- Code Enforcement
Chapter 10, Amusements and Entertainments Ordinance
The purpose of the Ordinance is to protect the public safety, health and general welfare of the community through the enforcement and establishment of minimum standards, regulations and safeguards for the operation of the businesses.
The Building Official, or his/her duly authorized representatives, shall have the right to enter any premises utilized for exhibitions at all reasonable times to conduct inspections or enforce any of the provisions of this Code. If entry is refused, the Building Official, or his/her duly authorized representatives, shall have recourse to every remedy provided by law to secure entry.
The Building Official, Fire Official, Chief of Police and other authorized representatives are hereby authorized to make such inspections and take such action as may be required to enforce the provisions of this Code.
The Building Official shall have full authority to revoke a permit, issue stop work orders or take such other action necessary to close down or stop any operations regulated by this Code.
All amusement machines shall be visible by unobstructed windows or open space on at least one side so that the area is open to view by members of the public passing by on a public street.
Chapter 18, Building and Building Regulations
Article VII, Unsafe Building Abatement Code
The purpose of this Code applies to the requirement of the repair or demolition of those buildings which are dilapidated, substandard, or unfit for human habitation and which constitutes a hazard to the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the City and for the purpose of establishing minimum standards for the continued use and occupancy of such structures. The City has adopted the 1985 Standard Unsafe Building Abatement Code.
All notices are mailed certified to the property owner. All appeal hearings shall be open to the public. If the property owner fails to make the necessary repairs or demolish the structure, the City can render the structure unsafe and either make the required repairs or demolish the structure. The total cost of repair or demolition, including administrative and legal fees, can constitute a lien against the property.
Article X, Property Maintenance Code
This Code applies to all existing residential and non-residential structures and all existing premises which constitutes minimum requirements and standards for premises, structures, equipment, facilities for light, ventilation, space, heating, sanitation, protection from the elements, life safety, safety from fire and other hazards, safe and sanitary maintenance, the responsibilities of owners, operators, and occupants, occupancy of existing structures and premises and for the administration, enforcement and penalties of this Code. This purpose of this Code is to ensure the public health, safety and welfare of the community.
The Code Officials are authorized to enter the structures or premises at reasonable times to conduct inspections. Violations letters are mailed by certified mail to the property owner.
Property owners are required to maintain structures and exterior premises of properties in order to be in compliance with all applicable Codes and Ordinances. Persons shall not be allowed to occupy any structures or premises that are not in compliance with the applicable Codes and Ordinances.
All vacant structures, premises and vacant land shall be maintained in a clean, safe, secure and sanitary condition at all times in order to not create a blighting problem or adversely affect the public health or safety of the community. Premises shall be graded and maintained to prevent the erosion of soil and to prevent the accumulation of stagnant water. Sidewalks, walkways, stairs, driveways, parking spaces and similar areas shall be kept in a proper state of repairs and maintained free from hazardous conditions. Premises and exterior properties shall be maintained free from weeds and uncultivated plant growth. Structures and exterior properties shall be kept free from rodent harborage and infestation. Accessory structures, including detached garages, fences and walls, shall be maintained structurally sound and in good repairs. Property owners are required to remove any defacement of property (damages, carving or graffiti).
The exterior of structures shall be maintained in good repair, structurally sound and sanitary in order to not pose a threat to the public health, safety and welfare of the community. Exterior surfaces, including, but not limited to, doors, door and window frames, cornices, porches and trim, shall be maintained in good condition. Exterior wood surfaces shall be protected from the elements and decay by painting or other protective covering or treatments. Peeling, flaking and chipped paint shall be eliminated and surfaces repainted. All siding and masonry joints, as well as those between the building envelope and the perimeter of windows, doors and skylights, shall be maintained weather resistant and watertight.
Foundation walls shall be maintained free from cracks and kept in good condition to prevent the entry of rodents. Exterior walls shall be free from holes, breaks, and loose or rotting materials and maintained weatherproof and properly surface coated to prevent deterioration.
