledge of Allegiance Sign Ups | Invocation Sign Up
Live Streaming Council Meeting | Streaming PC Help |
Streaming Mac Help |

Current Council Agenda and Past Meeting Information

 CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM NO. 27

Meeting Date: December 11, 2007

Subject/Title: 1. Waive second reading and adopt Ordinance No. 851 amending Brentwood Municipal Code Chapter 1.08 related to, among other things, criminal citation fine amounts and the designation of certain employees to issue administrative and criminal citations for specified violations of the Brentwood Municipal Code; and to repeal Chapter 2.40 related to Field Service Officers.

2. Waive second reading and adopt Ordinance No. 852 amending Title 8 of the Brentwood Municipal Code to add a new Chapter 8.36 (Property Maintenance).

Prepared by: Louis R. Kidwell, Chief Building Official

Submitted by: Howard Sword, Community Development Director
______________________________________________________________________

RECOMMENDATION
1. That the City Council waive the second reading and adopt ordinance No. 851 amending Title 1, Chapter 1.08 (General Penalty) of the Brentwood Municipal Code to change the Chapter title to “Chapter 1.08 Penalties and Enforcement,”, to amend section 1.08.010 Penalties for Violations, and to add section 1.08.025 Enforcement Authority; and amending Title 2 to repeal in its entirety Chapter 2.40 (Field Service Officer).

2. That the City Council waive the second reading and adopt ordinance No. 852 amending Title 8 (Health and Safety) of the Brentwood Municipal Code to add Chapter 8.36 (Property Maintenance).

PREVIOUS ACTION
1. On August 28, 2007, the City Council introduced and waived the first reading of an ordinance amending Chapter 1.08 of the Brentwood Municipal Code related to penalties associated with Municipal Code violations; to define person/person; and clarify when notices of violation are required.

2. On August 28, 2007, the City Council introduced and waived the first reading of an ordinance amending in its entirety Chapter 8.00 of Title 8 of the Brentwood Municipal Code relating to nuisances and deleting in its entirety Chapter 8.28 (Trailer Coaches and Camp Cars).

3. On September 11, 2007, the City Council waived the second reading and adopted an ordinance amending in part Chapter 1.08 of the Brentwood Municipal Code related to penalties associated with Municipal Code violations; to define person/person; and clarify when notices of violation are required.

4. On September 11, 2007, the City Council waived the second reading and adopted an ordinance amending in its entirety Chapter 8.00 of Title 8 of the Brentwood Municipal Code relating to nuisances and deleting in its entirety Chapter 8.28 (Trailer Coaches and Camp Cars).

5. On November 13, 2007, the City Council introduced and waived the first reading of an ordinance amending Title 1, Chapter 1.08 (General Penalty) of the Brentwood Municipal Code to change the Chapter title to “Chapter 1.08 Penalties and Enforcement,”, to amend section 1.08.010 Penalties for Violations, and to add section 1.08.025 Enforcement Authority; and amending Title 2 to repeal in its entirety Chapter 2.40 (Field Service Officer).

6. On November 13, 2007, the City Council introduced and waived the first reading of an ordinance amending Title 8 (Health and Safety) of the Brentwood Municipal Code to add Chapter 8.36 (Property Maintenance).

7. On November 13, 2007, the City Council adopted Resolution No. 2007-270 amending the 2007/08 – 2008/09 Operating Budget in the amount of $75,000 ($25,000 for 2007/08 and $50,000 for 2008/09) for contractor services related to property maintenance and abatements.

BACKGROUND

A. Penalty and Enforcement Ordinance

The revisions to Chapter 1.08 (General Penalty) are being proposed to, among other things, clarify and designate specific employees who may enforce the Brentwood Municipal Code and which Titles of the Code they are authorized to enforce. In addition, the amendment expressly provides for the enforcement of permits issued by the City as well as project conditions of approval.

The ordinance will allow designated employees, who have received proper training prescribed by the Commission of Peace Officer Standards and Training (pursuant to section 832 of the Penal Code), the option of issuing criminal citations in addition to Administrative Citations for violations of the Municipal Code, ordinances, regulations adopted by the City, conditions of approval and/or permits.

Finally, Chapter 2.40 (Field Service Officer) is removed in its entirety and redefined in this amended ordinance (see section 1.08.025 B. 3) as the Field Service Officer classification was replaced by “Community Service Officer” several years ago.

B. Property Maintenance Ordinance

In the past year, the City has experienced a greater number of foreclosed homes due to the collapse of the sub prime mortgage market. Staff has observed that many citizens, whose house is in foreclosure, are “walking away” from the residence with an expectation that the lender will maintain the property.

Foreclosures occur in several phases and it can take up to six months before a lender takes full possession of a property. During this time period the power and water are usually shut off and landscaping begins to deteriorate. Even when the lender has taken control of the property they may not assume maintenance responsibility.

Code Enforcement has been limited in its ability to respond to property maintenance problems. Primarily they have only been able to request that the property be maintained (unless there was a serious code violation) and these requests usually are ignored or receive a slow response. The property maintenance ordinance will provide Code Enforcement with another tool to seek compliance. Often abatements are not a good solution for gaining compliance either because the problems associated with the property are not serious enough to obtain a court order, or abatement would involve ongoing property maintenance by the City.

This ordinance uses 1987 (the year the City Council began requiring front yard landscaping of new developments) as a cut-off period for the type of maintenance standards required of a particular property. In other words, properties that have a primary structure completed after 1987 would fall within a set of objective property maintenance standards. Properties that have a primary structure completed during or before 1987 would fall within a broader standard that compares the subject parcel with neighboring parcels.

The ordinance accounts for drought years and allows the Council to suspend enforcement of portions of the ordinance during periods of extended drought. Penalties for violating the ordinance include: administrative citations, abatement and/or criminal citations. In addition, the ordinance keeps all parties accountable for the violations- owners, tenants and/or corporate entities.

C. Neighborhood Improvement Committee

Both ordinances were considered by the Neighborhood Improvement Committee and staff was requested to bring them forward for full Council consideration. The Committee felt that both ordinances were important steps in achieving the City’s goal of Brentwood remaining a safe and livable community.

FISCAL IMPACT

With the attached property maintenance ordinance and recently adopted nuisance abatement ordinance, it is anticipated that the City will need to abate some properties that do not comply with notices and citations. Such abatements will most often require the hiring of a contractor to clean up the property on the City’s behalf. Although the ordinance provides for the recovery of these costs by assessing the property, initial up front costs will need to be paid for by the City. The actual costs for the abatement services are unknown at this time as staff is unable to anticipate the level of voluntary compliance when this ordinance goes into effect.

Staff requested and was granted a budget amendment to the building division (100-2101) of the general fund in the amount of $25,000 for Fiscal Year 2007/08 and $50,000 for 2008/09 in the 2007/08 – 2008/09 Operating Budget to cover contractor costs. As this is an ongoing program, staff estimates future costs of approximately $50,000 per year. The City will be receiving revenues related to the liens and/or collections on the abated properties. The timing of these revenues is uncertain; however staff anticipates a substantial portion of revenues to not be collected for at least one year. Most of the costs for this program will be recovered and revenue estimates will be included in the 2009/10 – 2010/11 Operating Budget.

Attachments:
1. Ordinance No. 851 amending Chapter 1.08 General Penalty of the Brentwood Municipal Code and Repealing Chapter 2.40.
2. Ordinance No. 852 amending Chapter 8.00 of Title 8 of the Brentwood Municipal Code adding a new section 8.36 (Property Maintenance).

