(Title and Section Amended by Ord. No. 171,175, Eff. 7/25/96.)
91.8904.1. Duties of the Owner of Vacant Property. (Amended by Ord. No. 185,587, Eff. 7/16/18.) It shall be unlawful for the owner or person in control of a parcel of land to permit the accumulation of trash, debris, vehicle parts, rubbish, excessive vegetation or other similar nuisance conditions on a parcel or in and around any building or structure located on a parcel. The Department may order the fencing of such a parcel in the manner described below.
It shall be unlawful for the owner or person in control of a parcel of land to allow a vacant building or structure to be open to unauthorized entry on that land. The entire building or structure shall be securely maintained. The owner or person in control of a vacant building, structure, or lot which is open to unauthorized entry shall secure all openings, accessible for entry from the exterior of the building or structure, and where appropriate, the entire lot itself, with one of the following methods:
1. Minimum 3/4 inch (19.05 mm) exterior grade plywood. The plywood shall have a positive connection to the building or structure using minimum 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) bolts which shall not be removable from the outside.
2. Minimum 16-gauge steel mesh attached to a minimum 1 inch by 1/8 inch (25 mm x 3.175 mm) angle iron frame. The frame shall have a positive connection to the building or structure using minimum 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) bolts which shall not be removable from the outside.
3. Other means of barricading as directed or approved by the Department including wrought iron fencing of the lot. The Department may, working in cooperation with the Police Department, develop standards for alternative fencing.
Unless directed otherwise by the Department, the owner or person in control of a parcel of land also shall erect a 10 foot (3048 mm) high, unobstructed, chain link fence complete with lockable gates. The fence, once constructed, shall become the property of the owner of the property upon which it is constructed and, all structures on the property, including the fence shall be maintained in good repair. In the event that the fence or other barriers cannot be maintained in good repair, the Department may order an alternative method of barricading. The property so fenced shall be conspicuously posted with a "No Trespassing" sign pursuant to LAMC Section 41.24.
It shall also be unlawful for the owner or person in control of a parcel of land to allow to exist any graffiti on any walls, temporary or permanent structures, places, or other surfaces when that graffiti, as defined in LAMC Section 49.84.2, is visible from a public street or other public or private property.
The owner or person in control of a parcel of land, whose property displays graffiti, shall completely remove the graffiti by washing, sandblasting or chemical treatment or shall completely and uniformly cover or otherwise obscure the graffiti with paint or other approved materials.
91.8904.1.1. Procedure for Securing Vacant Property and Removing Graffiti – Notification. (Amended by Ord. No. 185,587, Eff. 7/16/18.) The City Council finds that the following conditions constitute a public nuisance: the maintenance of vacant buildings or structures open to unauthorized entry; the storage and accumulation of trash, debris, vehicle parts or other items prohibited under LAMC Section 91.8904; and the maintenance of vacant or occupied property with graffiti visible from a public street or alley as described in LAMC Section 91.8904.
If the property owner or person in control consents to the removal of the graffiti, the City may enter upon the property and remove such graffiti.
If the owner or person in control refuses to remove the graffiti, or if any of the public nuisance conditions above-described exist, then the Department of Building and Safety may issue an order by certified mail, return receipt requested, or may deposit an order in the United States mail in a sealed envelope, postage prepaid, to the owner as shown on the last equalized assessment roll to abate these conditions. A copy of the order shall also be posted on the subject property. The order may give no more than ten days from the date the notice was mailed to perform the work.
However, if the order is served by way of personal service, the order may give no more than five days from the date the order was served to perform the work.
91.8904.1.2 Abatement by the City. (Amended by Ord. No. 172,702, Eff. 8/16/99.) In the event the nuisance, including graffiti, is not removed or otherwise eliminated or abated by the date specified in the notice, the City, or its contractor, may enter upon the parcel and remove or eliminate the nuisance. Abatement may be accomplished by contract or work order and may be performed by a private contractor submitting a competitive sealed bid, a public entity performing under a Memorandum of Understanding or by means of an Annual Awarded Contract.
For the purposes of this section, an Annual Awarded Contract shall mean one or more 12-month contracts awarded by the Department after competitive bidding. The contracts may be based upon both stipulated prices and unit cost for the fencing of vacant or vacated property; for removal of graffiti visible from a public street or alley; for draining swimming pools; for the securing of vacant buildings open to unauthorized entry; for the removal of debris, rubbish, excessive vegetation, weed abatement or similar nuisance conditions on property containing a vacant building or vacant lots, when and as directed by the Department by means of a work order. No work order shall be executed except in conjunction with the necessary contract or contracts.
