Code Enforcement

The City of Waxahachie has adopted municipal ordinances in an effort to reduce urban blight, increase the value of private property, deter vandalism, reduce the possibility of potential fire hazard and promote a safe living environment.

What Type of Code Enforcement Violations Are We Looking For?
Accessory Structures Not Maintained:  All accessory structures, including detached garages, fences and walls, shall be maintained structurally sound and in good repair. 

Resolve Action: Repair structure.
Clutter Prohibited: It shall be unlawful for any person to permit any premises, improved or unimproved, on all open lots and alleys in the City to accumulate lumber, boxes, barrels, bricks, or stones and similar materials that may be permitted to remain thereon and that may be used as a harborage by rats, unless same shall be placed on open racks and elevated not less than 18 inches above the ground, with a clear intervening space underneath to prevent the harborage of rats. 
Resolve Action: Remove materials from premises, lot(s), or alleyway or store in a manner consistent with regulations.
Construction/Demolition Litter: It shall be unlawful for the owner, agent or contractor in charge of any construction or demolition site to cause, maintain, permit or allow to be caused, maintained or permitted the accumulation of any litter on the site before, during or after completion of the construction or demolition project.  
Resolve Action: There must be approved receptacle for litter and debris on site during all phases of construction or demolition. Receptacle must be obtained from the permitted contracted agent.
Defacement of Property: No person shall willfully or wantonly damage, mutilate or deface any exterior surface of any structure or building on any private or public property by placing thereon any marking, carving or graffiti.
Resolve Action: It shall be the responsibility of the owner to restore said surface to an approved state of maintenance and repair.
High Grass/Weeds, Limbs, Junk & Debris: It shall be unlawful for any person owning a lot(s), and/or his agent, within the City of Waxahachie, to fail to keep said lot(s) free from weeds, rubbish, brush, and any other objectionable, unsightly, unsanitary matter of whatever nature. It shall specifically be unlawful to allow grass or weeds to grow to over twelve (12) inches in height.
Resolve Action: Mow all grass and weeds on lot(s); remove junk and debris; remove all limbs and yard waste from property
Illegal Dumping: (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to throw, drop, cast, or deposit upon any street, alley, sidewalk, or any yard or premises, public or private, any filth or any kind, or cans, paper, trash, paper containers, rubbish, bottles or any other form of litter or waste matter. (b) It shall be unlawful for any person to throw, drop, cast, or place any yard waste matter upon any street, street gutter, or alley.
Resolve Action: It shall be the responsibility of the property owner to remove all illegally dumped items immediately.
Improper Disposal of Garbage: Solid waste, before being placed in the container, shall either be bagged, sacked, or bundled to avoid leakage of liquids, spilling of contents, and/or windblown litter. It shall be specifically unlawful for any person to place or discard of liquid waste in a container that could allow leakage from the container on to the ground, sidewalk, or street.
Resolve Action: Bag all waste and dispose of properly.
Junk Vehicle:  Declaration of a public nuisance. A junked vehicle, including a part of a junked vehicle, that is visible at any time of the year from a public place or public right-of-way: 1) is detrimental to the safety and welfare of the public; 2) tends to reduce the value of private property; 3) invites vandalism; 4) creates a fire hazard; 5) is an attractive nuisance creating a hazard to the health and safety of minors; 6) produces urban blight adverse to the maintenance and continuing development of municipalities; and 7) is a public nuisance.  
Resolve Action: Vehicle must be screened from ordinary public view by appropriate means, out of public view behind a solid fence at least six (6) feet in height, rapidly growing trees, or shrubbery; and if stored outdoors it must be operable, have current registration, have current safety inspection (required for street use), parked legally on an improved surface, and if covered, it must be a cover specifically designed for a vehicle. (Square or rectangular tarps are prohibited to be used as covers.)   