ORDINANCE NO. 851


AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BRENTWOOD AMENDING TITLE 1 OF THE BRENTWOOD MUNICIPAL CODE AMENDING CHAPTER 1.08 (GENERAL PENALTY) TO CHANGE THE CHAPTER TITLE TO “CHAPTER 1.08 PENALTIES AND ENFORCEMENT,” TO AMEND SECTION 1.08.010 PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS, AND TO ADD SECTION 1.08.025 ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY; AND AMENDING TITLE 2 TO REPEAL IN ITS ENTIRETY CHAPTER 2.40 (FIELD SERVICE OFFICER).


THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BRENTWOOD DOES HEREBY ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. That Title 1 of the Brentwood Municipal Code is hereby amended to amend Chapter 1.08 General Penalty by replacing the Chapter Title in its entirety as follows:

“Chapter 1.08 Penalties and Enforcement”

SECTION 2. That Section 1.08.010 Penalties for violations is hereby amended in its entirety to read as follows:

“1.08.010 Penalties for violations.

A. It is unlawful for any person to violate any provision or to fail to comply with any of the requirements or provisions of this code, the provisions of any code adopted by reference by this code; permits issued by the city; conditions of development approval; or ordinances and regulations adopted by the city.
B. Any person violating or failing to comply with any of the requirements or provisions of this code, the provisions of any code adopted by reference by this code; permits issued by the city; conditions of development approval; or ordinances and regulations adopted by the city, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, unless such violation or failure to comply is specifically declared to be an infraction by other provisions of this code. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this code, any such violation constituting a misdemeanor may, in the discretion of the city attorney, be charged and prosecuted as an infraction. Notwithstanding this section and as an alternative to criminal prosecution, all violations of this code are subject to administrative enforcement remedies set forth in this chapter 1.08 and any other administrative or civil proceeding now or hereafter authorized under this code.
C. Any person convicted of an infraction under the provisions of this code, the provisions of any code adopted by reference by this code; permits issued by the city; conditions of development approval; or ordinances and regulations adopted by the city, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding two hundred-fifty dollars ($250). This infraction fine amount supersedes and replaces any other infraction fine amounts otherwise referenced in this code.
D. Any person convicted of a misdemeanor under the provisions of this code, the provisions of any code adopted by reference by this code; permits issued by the city; conditions of development approval; or ordinances and regulations adopted by the city, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not exceeding six (6) months, or by both such fine and imprisonment. This misdemeanor fine amount supersedes and replaces any other misdemeanor fine amounts otherwise referenced in this code.
E. Each such person shall be guilty of a separate offense for each and every day during any portion of which any violation of, or failure to comply with, any provision of this code, the provisions of any code adopted by reference by this code; permits issued by the city; conditions of development approval; or ordinances and regulations adopted by the city, is committed, maintained, continued or permitted by such person and shall be punishable accordingly.
F. In addition to the penalties provided by this section or elsewhere in this code, the provisions of any code adopted by reference by this code, permits issued by the city, conditions of development approval; or ordinances and regulations adopted by the city, any condition caused or permitted to exist in violation of any of the provisions of this code, the provisions of any code adopted by reference by this code; permits issued by the city; conditions of development approval; and ordinances and regulations adopted by the city, shall be deemed a public nuisance and may be abated by the city, and each calendar day such condition continues shall be regarded as a new and separate offense.
G. In any civil action commenced by the city to abate a nuisance, to enjoin a violation of any provision of this code, the provisions of any code adopted by reference by this code; permits issued by the city; conditions of development approval; or ordinances and regulations adopted by the city, to collect a civil penalty imposed either by this code or by state or federal law, or to collect a civil debt owing to the city, the city shall, if it is the prevailing party, be entitled to recover from the defendant in any such action reasonable attorney(s) fees and costs of suit.
H. A violation of any section of this code, the provisions of any code adopted by reference by this code; permits issued by the city; conditions of development approval; or ordinances and regulations adopted by the city which is punishable as an infraction shall be charged and prosecuted as an infraction, provided that for the second or any additional violation of said section within a one year period from the prior violation, the city attorney at his or her discretion may charge and prosecute the matter as a misdemeanor
I. Payment of a fine shall not excuse payment of any fee required by this code or any other city ordinance.
J. Nothing contained in this section shall preclude the city from enforcing the provisions of this code, the provisions of any code adopted by reference by this code; permits issued by the city; conditions of development approval; or ordinances and regulations adopted by the city through any other available methods.”

