Responding to a Code Violation Notice
If you receive a notice of violation from Longmont Code Enforcement, please correct the violation(s) by the date specified on the notice. If you do not understand what is being requested or if you need more information, or if you believe the notice was issued in error please contact the inspector whose name, email address and/or phone number appears on the notice. You may wish to request a site visit with the inspector to clarify the problem and discuss a solution. The inspector may be able to provide you with suggestions or direct you to city programs and services which might be of assistance.
If you need additional time to correct the violation(s), you may request an extension of time for correction. Please contact the Inspector with additional information on the extension required. The granting of an extension is not guaranteed, but will usually be granted when circumstances warrant.
Methods of notification
Longmont Code Enforcement utilizes several methods of notifying residents of a code violation. Depending on the severity of the violation, Code Enforcement Inspectors may issue:
- Verbal warning. This is usually a conversation with the resident wherein the resident verbally agrees to stop an activity or correct a minor violation without requiring a written notice. Compliance is usually required within 24 hours of the verbal notice.
- Written warning. This usually involves the issuance of a hand-written “Notice of Violation” to the resident or involved party. The Notice may be given to the involved party in person or may be left or posted at the front door or placed on a vehicle. The Notice will identify the code violation and provide instructions on how the violation may be corrected. The Notice requires compliance within a specific time frame and a date for a follow-up inspection will be stated on the notice. The date and time of the violation, as well as the inspector’s name and phone number will be listed on the notice.
NOTE: A “written notice” may also take the form of a “door hanger”, as in the case of a snow/ice condition on a public sidewalk, or a “Notice of Intent to Remove Obstruction” tag attached to a basketball hoop or some other street or sidewalk obstruction. Code Enforcement will also place “Notice of Intent to Impound” notices on vehicles parked on public streets which are believed to be abandoned, unlicensed or inoperable. Please note that Code Enforcement does not tow vehicles. Only the Police Department or Parking Enforcement will have vehicles towed from public streets, alleys or other right-of-way areas.NOTE: Written notices which identify a public safety hazard require an immediate response.
- Notice of Violation (NOV): This is the most-commonly used method of notifying residents of a municipal code violation. It is mailed via First Class mail to the property owner “of record”, as identified in the property ownership records of the office of the Boulder County Assessor. The Notice of Violation will identify the nature of the alleged violation and provide information on the Municipal Code provision which is the subject of the violation notice. The NOV will specify a “correction date” and the date on which a compliance inspection is scheduled. Residents are normally provided 10-days to correct most violations, although shorter or longer time periods for correction may be provided, depending on the complexity or severity of the alleged violation. Violations which create a safety hazard are given highest priority.
- Administrative Order (AO) or Compliance Schedule (CS): In some cases, Code Enforcement may issue an Administrative Order (AO), which may also include a Compliance Schedule (CS). This occurs in cases which are complex or may take a prolonged period for resolution. The AO and CS may include steps which must be taken by the property owner or responsible party to bring a property or condition into compliance. It may also be issued in cases where compliance has not been obtained through the previously-described processes. It may also include a Civil Penalty, as described below.
- Civil Penalty (CP): This is a monetary civil penalty which may be assessed to persons responsible for violations of the Municipal Code. Financial penalties of $100, $200 or $500 may be assessed for first, second and third (or subsequent) violations of the code. Recipients of a Civil Penalty have the right to have the assessment reviewed administratively or through a formal appeal process. Individuals also have the right to appeal the Civil Penalty assessment through the judicial system.
Please note that compliance with the Municipal Code is the goal of inspection activities. Code Enforcement staff will make every effort to work with residents to obtain voluntary compliance. Extensions of time for correction of violations may be provided by the Code Enforcement Division in cases where good faith efforts are being made to correct the violation. Safety and neighborhood impacts will be the primary considerations when requests for extensions are received.
If compliance is not achieved after warnings and/or Notices of Violation have been issued, Code Enforcement may employ one of these methods to obtain compliance:
Abatement: In this process, the City of Longmont will take action to resolve a code violation through methods prescribed in city ordinances. This may involve using city contractors to mow weeds, prune or remove dead trees or hazardous tree limbs or remove junk, trash or debris from private property. This method is used only in cases where the property owner has failed or refused to comply with Notices of Violation from Code Enforcement and where such abatement is specifically prescribed in the Municipal Code. The property owner is responsible for and will be billed for all costs associated with this method of resolution. The property owner retains the right to appeal the abatement charges.
Civil Penalty (CP): This is a monetary civil penalty which may be assessed to persons responsible for violations of the Municipal Code. Financial penalties of $100, $200 or $500 may be assessed for first, second and third (or subsequent) violations of the code. Recipients of a Civil Penalty have the right to have the assessment reviewed administratively or through a formal appeal process. Individuals also have the right to appeal the Civil Penalty assessment through the judicial system.
Municipal Court Summons: Individuals who violate the Municipal Code may also be issued a municipal court summons by Code Enforcement Inspectors or by the Police Department. The summons is a criminal citation which carries potential penalties of up to $999 per violation per day and/or imprisonment of up to 180 days. The summons may be issued as a separate enforcement action or in concert with an Administrative Order or Civil Penalty. The actual penalties imposed in these cases are determined by the Municipal Court judge as part of the judicial proceeding. Please note that the issuance of a notice of violation is not required as a precursor to issuance of a summons.