Gardena, CA 90247

Alarm Ordinance

Gardena, CA Alarm Ordinance 

INTRODUCED: 05/12/1996; ADOPTED: 06, 1996; EFFECTIVE: O7/11/1996

ORDINANCE NO. 1504 AMENDED BY: AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF GARDENA, CALIFORNIA ADDING CHAPTER 1.20 TO THE GARDENA MUNICIPAL CODE RELATING TO ADMINISTRATIVE CITATIONS AND AMENDING CHAPTER 8. 44 OF TITLE 8 OF THE GARDENA MUNICIPAL CODE RELATING TO PRIVATE ALARM SYSTEMS

THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF GARDENA CALIFORNIA DOES HEREBY ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Chapter 1.20 is hereby added to the Gardena Municipal Code to read as follows:

CHAPTER 1.2O ADMINISTRATIVE CITATIONS

1. 20.010 Applicability

A. This Chapter provides for administrative citations which are in addition to all other legal remedies, criminal or Civil, which may be pursued by the City to address any violation of this Code.

B. The administrative citations process set forth in this Chapter does not apply to continuing violations of this Code that pertain to building, plumbing, electrical, or other similar structural or zoning issues.

C. Use of this Chapter shall be at the sole discretion of the City, subject to Section 1.20.O10B.

1.20.020 Enforcement Officer - Defined

For purposes of this Chapter "enforcement officer" shall mean any City employee or agent of the City with the authority to enforce any provision of the Gardena Municipal Code.

1.20.030 Administrative Citation

A. Whenever an enforcement officer charged with the enforcement of any provision of this Code determines that a violation has occurred, the enforcement officer shall have the authority to issue an administrative citation to any person responsible for the violation.

B. Each administrative citation shall contain the following information: [1.] The date of the violation; [2.] The address or a definite description of the location where the violation occurred; [3.] The section of the Code violated and a description of the violation; [4.] The amount of the fine for the code violation; [5.] A description of the fine payment process, including a description of the time within which and the place to which the fine shall be paid; [6.] An order prohibiting the continuation or repeated occurrence of the code violation described in the administrative citation; [7.] A description of the administrative citation review process, including the time within which the administrative citation may be contested and the place from which a request for hearing form to contest the administrative citation may be obtained; and [8.] The name and signature of the citing enforcement officer.

1.20.040 Amount of Fines

A. The amounts of the fines for Municipal Code violations imposed pursuant to this Chapter shall be established by resolution of the City Council.

B. The schedule of fines may specify increased fines for repeat violations of the same Code provision by the same person.

C. The schedule of fines may specify the amount of any late payment charges imposed for the payment of a fine after its due date

1.20.050 Payment of the Fine

A. The fine shall be paid to the City within thirty days from the date of the administrative citation.

B. Any administrative citation fine paid pursuant to subsection A. shall be refunded in accordance with Section l. 20. 100 if it is determined, after a hearing that the person charged was not responsible for the violation or that there was no violation as charged in the administrative citation.

C. Payment of a fine under this Chapter shall not excuse or discharge any continuation or repeated occurrence of the Code violation that is the subject of the administrative citation.

1.20.060 Hearing Request

A. Any recipient of an administrative citation may contest that there was a violation of the Code or that he or she is the responsible party by completing a request for hearing form and returning it to the City within thirty days from the date of the administrative citation, together with an advance deposit of the fine or notice that a request for an advance deposit hardship waiver has been filed pursuant to Section 1.20.O70.

B. A request for hearing form may be obtained from the department specified on the administrative citation.

C. The person requesting the hearing shall be notified of the time and place set for the hearing at least ten days prior to the date of the hearing.

D. If the enforcement officer submits an additional written report concerning the administrative citation to the hearing officer for consideration at the hearing, then a copy of this report also shall be served on the person requesting the hearing at least five days prior to the date of the hearing.

1.20.070 Advance Deposit Hardship Waiver

A. Any person who intends to request a hearing to contest that there was a violation of the Code or that he or she is the responsible party and who is financially unable to make the advance deposit of the fine as required in Section 1.20.060A. may file a request for an advance deposit hardship waiver.

B. The request shall be filed in writing with the Finance Department within ten days of the date of the administrative citation. The Finance Department may create a forma for this purpose.

C. The requirement of depositing the full amount of the fine as described in Section 1.20.060A. shall be stayed unless or until the Director of Finance makes a determination not to issue the advance deposit hardship waiver.