SECTION 3. That Title 1 of the Brentwood Municipal Code is hereby amended to amend Chapter 1.08 Penalties and Enforcement by adding section 1.08.025 Enforcement Authority; Designated Employees to read as follows:

“1.08.025 Enforcement Authority; Designated Employees.

A. Enforcement Authority. City employees holding the positions designated in subsection B shall have the authority to enforce the provisions of this code, the provisions of any code adopted by reference by this code; permits issued by the city; conditions of development approval; and/or ordinances and regulations adopted by the city.
B. Designated City Employees. The following employees may issue enforce the following provisions of this code, the provisions of any code adopted by reference by this code; permits issued by the city; conditions of development approval; and/or ordinances and regulations adopted by the city:

1. City Manager or his/her designee: Titles 1, 3, 5-10, 12-18.

2. Chief of Police or any and all peace officers: Titles 1, 3, 5-10, 12 18.

3. Community Service Officers:
a. Municipal Code, Chapters 10.13-10.15;
b. California Vehicle Code, Sections be authorized by the Chief of Police, with said authorization on file with the City Clerk;
c. Authorization to verify proof of correction for citations of mechanical and registration violations;
d. Verification of Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) and other vehicle parts identification numbers.

4. Community Development Director or his/her designee: Titles 1, 3, 5-9, 12-18; Chapters 10.20 (Abandoned Vehicles), 10.21 (Penalty) and 10.23 (Vehicle Repair).

5. Public Works Director or his/her designee: Titles 12, 13, 14, 16.

6. Parks & Recreation Director or his/her designee: Title 7.

7. Finance Director or his/her designee: Title 5.

C. City Manager Authority. The city manager shall have the power to designate the particular public officers and employees authorized to enforce particular provisions of this code, the provisions of any code adopted by reference by this code; permits issued by the city; conditions of development approval; and/or ordinances and regulations adopted by the city, in addition to those designated city employees enumerated in subsection B.
D. Criminal Citations. Those city employees designated in subsection B are authorized, pursuant to California Penal Code Sections 19.7 and 836.5, and by this section, to issue a criminal citation if that employee has completed an introductory course of training prescribed by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training pursuant to Penal Code Section 832. A criminal citation may be issued to a person, without warrant, whenever such employee has reasonable cause to believe that the person has committed a misdemeanor or an infraction in the presence of the employee which is a violation of this code, the provisions of any code adopted by reference by this code; permits issued by the city; conditions of development approval; and/or ordinances and regulations adopted by the city.
E. Administrative Enforcement. Those city employees designated in subsection B are deemed enforcement officers and may issue notices of violations and administrative citations for violations of this code, the provisions of any code adopted by reference by this code; permits issued by the city; conditions of development approval; and/or ordinances and regulations adopted by the city.”

SECTION 4. That Chapter 2.40 (Field Service Officer) of Title 8 of the Brentwood Municipal Code is hereby deleted in its entirety and replaced with the following:

“Chapter 2.40. Reserved.”

SECTION 5. That this Ordinance shall be published in accordance with Government Code Section 36933 by either posting or publishing the Ordinance in accordance with that law. Further, the City Clerk is directed to cause Sections 1-4 of this Ordinance to be entered in the City of Brentwood Municipal Code. This Ordinance shall take effect and be in force 30 days following its adoption.

SECTION 6. That if any section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase of this Ordinance is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by the decision of a court of competent jurisdiction, the holding shall not affect the validity or enforceability of the remaining provisions, and the council declares that it would have adopted each provision of this ordinance irrespective of the validity of any other provision.

