Effective July 1, 2021, Sec. 162.06(1)(b), Florida Statutes, has been amended to require that "A person who reports a potential violation of a code or an ordinance must provide his or her name and address to the respective local government before an enforcement proceeding may occur." It further prohibits a code enforcement officer from initiating enforcement proceedings by way of an anonymous complaint. As a result of this change to state law, complaints of potential code violations, whether by phone, email or through the Citizens Action Center, must include the complainant's name and address.
Code Enforcement is vitally important to the safety and appearance of neighborhoods, ensuring compliance with the City's codes and ordinances relating to housing (Document under ADA review), overgrowth (Document under ADA review), open storage/care of premises (Document under ADA review), zoning, disabled/abandoned vehicles (Document under ADA review), minimum maintenance standards for commercial structures (Document under ADA review), signage, and newsracks.
When violations are cited, violators are notified and provided a reasonable time to correct the violation. Violations that are not brought into compliance are scheduled for an administrative hearing before the City's Code Enforcement Board Hearing Officer or full Code Enforcement Board, where formal findings are issued and fines imposed for continued non-compliance. Code Enforcement also manages a lots cleaning and clearing program whereby unresolved violations are abated by a contractor, with the cost passed on to the property owner via special assessment.
The City uses both a Code Enforcement Board Hearing Officer (Special Magistrate) and a 7-member Code Enforcement Board to consider continued and repeat violations of the City's codes and ordinances. In a typical case, the Hearing Officer makes as finding as to whether a violation exists, and issues an order requiring the violation to be corrected a certain date, after which a fine may be imposed. Cases that remain in violation beyond the date ordered by the Hearing Officer are scheduled for the Code Enforcement Board, where the Hearing Officer's previous order is confirmed, i.e. fine imposed, or additional time is granted for respondents with unusual hardships. The Code Enforcement Board also considers requests for reconsideration of previously issued orders and fines imposed. While the Code Enforcement Office initiates the vast majority of cases before the Hearing Officer and Code Enforcement Board, the Building Inspection, Lakes and Stormwater, and Fire Inspection Divisions also bring cases as needed.