How are codes enforced?

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THE CODE ENFORCEMENT PROCESS

The Code Enforcement process is typically initiated either in response to a complaint or through the observation of a code violation by City staff as they patrol the community. Following the identification and verification of a code violation, Code Compliance staff responds according to the impact of the violation on the community. Situations that appear to pose a serious risk to public health and safety are handled with a high priority, while less serious violations are handled in the order in which they are received.

In most cases, the individual responsible for the code violation is first notified of the violation through the issuance of either a Courtesy Notice or a Notice of Violation, and is given an opportunity to voluntarily correct the violation without a penalty. The Courtesy Notice or Notice of Violation explains what violations were found, and by what date the violations must be corrected. A re-inspection is then conducted to verify that the noted violations have been corrected. If the correction is not made within a reasonable timeframe, the individual may be subject to one or more of the enforcement remedies listed below.

Parking Citation - This remedy is primarily designed to address vehicle related violations on residential properties including inoperable vehicle storage, RV storage, parking on unpaved surfaces, and commercial vehicle parking. In some cases, a parking citation may serve as the initial warning. Parking citation fines vary from $35.00 to $300.00.

Administrative Citation – This remedy is designed to address the majority of code violations and in most cases provides a fifteen day compliance period in which corrections can be made without having to pay a fine. For certain severe violations, however, an immediate fine may be imposed. For a list of such violations, please refer to CMC 1.15.040. Administrative fines shall be assessed in amounts specified by resolution of the city council (CMC 1.15.070).  Fines may be assessed each day that the violation exists.

Abatement - This remedy is used when the City needs to take action to abate a public nuisance such as a dangerous structure or hazardous pool. Typically, the City's Code Enforcement Division will hire a private contractor to abate the public nuisance. The City may also file a lien on the property following the abatement to recover the costs of the abatement.

Judicial Remedies - All violations of the City of Chino Municipal Code are either infractions or misdemeanors. In situations where compliance is not achieved voluntarily or through the use of administrative fines, or for certain serious code violations involving immediate health and safety issues, criminal prosecution or civil injunctions may be used by the City in an effort to gain compliance. Criminal prosecution or civil injunctions are typically reserved for cases where other methods of enforcement have proven ineffective.