Zoning Department FAQs

How tall can my neighbor allow his grass to grow?

The code states that grass can grow to 8 inches before it must be mowed. Upon receiving a complaint, the property maintenance officer will notify the owner of the property, who then has five days from receipt of notice to cut the grass. Upon failure of an owner to comply, we will employ the necessary labor to perform the task. The cost will be entered upon the tax duplicate and become a lien upon such lands.

I want to sell my car, what can I do?

You can sell your own personal vehicle from your property. The vehicle must be parked on the driveway. You may not park it in the grass.

Where can I park my RV, boat, trailer, etc?

Vehicular recreational equipment includes all campers, travel trailers, mobile or motor homes, converted buses, boats, trailers, whether for the transportation of portable tents, boats or other equipment or materials, and stock cars, under thirty-one feet in length. These types of vehicular recreational equipment can be parked in the driveway, garage, or anywhere in the rear yard. You may not park this type of equipment in the front yard or side yard unless it is on the driveway.

Can my neighbor park his car in the front yard?

All vehicles shall be property parked in the driveway, garage or right of way.

What about junk vehicles?

All vehicles which are junk vehicles (not currently roadworthy) or which do not carry a current year’s license plate and registration where required by law shall be stored in a completely enclosed, authorized or permitted building on such lot or premises.

Are there rules about compost piles?

Yes. Residents can create or maintain a compost pile or piles for yard waste, provided that such pile or piles are not stored in quantities or locations prohibited by any provision of the Exterior Maintenance Code or by any ordinance of the City or law of the State. All compost piles:

  1. Shall not be visible from the public right of way;
  2. Shall not constitute a public nuisance or a nuisance to abutting and adjoining properties by providing a breeding place or attraction for, or by becoming infested with, vermin, rodents or insects, or emit a smell or odor which annoys or disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivities or which endangers or injures real or personal property;
  3. Shall not create any health or fire hazard;
  4. Shall not be created or maintained in any front or side yard of located closer than five feet from any side or rear lot line;
  5. Shall be permitted if the compost pile or piles are enclosed by a barrier on all sides which shall not exceed four feet in height;
  6. Shall not be in excess of one percent of the square footage of the lot or seventy-five square feet, whichever is less
  7. Shall not impede any natural watercourse or drainage from any property; and
  8. May contain any organic yard waste or vegetable waste. Meat products, dairy products, food oils and animal wastes are prohibited.

Where can I store firewood outdoors?

Front yards shall be kept free, and storage shall be prohibited, of all firewood, brush, logs or any other material intended to be used in fireplaces or other permitted burning facilities. Storage of such materials shall be permitted only in side or rear yards and under the following conditions:

  1. The firewood shall be stacked no higher than six feet;
  2. It shall be cut firewood;
  3. It shall be stored at least five feet from the property line;
  4. It shall be stored in such a manner as not to constitute a fire hazard; and
  5. Storage piles shall not exceed two cords in an exposed area. Additional wood may be stored in an enclosed area, accessory building, garage or shed.

My neighbor’s house needs some work. Does he have to paint it?

Every dwelling and accessory structure and every part thereof shall be kept structurally sound and in a state of good repair to avoid safety, health or fire hazards, including:

  1. Painting and Other Protective Coating. All exposed surfaces susceptible to decay shall be kept at all times painted or otherwise provided with a protective coating sufficient to prevent deterioration and rot.
  2. Exterior Walls, Sidings, and Roofs. Exterior walls, sidings and roofs shall be kept structurally sound, in good repair and free from unsafe defects. Damaged materials shall be repaired or replaced. Places showing signs of substantial rot, deterioration or excessive corrosion shall be restored and protected.

My neighbor’s landscaping is out of control. What can be done?

Premises shall be maintained. Lawns, hedges and bushes shall be kept from becoming overgrown and unsightly ( i.e. covering windows, choking out other plants, untrimmed, etc.) where exposed to public view and where the same constitute a blighting factor depreciating adjoining property and impairing the good residential character of the immediate neighborhood.

I was taking a walk and had to duck to avoid the branches of a tree. What can be done?

The owner of every lot or parcel of land within the City upon which a tree, plant or shrubbery stands, with any part thereof upon or overhanging a public street or sidewalk, shall be subject to the regulations provided in Chapter 668. The owner shall trim or cause to be trimmed any such tree, plant or shrubbery so that a clear height of eight feet between the lowest branches and the sidewalk is maintained and such height over the street as may be designated by the Municipal Engineer. If an owner fails to comply, after written notice, the City shall cause any such trees, plants or shrubbery to be trimmed or cut down and removed and assess the cost against the owner of such lot or parcel of land.

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