Roofs and flashing shall be sound, tight, and not have any defects that admit rain. Roof drainage shall be adequate to prevent dampness or deterioration in the walls or interior portion of the structure. Roof drains; gutters and downspouts shall be maintained in good repair and free from obstructions. Roof water shall not be discharged in a manner that creates a public nuisance.
Exterior properties and premises, and the interior of every structure, shall be free from any accumulation of rubbish and garbage. Every occupant of a structure shall dispose of all rubbish in a clean and sanitary manner by placing such rubbish in approved containers.
Structures shall be kept free from insect and rodent infestation. Approved processes that will not be injurious to human health shall properly exterminate structures in which insects or rodents are found. The owner of any structure shall be responsible for the extermination within the structure prior to renting or leasing the structure.
Safe, continuous and unobstructed paths of travel shall be provided from any point in a building or structure to the public way. Rubbish, garbage or other materials shall not be stored or allowed to accumulate in stairways, passageways, doors, fire escapes or other means of egress.
Chapter 34, Environment
Article V, Sound and Vibration (Noise Ordinance)
Daytime hours means the hours between 7:00 AM on one day and 10:00 PM the same day.
DB(A) means the intensity of sound expressed in decibels read from a calibrated sound level meter utilizing the A-level weighing scale and the slower meter response, as specified by the American National Standards Institute.
Nighttime hours mean the hours between 10:00 PM on one day and 7:00 AM the following day.
Non-residential property means any real property within the limits of the City, which is not included in the definition of residential property as defined in this Section of the Ordinance.
Public right-of-way means any street, avenue, boulevard, highway, road, thoroughfare, sidewalk, alley, or any other property, which is owned or controlled by a governmental entity.
Residential property means any real property developed and used for human habitation and which contains living facilities, including provisions for sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation, unless such premises are actually occupied and used primarily for purposes other than human habitation.
Sound nuisance means any sound, which exceeds the maximum sound levels specified in this Ordinance.
Residential maximum sound levels shall not exceed 65 dB (A) during the daytime hours and 60 dB (A) during the nighttime hours.
Non-residential property maximum sound levels shall not exceed 70 dB (A) during either daytime or nighttime hours.
Chapter 46, Health and Sanitation
Article III, Unsightly, Unsanitary Conditions (High Grass / Weeds)
Conditions constituting nuisances, including but not limited to, the following are specifically declared to be a public nuisance and are required to be abated by the property owner.
- The accumulation of stagnant water.
- The accumulation of carrion, filth or other impure or unwholesome matter.
- Weeds which have grown to a height of more than 12 inches or any other rubbish, brush or other unsightly, objectionable or unsanitary matter, when located within 500 feet of a public thoroughfare or abandoned commercial or residential structure. A public thoroughfare for the purpose of this section shall mean any dedicated right-of- way that is used for transportation of vehicles or people.
If any person who owns any lot or building within the City allows a nuisance to go unabated ten days after notice, the City may do or cause to be done that which will abate such public nuisance and charge the owner for said costs. The City is only required to send one notice per year. Anytime after that a violation takes place, the City may abate the violation at the expense of the owner.
Article IV, Division 3, Junked, Wrecked and Abandoned
The City adopts by reference, as a City Ordinance, all provisions V.T.C.A., Transportation Code Section 683.001, 683.055, 683.071 and 683.077, that apply to the custody and disposal of abandoned motor vehicles within the City. Any amendments, additions or deletions to the State Law and Rules shall automatically become a part of this Ordinance without further action of the City Council, unless required by law.
The presence of any junked motor vehicle on any public property or on any private lot, tract, or parcel of land or portion thereof, occupied or unoccupied, improved or unimproved, within the City which has the character, status, capacity or circumstances which classifies or determines the existence of one or more of the following conditions or manners of being, constitutes and shall be deemed a public nuisance:
- Highly obnoxious and objectionable.
- Invites vandalism.
- Creates fire hazards.
- Constitutes an attractive nuisance creating a hazard to the health and safety of minors.
- Produces urban blight.
- A condition having an adverse effect on the public or private health, life, welfare, safety and comfort.
