View the flow of procedure when a noxious weed is found FLOWCHART
Landowners should know this:
Landowners are responsible for controlling noxious weeds on their property, per RCW 17.10.
“Noxious weeds” are non-native plants introduced into this area through human action. Because of their aggressive growth and lack of natural enemies, these species can be highly destructive, competitive, or difficult to control by cultural or chemical practices.
Noxious weeds can reduce crop yields, destroy native plant and animal habitat, damage recreational opportunities, clog waterways, decrease property value, poison humans and livestock, and create fire hazards.
“Control” means to prevent all seed production in noxious weeds, and to prevent the dispersal of plant structures which propagate and spread noxious weeds.
A landowner may control noxious weeds by chemical (spraying herbicides); biological (releasing insects); mechanical (tillage, pulling and mowing); and cultural means (planting desirable vegetation, fertilization, overseeding, and using goats or livestock).
If a landowner fails to control noxious weeds, the county may take steps to control the weeds and then charge the landowner for the cost, plus a $500 penalty. If that is not paid, the county will place a lien on the property.
There are 31 noxious weeds found in Lincoln County.
In the state of Washington, the presence of noxious weeds on residential property is considered a property defect and must be disclosed. The parties may want to negotiate the cost of controlling noxious weeds.
ENFORCED CONTROL AT OWNER EXPENSE:
The weed board uses an impartial and consistent program. Each owner is required to perform, or cause to be performed; such acts as may be necessary to control and to prevent the spread of noxious weeds on or from his/her land. Penalties for violation are defined by state weed law RCW 17.10 and Chapter 16-750 WAC.
The weed board designates the weed coordinator as enforcement officer pursuant Chapter 7.80 RCW.
The weed board delegates to the weed coordinator the authority to
- establish control agreements with owners to ensure compliance;
- recommend quarantines to the State Noxious Weed Control Board;
- issue Notices of Violation, Notices of Civil Infraction and Criminal Infraction; obtain Search Warrants;
- perform or instruct field technician(s) to perform actual control work of noxious weeds for enforcement of RCW 17.10.
- The weed board establishes costs for enforcement actions as follows:
There will be an initial enforcement fee of $500.00, plus the cost of actual control work performed, cost of process service and/or postage, cost of providing all enforcement-related notices, cost of travel to site for continued inspections, cost of staff time including preparation of all documentation/photographs/evidence, etc., and any other costs related to the enforcement.
HEARING ON LIABILITY FOR COST OF CONTROL MEASURES. Any owner who has received notice of liability on any cost for control measures undertaken pursuant to RCW 17.10.170 or 17.10.210 shall have the right to request a hearing before the weed board. Such request shall be in writing and presented to the Noxious Weed Control Board within 45 calendar days of the mailing of the notice of liability, as demonstrated by an affidavit of mailing or service, for the charges or costs.
INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR REQUESTING A HEARING. Any request for a hearing must be in writing and include the following:
- name, telephone number and mailing address of person requesting hearing.
- address and parcel number of property involved and the name and address of property owner if different from person requesting hearing.
- a statement of the reason for the request for hearing, including a description of any error of the Noxious Weed Control Board, any rules, regulations, or statutes the hearing request is based upon, and the specific relief that is being requested.
NOTIFICATION OF WEED BOARD HEARING. At least 10 days prior to the hearing, notice of hearing shall be given to the person who has made a request for such a hearing. Such notice shall:
- be in writing
- state the date, time and location of the hearing
- contain a statement that failure to attend or participate in the hearing may result in the issuance of an order of default;
- be served upon the person in person or by sending the notice by registered or certified mail to his/her last known address or by any other method authorized or required by the laws of the State of Washington. Service by mail shall be regarded as complete upon deposit in the U.S. mail, properly stamped and addressed, and
- at the weed boards discretion, state that materials may be submitted by the parties in advance of the hearing. The notice shall state the number of copies of any such material which must be submitted and the date by which the materials must be submitted to the weed board and all other parties to the hearing.
HEARING PROCEDURE. Weed board hearings shall be open to the public observation. Each hearing is to last no longer than 30 minutes in length. Such hearings shall be recorded. The hearing shall be opened with a statement of the time, date and place of the hearing; and a statement of the purpose of the hearing. The Noxious Weed Control Board coordinator and/or field technician shall present its case, and then the property owner shall present his or her case. The weed board may question either party. The weed board shall allow both parties the opportunity to present witnesses, cross-examine witnesses and present a closing statement or summation. Evidence, exhibits, affidavits, documents and testimony shall be taken in the presence of all parties recorded as present and shall be given only such weight as is deemed proper after consideration of any objections made to their admission. Evidence, including hearsay, is admissible if, in the judgment of the weed board, it is the kind of evidence that reasonable persons are accustomed to rely on in the conduct of their affairs. The weed board may exclude evidence that is irrelevant, immaterial or unduly repetitious. Hearings may be continued to allow additional evidence or testimony to be submitted.
THE WRITTEN DECISION OF THE WEED BOARD shall be served upon the person to whom the notice of administrative hearing was given in the manner set fourth in previous section.
The weed board files liens on an owners property as authorized pursuant to RCW Chapter 17.10, within 90-days of work cessation, if full payment of billing has not been received.
By resolution 8615, the Board of Lincoln County Commissioners has required that all liens on real property be collected by the County Treasurer in the same manner as delinquent real property tax.
Following expiration of the Notice of Violation, the Coordinator may issue a civil infraction. The non-traffic infraction shall be completed with:
- The full name of the owner of the land, his/her current residential address, date of birth, date of the violation, site of the infraction and the parcel numbers including the abbreviated legal description.
- The penalty of the violation pursuant to the Noxious Weed Civil Infraction Schedule (WAC 16-750-020)
- The officers report (attached to the ticket) establishing the specific violation at the specific location on the violation date.
- State the designation of the weed and the requirement to control in Lincoln County.
- Establish the owners knowledge of the infestation (e.g. contacts with the person cited, correspondence, and proof of receipt of the Notice of Violation).
- Cite the failure to control (cite what was ordered in Notice of Violation, the deadline in the Notice of Violation, and the size and severity of infestation observed at the location cited on the violation date).
- The date in the officers report is the date of inspection.
- Copies of the ticket must be accounted for in accordance with the Sheriffs department procedures.
- The Notice of Civil Infraction is delivered by the enforcement officer to District Court who then processes and sends it to the person cited.
RULES AND REGULATIONS for the Lincoln County Noxious Weed Control