It is important for a community to appear clean, well kept, and generally clear of public nuisances, eyesores, and unhealthy conditions. The appearance of a community weighs heavily in the decisions of prospective residents and businesses locating to a particular area. Additionally, a clean, safe, and well-kept community can stabilize or increase property values, provide a healthy environment, and make citizens proud of the area in which they live. Accordingly, a community needs a set of regulations to keep the area clean, remove unsightly conditions, and prevent unhealthy and unsafe situations from occurring.
Code enforcement in the City is a function of the Planning & Zoning Department. Departmental staff, often working from complaints from the public, investigates complaints of code violations. If a violation is found, the property owner will be sent a certified letter stating the code violation, necessary abatement, and given ten business days to fix the issue. If after ten business days the violation has not been abated, code enforcement, working along with the City of Harlem Police Department, will issue a citation and a summons to municipal court. For more information on nuisance codes please see Chapter 150 and chapter 152.125-130 of the Code of Ordinances. To file a complaint please call 706-556-0043.
What are the most common violations?
The most common code violations are for uncut yards, accumulation of trash, abandoned vehicles, and unfit structures.
What about vacant and foreclosed property?
Code enforcement is also responsible for maintaining the Vacant and Foreclosed Property Registry. The City requires all property that is vacant or foreclosed to be registered. This is to protect adjacent property owners from the problems that can occur with vacant and foreclosed property, such as criminal activity, vagrancy, and unkempt yards. For more information on registering vacant property please click here.
Code Enforcement Forms and Information