Code Enforcement Process

The City of Kennewick Code Enforcement process has recently changed.  We currently only accept complaints at City Hall, via email or through the mail.  The Code Enforcement Division is designed to handled nuisances mainly contained in KMC 9.48 and 9.44, although not limited to those Municipal Codes.  The goal of Code Enforcement is to gain compliance and to keep the City of Kennewick looking nice and property values intact.

General Nuisances

(KMC 9.48)

Once a complaint is received, a Code Enforcement Officer goes out and validates the complaint. If a violation exists, a Compliance Warning Letter is sent with a 45 day compliance deadline. Any weeds only or no garbage service (KMC 9.05) cases are given a 20 day compliance deadline, after which point a civil or criminal infraction may be issued.   Once the 45 day compliance deadline has been reached, a re-inspection is done on the property to verify if the violation still exists. 

If the violation still exists, a formal Notice & Order is issued.  The Notice & Order carries a minimum of a $500 fine and compliance is still required. If compliance is not achieved, the case may be forwarded to the City Attorney's office for further legal action.

Appeals to the Notice & Order may be done within 30 days of receiving the Notice & Order and are required to be on the Appeal Form along with a $250 appeal fee paid at the time of appeal. Appeals are heard by the Hearing Examiner.  Appeal fees will not be refunded due to the administrative costs associated with the process and utilizing the Hearing Examiner.

Substandard/Unfit and Vacant Land/Structures

 (KMC 9.44)

Any violations that fall into a substandard/unfit or vacant land/structures category are reviewed by the Building Official.  These cases follow the guidelines of Washington State RCW 35.80.  If a property is deemed to be in violation they will receive a letter from the Building Official indicating the details of the violation as well as a future hearing date they are required to attend to discuss and mediate the violation.  

Once a hearing has been held with the Building Official a Determination Letter will be issued that does include a civil fine.   

Appeals to the Determination Letter may be done within 30 days of receiving the letter and are required to be on the Appeal Form along with a $250 appeal fee paid at the time of appeal. Appeals are heard by the Hearing Examiner.

Note: The City does offer Voluntary Correction Agreements (VCA's). Voluntary Correction agreements are a mutual agreement between the City of Kennewick and the violator(s) that allow for additional time after a Compliance Warning Letter is issued, to come into compliance. A mutually agreed upon date of compliance is determined and if on that date the property is in compliance, the case will be closed. If the property is still in violation after the agreed upon date, the responsible party and/or owners will be assessed a $1,000 fine and the case will be referred to the City Attorney's office for further action.