D. The Director may waive the requirement of an advance deposit set forth in Section 1.20.060A. and issue the advance deposit hardship waiver only if the cited party submits to the Director a sworn affidavit, together with any supporting documents or materials, demonstrating to the satisfaction of the Director the person's actual financial inability to deposit with the City the full amount of the fine in advance of the hearing.

E. If the Director determines not to issue an advance deposit hardship waiver, the person shall remit the deposit to the City within ten days of the date of that decision or thirty days from the date of the administrative citation, whichever is later.

F. The Director shall issue a written determination listing the reasons for his or her determination to issue or not issue the advance deposit hardship waiver. The written determination of the Director shall be final.

G. The written determination of the Director shall be served upon the person who applied for the advance deposit hardship waiver.

1.20.080 Hearing Officer

The City Manager shall designate the hearing officer for the administrative citation hearing

1.20.090 Hearing Procedure

А. No hearing to contest an administrative citation before a hearing officer shall be held unless the fine has been deposited in advance in accordance with Section 1.20.060 or an advance deposit hardship waiver has been issued in accordance with Section 1.20.O70.

B. A hearing before the hearing officer shall be set for a date that is not less than fifteen days and not more than sixty days from the date that the request for hearing is filed in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter.

C. At the hearing, the party contesting the administrative citation shall be given the opportunity to testify and to present evidence concerning the administrative citation.

D. The failure of any recipient of an administrative citation to appear at the administrative citation hearing shall constitute a forfeiture of the fine and a failure to exhaust administrative remedies.

E. The administrative citation and any additional report submitted by the enforcement officer shall constitute prima facie evidence of the respective facts contained in those documents.

F. The hearing officer may continue the hearing and request additional information from the enforcement officer or the recipient of the administrative citation prior to issuing a written decision.

1.20.100 Hearing Officer's Decision

A. After considering all of the testimony and evidence submitted at the hearing, the hearing officer shall issue a written decision to uphold or cancel the administrative citation and shall list in the decision the reasons for that decision. The decision of the hearing officer shall be final.

B. If the hearing officer determines that the administrative citation should be upheld, then the fine amount on deposit with the City shall be retained by the City.

C. If the hearing officer determines that the administrative citation should be upheld and the fine has not been deposited pursuant to an advance deposit hardship waiver the hearing officer shall set forth in the decision a payment schedule for the fine.

D. If the hearing officer determines that the administrative citation should be canceled and the fine was deposited with the City, then the City shall promptly refund the amount of the deposited fine, together with interest at the average rate earned on the City's portfolio for the period of time that the fine amount was held by the City.

E. The recipient of the administrative citation shall be served with a copy of the hearing officer's written decision.

F. The employment, performance evaluation, compensation and benefits of the hearing officer shall not be directly or indirectly conditioned upon the amount of administrative citation fines upheld by the hearing officer.

1.20.110 Late Payment Charges

Any person who fails to pay to the City any fine imposed pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter on or before the date that fine is due also shall be liable for the payment of any applicable late payment charges set forth in the schedule of fines.

1.20.120 Recovery of Administrative Citation Fines and Costs

The City may collect any past due administrative citation fine or late payment charge by use of all available legal means. The City also may recover its collection costs including but not limited to administrative costs and attorney's' fees.

1.20.130 Right to Judicial Review

Any person aggrieved by an administrative decision of a Hearing Officer on an administrative citation may obtain review of the administrative decision by filing a petition for review with the Municipal Court in Los Angeles County in accordance with the timelines and provisions set forth in California Government code Section 53069.4.

1.20.040. Notices

A. The administrative citation and all notices required to be given by this Chapter shall be served on the responsible party either by personal delivery or by deposit in the United States mail in a sealed envelope postage prepaid addressed to such person to be notified at his or her last-known business or residence address as the same appears in the public records or other records pertaining to the matter to which such notice is directed. Service by mail shall be deemed to have been completed three days after deposit in the mail.

B. Failure to receive any notice specified in this Chapter does not affect the validity of proceedings conducted hereunder.

Section 2. Section 8.44.010 of the Gardena Municipal Code is hereby amended by adding the following definition:

"Chief of Police" means the Chief or his designee."

Section 3. Section 8.44.020 of the Gardena Municipal Code is hereby amended to read as follows:

A. No person shall have installed on any premise under his control an alarm system without first applying for and receiving an alarm system permit therefor in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter.

B. For any alarm system in operation on the effective date of the ordinance amending this section 8.44.020, no person shall maintain or operate any alarm system unless such person shall have secured the required alarm system permit in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter."

