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A. General. Prior to the issuance of a notice of violation, the Code Enforcement Officer shall attempt to secure the voluntary correction of a violation by attempting to contact the person responsible for the violation, explaining the violation, and requesting correction. This may be done verbally by the Code Enforcement Officer; provided, a written correction notice shall be served on the person responsible for the violation prior to issuance of a notice of violation; provided further, a written correction notice need not be served nor efforts made to secure voluntary correction where the nature of the violation creates a risk of imminent harm to public health or safety, or where it is a repeat violation as defined in this Chapter.

B. Service of correction notice. Service of a written correction notice may be accomplished by Certified Mail – Return Receipt Requested or by personal service, at the discretion of the CodeEnforcement Officer, or by posting or publishing the correction notice if an address for the person responsible for the violation cannot be ascertained pursuant to SMC 1.14.060(B)(2).

C. Contents of written correction notice. The written correction notice shall be deemed sufficient if it contains the following information:

1. The name and address of a person responsible for the violation; and

2. The street address or description sufficient for identification of the building, structure, premises, or land upon or within which the violation has occurred or is occurring; and

3. A description of the violation and a reference to the code provisions that have been violated; and

4. A statement indicating what corrective actions are required and a correction deadline stating the date and time by which the corrective actions must be completed to the satisfaction of the Code Enforcement Officer in order for the violator to avoid the issuance of a notice of violation; and

5. A statement indicating that, pursuant to SMC 1.14.030, a notice of violation may be issued for each day a violation continues, with each violation constituting a separate offense subject to civil and/or criminal penalties.

D. Time period in which to correct or abate the violation. Whenever a person responsible for a violation is served with a written correction notice, he or she shall be given at least ten (10) days from the date of issuance of the notice to correct the violation(s) to the satisfaction of the Code Enforcement Officer; provided, where, in the opinion of the Code Enforcement Officer, a violation creates a risk of imminent harm to public health or safety, or is a repeat violation as defined in this Chapter, the City can require less than ten (10) days for correction to be completed. In the event the violation is not corrected within the required time period, the City may, at its discretion, issue separate notices of violation for each day, or portion thereof, that the violation has existed or continues to exist.

E. Extension of voluntary correction period or modification of required actions. An extension of the deadline for voluntary correction, or a modification of any required corrective action noted in the written correction notice, may be granted by the Code Enforcement Officer if the person responsible for the violation has, in the opinion of the Code Enforcement Officer, shown due diligence or made substantial progress in correcting the violations but unforeseen circumstances render correction unattainable within the original deadline.

F. Revocation of deadline for compliance. The original deadline for compliance, or any extension for compliance previously granted by the Code Enforcement Officer, may be revoked and immediate compliance required where, in the opinion of the Code Enforcement Officer, circumstances make immediate correction necessary to avoid an imminent risk of injury to persons or property.

G. Use of written voluntary correction agreement.

1. At the sole discretion of the City, a voluntary correction agreement may be entered into between the person responsible for the violation and the City. The voluntary correction agreement must be in writing.

2. Contents of voluntary correction agreement. The voluntary correction agreement is a contract between the City and the person responsible for the violation under which that person agrees to abate the violations within a specified time and according to specified conditions. The voluntary correction agreement shall include the following:

a. The name and address of the person responsible for the violation; and

b. The street address or a description sufficient for identification of the building, structure, premises, or land upon or within which the violation has occurred or is occurring; and

c. A description of the violation and a reference to the regulations that have been violated; and

d. An acknowledgement by the person responsible for the violations that the violations described in the correction agreement exist, and that he or she is waiving the right to contest the existence of the violations or to mitigate the penalties; and

e. The necessary corrective action to be taken, the date or time by which correction must be completed, and an acknowledgement by the person responsible for the violation that he or she will correct the violations within the time specified in the voluntary correction agreement; and

f. Acknowledgement by the person responsible for the violation that the City may enter the property and inspect the premises as may be necessary to determine compliance with the voluntary correction agreement; and

g. Acknowledgement by the person responsible for the violation that if the terms of the voluntary correction agreement are not met, the City may enter the property to abate the violation and may also recover its costs and expenses and/or a monetary penalty pursuant to this Chapter from the person responsible for the violation; and

h. The signature or official mark of the person responsible for the violation and the signature or official mark of the Code Enforcement Officer.

3. Failure to comply with voluntary correction agreement.

a. Abatement by the City. In addition to any other remedy provided for in this Chapter, the City may abate the violation in accordance with SMC 1.14.230 if the terms of the voluntary correction agreement are not met.

b. Penalties and costs. If the terms of the voluntary correction agreement are not met, the person responsible for the violation may be assessed a monetary penalty in accordance with SMC 1.14.200, plus all costs and expenses of abatement, as set forth in SMC 1.14.230, in addition to being issued new notices of violation or criminal charges if the violation has not been abated.

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