The Office of the Fire Marshal and Permit Services is charged with enforcing City Codes and Ordinances relating to building and property standards. These standards ensure the protection of the public health and safety. The full collection of regulations enforced by the Department is contained in several portions of the Municipal Code. However, city residents (particularly property owners) should be aware of the following property standards, as they impact a significant number of residents, and consequently are the most frequently violated.
Unregistered or Abandoned Vehicles
Sec. 18-166 of the Municipal Code prohibits unregistered, inoperable and dismantled vehicles of any type from being parked or stored on private property. In addition, all vehicles must have current registration. While it is specifically forbidden to park or store vehicles on unpaved property, in the case of unregistered and inoperable vehicles this includes paved driveways. It is also forbidden to use on-street parking for unregistered or inoperable vehicle storage.
Once a vehicle has been cited in violation of Sec. 18-166, the City allows five (5) days to correct the violation. Failure to correct the violation in this time results in the impoundment of the vehicle, with any fines, towing and storage fees being levied against the vehicle’s owner.
Snow and Ice Removal
Sec. 18-181.2 of the Municipal Code states that the owner or occupant of a property is responsible for the removal of snow and/or ice from any sidewalk abutting the property. Removal of snow must be completed within 12 hours of the cessation of any snowfall. Likewise, removal of ice must be completed within 12 hours of the formation of such ice.
Due to the public safety issues attributed to snow and ice, any violation issued must be corrected immediately. Failure to comply can be result in a fine being levied against the property owner.
Grass and Weeds
Sec. 18-181 of the Municipal Code states that every owner, occupant, lessee or property manager of a property located within the municipal limits of the City of Laurel is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of their lawns by ensuring that all grass and weeds do not exceed 8 inches in height.
Once a property has been posted with a violation, the City allows three (3) days to correct the violation. If the situation is not remedied within this period, the City is empowered to correct the situation (i.e. cut the violating grass and weeds) at the property owner’s expense and potentially place a lien and/or levy fines.
Trash and Debris
Sec. 18-182 and Sec. 18-184 of the Municipal Code states that allowing large accumulations of trash and refuse or allowing pools of foul or stagnant liquids to collect on a property within city limits constitutes a violation.
Once a property has been posted with a violation, the City allows three (3) days to correct the violation. If the violation persists beyond this three day period, the City is empowered to correct the situation (i.e. cut the violating grass and weeds) at the property owner’s expense and potentially place a lien and/or levy fines.
Portable Storage Containers (or PODS)
Sec. 8-46 of the Municipal Code restricts the number, size, use and placement of portable storage units and requires a permit to be obtained. For more information, see Miscellaneous Permits.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE RECEIVED A CORRECTION ORDER
It is important to understand that a correction order is not a fine. It is an opportunity to take action to remedy a violation before a fine is levied. Every correction order references:
- the section of the Municipal Code which constitutes the violation
- a description of the violation
- what corrective action(s) need to be taken to abate the violation
- a deadline date stating when the corrective action(s) must be completed
- the name of the Code Enforcement Officer who issued the correction order.
If you are unable to complete the corrective action by the deadline date or you have other questions, you need to contact the Officer who issued the correction order at 301-725-5300.
The Code Enforcement Officers spend a significant portion of their day in the field. As a result, they are not always immediately available to speak to you when you call. If this happens, you should leave a voicemail message with a contact phone number so that the Officer can return your call upon return to the office. Other Code Enforcement Officers and department staff members will not be familiar with the particulars of your case and as a result will not be able to answer specific questions.
Aside from surveying the City for potential violations, the Office of the Fire Marshal and Permits Services is obliged to respond to citizen complaints relating to building and property standards. Violations can be reported via phone, email, or the webform below. Complaints can be registered anonymously. When reporting a violation, the street address of the violating property is usually needed for code enforcement officers to investigate.
Phone: 301-725-5300 ext. 2238
Email: [email protected]
CODE ENFORCEMENT TIP LINE
The tip line was created as an easy way for citizens to leave anonymous tips regarding various code violations such as high grass, unregistered or inoperable vehicles, and trash or debris, etc.
Please feel free to leave an anonymous tip by calling: 240-294-1303.
Messages can be left 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please be sure to mention the address or location and type of violation you wish to report. Messages will be retrieved daily and forwarded to a Code Enforcement Officer.
As always, citizens that prefer to speak with someone directly regarding a code enforcement violation can contact staff Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 301-725-5300 Ext. 2238 or email us at [email protected]
Foreclosure Registration Program