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Code Enforcement

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Garden City Code Enforcement works every day to enforce the codes and ordinances contained within Garden City's Code of Ordinances and the International Property Maintenance Code.  Our job is to keep the City looking great and to work to maintain a high quality of life for our residents, business owners, and visitors.

Commonly Cited Code Violations

When Garden City's Code Enforcement Officers are proactively patroling the City, they are  they are looking for several things to include, but not limited to:  overgrown lots, littered and vacant properties, dilapidated houses, derelict vehicles, trash, and illegal businesses.  A link to the most commonly cited code violations can be found below.

Link:  Commonly Cited Code Violations

Code Enforcement Procedures

In general, the procedures for code enforcement must make certain that due process is given to every property owner. Due process is defined as “a fundamental, constitutional guarantee that all legal proceedings will be fair and that one will be given notice of the proceedings and an opportunity to be heard before the government acts to take away one's life, liberty, or property.” The downside to ensuring due process is that it slows down the actions and procedures to resolve the problem. However, correct due process measures are mandatory and avoid infringing on a property owner’s rights and potential legal consequences.

The general process for Code Enforcement in Garden City includes the following:

  • Code Enforcement Officers either receive a complaint or encounter a public nuisance/code violation during daily inspections.
  • Code Enforcement Officers investigate the potential nuisance and gather evidence and facts.
  • If the property or structure is occupied:
    • Code Enforcement Officers will attempt to contact the owner to inform and educate about the violation. Code violations are often corrected by the property owner after initial contact.
    • If initial contact is not successful, a Courtesy Notice door hanger may be left at the property which details the code violation, correction date, and contact information for the Code Enforcement Officer.
    • If the violation is not corrected in the time frame outlined or Code Enforcement Officers can not reach the owner, a Notice of Violation of International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC) is issued via certified mail. A Notice of Violation “orange sticker” may be placed on the premises by Code Enforcement Officers as well. The compliance deadline is 30 days from the violation date.
    • Code Enforcement Officers follow up with the owner and remain visible during the 30 day compliance period.
    • If the violation is not resolved or the property is not brought into compliance within the specified deadline, the City can subpoena the owner or agent of the property to Garden City Municipal Court. At that time, the Municipal Court Judge can fine and/or incarcerate the owner or agent of the property, as well as rule that he or she correct the violation within a timeframe the Judge sets. In some instances, the Judge may allow the City to correct the violation and charge the incurred expenses to the property owner.
  • If the property or structure is vacant:
    • Code Enforcement Officers make every effort to track down the owner through property record research, certified letters, phone calls, discussions with neighboring property owners, etc. All of this is done with the goal of bringing the property into compliance as quickly as possible.
    • If contact is not successful and the violation still exists, a Notice of Violation of International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC) is issued via certified mail. A Notice of Violation “orange sticker” may be placed on the premises by Code Enforcement Officers as well. The compliance deadline is 30 days from the violation date.
    • If the violation is not resolved or the property is not brought into compliance within the specified deadline, the City can subpoena the owner or agent of the property to Garden City Municipal Court.
    • Some code violations can be corrected by the City without a subpoena to Court, i.e., noxious weeds. For those violations, the City is required to place the notice in the legal section of the newspaper for 14 days. If the property remains non-compliant at the end of the legal notice period, the City or a contractor hired by the City has the authority to enter upon the property in violation and correct the violation. The costs incurred by the City are to be paid by the owner or agent responsible for the property. If the costs are not paid by the owner or agent of the property within 30 days, Garden City Code gives Council the authority to enforce the collection of charges by execution of a lien on the premises.

Link: International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC)