Zoning Enforcement Prioritization


One of the paramount issues facing zoning enforcement in our department is the lack of prioritizing zoning complaints called in by the public.  Currently, we turn every allegation into a complaint, investigate it, and proceed to court if needed.  This causes the same amount of work no matter how insignificant the code violation.  Not only does this impact our staff, it also impacts other County departments such as the county attorney’s office.


To aid in directing department resources where they have the best and broadest impact, we prioritize and classify reported violations in the following manner:


  1. Public Health, Public Safety or Significant Environmental Impact – Examples include active pollution or dangerous substances.


  1. Comprehensive Plan & Zoning District – Development Areas and/ Entrance Corridors would have the highest priority.  Property zoned RA but on an Entrance Corridor is within this category.  Upon investigation, it is possible for a complaint in this category to go to category #4 as de minimus.  For example, a sign that is 3 inches too wide in the Development Areas may be considered de minimus. 


  1. Comprehensive Plan & Zoning District - Rural Areas not on Entrance Corridors would have the lowest priority unless they involve #1 Public health, safety or environmental impact.


  1. De minimus – minor violations which do not have identifiable / significant public impacts.  Examples include one inoperative vehicle that is uncovered and that isn’t visible from other properties or public road.  An example of a de minimus violation that most can relate to is speeding 2 mph over the posted speed limit.  The Police typically target the major violators and do not address the minor (de minimus) violators. 


Items of the lowest priority called de minimus (#4) would be assigned and investigated.  If a violation is found, an advisory letter (not NOV) would be sent to the owner/violator. 


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