8.01.170 Administrative civil penalties.
A. In addition to any other remedy prescribed in this chapter, any nuisance as described in this chapter may be subject to an administrative penalty of up to $1,000 per day. The administrative penalty may be imposed via the administrative process set forth in this section, as provided in Cal. Gov’t. Code § 53069.4, or may be imposed by the court if the violation requires court enforcement without an administrative process.
B. Acts, omissions, or conditions in violation of this chapter that continue, exist, or occur on more than one day constitute separate violations on each day. Violations continuing, existing, or occurring on the service date, the effective date, and each day between the service date and the effective date are separate violations.
C. In the case of a continuing violation, if the violation does not create an immediate danger to health or safety, the enforcing officer or the court shall provide for a reasonable period of time, not to exceed 10 days, for the person responsible for the violation to correct or otherwise remedy the violation prior to the imposition of administrative penalties.
D. In determining the amount of the administrative penalty, the enforcing officer, or the court if the violation requires court enforcement without an administrative process, shall take into consideration the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violation or violations, any prior history of violations, the degree of culpability, economic savings, if any, resulting from the violation, and any other matters justice may require.
E. The enforcing officer may commence the administrative process by issuance of a notice of violation and proposed administrative penalty, which shall state the amount of the proposed administrative penalty and the reasons therefor. The notice of violation and proposed administrative penalty may be combined with a notice to abate unlawful marijuana cultivation issued pursuant to SCC 8.01.050. The notice shall be served by certified mail addressed to all of the following: (1) the owner of the property on which the violation exists, at the address shown on the last equalized assessment roll or as otherwise known to the enforcing officer; (2) anyone known to the enforcing officer to be in possession of the property subject to the notice, at the street address of the property; and (3) any other person known to the enforcing officer who has caused, permitted, maintained, conducted, or otherwise suffered or allowed the violation to exist. The failure to serve any person described in this subsection shall not affect the validity of service or the validity of any penalties imposed upon any other person. The notice shall inform the recipient of their right to request a hearing before the Board of Supervisors in accordance with this section. If such a hearing is not requested within 10 days after issuance of the notice, the proposed penalty shall become final and conclusive, and the person to whom the notice was issued shall immediately make payment of the penalty amount to the county.
F. If any person to whom the notice is issued requests a hearing before the Board of Supervisors, the person shall be notified by first class mail, postage prepaid, when the matter has been set for hearing. After the hearing, the Board may impose, modify, or disapprove, in whole or in part, by its own order, the proposed penalty set forth in the notice. The decision of the Board of Supervisors shall be final and conclusive. Any order of the Board of Supervisors shall become effective upon issuance thereof and shall be served by first class mail, postage prepaid, upon the appellant. Payment of an administrative penalty specified in the Board of Supervisors’ order shall be made to the county within 20 days of service of the order, unless timely appealed to the Superior Court in accordance with Cal. Gov’t. Code § 53069.4, subdivision (b).
G. Interest shall accrue on all amounts due under this section, from the effective date of the administrative penalty order, as set forth in this section, to the date paid pursuant to the laws applicable to civil money judgments.
H. In addition to any other legal remedy, whenever the amount of any administrative penalty imposed pursuant to this section has not been satisfied in full within 90 days and has not been timely appealed to the superior court in accordance with Cal. Gov’t. Code § 53069.4, subdivision (b), or if appealed, such appeal has been dismissed or denied, this obligation may be enforced as a lien against the real property on which the violation occurred.
1. The lien provided herein shall have no force and effect until recorded with the County Recorder. Once recorded, the administrative order shall have the force and effect and priority of a judgment lien governed by the provisions of Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 697.340, and may be extended as provided in Cal. Civ. Proc. Code §§ 683.110 to 683.220, inclusive.
2. Interest shall accrue on the principal amount of the lien remaining unsatisfied pursuant to the law applicable to civil money judgments.
3. Prior to recording any such lien, the enforcing officer shall prepare and file with the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors a report stating the amounts due and owing.
4. The Clerk of the Board of Supervisors will fix a time, date, and place for the Board of Supervisors to consider the report and any protests or objections to it.
5. The Clerk of the Board of Supervisors shall serve the owner of the property with a hearing notice not less than 10 days before the hearing date. The notice must set forth the amount of the delinquent administrative penalty that is due. Notice must be delivered by first class mail, postage prepaid, addressed to the owner at the address shown on the last equalized assessment roll or as otherwise known. Service by mail is effective on the date of mailing and failure of owner to actually receive notice does not affect its validity.
6. Any person whose real property is subject to a lien pursuant to this section may file a written protest with the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors and/or may protest orally at the Board of Supervisors meeting. Each written protest or objection must contain a description of the property in which the protesting party is interested and the grounds of such protest or objection.
7. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board of Supervisors will adopt a resolution confirming, discharging, or modifying the lien amount.
8. Within 30 days following the Board of Supervisors’ adoption of a resolution imposing a lien, the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors will file same as a judgment lien in the Sierra County Recorder’s Office.
9. Once the county receives full payment for outstanding principal, penalties, and costs, the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors will either record a notice of satisfaction or provide the owner with a notice of satisfaction for recordation at the Sierra County Recorder’s Office. This notice of satisfaction will cancel the county’s lien under this section.
10. The lien may be foreclosed and the real property sold, by the filing of a complaint for foreclosure in a court of competent jurisdiction, and the issuance of a judgment to foreclose. The prevailing party shall be entitled to its attorneys’ fees and costs.
I. Administrative penalties imposed pursuant to this section shall also constitute a personal obligation of each person who causes, permits, maintains, conducts or otherwise suffers or allows the nuisance to exist. In the event that administrative penalties are imposed pursuant to this section on two or more persons for the same violation, all such persons shall be jointly and severally liable for the full amount of the penalties imposed. In addition to any other remedy, the county may prosecute a civil action through the office of the County Counsel to collect any administrative penalty imposed pursuant to this section.
J. Payment of administrative penalties under this section does not excuse or discharge any continuation or repeated occurrence of the violation that is the subject of the notice of violation and proposed administrative penalty. The payment of administrative penalties does not bar the county from taking any other enforcement action regarding a violation that is not corrected. (Ord. 1055, eff. 8/21/14)