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City of Portland

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11.70.090 Enforcement Actions.

A.  General. The following list of enforcement actions gives the City Forester and BDS Director additional means to obtain compliance with the requirements of this Title. The rights and remedies provided in this Chapter are cumulative, are not mutually exclusive, and are in addition to any other rights, remedies and penalties available to the City under any other provision of law. The City Forester or BDS Director may adopt administrative rules to establish priorities and guidelines for the following enforcement actions.

B.  Standard enforcement actions. Standard enforcement actions may be invoked for general violations of this Title, including conducting tree activities without a required tree permit. In addition to these standard actions, the City Forester may take additional actions for City and Street Tree violations as described in Subsection C.

1.  Civil penalties. The City Forester or BDS Director may issue a complaint to any person who cuts, removes, prunes or harms any tree without a permit as required by this Title or is otherwise in non-compliance with any term, condition, limitation or requirement of an approval granted under this Title, and require payment of a civil penalty up to $1,000 per day. Each tree constitutes a separate violation, and each day that the person fails to obtain a permit or remains in non-compliance with a permit or tree plan may also constitute a separate violation.

2.  Initiating a proceeding before the Code Hearings Officer. The City Forester and BDS Director are each authorized to initiate proceedings before the Code Hearings Officer, as stated in the procedures in Title 22 Hearings Officer, to enforce the provisions of this Section when the responsible person fails to respond to the City Forester or BDS Director’s complaint as described in Subsection B.1, above. The Hearings Officer may order any party to:

a.  Abate or remove any nuisance;

b.  Install any equipment or plant trees necessary to achieve compliance;

c.  Pay to the City of Portland a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per day. In determining the amount of any civil penalty to be assessed, the Code Hearings Officer will consider the following:

(1)   The nature and extent of the property owner or responsible party’s involvement in the violation;

(2)  The benefits, economic, financial or otherwise, accruing or likely to accrue as a result of the violation;

(3)  Whether the violation was isolated and temporary, or repeated and continuing;

(4)  The magnitude and seriousness of the violation;

(5)  The City’s cost of investigation and remedying the violation;

(6)  Any other applicable facts bearing on the nature and seriousness of the violation.

d.  Undertake any other action reasonably necessary to correct the violation or mitigate the effects thereof.

3.  Delayed intake of applications for development permits or land use reviews. When a violation of this Title has occurred on a site, the BDS Director may refuse land use or development permit applications until the violation has been satisfactorily resolved.

4.  Disqualification from City contracts. At their discretion, the City Forester or Responsible Engineer may refuse to consider any arborist, builder, landscaper, contractor, or tree service that has been cited for any tree activity in violation of this Title or submitted a falsified report for the criteria required in this Title, as a responsible bidder for any City contracts for a period of 2 years from the date of violation or falsified report.

5.  Removal from City’s list of local tree care providers. The City Forester may remove any arborist, builder, landscaper, contractor, or tree service that refuses to correct a violation, has been fined for any tree violation of this Title, or submitted a falsified report for the criteria required in this Title, from the list of contractors providing related services for a period of 2 years from the date of violation or report.

6.  Abatement. Whenever a responsible party or property owner conducts a prohibited action per Section 11.70.050, the City may pursue abatement proceedings to remove the nuisance. Whenever the City has declared that such nuisance exists, the property liable for the nuisance will be directed to abate the nuisance by following the notice and abatement procedures outlined in this Chapter.

7.  Stop Work Orders. When any work is being conducted in violation of this Title, and public health or safety is threatened, the City Forester or BDS Director may issue a stop work order as stated in the requirements of Section 3.30.080.

8.  Enforcement penalty.

a.  The City may charge a penalty in the form of a monthly enforcement penalty for each property found in violation of this Title that meets the following conditions:

(1)  The property is a subject of a notice of violation of this Title as described in Section 11.70.070;

(2)  A response period of 30 days has passed since the effective date of the initial notice of violation; and

(3)  The property remains out of compliance with the initial notice of violation or any subsequent notice of violation.

b.  The amount of the monthly enforcement penalty shall be charged as set forth in the Enforcement Fee and Penalty Schedule as approved by the City Council.

c.  Properties in violation for 3 months from the initial notice of violation will be assessed an enforcement penalty that is twice the amount as listed in the Enforcement Fee and Penalty Schedule as approved by the City Council.

d.  Whenever the owner believes that all violations listed in the first or any subsequent notice of violation have been corrected, they shall notify the Director. Upon receipt of such notice, the Director will promptly schedule an inspection of the property and notify the owner if any violations remain uncorrected.

e.  Once monthly enforcement penalties begin, they will continue until all violations listed in the first or any subsequent notice of violation have been corrected, inspected and approved.

f.   When a property meets the conditions for charging an enforcement penalty as described in this Section, the Director will file a statement with the City Auditor that identifies the property, the amount of the monthly penalty, and the date from which the charges are to begin. The Auditor will then:

(1)  Notify the property owner of the assessment of enforcement penalties;

(2)  Record a property lien in the Docket of City Liens;

(3)  Bill the property owner monthly for the full amount of enforcement penalties owing, plus additional charges to cover administrative costs of the City Auditor; and

(4)  Maintain lien records until the lien and all associated interest, penalties, and costs are paid in full; and the BDS Director certifies that all violations listed in the original or any subsequent notice of violation have been corrected.

C.  Additional Enforcement Actions for City and Street Tree Violations. The City Forester may impose the following additional actions for City or Street Tree violations.

1.  Criminal penalties. In addition to any other remedy provided in this Chapter, the City Attorney, acting in the name of the City, may seek Criminal Penalties in any court of competent jurisdiction. The court may require that any responsible party violating any provision of this Title will, upon conviction, be fined a sum not exceeding $1,000 or will be imprisoned for a term not exceeding 6 months.

2.  Institution of legal proceedings. In addition to any other remedy provided in this Chapter, the City Attorney, acting in the name of the City, may maintain an action or proceeding in any court of competent jurisdiction to compel compliance with or restrain by injunction the violation of any provision of this Title.