City of Spokane

Spokane Municipal Code

***Note: Many local criminal codes can now be located under Chapter 10.60 SMC while others are now cited under the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), which was incorporated into the municipal code in 2022. (See SMC 10.58.010). Code Enforcement, including Noise Control and Animal Regulations are located in Chapters 10.62 through 10.74.

Title 10
Chapter 10.68
Section 10.68.020

Title 10 Regulation of Activities

Division V. Code Enforcement and Animal Regulations

Chapter 10.68 Chronic Nuisance Properties

Section 10.68.020 Definitions

For purposes of this chapter, the following words or phrases shall have the meaning prescribed below:

  1. “Abandoned property”, for purposes of defining a chronic nuisance, means a property over which the person in charge no longer asserts control due to death, incarceration, or any other reason, and which is either unsecured or subject to occupation by unauthorized individuals.
  1. “Abate” means to repair, replace, remove, destroy, return to productive use, or otherwise remedy a condition which constitutes a violation of this chapter by such means and in such a manner and to such an extent as the applicable City department director or designee determines is necessary in the interest of the general health, safety and welfare of the community.
  1. “Abatement agreement” means a contract between the City and the person in charge of the chronic nuisance property in which such person agrees to promptly take all lawful and reasonable actions, which shall be set forth in the agreement, to abate the nuisance within a specified time and according to specified conditions.
  1. “Chronic nuisance property” means:
    1. a property on which nuisance activity is observed on three or more occasions during any sixty-day period or on which nuisance activity is observed on seven or more occasions during any twelve-month period, or
    1. a property where, pursuant to a valid search warrant, evidence of drug-related activity has been identified two or more times, or
    1. any abandoned property where nuisance activity exists.
  1. “Control” means the ability to regulate, restrain, dominate, counteract or govern property or conduct that occurs on a property.
  1. “Drug-related activity” means any unlawful activity at a property which consists of the manufacture, delivery, sale, storage, possession, use, or giving away of any controlled substance as defined in chapter 69.50 RCW, legend drug as defined in chapter 69.41 RCW, or imitation controlled substances as defined in chapter 69.52 RCW. Possession of marijuana that is legal under state law shall not result in enforcement action under this ordinance.
  1. “Landlord” means the owner, lessor or sublessor of the dwelling unit or the property of which it is a part, and in addition, means any person designated as a representative of the landlord.
  1. “Nuisance activity” means and includes:
    1. Any civil code violation as defined by state law or local ordinance occurring around or near the property, including, but not limited to, the following activities, conditions or behaviors:
      1. Litter and Rubbish
      1. Fire Hazard from Vegetation and Debris
      1. Any dangerous animal violations
      1. Fire Code Violations
      1. Alcohol beverage control violations, as defined in RCW 66.44.
      1. General Nuisance
        1. any act or omission, as provided in Chapter 7.48 RCW or Chapter 9.66 RCW or which unreasonably:
          1. interferes with the comfort, solitude, health or safety of others; or
          1. offends common sensibilities and senses by way of extreme noise, light or odor; or
          1. obstructs or renders hazardous for public passage any public way or place; or
          1. pollutes or renders less usable any watercourse or water body.
        1. maintaining or permitting upon any land:
          1. refrigerator, freezer or other insulated container within which a child could suffocate;
          1. a pit, excavation, swimming pool, well or other uncovered hole into which a person could fall;
          1. lumber, metal, plastic, paper, cardboard, or other scrap material deposited in such place and manner as to constitute a hazardous attraction to children;
          1. unused or junk vehicle or machinery or parts unless enclosed and secured as required by law for wrecking yards or junk yards;
          1. an abandoned or vacant building, structure or part thereof not securely closed to entry;
          1. toxic, radioactive, caustic, explosive, malodorous or septic substances, such as putrescent animal, fish or fowl parts, animal or vegetable waste matter, excrement and any material likely to attract or breed flies or rats, unless kept in proper receptacles as provided by the health and refuse laws; or
          1. structure, collection of wood, cloth, paper, plastic or glass material, vegetation or flammable substances kept in such manner as to create a substantial risk of combustion or spread of fire.
    1. Any criminal conduct, including the attempt and/or conspiracy to commit any criminal conduct, as defined by State or local ordinance occurring on, around, near or having a nexus to a property, including but not limited to:
    1. Stalking
    1. Harassment
    1. Failure to disperse
    1. Disorderly conduct
    1. Assault including domestic violence assault
    1. Reckless endangerment
    1. Prostitution
    1. Patronizing a prostitute
    1. Indecent exposure
    1. Lewd conduct
    1. Any firearms or dangerous weapons violations
    1. Noise
    1. Loitering for the purpose of engaging in drug-related activity
    1. Drug-related activity.
    1. Gang-related activity, as defined in: RCW 59.118.030.
    1. Any crimes of domestic violence.
    1. Any violation of any protection order.
    1. Warrant arrests, or any instance in which a DOC offender is located at a property while in violation of DOC supervision.
    1. Reckless Driving, Driving Under the Influence, Vehicular Homicide and Assault
    1. Possession of stolen property
    1. Trafficking in stolen property and/or criminal profiteering
    1. Theft, trafficking, or unlawful possession of commercial metal property
    1. Identity theft
    1. Rendering criminal assistance
    1. Possession of stolen vehicle
  1. “Owner” means any person having any interest in the real estate in question as indicated in the records of the office of the Spokane County auditor, or who establishes under this chapter, their ownership interest therein.
  1. “Person” means natural person, financial institution, bank, joint venture, partnership, association, club, company, corporation, business trust, organization or the manager, lessee, agent, officer or employee of any of them.
  1. “Person associated with a property” means any person who, on the occasion of a nuisance activity, has entered, patronized, visited, or attempted to enter, patronize or visit, or waited to enter, patronize or visit, a property or a person present on property, including without limitation, any officer, director, customer, agent, employee or any independent contractor of a property, or a person in charge of or owner of a property.
  1. “Person in charge” of a property means any person in actual or constructive possession or control of a property, including, but not limited to, an owner, occupant, agent or property manager of a property under his control, and any bank or financial institution in actual or constructive possession or which possesses any sort of lien or interest in the property.  There may be at any one time multiple persons in charge of a property all of which may be jointly and severally liable under this chapter.
  1. “Premises and property” may be used by this chapter interchangeably and means any building, lot, parcel, dwelling, rental unit, real estate or land or portion thereof including property used as residential or commercial property.
  1. “Rental unit” means any structure or that part of a structure including, but not limited to, single-family home, room or apartment, which is rented to another and used as a home, residence or sleeping place by one or more persons.

Date Passed: Monday, October 3, 2022

Effective Date: Monday, October 3, 2022

ORD C36289 Section 5