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(a) Requirements. Every person, firm or corporation, including the City and County of San Francisco, owning or having control of any manhole, vault, or sub-sidewalk basement cover, grille, grate, or other lid on the public sidewalk must comply with the Department of Public Works' slip resistant regulations for such surfaces and covers. Said regulations shall be based on the U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board's slip resistant recommendations or California Code of Regulations Title 24, whichever is more restrictive. The Director of Public Works shall adopt a slip resistant standard(s) for such surfaces and covers after conducting a public hearing on the recommended standard or standards. For surfaces and covers that pre-date 1920, the Director shall develop special standards that encourage, to the maximum extent feasible, preservation or adaptive reuse of such surfaces and covers. The standards for these surfaces and covers may deviate from the standards set forth in this subsection and shall include, but not be limited to, measures to preserve foundry marks, names of public or private companies associated with the surface or cover, dates, or other historical identifiers; provided, however, that in all instances the standards shall ensure public safety. The Director shall issue a Departmental Order specifying the standard or standards adopted pursuant to this section. Covers for sewer vents and traps that comply with the Plumbing Code are exempt from section 790.
(b) Notice of violation. The Director of Public Works shall have authority to enforce this section. Upon the Director's determination that a person has violated any provisions of this section, the Director shall serve notice to the owner to abate the violation within thirty (30) days. The Director's notice of violation shall be a written, electronic, or facsimile communication and shall specify the manner in which the violation shall be remedied.
(c) Hearing. The owner shall have seven (7) days from the date of the notice to request in writing a hearing before the Director to contest the notice of violation. If the owner fails to request a hearing within seven days, the Director's determination of violation shall be presumed final. At the hearing, the owner shall be entitled to present evidence that any manhole, vault or sub-sidewalk basement cover, grille, grate, or other lid on the public sidewalk complies with the applicable Department of Public Works slip resistant standard. The determination of the Director after the hearing shall be final and not appealable.
(d) Abatement. After notification by the Director, the owner shall obtain applicable Permit(s), and remove and replace the non-compliant cover(s) or surface(s) within thirty (30) days. The Director may extend the time for the owner to remove and replace such cover or surface in his or her discretion.
(e) Failure to Abate Violation. If the owner fails to abate any violation pursuant to the Director's notice, the Director is empowered to abate the violation in the manner in which the Director deems expedient and appropriate. The owner shall compensate the Department of Public Works for any costs associated with abating the violation. In addition, the Director may assess additional penalties, costs and abatement charges in his or her discretion.
(f) Administrative Penalties. The administrative penalties assessed pursuant to subsection (e) shall not exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) per day, per violation commencing with the first day of the violation. In assessing the amount of the administrative penalty, the Director may consider any one or more of the following: the nature and seriousness of the violation, the number of violations, the length of time over which the violation continues to occur, and the willfulness of the violator's misconduct.
(g) Enforcement Costs. In addition to the administrative penalty assessed pursuant to subsection (f), the Director may assess enforcement costs to cover the reasonable costs incurred in enforcing the administrative penalty, including reasonable attorney's fees.
(h) Civil Penalties. The Director may call upon the City Attorney to maintain an action for injunction to cause the correction or abatement of the violation, and for assessment and recovery of a civil penalty and reasonable attorney's fees for such violation. Any person who violates this section may be liable for a civil penalty, not to exceed $500 for each day such violation is committed or permitted to continue, which penalty shall be assessed and recovered in a civil action brought in the name of the people of the City by the City Attorney in any court of competent jurisdiction. In assessing the amount the civil penalty, the court may consider any one or more of the following: the nature and seriousness of the violation, the number of violations, the length of time over which the violation continues to occur, the willfulness of the violator's misconduct, and the defendant's assets, liabilities, and net worth. The City Attorney may also seek recovery of the attorney's fees and costs incurred in bringing a civil action pursuant to this action.
(i) Severability. In adopting this section 790, the Board of Supervisors does not intend to regulate or affect the rights or authority of the Federal or State government to do those things that are required, directed, or expressly authorized by Federal or State law or administrative regulation. Further, in adopting this Ordinance, the Board of Supervisors does not intend to prohibit that which is prohibited by Federal or State law or administrative regulation. In the event that a court or agency of competent jurisdiction holds that Federal or State law, rule or regulation invalidates any clause, sentence, paragraph, or subsection of section 790 or the application thereof to any person or circumstances, it is the intent of the Board of Supervisors that the court or agency sever such clause, sentence paragraph, or subsection so that the remainder of sections 790 shall remain in effect.
(Added by Ord. 30-04, File No. 030677, App. 3/2/2004)