EL PASO COUNTY
STATE OF COLORADO
ORDINANCE NO. 94-1, As Amended 1999
Sections 7.1 and 7.2 TO PROVIDE FOR AND COMPEL THE MANAGEMENT OF UNDESIRABLE PLANTS WITHIN EL PASO COUNTY, COLORADO WHEREAS, the Colorado Weed Management Act, Sections 35-5.5-101, et seq., C.R.S. (the "Act"), mandated that the board of county commissioners of each county in the state adopt and administer an undesirable plant management plan for all of the unincorporated lands within the county to take effect no later than January 1, 1992; and

WHEREAS, the Act further mandated that the board of county commissioners of each county appoint an undesirable plant management advisory commission; and

WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners of E1 Paso County, State of Colorado (the "Board"), on or about February 7, 1991, established the El Paso County Weed Advisory Commission (the "EPCWAC"); and

WHEREAS, the EPCWAC on October 15, 1991, approved a recommended management plan for the integrated management of designated undesirable plants and recommended management criteria for undesirable plants within unincorporated E1 Paso County; and

WHEREAS, the Board on November 7, 1991, approved the El Paso County Undesirable Plant Management Plan as recommended and transmitted by the EPCWAC (the "County Plan"); and

WHEREAS, the Board on June 14, 1993, considered and adopted certain refinements, modifications and amendments to the County Plan as approved and recommended by the EPCWAC on May 18, 1993; and

WHEREAS, the Act further specifically authorizes the Board to adopt and provide for the enforcement of such ordinances, resolutions, rules, and other regulations as may be necessary and proper to enforce the County Plan and otherwise provide for the management of undesirable plants within unincorporated El Paso County as prescribed by the Act; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to Sections 30-11-101, 30-11-107, and 30-15-401, et seq., C.R.S., the Board has the general enabling power to adopt ordinances, resolutions, rules and other regulations as may be necessary for the control or licensing of those matters of purely local concern, and to do all acts which may be necessary or expedient for the promotion of the health, safety and welfare of its citizens; and

WHEREAS, the Board finds and determines, in accordance with state mandate, that certain undesirable plants constitute a present threat to the continued economic and environmental value of the lands of the state and if present in any area of unincorporated El Paso County, whether in private or public ownership, must be managed in accordance with the County Plan, as amended; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to the foregoing, it is the opinion of the Board that in order to preserve and protect the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens of El Paso County, the Board should take the following action:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the Board of County Commissioners of El Paso County, State of Colorado:

Section 1: Title.

This Ordinance shall be known as the "E1 Paso County Undesirable Plant Management Ordinance", and may be cited and referenced as such.

Section 2: Purpose.

The purpose of this Ordinance shall be to provide for the management of undesirable plants within the unincorporated areas of El Paso County as prescribed and set forth in the Act and the County Plan, as the same may be amended from time to time, and the enforcement of the provisions of the Act and County Plan.

Section 3: Authority.

This Ordinance is authorized pursuant to, inter alia, Part 1 of Article 11 of Title 30, Part 4 of Article 15 of Title 30, and Part 1 of Article 5.5 of Title 35, C.R.S.

Section 4: Applicability.

4.1 This Ordinance shall apply to all of the unincorporated lands within El Paso County, whether in private or public ownership, except as otherwise provided for in this Section 4.

4.2 This Ordinance shall not apply within the corporate limits of any incorporated municipality, nor to any municipal service, function, facility, or property, whether owned by or leased to the incorporated municipality outside the municipal boundaries unless the county and municipality agree otherwise pursuant to part 2 of article 1 of title 29, C.R.S., or pursuant to article 20 of title 29, C.R.S.

Section 5: Construction.

5.1 Any word or term not specifically defined in this Ordinance or the Act shall be given its commonly accepted definition.

5.2 The definitions set forth in the Act shall apply and are incorporated herein by this reference, except as otherwise specifically defined in this Ordinance. In the event of any conflict, inconsistency, or incongruity between the definitions set forth in the Act and in this Ordinance, the more specific and/or clearly defined term shall govern and control, unless a conflict, inconsistency, or incongruity continues to exist in which event the term as defined in this Ordinance shall thereupon govern and control.

5.3 The word "shall" is always mandatory and not directory. The word "may" is permissive.

5.4 Words used in the present tense include the future, unless the context clearly indicates the contrary.

5.5 Words used in the singular shall include the plural, unless the context clearly indicates the contrary. Words in one gender shall be deemed to include the other gender.

Section 6: Definitions.

The following terms, as used in this Ordinance, shall have the meanings hereinafter designated, unless the context specifically indicates otherwise, or unless such meaning is excluded by express provision:

6.1 Act: The Colorado Weed Management Act, Sections 35-5.5101, et seq., C.R.S.

6.2 Board: The Board of County Commissioners of El Paso County, Colorado.

6.3 County: All of the unincorporated lands within El Paso County, whether in private or public ownership, except as otherwise excepted in Section 4 above.

6.4 County Official: The Board's agent, delegate, employee, staff, or contractor duly authorized and delegated the responsibility by the Board to administer and enforce this Ordinance. The term "County Official" shall also include the County Official's duly authorized and designated representatives.