Section 4. Section 8.44.025 of the Gardena Municipal Code is hereby added to read as follows:

8.44.025 Alarm system permit applications. Subscribers and owners or users of alarm systems shall file initial applications for permits with the business license department. Alarm businesses may procure and process initial applications for their subscribers.

Applications shall contain the following information:

A. Name, address, and telephone number (both home and work) of the applicant;

B. Identification of the location where the alarm will be installed;

C. Identification of the alarm business monitoring, or rendering service or repairs, to the alarm system;

D. Description of the alarm system by manufacturer, model and type;

E. Names and telephone numbers of persons to be notified to render repairs for service and secure the premises during any hours of the day or night the alarm system is activated. It shall be the responsibility of every person maintaining an alarm system to ensure that the names and telephone numbers are kept current;

F. Such other information as the Chief of Police deems necessary to evaluate and act upon the permit application."

Section 5. Section 8.44.026 of the Gardena Municipal Code is hereby added to read as follows:

8.4.4.026 Permit; issuance. The Chief of Police shall review permit applications to ensure that the alarm system meets the requirements of this Chapter. Upon approval, the permits shall be issued to the person owning, leasing, renting or otherwise possessing the alarm system."

Section 6. Section 8.44.040 of the Gardena Municipal. Code is hereby amended to read as follows:

A. The fee for an alarm system permit shall be a one time fee as specified by resolution of the City Council.

B. A late fee, as specified by resolution of the City Council in addition to the permit fee will be imposed for those permits not obtained within sixty days of installation or for those alarm systems already installed and not permitted by August 1, 1996."

Section 7. Section 8.44.050 of the Gardena Municipal Code is hereby amended to read as follows:

A. No person shall have installed an audible alarm system which creates a sound similar to that of an emergency vehicle siren or a civil defense warning system.

B. No person shall install an audible alarm system which does not automatically discontinue emitting an audible sound within one-half hour after it is activated."

Section 8. Section 8.44.O70 of the Gardena Municipal Code is hereby amended to read as follows:

"Any alarm system placed in a residential commercial or industrial premise which has four or more false alarms shall be subject to payment of administrative fines as specified by resolution of the City Council. The fines shall be imposed in accordance with Chapter 1.20 of the Gardena Municipal Code."

Section 9. Section 8.44.090 of the Gardena Municipal Code is hereby repealed.

Section 10. Section 8.44.100 of the Gardena Municipal Code is hereby amended to read as follows:

"Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.”

Section 11. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion of this ordinance is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by the decision of any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this ordinance. The City Council of the City of Gardena hereby declares that it would have adopted this ordinance and each section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more sections, subsections, sentences, clauses, phrases or portions may be declared invalid or unconstitutional.

Section 12. The City Clerk shall certify to the passage of this ordinance and shall cause the same to be entered in the book of original ordinances of said City; shall make a minute of the passage and adoption thereof in the records of the meeting at which the same is passed and adopted; and shall within fifteen (15) days after the passage and adoption thereof cause the same to be published in a local weekly newspaper of general circulation and which is hereby designated for that purpose.

Passed, approved and adopted this 11th day of June 1996 by the Mayor of the City of Gardena, CA

Chapter 8.44 PRIVATE ALARM SYSTEMS

Sections:

8.44.010 Definitions.

8.44.020 Alarm system permits required.

8.44.025 Alarm system permit applications.

8.44.026 Permit issuance.

8.44.030 Exemptions and exclusions.

8.44.040 Alarm system permits – Fees.

8.44.050 Alarm system requirements.

8.44.060 False alarms.

8.44.070 False alarms – Service charges.

8.44.080 Malfunction repairs.

8.44.100 Violation – Penalty.

8.44.010 Definitions. For the purposes of this chapter, unless otherwise apparent from the context, certain words and phrases used in this chapter are defined as follows:

“Alarm system” means any mechanical or electrical device which is designed or used for the detection of an unauthorized entry into a building, structure, or facility or for alerting others of the commission of an unlawful act within a building, structure, or facility, or both and which system emits a sound or transmits a signal or message when activated. “Alarm system” includes, but is not limited to, silent alarms and audible alarms. Auxiliary devices installed by the telephone company to protect telephone company systems which might be damaged or disrupted by the use of an alarm system shall not be included in this definition.

“Audible alarm” means a device designed for the detection of an unauthorized entry on premises which alarm generates an audible sound on the premises when it is activated.

“Chief of police” means the chief or his designee.

