Code Enforcement Process

Code Enforcement Process

The Town of Pulaski's Code of Ordinances (Chapter 38 Article III) that is intended to set forth and consolidate the Code provisions dealing with the responsibility of citizens to keep property within the Town free of trash, refuse, debris, weeds and inoperative vehicles; and to remove or repair blighted and unsafe buildings, and to otherwise abate any public nuisance. Provisions of this article are in addition to, and not in lieu of, the requirements of any uniform codes which have been adopted by the Town, including but not limited to the 2015 International Property Maintenance Code and Part III of the VA Maintenance Code. The owner of the property within the town shall have the duty to remove, repair or secure any building, wall or other structure which might endanger the public health or safety of other residents of the Town. 

Unsafe Buildings

An unsafe building is a structure, or part of a structure, or a premise that is a danger to public safety because of the following reasons: said building is open, vacant or dilapidated. 

Complaint/Officer Surveillance

If a building is reported to be unsafe, the Building Official or his/her designees, shall inspect the building to determine whether or not it is, in fact, unsafe. 

Inspection/Documentation

The Property Maintenance Official will visit the property to determine if any provisions of the Code are in violation.

If violations of the Code are found to exist: 
  • Property shall be photographed for documentation to be included in the case file.  
  • Violation severity will determine the compliance date. If conditions exist which render the structure a hazard to the safety and general welfare of the people of the Town, the Tow will take necessary action for making the structure safe, all costs being billed to the property owner.
  • The Property Maintenance Official will update the property case file to reflect violations found and actions taken. 

Notification of Violation to Property Owner

The Property Maintenance Official shall serve a notice of violation to the person responsible for any real property and/or the owner of the property that is not in compliance. 

A form of Notice of Violation shall be given in accordance with all of the following: 

1. The notice shall be in writing.
2. The Notice shall be sent to the person or entity listed by the Pulaski County Treasurer's Office as owner of the property at issue. 
3. 14 days will be the standard time given for compliance. 

4. The notice shall include description for identification purposes, and shall include a statement of violations determined to exist on the property, listing the specific to the sections of this code which are alleged to have been violated. 

5. Notice shall include corrective action needed to be in compliance with provisions of code. 

Method of Service

The notice of violation shall be deemed properly served if a copy is:

  • Sent by certified mail addressed to the property owner at the address of the property or address listed as owner's tax mailing address, or owner's last known address. 
  • Notice may be posted on property in a conspicuous place if the notice was not deliverable. 
  • Published in a newspaper having general circulation in the Town an least once a week for two successive weeks. 

Extensions of Time

An extension of time may be granted upon written request and if good cause for the extension is shown. No extension will be granted unless the owner is responsible party acknowledges in writing that a violation exists and that, if corrective action is not completed in the time period allowed, the Town may proceed to take corrective action. 

Re-Inspection
 
After the compliance time has expired, the Property Maintenance Official will perform re-inspection of property to determine if the violations have been corrected. 

  • If the violations have been corrected, the case is closed and and the records updated to reflect property compliance. 
  • If voluntary compliance cannot be reached, the official shall seek a warrant for the property owner for failure to comply with the orders of the Maintenance/Code Official. 

Court Action

A summons is issued and a court date is set. At the time of the court hearing, if the owner has not yet corrected property violations, the court may impose fines and/or may give the property owner additional time to comply, with the court setting the future date for review of the case. The failure or refusal of an owner to comply with the notice of violation of this article by taking corrective action within the time period allowed shall constitute a Class 3 misdemeanor, and prosecution shall not be barred by the Town proceeding to have corrective action done. 

Case Completion

Case is updated to reflect court order for repairs of structure and any fines determined. 

  • Official re-inspects and photographs the property for compliance to report back to the court upon case review. 
  • If the owner of the structure fails to comply and upon order/agreement with the court, the Code Official will arrange for a contract or public entity to remove or to demolish the structure. The cost of demolition and removal, an additional fee of $250 plus a charge for administrative costs of 25% of all expenses shall be charged to the property owner and will be collected by the Town as a lien. 
  • The case is closed and the Maintenance/Code Official begins the billing or lien process if applicable. 


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