- A condition or manner of being or having an unfavorable influence affecting values of lands or other properties.
- A condition of being in any manner contributing to a loss of visual appeal, prestige or reputation of a part of or all of any locality in the City.
Article V, Litter
Brush means all trees or shrubbery under seven feet in height which are not cultivated, groomed, or cared for by persons owning or controlling the premises.
Litter means any and all kinds of garbage, junk, rubbish, refuse and any other organic or inorganic waste material.
Objectionable, unsightly or unsanitary vegetation means all uncultivated vegetation not included within the means of the other terms used in this Article which are likely to produce an unhealthy, unwholesome or unsanitary condition within the general location of vegetation.
Owner means any person, agent, occupant or anyone having legal title, equitable title, lease rights, contract rights, or supervision or control of any lot, tract, parcel of and or a portion thereof.
Weeds means all rank and uncultivated vegetable growth or matter which has grown to more than 12 inches in height or which, regardless of height, is likely to become an unwholesome or decaying mass or breeding place for mosquitoes or vermin.
Chapter 58, Offenses
Article V, Abatement of Unauthorized Visual Blight
Definition: Unauthorized - without the consent of the owner, or without authority of law, regulations, or Ordinance. Unless the owner proves otherwise, lack of consent will be presumed under circumstances tending to show:
- The absence of evidence of specific authorization of the visual blight by the owner.
- That the visual blight is inconsistent with the design and use of the subject property, or,
- That the person causing the visual blight was unknown to the owner.
Visual blight means any unauthorized graffiti or any other unauthorized form of painting, scratching, writing or inscription, including without limitation, initials, slogans or drawings, regardless of the content or nature of the material that has been applied to any wall, building, fence, sign or other structure and is visible from any public property or right-of-way or is visible from the private property of another person.
Visual blight is declared to be a public nuisance.
Chapter 66, Sign Ordinance
The general purpose and intent of this Ordinance shall be the fair and comprehensive regulation of signs in order to work towards the further attainment of the community development goals and objectives of the citizens of the City. It is the intent of this Ordinance that its interpretation and application assist in the sound economic development of the City, but without diminishing the quality of life, which the citizens of the City strive to maintain and foster to the extent possible through the fair and impartial administration of this Ordinance.
It is the further intent of this Ordinance to provide uniform sign standards which will promote the general safety of persons and property, provide for the efficient transfer of information in sign messages and to generally protect the public welfare of the City and its citizens by enhancing the appearances and economic value of the landscape.
This Ordinance applies to all signs. This Ordinance shall govern signs and display structures with respect to location, safety, size, design, construction, erection, attachment, alteration, repair, support, anchorage and maintenance.
If the sign message has been abandoned due to closing of a business, change in business name or for any other reason rendering the sign non-applicable to the property involved, it shall be removed by the permit holder or the owner of the building or premises within 60 days from the date of the action that caused the sign to be considered abandoned. No more than two extensions of 180 days may be granted for just cause. A condition of approval for all sign permits shall be that the permit holder or owner of the building or premises, at his own expense, shall remove all abandoned signs. New signs for a building or property on which an abandoned sign is located shall not be approved until the abandoned sign is removed.
If any sign, in the opinion of the Director, becomes insecure or in danger of falling, or becomes otherwise unsafe, the Director shall give written notice of the condition of the sign to the owner or lessee thereof to correct the unsafe condition of the sign in the manner to be approved by the Director. However, if it is the opinion of the Director that the sign is in imminent danger to the public, the Director shall take all legal steps to protect the public.
It shall be unlawful for any person to undertake or complete any sign installation or to erect, alter or relocate any sign visible from the exterior of any building in the City without first securing a permit.
Construction and Maintenance
All signs erected or maintained pursuant to this Ordinance shall be erected and maintained in compliance with all applicable State Laws and with the Building Code, Electrical Code and other applicable Ordinances of the City. All signs and sign structures shall be kept in good repair, well-cleaned, well-painted and in a neat appearance. Signs shall be maintained at reasonable intervals, including replacement of defective parts, painting, repainting and cleaning. Painted signs shall be on permanently weatherproofed materials and all sign surfaces shall be painted or treated with waterproofed materials.