THE FOREGOING ORDINANCE was introduced with the first reading waived at a regular meeting of the Brentwood City Council on the 13th day of November 2007, by the following vote:

ORDINANCE NO. 852

AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BRENTWOOD AMENDING TITLE 8 (HEALTH AND SAFETY) OF THE BRENTWOOD MUNICIPAL CODE TO ADD CHAPTER 8.36 (PROPERTY MAINTENANCE).

THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BRENTWOOD DOES HEREBY ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. Title 8 of the Brentwood Municipal Code is hereby amended to add the following Chapter:

“Chapter 8.36 PROPERTY MAINTENANCE

8.36.010 Findings.

In enacting this chapter, the city council finds as follows:
A. The property values and the general welfare of the city are founded, in part, upon the appearance and maintenance of property located within the city.
B. In 1987, by Ordinance No. 408, the city council placed minimum landscaping requirements on new residential developments.
C. The lack of maintenance of residential landscaping and structural maintenance including overgrown, dead, or decayed vegetation and weeds, broken windows and fences and the accumulation of rubbish and debris, are conditions which are injurious to the public health, safety and welfare of the residents of the city and contributes substantially and increasingly to the deterioration of the city.
D. Unless corrective measures, as established in this chapter, are undertaken to alleviate such existing conditions and to assure the avoidance of future problems in this regard, the public health, safety and general welfare, specifically aesthetic, social and economic standards, will be depreciated.
E. The uses and abuses of property as described in this chapter are reasonably related to the proper exercise of the police power to protect the health, safety and general welfare of the public.

8.36.020 Residential Landscaping Requirements; Structures completed prior to and including the year 1987.

It shall be unlawful and declared a public nuisance for any person owning, leasing, occupying or having charge or possession of any property used or able to be used for residential purposes, the primary structure on which was completed prior to or during the year 1987, regardless of whether such property contains a conforming or legal nonconforming use or structure, to:
A. Allow on such property overgrown vegetation including trees, shrubbery, ground covers, lawns and other plantings in the front yard areas and side yard areas on corner lots which from the overall appearance would substantially depreciate the aesthetic environment or property values of surrounding properties.
B. Allow on such property dead, decayed or diseased trees, shrubs, grass or other vegetation, in the front yard areas and side yard areas on corner lots, which are otherwise in need of landscape maintenance attention and that, would substantially depreciate the aesthetic environment or property values of surrounding properties.
C. Maintain front yard areas and side yard areas on corner lots with a lack of vegetation in such a manner that substantially depreciates the aesthetic environment or property values of surrounding properties.

8.36.030 Residential Landscaping Requirements; Structures completed after the year 1987.

It shall be unlawful and declared a public nuisance for any person owning, leasing, occupying or having charge or possession of any property used or able to be used for residential purposes, the primary structure on which was completed after the year 1987, regardless of whether such property contains a conforming or legal nonconforming use or structure, to maintain that property contrary to the following standards:
A. All front yard areas and side yard areas on corner lots, except surfaces of driveways, parking spaces, and pedestrian paths, shall be covered with ground cover. , incorporated into an overall landscaped design. The ground cover should allow the ground to absorb rainwater, provide drainage to trees on the site, and reduce runoff. Use of native planting or compatible species of drought-tolerant plants is encouraged as much as possible to reduce water demand. Use of permeable surfaces such as gravel or bricks are also encouraged for paths and walkways to allow absorption of rainwater. Synthetic grass with lifelike individual blades of grass that emulates real grass and has a pile height of 1 ¾ inch or more may also be used subject to approval of the Community Development Director or his/her designee.
B. In residential zones at least fifty percent (50%) of the front yard areas and side yard areas on corner lots shall be covered and maintained with some combination of live trees, shrubs, vines, ground covers, flowers, lawns, vegetable gardens or other type of vegetation. The calculation of fifty percent (50%) may include the area between plants that are spaced in consideration of their mature size, and any area under an existing drip line of a tree that is covered and maintained with a permeable material such as mulch or decomposed granite. Synthetic grass may also be included in this calculation provided that there is some foundation planting consisting of live vegetation, the area of which is equal to least ten percent (10%) of the total yard areas visible from the street.
C. Landscaped areas and landscaped materials shall be maintained in a neat, clean, and healthful condition. This shall include the pruning, mowing of lawns, weeding, and removal of trash and debris. Any damaged, dead, diseased, or decaying plant material shall be replaced. Turf/lawn grass species shall not exceed twelve (12) inches in height. Plants shall not be allowed to extend over public sidewalks, streets, alleys, or other public property such that they interfere with traffic signs or the passage of pedestrians, bicycles, or vehicles.
D. Gravel, stones, decomposed granite, mulch, or other hardscape materials shall be compacted or secured in such a way as to avoid spreading over any portion of a public sidewalk or street.
E. “Ground cover” shall be defined as vegetative material, or permeable materials such as mulch, decomposed granite or similar permeable materials.

