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|CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM NO. 21
Meeting Date: February 12, 2008
Subject/Title: An ordinance amending Brentwood Municipal Code Chapter 1.08 to provide for the recordation and release of notices of pending action on private property for nuisance violations and to clarify the authority and procedures for the recordation of liens to recover past due citation fines and abatement costs; and amending Brentwood Municipal Code Chapter 8.00 to include in the definition of a public nuisance: violations of City zoning regulations, permits and conditions of approval; and certain nuisance behaviors.
Prepared by: Louis R. Kidwell, Chief Building Official
Submitted by: Howard Sword, Director of Community Development
That the City Council introduce and waive the first reading of an ordinance amending Brentwood Municipal Code Chapter 1.08 to provide for the recordation and release of notices of pending action on private property for nuisance violations and to clarify the authority and procedures for the recordation of liens to recover past due citation fines and abatement costs; and amending Brentwood Municipal Code Chapter 8.00 to include in the definition of a public nuisance: violations of City zoning regulations, permits and conditions of approval; and certain nuisance behaviors.
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.
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.
On December, 11, 2007, the City Council waived the second reading and adopted an ordinance amending Title 8 of the Brentwood Municipal Code to add a new Chapter 8.36 (Property Maintenance).
A. Recordation of Notices and Assessments
Code Enforcement staff has had a difficult time gaining compliance from owners of properties in foreclosure. Lending institutions are also non responsive as they often sell the mortgages to other institutions. Frequent changes in ownership make it challenging for Code Enforcement to notify the current owner of violations and pending Code Enforcement actions. The ordinance amends the Brentwood Municipal Code to provide a process for recording and releasing notices of pending actions. The ordinance also clarifies procedures associated with the recordation of property assessments for outstanding fines and costs incurred by the city. Staff anticipates a more timely response from property owners when they are notified of the recorded notice of pending action against the property. In addition, staff believes there is a greater likelihood that violations will be corrected prior to the property being sold so as to allow for a clean title upon sale.
B. Declaration of Nuisances
At the request of the Neighborhood Improvement Committee, staff looked into the possibility of declaring certain disruptive behaviors to be nuisances. Based on existing language in the City of Elk Grove Municipal Code, the attached ordinance amends section 8.00.030 (Declaration of a Nuisance) to add a new subsection (EE) related to nuisance behaviors.
In addition the ordinance adds subsection (DD) to section 8.00.030 which declares as nuisances- violations of Chapter 17 (Zoning), the provisions of any code adopted by reference by this code (e.g. the Uniform Building Code and related uniform codes); permits issued by the City; conditions of development approval; or ordinances and regulations adopted by the City.
C. Neighborhood Improvement Committee
At their January 24, 2008 meeting, the Neighborhood Improvement Committee considered the ordinance and recommended approval.
No fiscal impact is anticipated.
CITY COUNCIL ORDINANCE NO.
AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BRENTWOOD AMENDING CHAPTER 1.08 (PENALTIES AND ENFORCEMENT) TO ADD SECTION 1.08.015 (RECORDATION OF NOTICES AND ASSESSMENTS) AND TO AMEND SECTION 1.08.030 (RECOVERY OF ADMINISTRATIVE FINES AND COSTS); AND AMENDING CHAPTER 8.00 (NUISANCES) TO AMEND SECTIONS 8.00.030 (DECLARATION OF NUISANCES) TO ADD NEW SUBSECTION DD AND EE RELATED TO VIOLATIONS OF THE MUNICIPAL CODE AND RELATED CODES AND TO NUISANCE BEHAVIORS
THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BRENTWOOD DOES HEREBY ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. That Chapter 1.08 of the Brentwood Municipal Code is hereby amended to add Section 1.08.015 (Recordation of Notices and Assessments) to read as follows:
“1.08.015 Recordation of Notices and Assessments.
A. Notices of Pending Action.
1. If the enforcement officer determines there is a violation of this code related to nuisances, he or she may file, in the office of the county recorder, a notice of pending action pursuant to Government Code Section 38773.5.
