Code Enforcement is a part of the Building Services, which enforces regulations within the City of Anacortes Municipal Code, generally through a complaint generated system.
The Code Enforcement Inspector investigates complaints, educates citizens, and resolves issues to achieve code compliance. If a violation occurs, the inspector will try to resolve it first through education, voluntary compliance and/or negotiation. If this proves unproductive, formal civil enforcement proceedings may begin.
Typical Code Enforcement Issues
- Public Nuisance (AMC 9.06.040), including garbage & debris, health concerns, & street obstructions
- Commercial activities in a residential zone (AMC Chapter 17.04)
- Signs not in compliance with codes (AMC Chapter 17.40)
- Noise (AMC Chapter 17.54.010)
The city does not investigate mold related issues. If you have a concern related to a mold infestation, see the Indoor Air Quality FAQs, by the Northwest Clean Air Agency.
How to File a Complaint
It is the City's policy to conduct complaint investigations upon receipt of a written complaint. This can be done by submitting a complaint form to Building Services. The form is available online Code Enforcement Complaint Form (PDF) or within Building Services at 904 6th Street.
Once a complaint has been made it is logged with a case number and your request will be investigated as soon as possible by the code enforcement officer and prioritized by seriousness of the complaint. Life-Safety issues take priority over regular nuisance complaints. All complaints are investigated to see if a violation of State, County or City Ordinances are violated.
What types of complaints does the code enforcement officer investigate?
- Illegal buildings / structures
- Substandard or dangerous buildings
- Illegal businesses (wrong zoning, no license)
- Noise (construction)
- Street Obstructions
- Public Health hazards
- Public nuisances such as trash, debris, inoperable and unlicensed on private property
- Tall weeds and grass
- Zoning and land use violation
How Does a Complaint Get Processed?
If an ordinance or regulation is being violated, the Code Enforcement Officer will send a Courtesy letter or a Correction Notice to the owner of the property and/or the tenant. The letter requests that the violation(s) be corrected within a certain amount of time (depending on seriousness).
If the violation(s) were not corrected within the designated time frame, the Code Enforcement Officer would then send a Notice of Violation, via certified mail, indicating the violation(s) are to be corrected within a certain amount of time, along with outlines of the penalties for the violation.
In addition, the city may get an Abatement Order requiring the violation to be corrected and a substandard lien may be placed on the property.