8.36.040 Drought Conditions.

During drought conditions the city council may, by resolution, suspend the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter as they relate to dead or dying vegetation due to a lack of water.

8.36.050 Exterior Structural Requirements.

It shall be unlawful and declared a public nuisance for any person owning, leasing, occupying or having charge or possession of any property used or able to be used for residential purposes, regardless of whether such property contains a conforming or legal nonconforming use or structure, to maintain such buildings:

A. Where twenty percent (20%) or more of any painted surfaces of the building’s exterior observable from public view is peeling or buildings lacking weather protection due to lack or paint or other approved protective coating;

B. With windows containing broken glass or no glass at all, where the windows are of a type which normally contains glass; or

C. With walls, fences, driveways or walkways in the front yard areas and side yard areas on corner lots, which are maintained in such condition as to become defective or a hazardous condition, including but not limited to lifting sidewalks or leaning fences.

8.36.060 Responsibility for property maintenance.

A. Every owner of property used or able to be used for residential purposes within the city is required to maintain such property in a manner so as not to violate the provisions of this chapter and such owner remains liable for violations of the provisions in this chapter regardless of any contract or agreement with any third party regarding said property.
B. Every occupant, lessee or holder of any interest in property used or able to be used for residential purposes, other than as owner, is required to maintain such property in the same manner as is required of the owner, and the duty imposed by subsection A of this section on the owner shall in no instance relieve those persons referred to in this subsection B from the same duty.
C. For the purposes of this chapter, “responsible party,” “person,” “owner,” “occupant,” “lessee” or “holder of any interest in property other than owner” includes, but is not limited to, any individual, entity, corporation, partnership or trust.

8.36.070 Enforcement.

A. When a designated city enforcement officer determines there is a violation of the provisions of this chapter, he or she is authorized to issue an administrative citation to a responsible party, as provided by chapter 1.08.
B. When a designated city enforcement officer determines there is a violation of the provisions of this chapter, he or she is authorized to issue an infraction citation to a responsible party as provided by chapter 1.08. After receipt of three infraction citations for the same or similar violation, the responsible party may be charged with a misdemeanor.
C. Any condition found to constitute a public nuisance under this chapter may be abated pursuant to the procedures set forth in chapter 8.00.”

SECTION 2. This Ordinance shall be published in accordance with Government Code Section 36933 by either posting or publishing the Ordinance in accordance with that law. Further, the City Clerk is directed to cause Section 1 of this Ordinance to be entered in the City of Brentwood Municipal Code. This Ordinance shall take effect and be in force 30 days following its adoption.

SECTION 3. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase of this Ordinance is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by the decision of a court of competent jurisdiction, the holding shall not affect the validity or enforceability of the remaining provisions, and the council declares that it would have adopted each provision of this ordinance irrespective of the validity of any other provision.

THE FOREGOING ORDINANCE was introduced with the first reading waived at a regular meeting of the Brentwood City Council on the 13th day of November 2007, by the following vote:

 
City Administration
City of Brentwood City Council
150 City Park Way
Brentwood, CA 94513
(925) 516-5440
Fax (925) 516-5441
E-mail allcouncil@brentwoodca.gov