2. When the enforcement officer determines that compliance to this code pursuant to section A. 1. above is not had and they intend to file a notice of pending action, they shall provide written notice of the noncompliance, by certified mail return receipt requested, to the owner or person in control of the property. Such notice shall contain: (a) a description of the property; (b) the condition or condition that has caused the noncompliance; (c) a reasonable time limit to bring the property into compliance; (d) the potential to record a notice of action; and (e) the right to appeal.
3. Within seven (7) days from the date of giving of notice, the owner or person in control of the property may file an appeal of the finding of noncompliance to a city hearing officer. Such appeal shall be in writing and shall identify the property subject to the notice of pending action. The city hearing officer must hear the appeal within sixty (60) days from the filing of the appeal or at such later date as may be agreed to by the appellant. Notice of the hearing date shall be given in writing. The hearing date shall be no sooner than five (5) days from the date when notice of the hearing is given to the appellant and to the enforcement officer. For the purpose of administrative remedies, the decision of the hearing officer is final.
4. If the finding of noncompliance is not appealed or if the finding of noncompliance is upheld by the city hearing officer, the enforcement officer may then file the notice of pending action. Such notice shall describe the property, certify noncompliance, and state that the owner or person in control of the property has been notified. The notice of pending action notifies any potential purchaser(s) of a violation and/or public nuisance existing on subject property or premises and attempts to prevent the owner from transferring the subject property or premises to another person or entity without first correcting the outstanding violation and reimbursing the City for any and all costs incurred by the City in its attempt to remedy the violation.
5. If a notice of pending action is filed, and where the permit, inspection, and/or approval required is obtained or correction of violation achieved, and all fines, penalties and abatement costs owed to the City are paid, the enforcement officer shall file or shall provide to the property owner to file, with the county recorder, a release of the notice of pending action.
B. Liens and Assessments.
1. In accordance with Sections 38773.1, 38773.5 or 54988 of the California Government Code and this code, whenever a city nuisance enforcement action results in moneys owed the city for costs, penalties or interest thereon, the city may file a lien or special assessment against the property on which it is maintained and a personal obligation against the owner.
2. The procedures for placing a lien or special assessment on property pursuant to this section will be substantially the same as those set forth in the California Government Code and Sections 8.00.110 through 8.00.130 of this code.”
Section 2 That Chapter 1.08 of the Brentwood Municipal Code is hereby amended to amend in its entirety Section 1.08.030 (Recovery of administrative citation fines and costs) to read as follows:
“1.08.130 Recovery of administrative citation fines and costs.
On behalf of the city, the city manager may collect any past-due administrative citation fine or late payment charge by use of all available legal means and the choice of one remedy does not affect the city’s ability to use alternative remedies. This includes recovery through small claims court and the placement of the amounts as a special assessment upon real property owned by the person. The special assessment shall be collected under the authority of section 53069.4 of the California Government Code and pursuant to the procedures set forth in section 38773.5 of the California Government Code. The special assessment shall be collected at the same time and in the same manner as ordinary municipal taxes are collected, and shall be subject to the same penalties and the same procedure and sale in case of delinquency as provided for ordinary municipal taxes. If a special assessment is elected as a remedy by the city manager, the city shall provide notice, by certified mail, to the person at least seven days before the time of imposing the assessment. The notice shall specify the amount due and the fact of imposition of the amount as a special assessment upon the described real property. The notice shall also specify the property may be sold after three years by the tax collector for unpaid delinquent assessments. For any legal action to enforce the special assessment or to otherwise collect the amounts due, the city also may choose to recover its collection costs and attorneys’ fees, and in that instance, such costs and fees shall be recoverable by whomever is the prevailing party.”
SECTION 3. That Section 8.00.030 (Declaration of Nuisances) of the Brentwood Municipal Code is hereby amended to add new sections DD and EE which shall read as follows:
“DD. Any violation of chapter 17 (zoning) 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.
EE. Repeated disruptive activities including, but not limited to, disturbances of the peace and quiet of the neighborhood of which causes discomfort or annoyance to any reasonable person of normal sensitiveness residing in the area, public drunkenness, drinking in public, harassment of passersby, sale of stolen goods, public urination or defecation, theft, assaults, battery, acts of vandalism, excessive littering, illegal parking, loud noises, traffic violations, curfew violations, or police detentions and arrests.”
SECTION 4. 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 and 3 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 5. 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 12th day of February 2008, by the following vote:
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