The process outlined below is the general format used by Code Enforcement staff to obtain compliance. This format may vary based on the severity of the violation. It is the goal of Code Enforcement to gain compliance, not punish violators.
- If an ordinance or regulation is being violated, a Code Enforcement Officer will first send a Courtesy Notice letter to the owner of the property and/or tenant indicating the violation(s). The letter requests that the violation(s) be corrected within 14 days.
- If the violations are not corrected within the designated time frame, the Code Enforcement Officer will send a Notice of Violation letter, via certified mail, indicating that the violation(s) is to be corrected within 14 days. This letter also outlines the penalties for violation and will be posted on the property by the Code Enforcement Officer.
- If the violations are still not corrected, the Code Enforcement Officer may issue a Civil Infraction. The Civil Infraction may be issued to the property owner or to the tenant/occupant, or both. First offenses are a Class III Infraction, which carries a $50 fine. Subsequent violations are Class II Infraction with a $125 fine and Class I Infraction with a fine of $250. If the violations continue to persist, the Code Enforcement Officer may issue a Criminal Citation.
Civil Infractions and Criminal Citations
Civil Infractions and Criminal Citations are administered by the Olympia Municipal Court. Civil Infractions are noncriminal (like parking tickets), and a contested or mitigated hearing may be requested before the Municipal Court Judge. Criminal Citations are a summons and require an appearance before the court. If the violations are corrected by the court hearing date, the judge may reduce or dismiss the fines.
In addition, the Building Official may issue an Abatement Order requiring the work to be completed by a specific date, and a lien may be placed on the property. If the work is still not done, the City may perform the work and recover the costs from the property owner.
If the penalties and costs of abatement are not paid, they may be collected in a variety of ways, including a lien against the property.