6.5 County Plan: The El Paso County Undesirable Plant Management Plan as approved and as may be amended from time to time by the Board.

6.6 EPCWAC: The El Paso County Weed Advisory Commission as established and constituted by the Board pursuant to the Act. The EPCWAC shall have the powers and duties as determined and prescribed by the Board in accordance with the Act.

6.7 Undesirable Plant: A plant species designated by the Board as an undesirable plant pursuant to Section 7 next below.

Section 7: Designated Undesirable Plants.

7.1 The Board hereby designates the following plant species as undesirable plants within unincorporated El Paso County subject to this Ordinance:

A. The plant commonly known as leafy spurge, also known by the scientific name of Euphorbia esula;
B. The plant commonly known as diffuse knapweed, also known by the scientific name of Centaurea diffusa;
C. The plant commonly known as Russian knapweed, also known by the scientific name of Centaurea repens;
D. The plant commonly known as spotted knapweed, also known by the scientific name of Centaurea maculosa; and
E. The plant commonly known as Canada thistle, also known by the scientific name of Cirsium arvense; and
F. The plant commonly known as Purple loosestrife, also known by the scientific name of Lythrum silicaria. 
7.2 The Board further identifies the following plant species as potentially being designated as an undesirable plant if not voluntarily managed and controlled to reduce proliferation:

The plant commonly known as Musk thistle, also known by the scientific name of Carduus nutans.

The plant commonly known as Yellow toadflax, also known by the scientific name of Linaria vulgaris.

7.3 The Board may, from time to time by resolution or ordinance, amend by deleting from, adding to and/or otherwise modifying its designation of undesirable plants or identification of voluntary control status plants as set forth in this Section 7. Any such amendment shall not be made or become effective unless the same has been proposed by or is first submitted for the approval, disapproval, or suggestions of the EPCWAC. Unless the EPCWAC acts within thirty (30) days, approval shall be assumed. The opinion of the EPCWAC shall be advisory only and not binding upon the Board. Before finally adopting any such amendment, the Board shall hold a public hearing thereon, and at least thirty (30) days notice of the time and place of such hearing shall be given by at least one publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the County.

Section 8: Amendments to County Plan.

The Board may, from time to time by resolution, amend the County Plan. Any such amendment shall not be made or become effective unless the same has been proposed by or is first submitted for the approval, disapproval, or suggestions of the EPCWAC. Unless the EPCWAC acts within thirty (30) days, approval shall be assumed. The opinion of the EPCWAC shall be advisory only and not binding upon the Board.

Section 9: Duty to Manage Undesirable Plants.

It shall be the duty of all persons to use integrated methods to manage undesirable plants in conformance with the County Plan and the Act. In the event of any conflict, inconsistency, or incongruity between the duties imposed by the County Plan and the Act, the particular shall take precedence over the general and the more restrictive and/or stringent shall in all respects govern and control.

Section 10: Unlawful Acts.

10.1 It shall be unlawful for any person to fail or refuse to use integrated methods to manage undesirable plants in conformance with the County Plan and the Act if the same are likely to be materially damaging to the land of neighboring landowners.

10.2 It shall be unlawful for any person to fail or refuse to comply with this Ordinance, the County Plan, the Act, and/or any order issued pursuant to this Ordinance and/or the Act.

Section 11: Administration and Enforcement.

11.1 Except as otherwise specifically provided for in this Ordinance or as otherwise prescribed by state law, the County Official is hereby authorized to administer and enforce the provisions of this Ordinance.

11.2 Except as otherwise specifically provided for in this Ordinance or as otherwise prescribed by state law, the County Attorney or his/her duly authorized representative is hereby authorized to act as the County's legal representative in the enforcement of the provisions of this Ordinance in any court of applicable jurisdiction.

11.3 The County Official is hereby authorized to make such inspections and take such actions, including abatement, as may be required to administer and enforce this Ordinance.

Section 12: Inspections.

12.1 The County Official shall have the right to enter upon any property, whether public or private, during reasonable business hours for the purpose of inspecting for the existence of weed infestations, when at least one of the following circumstances has occurred:

A. The landowner or occupant has requested an inspection;

B. A neighboring landowner or occupant has reported a suspected weed infestation and requested an inspection; or

C. The County Official has made a visual observation from a public right-of-way or area and has reason to believe that an infestation exists.

12.2 The County Official shall not make entry upon any property as provided in Subsection 12.1 next above until the landowner or occupant has been notified that such inspection is pending. Notification shall be made by either one or more of the following methods:

A. Oral communication;

B. By mailing a notice requesting entry and inspection by certified mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested, to each person entitled to notice at his address as it appears on the assessment roll of the County or as known to the County Official. If no address of any such person so appears or is known to the County Official, then a copy of the notice shall be mailed, addressed to such person, at the address of the affected property. Notification by mail in the manner herein provided shall be effective on the date of mailing; and/or

C. If the property appears occupied and one or both of the foregoing methods have been to no avail, the posting of a notice requesting entry and inspection in a conspicuous location on or immediately adjacent to the affected property. Notification by posting in the manner herein provided shall be effective on the date of posting.

12.3 Any notice requesting entry and inspection shall, at a minimum, contain:

A. The street address and/or a legal description sufficient to identify the property upon which the entry and inspection is requested.

