How to Avoid Code Enforcement and Be a Good Neighbor
- Vehicles of any kind, whether they are Recreational Vehicles or your own personal vehicle that you are trying to sell, are not permitted to be parked on the lawn.
- Keep housing safe, sanitary, in good repair and maintain a pest control holes
- Make sure that address numbers are a minimum of 3 ½" in height and contrast with the color of the building.
- Check to insure garbage is properly disposed of.
- Mow the lawn so that grass is eight inches or less in height.
- Inspect to insure that debris, such as plastic containers, used tires, building materials, non-operational vehicles and other materials that devalue the appearance of your yard, is not present.
- Repair rotted wood, broken or missing boards and siding.
How does Code Enforcement Work?
Our enforcement officers, who patrol the Township every day, initiate many of the code enforcement actions. A citizen can report a complaint by calling the Code Enforcement Division at 989-791-9865. A staff member will take information regarding the location and nature of the violation.
The inspector assigned to the area will conduct an inspection of the property as soon as possible, typically within 24 hours of your complaint. If it is determined that a violation exists, the inspector may issue a notice of violation or depending on the nature of the violation work with the individuals responsible for the property for a brief period of time to achieve compliance.
Are there things that Code Enforcement can’t control?
Yes. Code Enforcement cannot resolve matters such as, property line disputes, tree branches or limbs hanging onto your property, subdivision covenants and deed restrictions. These issues are best handled by an attorney, as they tend to be civil matters.
Other items, such as mailboxes, street signs, and roadway clear vision areas that are obscured by brush or other such items, are handled through the Saginaw County Road Commission at 989-752-6140.
Complaints or concerns regarding parking in the street, noise, including dogs, should be referred to the Police Department at 989-793-2310.
Enforcement of the recreational vehicle ordinance has been somewhat of a controversial issue. The Township adopted an ordinance that regulates the parking of recreational vehicles and equipment since 1989.
The ordinance states, "The parking of recreational vehicles and equipment including travel trailers, campers, boats and similar recreational equipment is prohibited within the required yard areas of any "R" district, except recreational vehicles and equipment are permitted for periods not the exceed 5 consecutive days, whereupon said vehicle shall be completely removed from the property for a minimum of 8 hours." The area on which a vehicle will park shall be surfaced with concrete, asphalt, stone, or concrete pavers with an adequately prepared base or three inches of crushed stone, aggregate, or other approved surface.
If the recreational vehicle is located outside of the required yard areas on a hard surface mentioned above, it will then comply with the intent of the ordinance. The required yard areas within a R-1A, R-1 and R-2 districts are as follows:
- Front Yard: 30'
- Street Side Yard: 30'
- Side Yard: 10'
- Rear Yard: 30'
What to do if you receive a notice of Violation
- Call the Code Enforcement Officer who sent you the letter. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE.
- Find out how to correct the problem and do so promptly.
- You can ask for additional time provided you are making progress on the violations. Some problems are serious and correction must not be delayed. Remember to get proper permits that may be required for some repairs.
- If you are unwilling to take prompt action to correct the problems, there are several possible consequences you may face fines and penalties.
If you believe that there is a violation in your neighborhood or near your business, that you have not been able to resolve by discussing it with the responsible person, call (989) 791-9865. When you phone in your complaint, we will ask if you have contacted the responsible party. Most people want to be good neighbors and are cooperative once the issue is brought to their attention.
What is the International Property Maintenance Code?
The International Property Maintenance Code is an internationally recognized and used document, designed to provide minimum standards to safeguard life or limb, health, property and public welfare by regulating and controlling the use and occupancy, location and maintenance of all residential buildings and structures within the jurisdiction of the city.
How to File a Complaint
A citizen can report a complaint by calling the Code Enforcement Division at 989-791-9865. A staff member will take information regarding the location and nature of the violation.
The inspector assigned to the area will conduct an inspection of the property, as soon as possible, typically within 24 hours of your complaint. If it is determined that a violation exists, the inspector may issue a notice of violation or depending on the nature of the violation work with the individuals responsible for the property for a brief period of time to achieve compliance.
Parking on the Grass
Whether you have a vehicle for sale, an extra vehicle, your child's vehicle or a recreational vehicle, it is not permitted to park on the lawn. Section 403, 4.B., "Off-street parking for one and two-family residential uses shall have a durable, smooth and dustless surface consisting of asphalt, concrete, crushed stone or similar surface as approved by the zoning administrator. Any such area shall be graded so that surface water drains away from adjacent lots."
Trees, Tree Branches and Tree Limbs
Typically, trees, tree branches and tree limbs really are more of a neighbor issue than a code enforcement issue. Though technically, if a tree is hanging onto your property you have the right to cut it back, you will be held responsible for any potential damage you cause, or may be perceived to have caused. The best advice we can give is to speak with your neighbor about the issue. Otherwise, you should consult an attorney, as this is a private matter.
If there is a tree or other such vegetation that is blocking clear vision at a corner or intersection, you should contact the Saginaw County Road Commission at 989-752-6140.