Nuisance Inspections and Abatements

The Code Compliance Division is responsible for enforcing nuisance ordinances.  Inspections are generated through citizen complaints or routine surveys by inspectors.  Once notified by the City, failure to correct the violation will result in the City’s abatement of the violation, with fees charged to the property owner.

Nuisance Examples

Over Height Grass & WeedsView Example of Overgrown Weeds

Yard maintenance standards are the responsibility of every property owner and include the maintenance of plant material on private property as well as in any right-of-way around the property. Grass type ground cover must be maintained at eight (8) inches or less.

Other Vegetation Maintenance Standards

Plant material other than turf grass in the city right-of-way (parkway) shall not exceed twenty-four (24) inches in height with blossoms not in excess of thirty-six (36) inches in height.

All vegetation, trees or shrubs must not prevent the free and unobstructed travel of pedestrians upon sidewalks, or vehicles on streets and alleys.  The branches of a tree extending over any public sidewalk, street or other public way should be trimmed to a height of no less than eight (8) feet above the sidewalk and fourteen (14) feet above the street.

Vegetation at intersections must be trimmed as to not negatively affect traffic or pedestrians safety by impairing the visibility or passage of pedestrians or vehicles.

Garbage Service Required

Every property shall have weekly garbage service.  The receptacles for garbage shall be made of galvanized iron, impact resistant plastic, steel or aluminum and be a minimum size of 6 gallons.  Each receptacle shall be equipped with a close fitting lid.  The trash container can not be stored on the public right-of-way.

Junk, Trash & Debris

Junk, trash and debris cannot be left in the yard and must be properly disposed of. This includes junk auto parts, appliances, furniture, building materials, tires, trash such as discarded paper, cardboard, plastics, etc, and debris such as tree trimmings, fallen limbs or other landscape waste. Generally, any equipment, materials, or furnishings that would ordinarily not be used outdoors may not be stored outdoors.

Inoperative Motor Vehicles

View Example of an Inoperative Motor Vehicle

An inoperative vehicle is a vehicle that does not display a current license tag and/or is not equipped with all parts that are required to legally and safely operate on public streets and/or cannot be driven under its own power.  An inoperative motor vehicle on private property must be stored within a fully enclosed structure completely out of view of the public.

Yard Parking

All vehicles must be parked on an approved surface.  Parking is permitted for passenger cars and motorcycles on residential lots only on a legal driveway. A driveway or parking area must be constructed with approved parking surfaces.

Snow RemovalView Example of a Snow-covered Sidewalk

As of November 1, 2007, owners of property located within the University District and the Downtown area are responsible for removing snow, ice, sleet or freezing rain from the sidewalk adjacent to their property.

The goal of the ordinance is to maintain accessibility for the general public who rely on our sidewalk system to carry out their daily activities.  The ordinance applies when accumulations are of 2” or greater.  The City’s Public Works Director will publicly declare when the ordinance requirements are officially in effect.  Owners then have 48 hours to comply with the declaration.  A path the width of the sidewalk or 48”, whichever is less, is required to be maintained.

Property owners on corner lots are also required to shovel paths to the nearest crosswalk. Snow should be stored on your property, if possible, or in the parkway between the sidewalk and the street curb. Please bear in mind that streets with on-street parking still need access to vehicles and parking meters.  Snow cannot be deposited onto City Streets. The preceding information is provided as examples of nuisance violations but it is not intended to be an all-inclusive list of every violation.  For further information please review the City code or consult with an inspector.

Nuisance Abatement

Although voluntary compliance is the ultimate goal in sending a nuisance violation notice, there are times when the property owner does not take immediate action to correct the situation.  Failure to comply with a nuisance notice will result in City abatement of the violation.  City contractors will mow overgrown grass and weeds, remove garbage and debris from a property, provide snow removal from sidewalks, or tow inoperative motor vehicles from private property. The fees for these services plus an administrative fee is charged to the property owner for the abatement activity.