Grand Opening Signs
A wall sign to advertise grand opening celebrations for individual businesses shall be permitted for a period not to exceed 60 days. Such a 60-day period shall begin on the date of erection of the sign and the signage shall be totally removed prior to the expiration of the 60th day.
Size and Number
One temporary sign, which may be in the form of a banner, of a size not to exceed 32 square feet, shall be permitted.
Location and Height
A wall or projecting sign may not project above the roofline of a building, except for buildings with parapet walls, in which case the sign shall be flush with the wall and shall not project above the parapet. Wall or projecting signs identifying business grand openings shall be limited to one side of a building which fronts upon a street or faces upon a customer parking area. Signage shall not be placed on the rear wall of a building, except independent detached business pads in a shopping center.
An unlimited number of 12-inch balloons and a wall sign to advertise special sales for individual businesses shall be allowed once each quarter for a period not to exceed 14 days.
Size and Number
One temporary sign that may be in the form of a banner of a size not to exceed 32 square feet shall be permitted.
Location and Height
Wall sign advertising a special sale may not project above the roof-line of a building, except for buildings with parapet walls, in which case this sign shall be flush with the wall and shall not project above the parapet. Wall signs identifying business special sales shall be limited to one side of a building which fronts upon a street, or faces upon a customer parking area.
- No part of the face of a sign shall be lower than eight feet above the top of the curb of the nearest street within 45 feet of the nearest point of intersection of the right-of-way line of any two public streets.
- No off-site advertising shall be constructed or placed within the City, including but not limited to an awning sign, a banner, a freestanding sign, a wall sign and a billboard.
- Portable signs or wheeled signs.
- No sign, illuminated or otherwise, shall be erected, constructed or maintained on the roof of a building.
- Signs, which advertise, direct attention to a product, service, activity, person, institution, or business, which no longer occupies or is conducted, sold, manufactured, produced or offered upon the premises where the sign is displayed.
- Signs which move or contain visible moving parts, provided, however, this shall not prohibit time and temperature components of allowed monument signs which are not otherwise intended as an attention-getting device or barber poles of traditional design, not to exceed 20 inches high, which revolve during the time a barbershop is open for business.
- Except as allowed in this Ordinance, signs in the form of banners, posters, pennants, flags, ribbons, streamers, balloons, strings of light bulbs, spinners, searchlights, beacons or other similar devices.
- Signs, which contain statements, words or pictures of an obscene, indecent or immoral nature, which offend public morals or decency.
- Except as allowed in this Ordinance, signs or portions thereof, which are located on or project or extend over any public sidewalks, streets, alley or other public property.
- Signs, which interfere with, obstruct the view of, or may be confused with any authorized traffic sign, signal or device.
- Snipe signs.
- Spectacular signs with flashing, blinking or traveling lights or messages.
- Signs attached to or located upon exposed amenities such as benches, trash containers, fences, trees, stakes, shrubs, and the like, provided, however, information about the manufacturer or distributor of benches and trash containers may be placed on their products, not to exceed ten percent of one surface of the bench or trash containers.
- It shall be unlawful for any person to place or affix a sign to any vehicle or trailer which is parked on a public right-of-way, public property or private property so as to be visible from a public right-of-way where the apparent purpose is to advertise a product, a service or to direct people to a business or activity located on the same or nearby property. However, this is not in any way intended to prohibit temporary window markings used by car dealers or signs placed on or affixed to vehicles and trailers, such as lettering on motor vehicles, where the sign is incidental to the primary use of the vehicle or trailer, except that the vehicle must be parked on a paved surface.
- Within 50 feet of the side property line unless it is 50 feet from an existing sign.
Chapter 70, Solid Waste Ordinance
Garbage means all putrescent waste, including vegetables, animal and poultry, offal, carcasses of small animals and dead fowl, and includes all such substances from all public and private establishments and from all residences.