B. A statement as to the grounds and basis for requesting entry and inspection.

C. The County Official's address and telephone number.

D. A date specific for responding to the notice requesting entry and inspection.

12.4 Where possible, the County Official shall schedule and conduct inspections with the concurrence of the landowner or occupant.

12.5 If landowner or occupant fails or refuses to allow entry and inspection as prescribed in this Section 12, the County Official shall be authorized to seek an inspection warrant from a court of competent jurisdiction consistent with the following:

A. A sworn or affirmed affidavit shall be prepared and submitted along with supporting documentation to the court. The affidavit shall state the information which gives the County Official reasonable cause to believe that any provision of this Ordinance and/or the Act is being or has been violated; that the landowner or occupant has failed or refused access to the County Official; and a general description of the location of the affected property.

B. Supporting documentation to be submitted with the affidavit shall include, at a minimum, a certified copy of this Ordinance; a verified statement of the County Official evincing the basis for requesting entry and inspection, the attempts made to gain entry, and the landowner's or occupant's failure or refusal to allow entry and inspection; and a certified copy of any applicable official proceedings or records of the County Official, the EPCWAC, and the Board.

12.6 Within ten (10) days following the date of issuance of an inspection warrant, the warrant shall be executed in accordance with the directions by the issuing court; a copy of the issued warrant shall be provided to the landowner or occupant either personally or by mailing a copy thereof by certified mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested, at the landowner's or occupant's address as it appears on the assessment roll of the County or as known to the County Official; and proof of the execution of the inspection warrant shall be submitted to the court.

12.7 When presented with an inspection warrant, no landowner or occupant shall deny access to any property which is the subject thereof. If the landowner or occupant continues to deny entry and inspection subsequent to the execution and service of the inspection warrant, the County Official and/or the Board shall have recourse to every remedy provided by this Ordinance or by law to secure entry and inspection.

Section 13: Control of Undesirable Plants - Private Lands.

13.1 Whenever undesirable plants are found on private property within unincorporated El Paso County, the County Official shall have the authority to notify the landowner or occupant of such property, advising the landowner or occupant of the presence of undesirable plants. Said notice shall, at a minimum, include:

A. Name the undesirable plants;

B. Advise the landowner or occupant to control the undesirable plants;

C. Specify the best available control methods of integrated management, including but not limited to biological management, chemical management, mechanical control, or cultural control, in accordance and consistent with the County Plan;

D. Specify a schedule for completion of the control of the identified undesirable plants;

E. Provide the County Official's address and telephone number; and

F. Specify a date specific, which in no event shall exceed ten (10) days, within which the landowner or occupant is required to respond in accordance with Subsection 13.3 hereinbelow.

13.2 The aforesaid notice shall be provided by one or more of the methods set forth in Subsection 12.2 hereinabove.

13.3 Within the time specified in the notice prescribed in Subsection 13.1 hereinabove, the landowner or occupant shall either:

A. Comply with the terms of the notification;

B. Acknowledge the terms of the notification and submit an acceptable plan and schedule for the completion of the plan for compliance; or

C. Request an arbitration panel as set forth in Section 20 below to determine the final management plan.

13.4 Where possible, the County Official shall consult with the affected landowner or occupant in the development of a management plan for the control of the weeds on the affected property in accordance with Section 21 hereinbelow.

Section 14: Failure to Comply - Private Lands.

14.1 In the event the landowner or occupant fails, neglects, or refuses to comply with the notice to control the identified undesirable plants as prescribed in Section 13 next above or the management plan developed by the arbitration panel as prescribed in Section 20 hereinbelow, the following remedies/relief shall be available:

A. Cause such landowner or occupant to be prosecuted under this Ordinance and state law, including without limitation, Sections 30-15-401, et seq., C.R.S.;

B. Cause any appropriate action to be instituted for injunction, mandamus, or abatement, in addition to other remedies provided by this Ordinance and by state law, to restrain, prevent, abate, control, perpetually enjoin, remove or destroy all undesirable plants at any and all stages thereof, their carriers, and any and all premises, plants, and things infested or exposed to infestation therewith pursuant to this Ordinance and/or by state law, including without limitation Sections 16-13-301, et sec., 30-15-401, et seq., and 35-5.5-101, et seq., C.R.S.;

C. Cause and provide for the control of the identified undesirable plants, either by and through County forces, contract, or otherwise, in accordance with the procedures set forth in Sections 15 and 16 hereinbelow; and/or

D. Cause such other administrative or judicial action as may be necessary pursuant to this Ordinance and/or state law.

14.2 The County Official and/or the Board shall not provide for or compel the control of undesirable plants on private property pursuant to this Ordinance without first applying the same or greater weed control measures to any land or rights-of-way owned or controlled by the Board that are adjacent to the affected private property.

Section 15: Control of Undesirable Plants by the County - Private Lands.

15.1 When any control of undesirable plants is to be done by the County pursuant to Section 14.1(C) hereinabove, the County Official shall submit to the Board all notices and orders previously issued, evidence of the landowner's or occupant's noncompliance therewith, and any other supporting or associated documentation. Upon receipt of the same, the Board shall have the power, without further notice and hearing required, to authorize the control of the identified undesirable plants, either by and through County forces, contract, or otherwise.

