Code Enforcement serves many purposes. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about Code Enforcement? A set of rules that enforces aesthetics of a neighborhood? The enforcement of set by-laws similar to an HOA? While these two thoughts may be true to some extent, Code Enforcement also serves many other purposes, some of which are perhaps not as obvious as you would think. Code Enforcement officers are the first lines of defense when it comes to detecting illegal or unsafe construction projects or unsafe buildings or structures. Code Enforcement ensures the integrity of neighborhoods by maintaining their visual appeal and thus their property values. This applies both to residential and commercial districts of cities and towns. In addition to these aspects, Code Enforcement is often the first to detect or be notified of health violations. Some of these violations can be handled at the code enforcement level or vetted out to the appropriate municipal or state agency, depending on the level of a violation.
Q. What does the code say about tall grass and weeds on my property?
A. Vegetation taller than 12 inches is considered to be a nuisance and is an offense to the code. Vegetation taller than 24 inches is considered to be a hazard to the health and safety of persons and the city is compelled to abate the violation immediately without prior notification to property owners. Once the violation is abated, the city must notify the property owner within 10 days of the abatement and the associated costs for such work.
Q. What standard do you use to determine if my personal items are considered to be excessive debris or some sort of nuisance?
A. The City of Balcones Heights Code of Ordinance has a long list of things that can be considered debris or clutter. Please refer to sections 93.35 and 94.05 for specific language.
Q. What kind of business can I run or not run out of my house?
A. While the Code does not discuss in detail which businesses are or are not acceptable, section 5.2.2 discusses certain restrictions on activity associated with home occupations. You will find that because of the prohibition of certain activities, some businesses are, by virtue of those activities, excluded from acceptability. Please note that once a business conforms to every aspect of that subsection, that business needs to be registered at City Hall in order to operate in a legal manner.
Q. I am a business in a commercial zone. What kind of signs can I display?
A. Although this is a question for the Community Development Department, please note that temporary banners and signs are only allowed once a permit is secured from City Hall. Code enforcement has the right and the duty to remove all bandit/non-permitted signs. This includes signs in the right-of-way as well as any make of signs obstructing sidewalks, etc.
Q. What happens if I ignore a letter or red door hanger notice from code enforcement?
A. The city seeks voluntary compliance with the Code and will work with residents or businesses who find it difficult to come into compliance within the required amount of time stated on a letter of violation or warning. Code enforcement has the authority to grant some extensions, with other requests for extensions having to be approved at higher levels of authority. The ultimate goal is to educate residents on the importance of rectifying code violations, however certain legal remedies are ultimately at the disposal of the City should the need arise.
To register a potential Code Violation, please contact us: