What is Code Enforcement?
We enhance the quality of life of county residents by assisting owners of property in non-compliance with the
Land Development Code, including zoning & subdivision regulations, as well as sign, tree and other county ordinances, to come into compliance. Citizen reports are the main source of suspected code violations,
which makes it possible for us to conduct investigations, identify and cite violations and obtain compliance with code requirements.
Code Board Annual Report for FY 2012-2013.
Importance of Code Enforcement
Storing scrap, salvage materials, junk or debris outside in a residential zone is a violation.
What are some other common violations?
What is the Enforcement process?
The first step is to inspect the property in question, if there is a violation then a Notice of Violation is sent to the owner of the property alleged to be in violation. This notice advises that a complaint has been filed and describes the nature of the complaint, as well as a timeline to come into compliance. This is an opportunity for the property owner to contact Code Enforcement to discuss the violations and remedy them. Inspections may be scheduled to determine if there is a violation. If you do not comply within the time alloted in the Notice of Violation, the case will be heard by the Code Enforcement Board (CEB), and fines may be levied at that time. Failure to comply with the Code Enforcement Board's legal order, may result in further fines, liens or foreclosures.
How Much Time Do I Have to Correct Violations?
For most violations, the property must be compliant within 30 days, beginning on the date the case is opened. This 30 day period applies only to first time violators. For repeat violators, adjudicated by the CEB, fines will begin on the first day the violation was observed. If the Code Enforcement Officer has reason to believe that the violation presents a serious threat to the public health, safety or welfare or if the violation is irreparable or irreversible, you may be required to immediately comply and the CEB fines may be substantially higher.
What if I receive a Notice of Violation?
A Notice of Violation is a notification that there is a code violation on your property. If you receive a Notice it is because Alachua County believes there is a code violation on your property. The notice will contain specific information about the alleged violation including the applicable code section, the address and or tax parcel number of the property in question, the date the alleged violation was observed, information identifying the owner or responsible party and requirements to achieve compliance. You may decide to accept responsibility for the violation. This means that there will be no hearing before the Code Enforcement Board (CEB) and that you accept the timeframe for compliance and any fines. If you don’t accept responsibility for the violation, the fine amount or the timeframe for compliance, a hearing date will be set before the Code Enforcement Board (CEB). At the hearing, the County will present evidence of the violation. You will have the opportunity to dispute that evidence, present your own evidence, and ask questions of the inspector. The Board will decide if the property is in violation, who is responsible for the fines and timeframes for compliance based on the County’s recommendation.
How Much Are the Fines?
If the CEB finds that you are in violation, and you do not come into compliance within the specified time-frame, the CEB may levy fines up to $1000 per day for first offenses. If a repeat violation has been committed, the CEB may levy fines up to $5000 per day.
How Do I Appeal a decision of the CEB?
If you believe the Board’s decision is wrong and that you are not responsible for a code violation, you may appeal the decision to the Circuit Court.