15.2 All weed control measures or work authorized by the Board shall be consistent and in accordance with the County Plan and/or any previously approved management plan for the affected property.

15.3 All required permits or other official authorization, as the same may be applicable, shall be timely secured.

15.4 The cost of such weed control measures or work shall be paid from the County's Undesirable Plant Management Plan Fund, if funds are available, or the County's General Fund, and shall be made a special assessment against the affected property in accordance with Section 16 hereinbelow.

15.5 No entry upon private property for the purpose of the County performing weed control measures or work shall be made until an administrative entry warrant has been obtained from a court of competent jurisdiction consistent with the following:

A. A sworn or affirmed affidavit shall be prepared and submitted along with supporting documentation to the court. The affidavit shall establish the factual basis necessary for the issuance of a warrant; evidence that the landowner or occupant received notice to control the identified undesirable plants; evidence that landowner or occupant has failed to comply with the notice to control the identified undesirable plants as prescribed in Section 13 hereinabove or the management plan developed by the arbitration panel as prescribed in Section 20 hereinbelow; a general description of the location of the affected property; and a general description of the weed control measures or work to be performed by the County.

B. Supporting documentation to be submitted with the affidavit shall include, at a minimum, a certified copy of this Ordinance; all previous notices and orders issued to the landowner or occupant with adequate proof of service provided; evidence of the landowner's or occupant's noncompliance; and a certified copy of any applicable official proceedings or records of the County Official, the EPCWAC, and the Board.

15.6 Within ten (10) days following the date of issuance of an administrative entry warrant, the warrant shall be executed in accordance with the directions by the issuing court; a copy of the issued warrant shall be provided to the landowner or occupant either personally or by mailing a copy thereof by certified mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested, at the landowner's or occupant's address as it appears on the assessment roll of the County or as known to the County Official; and proof of the execution of the administrative entry warrant shall be submitted to the court.

15.7 When presented with an administrative entry warrant, no landowner or occupant shall deny access to any land which is the subject thereof. If the landowner or occupant continues to deny entry subsequent to the execution and service of an administrative warrant, the County Official and/or the Board shall have recourse to every remedy provided by this Ordinance or by law to secure entry.

Section 16: Assessment/Recovery of Costs - Private Lands.

16.1 No statement or assessment of costs shall be considered by the Board until the weed control measures or work performed on behalf of the County have successfully achieved the level of control called for in the notice to control the identified undesirable plants as prescribed in Section 13 hereinabove or the management plan developed by the arbitration panel as prescribed in Section 20 hereinbelow.

16.2 Whenever any costs are incurred by El Paso County in providing for and compelling the control of undesirable plants pursuant to Section 15 hereinabove, the County Official shall cause a statement to be prepared showing the total cost incurred, including an additional fifteen percent (15%) for inspection and other incidental costs in connection therewith. The County Official shall serve the statement on the landowner or occupant by certified mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested, at the landowner's or occupant's address as it appears on the assessment roll of the County or as known to the County Official. The statement shall notify the landowner or occupant that weed control measures or work have been performed pursuant to this Ordinance, state the date(s) the same were performed, the nature of the measures or work performed, and instruct the landowner or occupant to pay the statement in full within thirty (30) days of the date set forth therein.

16.3 The aforesaid statement shall also notify the landowner or occupant that any protests or objections relating to the statement of costs may be made in writing by the landowner or occupant to the County Official within fifteen (15) days from the date set forth in the statement of costs. Said statement shall reflect that such protests or objections, if taken, will be heard and determined by the Board at a public hearing before the passage of any order by the Board assessing the cost of such weed control measures or work. Each protest or objection must contain a description of the affected property and the grounds of such protest or objection. Any landowner or occupant filing timely written protests or objections shall be advised of the time and place of the hearing before the Board at least ten (10) days in advance of the hearing.

16.4 Upon the day and time fixed for the hearing, or as soon thereafter as the calendar of the Board permits, the Board shall hear and pass upon the statement of costs prepared by the County Official together with any such protests or objections. The Board may make such revision, correction or modification in the statement or the costs as it may deem just; and when the Board is satisfied with the correctness of the costs, the statement (as submitted or as revised, corrected or modified) together with the costs shall be confirmed or rejected. The decision of the Board on the statement and the costs, and on protests or objections, shall be final and conclusive.

16.5 The Board shall thereupon order that said costs be assessed against the affected property. The landowner or occupant shall be given thirty (30) days to pay the costs after the Board's order of assessment.

16.6 Upon the Board's order of assessment, the County's assessment roll shall be conformed to reflect the same, and thereafter said assessment shall constitute a special assessment against and a lien upon the property until paid.

A. The validity of any assessment made under the provisions of this Section 16 shall not be contested in any action or proceeding unless the same is commenced within thirty (30) days after the assessment is placed upon the assessment roll as provided herein. Any appeal from a final judgment in such action or proceeding shall be perfected within thirty (30) days after the entry of such judgment.

