We have probably all heard the old saying, “The only dumb question…is the one that didn’t get asked.” In the Code Enforcement Department, we’d like to suggest that there are no dumb questions when it comes to how something or someone will affect your property and / or the quality of your life in our community.
If you have a question relating to any property in La Grange or what’s taking place on that property, the Code Enforcement Department has a wealth of information to share. Simply by taking a minute to ask, this valuable resource can be put to work, helping to find the answer you need. If you have any questions regarding the information listed here or other procedures or violations regarding Code Enforcement, please call 979-968-5805.
Many people are not exactly sure what to do when they have a complaint regarding a possible violation. If you are comfortable, we advise to first talk with your neighbor or property owner. Politely explain the situation and ask for their cooperation in resolving the problem. Many times people appreciate their neighbors contacting them rather than a Code Enforcement Officer, and will correct the problem. Use your own best judgment when dealing with your neighbors, and never interact with someone when either party is angry or out of control. If your “good neighbor” effort fails, call us. We are happy to discuss the situation and will explain what type of steps we will have to take in order to have violations corrected. When you call, be prepared to provide the following information:
- The specific type of complaint or nuisance.
- Your name, address, and telephone number. This information is kept confidential and is especially important if you leave a message and we need to contact you for more information or clarification regarding your complaint.
- Provide the exact location of the problem. We will need the house number and street name. If there is no address, then provide as much information regarding the location. I.e. northwest corner of Main Street and Walnut Street.
- Provide a brief description of the violation or complaint.
- If your complaint is regarding a vehicle, then provide the license plate number, make and model, and color of the vehicle. State if the vehicle is on the street or private property.
- If your complaint is regarding debris, then provide a brief description of the type of debris. Example of debris is: car parts, building materials, old tires, garbage, and the location where these items are stored on the property.
- If your complaint is regarding an on-going activity rather than a physical violation, then provide us with a description of the activity, when it is occurring and the day and times it occurs.
In addition, the City of La Grange Code Enforcement Officer makes regular inspections throughout the City to identify potential violations.
If after an investigation of the problem, the Code Enforcement Officer finds that a violation has occurred or exists, further action will be taken to resolve the problem. This typically begins with the property owner receiving a written notice of the violation, with 5 - 30 days to correct the violation depending on the type of violation. City staff will re-inspect the property to confirm resolution of the problem. More often than not, violations are caused by lack of knowledge about codes and are easily & amenably resolved. Property owners will have the opportunity to discuss the violations and work in cooperation with Code Enforcement to correct problems that exist. If voluntary cooperation to correct the problem is not obtained, the Code Enforcement Officer can take the necessary steps to initiate prosecution of the violation through the legal system.
If the violation is not resolved, then the property owner will receive an additional notice indicating that the property will be abated or the owner will receive a citation. With an abatement, the property owner will pay the cost of correcting the violation. If a citation is issued, the property owner must appear before the municipal court, which may levy penalties.
Every effort will be made by the Code Enforcement Officer to utilize diplomacy, tact and friendly persuasion to gain cooperation in compliance with the City Codes when a violation is found.
If each of us will first consider the effect that our own actions may have on the property and people surrounding us, the ideal of achieving better cooperation and compliance will be off to a good start.