Not Keeping Property Clean; Garbage Accumulation: It shall be unlawful for the owner, agent, occupant or lessee of private property to cause, maintain, permit or allow to be caused, maintained or permitted the accumulation of any litter on the exterior of private property.  
Resolve Action: Remove litter from property and keep maintained.  
Outdoor Storage Prohibited:  (g) [Prohibits] The outdoor storage of any goods, wares, merchandise, commodities, junk, debris, or any other item outside of a completely enclosed building for a continuous period longer than 24 hours, unless such items are: i. out of public view, behind a solid fence or wall of at least six (6) feet in height; ii. behind the main structure; or iii. not visible from a public thoroughfare and/or right-of-way. Exemptions: This section shall not apply to construction material and/or equipment which is intended for use within 30 days in construction and renovation on the premises or when there exists an active building permit on the premises. Additionally this does not apply to furniture made for outdoor use or landscape containers and objects, or children’s play equipment. (h) The use or storage of any upholstered furniture manufactured primarily for indoor use, including mattresses, may not be used or stored on open porches, in open carports and cannot be visible from a public right-of-way.  
Resolve Action:  Only items made to be used outside can may be kept outside (i.e., outdoor furniture, grills/smokers, landscape items, and children’s play equipment.)
Parking On Unimproved Surface: No vehicle shall be parked or stored on an unimproved surface which can be seen on a public right-of-way.
Resolve Action: Remove vehicle or pave the surface it is being stored on. Paving must be similar to other paved parking spaces.
Rat Harborage Prohibited: It shall be unlawful for any person to use or maintain any business buildings or premises in such a manner that rat harborage is brought into existence or maintained.  
Resolve Action: Remove all harborages and potential harborages.
Sewage Surfacing: (a) [Prohibits] The maintenance of any but sanitary toilet, and these only in compliance with the public health laws, ordinances, and regulations of the state, county, and city. (b) [Prohibits] The disposal or accumulation of any vile, decaying, or putrescent substance or other offensive material dangerous to public health in or upon any lot, street, or highway, or the escape of any gases or odors to such an extent that the same or any of them shall by reason of such offensive odors become a source of discomfort to persons living or passing in the vicinity.  
Resolve Action: Remove nuisance and refrain from reoccurrence.  
Standing Water/Stagnant Water: It shall be unlawful to have, keep, maintain, cause or permit within the City, any collection of standing or flowing water in which mosquitoes breed or are likely to breed, unless such collection of water is treated so as effectually to prevent such breeding.
Resolve Action: Receptacle collecting water must be screened with at least 16-inch mesh, emptied every 7 days and cleaned, larvicided under direction of the Director, have circulating or flowing water, or completely removed.  
Substandard Structure: Minimum standards; responsibilities of owner. Property Standards. (Ord. No. 1805)  
Resolve Action: Remove or repair substandard structure.

How do I report a violation, and what is the course of action?
Code violations are found by Code Enforcement canvassing or by citizens’ complaints.  Upon receiving a complaint or observing a violation, a Code Enforcement Officer may notify the property owner in person, leaving a door hanger or by first class or certified mail to explain the code violation issue and corrective measures needed.  The property owner is given 10 days to correct the violation(s).  While most property owners comply after the first notification, if compliance is not gained, enforcement action such as nuisance abatement and/or citation(s) may occur. Fines can range from $100.00 to $1000.00. If an abatement of the problem occurs by the City, the property owner is issued an invoice which includes an administrative fee of $100.00.  If the property owner fails to reimburse the City within 30 days, a privileged lien is filed against the property with Ellis County Clerk’s office. When a privileged lien is filed against the property, filing fees and interest of a rate of ten (10) percent will be assessed to the privileged lien.

The Community can assist Code Enforcement by notifying us of any violations in your neighborhood. This can be done by calling: 469-309-4130 or using the free PublicStuff smartphone app. You can download the app for free on iTunes or Google Play.
City of Waxahachie Community Services Staff:
Leila Cole, Health Inspector 469-309-4138
Mary DelBuono, Community Services Coordinator  469-309-4132
Me’Lony Jordan, Code Enforcement Officer                469-309-4134
Sunnie Pickard, Code Enforcement Officer 469-309-4135
Pam Speaks, Senior Code Enforcement Officer 469-309-4137