B. Immediately upon the assessment being placed on the County's assessment roll, it shall be deemed to be complete, the costs assessed shall be payable, and the assessment shall be a lien against each lot or tract of land assessed. Such assessment lien shall have priority over all other liens except general taxes and existing special assessment liens previously imposed upon the same property. The lien shall continue until the assessment and all interest and penalties due and payable thereon are paid.

C. In case the assessment prescribed in this Section 16 is not paid within thirty (30) days from the date of the Board's order of assessment, such assessment may be certified to the El Paso County Treasurer, who shall collect such assessment in the same manner as other taxes are collected. The laws of the State of Colorado for assessment and collection of general taxes, including the laws for the sale and redemption of the property for taxes, shall govern and apply to the collection of assessments pursuant to this Section 16.

D. No assessment as prescribed in this Section 16 shall be more than twenty percent (20%) of the assessed valuation of the entire contiguous tract of land in any one year. Any amount in excess of the twenty percent (20%) limitation remaining unpaid shall be carried over and charged on the tax roll of the succeeding year, and any unpaid balance so carried over shall bear interest at the rate established by the commissioner of banking pursuant to section 39-21-110.5, C.R.S., until paid.

E. No tax lien shall be levied by the Board against land it controls as part of a public right-of-way.

Section 17: Control of Undesirable Plants - Public Lands.

17.1 It shall be the duty of each state board, department, or agency which controls or supervises state lands to manage undesirable plants on any lands under its jurisdiction using the methods prescribed by the Board.

17.2 Whenever undesirable plants are found on public lands within unincorporated E1 Paso County, the County Official shall have the authority to notify the state board, department, or agency having jurisdiction over the affected lands, advising it of the presence of undesirable plants. Said notice shall, at a minimum:

A. Name the undesirable plants;

B. Specify the best available control methods of integrated management in accordance and consistent with the County Plan, which shall include but not be limited to biological management, chemical management, mechanical management, or cultural control, which are not in conflict with federal law or contractual restrictions included in federal land conveyances to the state;

C. Specify a schedule for completion of the control of the identified undesirable plants;

D. Provide the County Official's address and telephone number; and

E. Specify a specific date, which in no event shall exceed ten (10) days, within which the state board, department, or agency is required to respond in accordance with Subsection 17.4 hereinbelow.

17.3 The aforesaid notice shall be provided by certified mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested, addressed to the state board, department, or agency as indicated in the County's assessment roll or otherwise known by the County Official as having jurisdiction over the affected property, along with a copy thereof addressed to the State Attorney General.

17.4 Within the time specified in the notice prescribed in Subsection 17.2 hereinabove, the state board, department, or agency shall either:

A. Comply with terms of the notification;

B. Acknowledge the terms of the notification and submit an acceptable plan and schedule for the completion of the plan for compliance; or

C. Request an arbitration panel as set forth in Section 20 hereinbelow to determine the final management plan.

17.5 Wherever possible, the County Official shall consult with the affected state board, department, or agency in the development of a management plan for the control of weeds on the affected property, in accordance with Section 21 hereinbelow.

Section 18: Failure to Comply - Control of Undesirable Plants by the County - Public Lands.

18.1 In the event the affected state board, department, or agency fails, neglects, or refuses to comply with the notice to control the identified undesirable plants as prescribed in Section 17 next above or the management plan developed by the arbitration panel as prescribed in Section 20 hereinbelow, the County Official, upon approval of the Board, shall have the authority to enter upon such lands and undertake the management of such identified undesirable plants or cause the same to be done.

18.2 All weed control measures or work authorized by the Board shall be consistent and in accordance with the County Plan and/or any previously approved management plan for the affected property.

18.3 All required permits or other official authorization, as the same may be applicable, shall be timely secured.

18.4 No statement of costs shall be considered by the Board until the weed control measures or work performed on behalf of the County have successfully achieved the level of control called for in the notice to control the identified undesirable plants as prescribed in Section 17 next above or the management plan developed by the arbitration panel as prescribed in Section 20 hereinbelow.

18.5 Upon successful completion of the weed control measures or work, the County Official shall cause a statement to be prepared showing the total cost incurred. The County Official shall serve the statement on the affected state board, department, or agency, along with a copy to the State Attorney General, by certified mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested. The statement shall notify the affected state board, department, or agency that weed control measures or work have been performed pursuant to this Ordinance and the Act, state the date(s) the same were performed, the nature of the measures or work performed, and instruct such state board, department, or agency to pay the statement in full within thirty (30) days of the date set forth therein.

18.6 The aforesaid statement shall also notify the affected state board, department, or agency that any protests or objections relating to the statement of costs may be made in writing to the County Official within fifteen (15) days from the date set forth in the statement. Said statement shall reflect that such protests or objections, if taken, will be heard and determined by the Board at a public hearing. Each protest or objection must contain a description of the affected property and the grounds of such protest or objection. Any affected state board, department, or agency filing timely written protests or objections shall be advised of the time and place of the hearing before the Board at least ten (10) days in advance of the hearing.

18.7 Upon the day and time fixed for the hearing, or as soon thereafter as the calendar of the Board permits, the Board shall hear and pass upon the statement of costs prepared by the County Official together with any protests or objections. The Board may make such revision, correction or modification in the statement or the costs as it may deem just; and when the Board is satisfied with the correctness of the costs, the statement (as submitted or as revised, corrected or modified) together with the costs shall be confirmed or rejected. The decision of the Board on the statement and the costs, and on protests or objections, shall be final and conclusive.