Rubbish means solid and ordinary waste, other than garbage, accumulated by family residents, including glass and ashes, broken ware, discarded clothing, trash, tin cans, bottles, papers, tree limbs, grass and weed cuttings property which are properly contained or bundled.
Rubble means dirt, rocks and debris resulting from the construction, reconstruction or repair of buildings, and other earthen, wooden or metal waste materials longer, larger or heavier than rubbish, including abandoned or waste home appliances, lumber and timber.
Trash means rubbish such as feathers, coffee grounds, ashes, tin cans, paper, boxes, glass, grass, shrubs, yard cleanings, grass clippings, leaves and tree trimmings and any other matter commonly understood to be trash.
The accumulation of garbage, rubble, trash and rubbish on the premises of private residences, businesses, public and private institutions, vacant lots and in the streets and alleys of the City constitutes a public menace and nuisance, and greatly increases the dangers of the spread of infectious, contagious and epidemic disease. This Ordinance has been adopted for the purpose of preserving and protecting the public health, safety and general welfare by requiring property owners, tenants, occupants and lessees to secure and maintain containers and receptacles of sufficient size and material for the deposit of garbage, trash and rubbish for collection and removal at regular intervals.
- It shall be unlawful for any person to dump, unload, discharge in any manner, place thereon or cause to be placed thereon, any garbage, trash or other waste materials on any lot, tract or parcel of land located within the City limits.
- No garbage, ashes, rubbish, old automobile parts or junk of any nature whatsoever shall be thrown or disposed of in any street or alley or upon any sidewalk or between any curb and sidewalk or any other public property in the City.
- It shall be unlawful for any person to cast, throw, or allow in any manner to be blown, carried or placed on any lot, street, sidewalk, tract or parcel of land, any paper, trash, garbage, junk, brush, or any other materials commonly known as trash.
Rubble shall be removed by the owner or occupant of the premises on which it is located, at his own expense and in a neat and sanitary manner, and shall not be permitted to accumulate on any premises beyond a reasonable length of time.
Unlawful Hauling for Business
In order for the City to provide general sanitation and health of the City, and in order to provide garbage collection for the City, it shall be unlawful for any person not under contact with the City to haul any garbage anytime, or to commercially haul any rubbish or rubble in the City.
Contracts with Private Collectors
The City shall enter into a contract with a private collector for all garbage throughout the City.
Disposal of Heavy Accumulations
- Heavy accumulations, such as brick, broken concrete, rock, stones, ashes, lumber, clinkers, cinders, dirt, plaster, sand, gravel, automobile frames, dead trees, tree limbs and other bulky, heavy materials shall be disposed of at the expense of the owner or person controlling such premises.
- If trash and rubbish is of such a nature that it cannot be placed in a receptacle, it shall be prepared in units or pieces less than 50 pounds in weight and placed by the curbside.
- Tree limbs, shrubs and hedge cuttings must be bundled so as not to exceed five feet in length or exceed 50 pounds in weight.
The City contractor or City employees are not permitted to transport or dispose of any hazardous or toxic waste, including but not limited to oil, paint, pesticides, batteries and tires.
Burning. It shall be unlawful for any person to burn any garbage within the City.
- Every owner, occupant, tenant or lessee using or occupying any building, house or structure within the corporate limits for residential, church, school, college, lodge, commercial, business or other purposes, shall provide and maintain garbage cans and trash and rubbish receptacles of sufficient size and number to hold the garbage, trash and rubbish which accumulates on the premises.
- Garbage cans required by this Section shall have a capacity of not less than ten or more than 35 gallons, shall be constructed of substantial material, shall be equipped with tight-fitting lids or covers, and with handles sufficiently strong for workers to empty conveniently, and shall be tapered so that they are smaller on the bottom than the top. Tote carts or heavy-duty tied plastic bags may be used.
- The total weight of any garbage can and contents, or any trash and rubbish receptacle and contents, shall be 50 pounds or less.
Protection of Contents
- The lids or covers of garbage cans or containers shall at all times, be secured and fastened so that flies and other insects may not have access to the contents thereof, and such lids or covers shall only be removed while the cans are being filled or emptied.
