After issuing code violation notices and citations to illegal cannabis dispensaries and property owners — a practice that, in recent years, has racked up $122,475 in unpaid fines — the city of Costa Mesa is upping its nuisance abatement game.

City Council members this week passed a resolution to place delinquent citations on the county’s property tax roll as a lien against offending properties, meaning owners would have unpaid fines added to their property tax bills as a special assessment.

Failure to pay the tax for three consecutive years would allow the county’s tax collector to sell the delinquent property.

“We’ve used code enforcement, we’ve partnered with the DA. We’ve done as much as we can that was currently on the books,” Mayor Pro Tem Andrea Marr said of the move in a July 20 council meeting. “This is an attempt by staff to give us another tool in [our] toolbox.”

A business complex at 440 Fair Drive in Costa Mesa, a site where at least one illegal cannabis dispensary has operated without a license, has racked up $18,700 in unpaid citations, city records indicate.(File Photo)

Finance Director Carol Molina explained when businesses are identified as operating without

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