18.8 The County's statement of costs pursuant to Subsection 18.7 next above shall be deemed a proper charge against the state board, department or agency having jurisdiction over the affected property. If not paid within thirty (30) days from the date of the Board's approval of the statement of costs, such charge shall be submitted to the State controller by certified mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested, who shall treat such amount as an encumbrance on the budget of the affected state board, department, or agency. Notice of such charge shall also be provided to the State Attorney General.

18.9 In addition to the provisions of Subsection 18.8 next above, the Board shall have the authority to pursue recovery of any duly authorized County charge against a state board, department, or agency pursuant to this Ordinance and the Act in any court with jurisdiction over such affected public lands.

Section 19: Control of Undesirable Plants - Public Rights-of-way.

It shall be the duty of each local governing body and each state board, department, or agency to assure that all public roads, public highways, public rights-of-way, and any easements appurtenant thereto, under the jurisdiction of each such entity, are in compliance with the Act, and the County Plan as the same may be applicable, and any violations thereof shall be the financial responsibility of the appropriate local governing body or state board, department, or agency.

Section 20: Arbitration Panel.

20.1 Any request for an arbitration panel as provided in Subsections 13.3 and 17.4 hereinabove shall be submitted in writing within the time specified for responding to the notice prescribed in Subsections 13.1 and 17.2 hereinabove.

20.2 The arbitration panel shall consist of three (3) members to be appointed by the Board. The arbitration panel shall be comprised of a weed management specialist or weed scientist, a landowner of similar land in El Paso County, and a third panel member chosen by agreement of the first two (2) panel members. The person or state governmental body requesting the arbitration panel shall be entitled to challenge any one member of the panel, and in such event, the Board shall name a new panel member from the same category as the challenged panel member.

20.3 All panel members shall be compensated at a rate of fifteen dollars ($15.00) per hour, unless another rate is mutually agreed upon, which compensation shall be paid by the person or state governmental body requesting the arbitration panel.

20.4 Upon appointment of the arbitration panel, the members thereof shall, as soon as practicable and in no event not to exceed ten (10) days from the date of Board appointment, fix a date, time and place for a hearing to determine the final management plan. Notice of the hearing shall be provided to the requesting party not less than three 

(3) days prior to the hearing by regular mail, postage prepaid, at the address shown on the initial written request, along with a copy of the notice of hearing provided to the County Official.

20.5 Prior to commencement of the hearing, the arbitration panel shall adopt reasonable rules and regulations for conducting its business which shall include at a minimum, the following:

A. A record of the entire proceedings shall, at a minimum, be made by tape recording equipment furnished by the Board or County Official. Upon completion of the hearing, the tape(s) shall be submitted to the Clerk to the Board's Office as part of the County's public records. A transcript of the proceedings shall be made available to all parties upon request and upon payment of a fee prescribed therefor by the County Clerk and Recorder.

B. The arbitration panel may grant a continuance for good cause shown.

C. The arbitration panel shall proceed with reasonable dispatch to conclude any matter before it. Due regard shall be shown for the convenience and necessity of the parties.

D. Hearings need not be conducted according to the technical rules relating to evidence. Any relevant and competent evidence shall be considered if it is the type of evidence on which responsible persons are accustomed to rely in the conduct of serious affairs. Irrelevant and unduly repetitious evidence shall be excluded.

E. The parties to the arbitration hearing shall consist, at a minimum, of the requesting party and the County Official. The arbitration panel shall have the authority to allow other parties who have provided satisfactory evidence of a substantial, warranted interest in the subject matter of the arbitration hearing. All parties shall have the right to call and examine witnesses on any matter relevant to the issues of the hearing; to introduce documentary and physical evidence; to cross-examine, impeach and rebut any opposing witnesses or evidence; and to represent himself or to be represented by anyone of his choice who is lawfully permitted to do so.

F. Official notice may be taken of any fact which may be judicially noticed by the courts of the State, or of state statutes, rules or regulations, or of official records of the County Official, the EPCWAC, or the Board, or of ordinances, resolutions, rules or regulations of the Board.

G. The arbitration panel may inspect the property which is the subject of the hearing provided that prior notice of such inspection is given to the parties; the parties are given an opportunity to be present during the inspection; and the parties are provided an opportunity to rebut or explain any material facts observed and the conclusions drawn therefrom as may be noted in the record by the arbitration panel at the conclusion of the inspection.

20.6 Within ten (10) days from the conclusion of the arbitration hearing, the arbitration panel shall render in writing its decision and final management plan which shall include, at a minimum, the control method(s) of integrated management for the affected property, and a schedule for the completion of the management plan for compliance. A copy of the arbitration panel's decision and final management plan shall be delivered to the requesting party personally or by certified mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested, at the address set forth in the notice requesting arbitration, along with a copy thereof to the County Official.

20.7 The decision and management plan of the arbitration panel shall be final and conclusive.

Section 21: Individual Integrated Management Plans.

