From high grass and dilapidated houses to junk cars and junky yards, if it pertains to the proper maintenance of your
property, there's probably an ordinance for it. These ordinances, or codes, are designed to keep our residents safe
and keep our city looking great, and Code Enforcement is department responsible for the application of these codes.
If you want to keep yourself from running afoul of these codes, here is your opportunity to learn how.
What Is Considered a Violation?
As a general rule, violations must have an impact on the adjacent neighborhood or the community as a whole. In all
cases, the property owners of record are ultimately responsible for preventing these nuisances. While not an
exhaustive list, these are the most common violations.
High Weeds and/or Trash
Under city code, lawns must be kept neat and tidy and free weeds and trash. Weeds include, but are not limited to:
- poison ivy
- poison oak
- poison sumac
- vegetation that
- exceeds 12 inches in (height except healthy trees, shrubs or produce grown for human consumption)
- harbors rodents or vermin
- conceals or invites deposits of trash
- gives off unpleasant odors
- constitutes a fire or traffic hazard
- is dead or diseased
Trash includes, but is not limited to:
- combustible materials
- other matter which is uncared for, discarded, or abandoned.
Both of these are a violation under Chapter 8-101 of the Code of Ordinances, and International Property Maintenance Code
(IPMC) Section 302.4.
Under city code, no person may, in open view, deposit, store, keep or permit to be kept upon any private or public property
(including city streets) any unserviceable, inoperable, unlicensed, junked or abandoned vehicle for a period exceeding 30
days for private property and 24 hours for public property. Inoperative or unlicensed vehicles may only be kept in a
completely enclosed building, such as a garage, or be properly screened from view.
This is a violation under Chapter 8-401 of the Code of Ordinances, and IPMC Section 302.8.
Unsecured or Dilapidated Structures
Under city code, any vacated buildings shall have all exterior doors firmly locked, and basement, cellar, and first-story
windows boarded or secured to prevent entry. Structures that, by their state of damage, decay or prolonged vacancy, present
a hazard to occupants or the public’s health, safety or welfare may be considered dilapidated and subject to demolition and
removal. Also, structures that must be boarded and secured more than three times in a year may be deemed dilapidated.
This is a violation under Chapter 8-502 of the Code of Ordinances.
How Do I Make a Complaint?
Complaints can be made by telephone at any time by calling (580) 336-3416. If the telephone is not answered by an employee,
or if it is after regular business hours, complaints can be made by following the telephone voicemail prompt. Callers may
remain anonymous. Complaints may also be made in person at City Hall, 622 Cedar Street.
Please include a specific address to the violation property when making a complaint.
What Happens After the Complaint?
The Code Enforcement department investigates all complaints within their jurisdiction. If a violation is determined to exist,
a variety measures may be taken depending upon the type and severity of the violation. If the violation is minor and corrective
actions can be completed easily, the property owner may only receive a verbal notification. A “Courtesy Notice – Code Violation”
door hanger may also be left. This is not a citation or legal notice, but rather an informal notice explaining the problem and
seeking correction, usually within a week’s time.
A more serious or continuing violation may result in the issuance of a municipal court citation with a maximum fine of $250.
Each day the violation continues may constitute a separate offense.
The Abatement Process
Most code violations are resolved quickly. Some situations, however, will require abatement by the city or its assigned private
contractor. Abatement, in this case, refers to the reduction or removal of a public nuisance violation. In such cases, the
property owner of record is notified of the public nuisance violation. If corrections are not made within 10 days from the date
of the notice, the city may assign a contractor to abate public nuisance conditions on the property. Cases involving inoperative
vehicles may require the vehicle to be removed by towing. During that period, the owner may request, in writing, an administrative
hearing before the City Manager, or his or her designee, to show cause why the violation should not be considered a public nuisance
After abatement work is completed, a bill is prepared for all related costs including an administrative fee. If the property owner
fails to pay the bill within timeframe established by city ordinance and state law, the costs will be assessed as a lien co-equal
with the property’s taxes. The property owner may appeal, in writing, the cost amount to the City Clerk within 10 days of the billing.
The city may pursue other civil remedies as necessary to assure correction. Additionally, abatements and criminal cases may be
pursued simultaneously if circumstances warrant.
If a property receives a Public Nuisance Abatement Notice, the city may summarily abate any similar violation occurring within a
six-month period without further notice to the property owner. This can occur even if the property owner corrects the initial violation.
Where Do I Get The Code?
The Code of Ordinances for the City of Perry are available online here. Hard copies are available for
review in the City Clerk’s office.
The Key Is Communication!
When a public nuisance or other code violation exists, Code Enforcement is willing to work with responsible parties to achieve correction,
but communication is essential! Remember, code compliance is a vital part of a safe, healthy living environment and a prosperous community!
Please feel free to call us at any time.