“False alarm” means any alarm activated for reasons not of an emergency nature or due to the malfunction of any segment of the alarm system and which may result in a response by the police department where an emergency situation does not exist. “False alarm” also means the use of an alarm for purposes other than that for which it was installed.

“Proprietor alarm” means an alarm system which does not request a public response when activated or is not reasonably expected to result in some public response.

“Silent alarm” means a device designed for the detection of an unauthorized entry on premises which alarm does not generate an audible sound on the premises when it is activated but transmits a signal directly to the police or alarm business. (Ord. 1504 § 2, 1996; prior code § 3-6.01)

8.44.020 Alarm system permits required.

A. No person shall have installed on any premises under his control an alarm system without first applying for and receiving an alarm system permit therefor in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

B. For any alarm system in operation on the effective date of the ordinance amending this Section 8.44.020, no person shall maintain or operate any alarm system unless such person shall have secured the required alarm system permit in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 1504 § 3, 1996: prior code § 3-6.02)

8.44.025 Alarm system permit applications.

Subscribers and owners or users of alarm systems shall file annual applications for alarm permits with the city through the business license department or police department. Alarm businesses may procure and process initial applications for their subscribers. Applications shall contain the following information:

A. Name, address and telephone number (both home and work) of the applicant;

B. Identification of the location where the alarm is or will be installed;

C. Identification of the alarm business monitoring, or rendering service or repairs, to the alarm system;

D. Description of the alarm system by manufacturer, model and type;

E. Names and telephone numbers of persons to be notified to render repairs for service and secure the premises during any hours of the day or night the alarm system is activated. It shall be the responsibility of every person maintaining an alarm system to ensure that the names and telephone numbers are kept current;

F. Such other information as the chief of police deems necessary to evaluate and act upon the permit application. (Ord. 1664 § 1, 2004; Ord. 1504 § 4, 1996)

8.44.026 Permit issuance.

The chief of police shall review permit applications to ensure that the alarm system meets the requirements of this chapter. Upon approval, the permits shall be issued to the person owning, leasing, renting or otherwise possessing the alarm system. (Ord. 1504 § 5, 1996)

8.44.030 Exemptions and exclusions.

The provisions of this chapter shall not be applicable to products of combustion detection systems, flow alarm systems, proprietor alarms, audible alarms affixed to motor vehicles, or to a public telephone utility whose only duty is to furnish telephone service pursuant to tariffs on file with the Public Utilities Commission of the state. (Prior code § 3-6.03)

8.44.040 Alarm system permits – Fees.

A. The fee for an alarm system permit shall be an annual fee as specified by resolution of the city council.

B. A late fee, as specified by resolution of the city council, in addition to the permit fee, will be imposed for those permits not obtained within sixty days of installation or for those alarm systems already installed and not permitted by annually by March 1 of the current year.

C. Alarm system permit applicants submitting permit applications from January 1 through August 31 shall pay the established annual fee for that current year. Alarm system permit applicants submitting permit applications from September 1 through December 31 shall pay the established annual fee, which payment shall apply to the remainder of that current year and the following year. (Ord. 1664 § 2, 2004; Ord. 1504 § 6, 1996: prior code § 3-6.04)

8.44.050 Alarm system requirements.

A. No person shall have installed an audible alarm system which creates a sound similar to that of an emergency vehicle siren or a civil defense warning system.

B. No person shall install an audible alarm system which does not automatically discontinue emitting an audible sound within one-half hour after it is activated. (Ord. 1504 § 7, 1996: prior code § 3-6.05)

8.44.060 False alarms.

A person shall not knowingly turn in or activate a false alarm. This section shall not prohibit a test of an alarm system as permitted in advance by the police department. Activation of audible alarm systems for one second or less shall not be considered false alarms. (Ord. 1664 § 3, 2004; prior code § 3-6.06)

8.44.070 False alarms – Service charges.

Any alarm system placed in a residential, commercial or industrial premises which has four or more false alarms shall be subject to payment of administrative fines as specified by resolution of the city council. The fines shall be imposed in accordance with Chapter 1.20 of this code. (Ord. 1504 § 8, 1996: prior code § 3-6.07)

8.44.080 Malfunction repairs.

After any false alarm caused by a malfunction of the alarm system, an alarm system permittee shall cause the alarm system to be repaired so as to eliminate such malfunction before reactivating the alarm. A person shall not reactivate such alarm until such repairs have been made. (Prior code § 3-6.08)

8.44.100 Violation – Penalty.

Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. (Ord. 1504 § 10, 1996: prior code § 3-6.10)