21.1 In accordance with Subsections 13.4 and 17.5 hereinabove, the County Official shall have the authority to consult with the affected landowner, occupant or state governing body in developing an individual integrated management plan for the control of identified undesirable plants on the affected property. Any such individual integrated management plan shall be in accordance and consistent with the County Plan. In the event that such recommended management plan is inconsistent with and/or substantially departs from the County Plan, the County Official shall refer such recommended individual integrated management plan to the EPCWAC for its recommendations, and subsequent referral to the Board for formal approval, modification or rejection.

21.2 In accordance with Subsection 21.1 next above or on its own initiative, the EPCWAC shall have the authority to recommend that an identified landowner be required to submit an individual integrated management plan to control undesirable plants upon such landowner's property. Upon receiving EPCWAC's recommendation, the Board shall consider the same at a regularly scheduled public meeting, notice of the time, date and place of which shall be provided to the affected landowner by certified mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested, at least five (5) days prior to the meeting, at the address as it appears on the assessment roll of the County or as otherwise known to the Board. Notice of such meeting shall also be provided to the EPCWAC and County Official.

21.3 Based on the evidence received at the Board meeting to consider the recommended individual integrated management plan, the Board shall either approve, modify, or deny the same. Any decision approving, with or without modification, the individual integrated management plan shall be final and conclusive unless the landowner invokes the arbitration procedures set forth in Section 20 next above within ten (10) days from the date of the Board's decision. Any decision denying the recommended integrated management plan shall remand the matter to the EPCWAC for further consideration and recommendation. The EPCWAC shall resubmit its recommendations within fifteen (15) days from the date of the Board's remand. Any decision of the Board approving, with or without modification, the resubmitted individual integrated management plan shall be final and conclusive unless the landowner invokes the arbitration procedures set forth in Section 20 next above within ten (10) days from the date of the Board's reconsideration. Any decision denying the resubmitted individual integrated management plan shall be subject to arbitration in accordance with Section 20, with the costs thereof to be borne by the Board.

Section 22: Right of Entry - Liability.

22.1 No persons shall obstruct impede or interfere with any officer, employee, contractor or authorized representative of the County Official or the Board performing any weed control measures or work pursuant to this Ordinance, or in performing any necessary act preliminary to or incidental to such weed control measures or work, or in performing any act otherwise authorized or directed pursuant to this Ordinance. The County Official or Board shall have recourse to every remedy provided by this Ordinance or by law for any violation of this Subsection 22.1.

22.2 The County Official shall have the right to enter upon any property, whether public or private during reasonable business hours for the purpose of ensuring compliance with the requirements of this Ordinance and the Act concerning undesirable plant management. If entry is denied, the County Official and/or the Board shall have recourse to every remedy provided by this Ordinance or by law to secure entry.

22.3 No agent, employee, or delegate of the county Official or the Board shall have a civil cause of action against a landowner or occupant for personal injury or property damage incurred while on public or private land for purposes consistent with this Ordinance or the Act except when such damages were willfully or deliberately caused by the landowner or occupant.

Section 23: Intergovernmental Cooperation.

23.1 The Board may cooperate with other counties and municipalities for the exercise of any or all of the powers and authorities granted by the Act pursuant to intergovernmental agreement.

23.2 The Board may contract with any state board, department, or agency for the management of undesirable plants on state-controlled land by the Board on terms and conditions satisfactory to the contracting parties.

23.3 The Board may enter into cooperative agreements with federal agencies and state agencies for the integrated management of undesirable plants within their respective territorial jurisdictions.

Section 24: Failure to Receive Notice.

The failure of a landowner, occupant or state governmental body to receive any notice provided for in this Ordinance shall not invalidate any proceedings under this Ordinance.

Section 25: Extension of Time.

An extension of time may be granted by the County Official or the governing body charged with the act or compliance required, in his/her/its discretion and for good cause shown, if the request for extension is received in writing within the original prescribed time period. Any extension of time granted herein shall not exceed an additional fourteen (14) day duration.

Section 26: Emergency Orders.

26.1 Whenever the County Official deems that an emergency exists which requires immediate action to protect the public health, safety and welfare, the County Official may, without prior notice or hearing, issue an order stating that such emergency exists and requiring that such action be taken as deemed necessary to meet the emergency. Notice of such order may be issued to the landowner, occupant, or state governing body, as the same is applicable. Notwithstanding any provision of this Ordinance to the contrary, such order shall be effective immediately.

26.2 Any person to whom such emergency order is issued shall comply therewith immediately, and it shall be unlawful to fail or refuse to so comply.

26.3 In the event the person to whom such emergency order is issued fails or refuses to immediately comply therewith, the County Official may request, without prior notice to any party, the Board take such action as required by the terms of the emergency order, including without limitation, emergency control and/or abatement in accordance with the provisions of Sections 15, 16 and 18, respectively, of this Ordinance.

26.4 The County Official or the Board shall, either simultaneously with or as soon after the issuance of an emergency order as possible, institute action in accordance with the provisions of this Ordinance to permanently control and/or abate the undesirable plants giving rise to the emergency order.

Section 27: Public Nuisance - Abatement.

27.1 All undesirable plants at any and all stages thereof, their carriers, and any and all premises, plants, and things infested or exposed to infestation therewith are declared to be a public nuisance. Such public nuisances shall be subject to all laws and remedies relating to the prevention, control and abatement of nuisances.

