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Resolution No. 2007-18

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City Council meeting minutes of Sept 17 2007


A RESOLUTION of the City Council of the City of Lakewood, Washington, confirming the assessment of charges in the amount of $37,549.57 as a special assessment against property located at 14514 Washington Avenue SW for abatement of a public nuisance and dangerous buildings and authorizing said charges to be certified for collection in the same manner as for property taxes

WHEREAS, in connection with the incorporation of the City of Lakewood, Washington, the City Council adopted a number of health and safety codes and regulations, including regulations providing for fire, building, housing, litter, and other regulations to address adverse and negative impacts on citizens and property in the City; and,

WHEREAS, the City?s code enforcement actions achieve a high degree of success through communication with property owners and dissemination of information about the health and safety codes of the City; and,

WHEREAS, in a small number of code enforcement cases the City may use progressively aggressive warning letters, notices to abate, and notices of infractions filed with the Municipal Court in order to achieve positive responses from persons responsible for properties that are in violation of the City?s adopted codes; and,

WHEREAS, notwithstanding the efforts described above, a property located at 14514 Washington Avenue SW suffered neglect, abandonment and vandalism, was dangerous due to methamphetamine contaminated buildings and structures, and the person or persons responsible for the property could not or would not avail themselves of the opportunity to quickly and cooperatively remove these nuisance and dangerous building conditions; and,

WHEREAS, in order to ensure abatement of this public nuisance, and to protect citizens and property located in the City of Lakewood, it was necessary for the City to expend public funds for such public nuisance and dangerous building abatement; and,

WHEREAS, under the circumstances stated herein it was appropriate to expend $37,549.57 to abate nuisances conditions and dangerous buildings located at 14514 Washington Avenue SW to protect the public health, safety and welfare; and,

WHEREAS, abatement of public nuisances and the procedures therefore are specifically enumerated and authorized under LMC 15.32, under the Uniform Code for the Abatement of Dangerous Buildings, under RCW 35.80.030, and under RCW 7.48, and those procedures were followed in this matter; and,

WHEREAS, following said abatement, as authorized in pertinent codes and statutes, it is appropriate also for the City of Lakewood to seek recovery of the fees and charges expended in abating said nuisances, thereby recovering public funds used in this manner; and,

WHEREAS, regarding enforcement and abatement measures taken against said property, an itemized statement of funds expended, and a description of the conditions contained upon the property are set forth in the Report of the Building Official, identified as Exhibit ?A? to this Resolution and the same documents are on file with the Office of the City Clerk.


Section 1. That in protecting the public health, safety and welfare, it was necessary to abate nuisance conditions and dangerous buildings upon property located at 14514 Washington Avenue SW within the City of Lakewood, Washington. It is further appropriate to certify and confirm the assessment of charges for this abatement against the property, recording charges in the amount of $37,549.57 on the county tax assessment rolls, and thereafter creating a special assessment against and a lien upon the property for this amount. Further, upon the passage of this resolution and thirty (30) days, as allowed under the Uniform Code for the Abatement of Dangerous Buildings, the special assessment shall bear interest at the rate of twelve (12) percent per year from and after that date.

Section 2. That this Resolution shall be in full force and effect upon passage and signatures hereon.

PASSED by the City Council this 17th day of September, 2007.




Dr. Claudia B. Thomas, Mayor


Alice M. Bush, MMC, City Clerk

Approved as to Form:


Heidi Ann Wachter, City Attorney





DATE: September 10, 2007


PROPERTY ADDRESS: 14514 Washington Avenue SW, Lakewood, WA

TAX DESCRIPTION: Section 21 Township 19 Range 02 Quarter 11 AMERICAN LAKE: AMERICAN LAKE NLY 7 FT OF ELY 43 FT OF SLY 120 FT OF L 10, L 11 LESS WLY 61 FT & EXC ELY 84.38 FT OF SLY 113 FT & WLY 10 FT OF 12 LESS SLY 113 FT B 30 ITEM 1

In this matter Mark Nelson, the Building Official for the City of Lakewood, cites the following facts and procedural steps relevant to the abatement performed on the above-identified property, as follows:

  1. On December 4, 2006, Lakewood Code Enforcement Officer Doug Price inspected the property, finding that a house was secure but that two mobile homes on the property had been vandalized and were open to unlawful entry. Fixtures and metals had been removed from the buildings. The steps and porches on the buildings were deteriorated. The remains of a torn-down shed, as well as trash, junk and abandoned vehicles were observed upon the property.
  2. On December 29, 2006, the Tacoma/Pierce County Health Department provided to Officer Price methamphetamine testing results regarding the property. The test results showed that the buildings upon this property were significantly contaminated. A test conducted in a mobile home upon the property showed methamphetamine contamination approximately 10,000 time higher than the level at which the state would require contamination abatement.
  3. On January 5, 2007, Officer Price documented the condition of the property with photographs.
  4. On January 25, 2007, the property was posted with a Notice and Order to Abate Public Nuisance and Dangerous Buildings. The Notice was mailed via certified mail and regular US mail to the property owner on this same date. This Notice informed the property owner that the buildings were dangerous and ordered the property owner to appeal the notice or to obtain necessary permits and commence work to abate the problems within twenty (20) days.
  5. No appeal was received in this matter. While the City did become aware that the property owner solicited a bid to complete the abatement, the property owner failed to obtain permits and failed to remedy the condition of the property.
  6. On March 30, 2007, the City filed with the Pierce County public records a Certification and Notice of Intent to Abate Dangerous Building and Public nuisance. In this Notice Acting Building Official David Ralph reiterated the dangerous condition of the buildings and property and gave public notice that the City intended to abate this nuisance.
  7. In May of 2007 Officer Price received a bid from LeMay Transportation Services. A contract was made between LeMay and the City. The work was conducted between May 23 to May 25, 2007. The City was billed $34,946.94 for the work performed.
  8. During the abatement work an illegal natural gas line was found. The gas line was buried shallow and the gas was conducted through an improper type of piping. Puget Sound Energy had no record of this gas line, but responded and closed off this line.
  9. On May 31, 2007, Officer Price documented the post-abatement condition of the property through photographs.
  10. On July 30, 2007, Puget Sound Energy billed the City $2,500.00 for what they termed ?damage to gas equipment? at the property.
  11. Pursuant to UCADB section 902, a public hearing regarding the costs of this abatement was set for Tuesday, September 4, 2007. Notice of the hearing was posted upon the property on August 22, 2007, a copy of the notice was mailed to the property owner via regular and certified mail, and notice of the hearing was published in the News Tribune on August 23, 2007.


As shown in exhibits supplied to the City Council during a public hearing regarding this matter, the following costs were incurred in abating this property:

Contractor Invoice: $34,948.29

PSE Invoice: $2,500.00

Filing Fee/Pierce County Assessor: $34.00

Publication Costs: $57.43

Certified Mailings: $9.85

TOTAL $37,549.57

RECOMMENDATION: It is recommended that the Lakewood City Council authorize that the total amount stated above be placed as a lien upon the property and certified to the county taxing authority for collection.

Signed this 10th day of September, 2007.


Mark Nelson, Building Official

City of Lakewood