If abatement is performed by a City department other than the Department of Building and Safety, that department shall bill the owner for the cost of removal, or other elimination or abatement of the nuisance, including administrative costs. An itemized written report showing the date and cost of abatement work done by the City or its contractor shall be submitted to the Department. Payment for the cost of abatement and recovery of the cost from the property owner shall be pursuant to LAMC Section 91.8906. (Amended by Ord. No. 185,587, Eff. 7/16/18.)
If the building again becomes open to unauthorized entry, or graffiti is again visible from a public street or alley, or the building's premises or vacant parcel again contain debris, rubbish, excessive vegetation or other similar nuisance conditions, the Department may, upon 3 days notice to the owner, execute a contract or work order to have the required work performed by one of the methods provided by this section. The cost of performing the work may be paid from the "Repair and Demolition Fund" as established in LAMC Section 91.8906. Further, the provisions of LAMC Subsections 91.8903.4, 91.8903.5 and 91.8903.6 shall apply to this section. (Amended by Ord. No. 185,587, Eff. 7/16/18.)
The above abatement procedures are in addition to any other remedy the Department may choose to pursue to eliminate the nuisance conditions.
This section may also be used to abate graffiti that is observable from a public road, public right-of-way, or other property that is freely open to the public, as defined in Section 49.84.2 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code. (Amended by Ord. No. 180,708, Eff. 7/6/09.)
If at the time of removal of the graffiti the owner or occupants object, then the City will immediately obtain the necessary consent, warrants, or court order prior to completion of the graffiti removal. This section should not be administered in any way that would violate the constitutional rights of any person.
91.8904.2. Abatement of Vacant Buildings or Structures that are Open to Unauthorized Entry and Fire Damaged or Repeatedly Used for Illegal Purposes. (Amended by Ord. No. 171,175, Eff. 7/25/96.)
91.8904.2.1 (Amended by Ord. No. 185,587, Eff. 7/16/18.) Any vacant buildings open to unauthorized entry that become fire damaged or used repeatedly by vagrants and gang members or for other illegal purposes, constitute a public nuisance. The expeditious repair or demolition of such vacant buildings and attached or detached appurtenances is essential in order to eliminate fire hazards, and public nuisance conditions which adversely affect the public safety and have a blighting effect on the neighborhood. It is the purpose of this section to establish a fair and expeditious procedure which may be used in connection with those buildings and attached or detached appurtenances.
91.8904.2.2. Procedures. (Amended by Ord. No. 185,587, Eff. 7/16/18.) The Department may declare a vacant building to be a public nuisance building under the following circumstances:
1. The vacant building has been secured pursuant to LAMC Subsection 91.8904.1;
2. It has subsequently become open to unauthorized entry; and
3. It has become fire damaged or is used repeatedly without the owner’s permission by vagrants, criminals, or gangs or for other illegal purposes.
If the Department determines that a vacant building is a public nuisance building as defined in this section, then the Department may proceed to abate the public nuisance building utilizing the procedures set forth in LAMC Subsections 91.8907.2, 91.8907.3 and 91.8907.4. The cost of any work done by the City or its contractor to abate the nuisance may be collected from the property owner in accordance with the procedures set forth in LAMC Section 91.8906.
A copy of any order issued pursuant to this section shall be provided to the Fire Department and Police Department.
91.8904.3. Inspection Fee for Periodic Inspection of Property and Buildings. (Amended by Ord. No. 185,587, Eff. 7/16/18.) Whenever the Department determines after notice and hearing that a property or building requires a monthly inspection in order to abate a public nuisance and encourage future maintenance in compliance with applicable codes, the Department may inspect monthly and assess fees pursuant to LAMC Section 98.0412. These fees shall be imposed annually when the nuisance condition is abated by the City pursuant to this division but not more than once during any twelve month period.
The notice of hearing and intent to impose the annual fee shall be mailed to the owner as listed on the last equalized assessment roll or supplemental roll. The matter shall be scheduled for hearing before the Board of Building and Safety Commissioners on the date specified on the notice. The Board shall determine whether the conditions and previous record of public nuisance conditions and failure to comply with the Code justify the imposition of the annual fee and monthly inspection.
The monthly inspection may be accomplished by contract or work order and may be performed by a private contractor submitting a sealed bid or by means of an Annual Awarded Monitoring Contract. An Annual Awarded Monitoring Contract shall mean one or more 12-month contracts awarded by the Department after competitive bidding. Payment for the cost of monthly inspections shall be made from the Repair and Demolition Fund. Any payments received as a result of the annual fee imposed pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited into the Repair and Demolition Fund. The property owner's failure to pay this fee may result in a lien against the property pursuant to LAMC Subsection 91.8906.2.