- The contents of trash or rubbish receptacles shall be protected so that the wind cannot scatter the contents over the premises or over the City streets and alleys.
Chapter 82, Traffic and Vehicles
It shall be unlawful for any person to park a vehicle upon any street, alley, avenue, easement, and public parking area or lot or other public way within the City for the principal purpose of:
- Displaying such vehicle for sale.
- Displaying and selling merchandise from there.
- Washing, lubricating or repairing such vehicle, except repairs necessitated by emergency.
Chapter 90, Landscaping and Vegetation
The landowner shall be responsible for:
- The regular maintenance of all required landscaped areas and plant materials in a vigorous and healthy condition, free from diseases, pests, weeds and litter. This maintenance shall include weeding, watering, fertilizing, pruning, mowing, edging, mulching or other needed maintenance in accordance with generally accepted horticultural practice.
- The cutting of all vegetation on each lot as often as may be necessary to maintain the vegetation in a neat and attractive manner. Edging and trimming shall be conducted at such intervals to prevent the invasion of vegetation in excess of four inches onto any sidewalk, paved walkway, driveway or curb.
- The repair or replacement of required landscape structures to a structurally sound condition.
- The regular maintenance, repair or replacement, where necessary, of any required screening or buffering.
Chapter 98, Zoning Ordinance
Trash receptacles and dumpsters:
- Trash receptacles and dumpsters must be closed at all times except when loading garbage or refuse.
- Screening of trash receptacles and dumpsters is required only if they can be observed from a public street.
- A chain link fence is acceptable material in the screening of trash receptacles and dumpsters, with the solid area equaling 75 percent of the wall surface.
- A screening device is necessary for all trash receptacles and dumpsters visible from a public street. If the opening of the trash receptacle or dumpster screening device is not visible from a public street, the three-sided trash receptacle or dumpster screening device is acceptable. If the opening of the trash receptacle or dumpster screening device is visible from the public street, gates shall be installed and kept closed.
- A trash receptacle or dumpster screening device shall be a three- to four-sided structure with a minimum opening of ten feet. The height of the enclosure must be a minimum of six feet, but must be at least one foot taller than the trash receptacle or dumpster itself. The solid area must equal 75 percent of the wall surface, including gate or gates. The trash receptacle or dumpster screening device must be continually maintained.
All home occupations shall be subject to the following restrictions and limitations without exception:
- They shall be conducted entirely within the dwelling unit, which is the bona fide residence of the practitioner or entirely within an authorized accessory building.
- Not more than one person, other than a family member who resides in the residence, shall participation in the activity on the premises.
- The residential character and appearance of the lot and dwelling shall be maintained. Neither the interior or exterior shall be structurally altered to accommodate the activity, nor shall any buildings be added to accommodate the activity.
- The activity shall not create customer related or delivery related vehicular traffic in excess of three vehicles in a 24-hour day in the residential neighborhood except for garage, yard or estate sales.
- No outside storage of equipment, materials, supplies or inventory related to the business shall be allowed.
- The activity shall not produce any external noise, vibrations, smoke, dust odor, glare, fumes, electrical interference, or waste run-off outside the dwelling unit or on the property surrounding the dwelling unit.
- No vehicle used in connection with the activity that requires a commercial driver's license to operate shall be parked on the premises or any street adjacent to the residential property.
- The activity shall not be advertised by any signs on the premises, nor shall the street address of the resident be advertised through signs, billboards, television, radio, newspaper, bulletin boards, coupon books, internet, flyers or public mail outs, except for garage, yard and estates sales and telephone directories.
- No baby-sitting is allowed where more than three children not of the household are kept.
- No repair or building of automobiles, motorcycles, boats, airplanes or any equipment with engines larger than one cylinder, which are not owned and operated by the occupant, is permitted. For the purposes of this section, ownership requires title to the vehicle or equipment to be in the name of the occupant.
- No more than one garage, estate or yard sale is allowed in any three-month period. These may be no longer than three consecutive days in length.