Find Virginia code enforcement offices. Code enforcement offices provide information on the enforcement, compliance, and violations of codes and laws, including fire codes, building codes, health codes, police codes, and zoning codes.
Code Enforcement refers to the resources, policies, and procedures a county or local government has in place to ensure compliance with codes and other rules and regulations. The goals of Code Enforcement include ensuring a safe, healthy living environment and community, and the prevention of blight and nuisances associated with vacant properties.
Code Enforcement in a county or local government may be carried out by a single department responsible for enforcing the building and fire codes, health and housing codes, zoning regulations, property maintenance regulations, trash disposal requirements, noise ordinances, and other regulations. Alternatively, responsibility for Code Enforcement may be divided among several agencies or departments with expertise in certain aspects of Code Enforcement. For example, a Fire Marshal may be responsible for enforcing the fire code while the Health Department enforces the health code.
Enforcement of codes involves a combination of inspections, responses to complaints, the issuance of violations, and abatement. Code Enforcement officials continuously monitor their jurisdiction for violations and investigate instances where a potential violation has occurred. Code Enforcement relies on complaints from the general public in order to discover and investigate potential violations.
When a code violation has been identified, the county, city, or town typically acts as the complainant and contacts the owner of the property. Property owners are usually afforded an opportunity to address the code violation within a specified timeframe before a notice of violation is officially issued. The property will be re-inspected to determine whether corrective action has been taken by the owner. If corrective action has not been taken, a violation will be issued, and the county, city, or town may abate the situation without additional notice to the owner. Abatement actions may include removal of junked vehicles, removal of overgrown vegetation, or demolition of dangerous structures. The cost of abatement is billed to the owner, and a lien is usually filed on the property.