Trash, Rubbish & Junk Compliance Process

Notifying the City of a Nuisance Violation

Routine inspections result in the majority of warning letters being issued to property owners. Inspections are also performed due to citizen complaints. After receiving a citizen’s complaint or see click fix notification, a property nuisance abatement inspector views and documents the problem area to determine if there is a violation.


Examples of Nuisance

The following lists some, but not all, possible violations:

  • Indoor furniture being used outdoors
  • Junk (includes non operational vehicles, appliances set outdoors, dilapidated items, or indoor household items found outside)
  • Rubbish and garbage from commercial establishments and industrial plants
  • Rubbish/garbage or cardboard/plastic trash or food found outside a trash/recycle can
  • Yard waste or debris, including tree branches/trunk pieces, and piles of leaves

Property Violation Determination

The City inspector will determine if the property is in violation. The property nuisance abatement inspector will determine if there is a violation, and photographs will be taken.

If the City inspector determines that a violation has been found, two types of warning letters may be issued:

  • An owner courtesy letter is mailed to any property owner whose property is currently in violation but did not have a Habitual Letter in the previous 12 months to date. This letter allows seven days from the date of the notice to properly remove the violation from the property.  
  • If the property owner fails to abate the nuisance within seven (7) days of the courtesy notice, the City shall be empowered to abate the nuisance. The Building Official and the Public Works Director, or their respective designees, shall direct the abatement by either City staff or a contractor. The costs incurred by the City to abate the nuisance shall be charged to the property owner on their municipal utility bill, in the form of a lien on the property, or in any other manner consistent with the Code of Ordinances. Further, the City Attorney is authorized and directed to initiate litigation in court to recover costs incurred. The cost of abatement will be accompanied by a fine of one hundred dollars ($100) or ten percent (10%) of the cost of abatement, whichever amount is greater.
  • A habitual nuisance letter is mailed to a property owner who has been cited and had a nuisance abated on their property by the City three (3) or more times in a one (1) year period shall be considered a habitual violator. Habitual violators shall receive notice that they are so considered and said notice shall inform them that all subsequent violations shall result in immediate abatement by the City without additional courtesy notices. The costs incurred by the City to abate the nuisance and the associated fine shall be charged to the property owner in the same manner as above. Designation as a habitual violator may be discontinued when the property owner in question has not been cited for a minimum of one (1) year.

Ignoring Warning Letters

In the event that a property owner fails to comply with the warning letter, the property nuisance abatement inspector may direct the Public Words Department to enter upon the property and remove all items in violation. Additionally, the owner may be served with a notice of violation directing them to appear before the administrative hearing officer. Penalties may range from $50-$500 per day, per violation.


APPEAL PROCESS

Property owners may appeal a nuisance citation to the Municipal Code Enforcement Service (MUNICES). Said appeal must be in writing and explain how there is not a nuisance violation present using photographic evidence. The appeal must be delivered to the Building Official prior to the end of the seven (7) day period following the issuance of the courtesy notice. Appeals received late shall not be considered. The Building Official shall ensure that the appeal is heard at the next regularly scheduled MUNICES hearing. At said hearing, the Building Official or their designee shall present evidence that a nuisance violation is present. The property owner or their designee shall present evidence to the contrary. Should the presiding Code Hearing Officer decide that a nuisance does exist, the City may proceed with abatement immediately. Should the presiding Officer decide that no violation is present or that the violation is less severe, they may dismiss the citation in whole or in part. The respective parties shall retain, however, the right to take civil action in local court.