27.2 Notwithstanding any provision of this Ordinance to the contrary, the Board, in a summary manner or otherwise, may take such action, including removal and destruction, with reference to such nuisance as in its discretion appears necessary to protect the public health, safety or welfare, including without limitation, emergency procedures in accordance with Section 26 of this Ordinance.

27.3 The remedies of this Section 27 shall be in addition to all other remedies provided by this Ordinance and/or by law.

Section 28: Criminal/Civil Enforcement Remedies.

28.1 The remedies provided in this Ordinance shall be cumulative and in addition to any other remedies, criminal or civil, which may be available. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to preclude the Board from seeking such other remedies in addition to, or in lieu of, the remedies herein granted.

28.2 Each violation of this Ordinance or the Act shall be deemed separate and distinct from any other violation of this Ordinance or the Act, or of any other state or local law, ordinance, resolution, rule or regulation.

28.3 Criminal prosecution may be brought in accordance with the Act and Sections 30-15-401, et seq., C.R.S., and under the penalty assessment procedures provided in Section 16-2-201, C.R.S.

A. Any person who violates this Ordinance or the aforesaid statutory provisions commits a Class II Petty Offense and, upon conviction or confession of guilt thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more of three hundred dollars ($300.00) for each separate violation.

B. Fines, in addition to court costs and surcharges, shall be set by the County Court, unless the violator wishes to confess guilt and pay the fine, in which case the fine shall be one hundred dollars ($100.00).

28.4 In addition to other remedies provided by law, the District Attorney or the Board may institute appropriate action, in accordance with Sections 16-13-301, et seq., and/or Section 35-5.5-113, C.R.S., to restrain, prevent, abate, perpetually enjoin, remove, control, or destroy any public nuisance pursuant to this Ordinance or the Act.

28.5 Notwithstanding Sections 16 and 18 of this Ordinance, the Board shall have the additional right to collect from any landowner, occupant, or state governing body, through institution of any action at law or in equity or by other lawful means, any amount due from such landowner, occupant, or state governing body by reason of expenses incurred in the control of undesirable plants upon property under the jurisdiction or control of such landowner, occupant, or state governing body.

28.6 With the exception of court imposed costs and surcharges, all fines and forfeitures for the violation of this Ordinance shall be in negotiable funds made payable to El Paso County and submitted to the El Paso County Finance Office within thirty (30) days of receipt. All fines received by the County shall be remitted to the El Paso County Treasurer and deposited into the General Fund of the County.

Section 29: Prior Acts Validated.

All prior actions of the Board, the EPCWAC, and the County Official in accordance and consistent with the Act are declared to be valid and ratified by the Board.

Section 30: Repeal of Conflicting Provisions.

All former County ordinances, resolutions, rules or regulations, or parts thereof, in conflict with this Ordinance are hereby repealed.

Section 31: Safety Clause.

The Board hereby finds, determines and declares that this Ordinance is necessary for the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens of El Paso County, Colorado.

Section 32: Severability Clause.

If any section, subsection, clause or phrase of this Ordinance is, for any reason, held to be invalid, such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this Ordinance.

Section 33: Publication and Effective Date.

The foregoing text is the authentic text of El Paso County Ordinance No. 94-1, as amended 1999.

The first reading of said Ordinance took place on June 6, 1994. It was published in full in the Shoppers Press on June 15, 1994, in accordance with Section 30-15-406, C.R.S.

Said Ordinance was adopted, without amendment, on June 27, 1994, was republished by title only in the Shoppers Press on July 6, 1994, in accordance with Section 30-15-405, C.R.S. and was effective August 15, 1994.

The 1999 amendments to Sections 7.1 and 7.2, were published in full in the Shoppers Press on October 27, 1999 in accordance with Section 7.3 herein, and are to be effective upon adoption.

DONE AND SIGNED this 29th day of November, 1999, at Colorado Springs, Colorado.

BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
OF EL PASO COUNTY, COLORADO
 

COUNTY OF EL PASO )
)s.s.
STATE OF COLORADO )

I hereby certify and attest that the provisions of Section 33, Ordinance No. 94-1, as set forth hereinabove are true and correct to the best of my knowledge, information and belief.

CERTIFICATE OF PUBLICATION AND ADOPTION

I hereby certify the proposed Amendments to Sections 7.1 and 7.2 of Ordinance No. 94-1 were published in full in the El Paso County Advertiser and News, a newspaper of general circulation published in El Paso County on October 27, 1999. 

Said Amendments to Ordinance No. 94-1 were introduced, read and adopted at the Public Hearing of the Board of County Commissioners of the County of El Paso on the 29th day of November, 1999. 
 

CERTIFICATE AS TO AUTHENTICITY

I, J. Patrick Kelly, El Paso County Clerk and Recorder and Ex-officio Clerk to the Board of County Commissioners in and for the County of El Paso, State of Colorado, do hereby certify that the foregoing Amended Ordinance No. 94-1, entitled "El Paso County Undesirable Plant Management Ordinance" is a true, correct, and complete copy contained in the records of the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder, and that said amendments were duly adopted by the Board of County Commissioners of El Paso County and are in full force and effect.