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Code Enforcement

The City of Fort Valley operates in compliance with hundreds of written codes that are designed to maintain a healthy, safe and clean environment, carry out land use policy and preserve the quality-of-life standards that residents and businesses enjoy in our community.

There are many types of codes: City Codes, including Zoning Codes, Fire Codes, Uniform Building Codes, Uniform Housing Codes, Vehicle Codes and Penal Codes. Code enforcement is a responsibility shared by many city departments. To be effective and efficient, code enforcement also needs the cooperation of residents and businesses.

Because there are so many codes—many involving complex technical or legal issues—residents frequently have questions about code enforcement and their role in making Fort Valley a better place to live and work. The following information will answer the most frequently asked questions about code enforcement in our community.

How Are Codes Enforced?

The code enforcement process is typically initiated in several ways:

  • in response to a compliant by an individual;
  • Observation of a code violation by city staff or police officers as they patrol the community and do their jobs;
  • As a consequence of an action (for example, an application for a building permit or a request for a zoning variance).
  • The city also relies on residents to help identify possible code violations, particularly in these areas:
  • Front yard storage
  • Illegal signs, such as advertising flyers
  • Graffiti on public or private property
  • Shopping carts on streets, sidewalks, etc.
  • Illegal dumping of garbage and debris
  • Abandoned and/or inoperable vehicles
  • Illegal dumping of oils and other hazardous materials into storm drains
  • Overgrown foliage blocking stop signs, impeding sight of driveways or making corners dangerous
  • Parking regulations in residential neighborhoods
  • Residential businesses causing traffic/noise problems
  • How do I notify the city about a possible code violation?
  • You may file a complaint about a possible code violation in person, in writing, by phone or by using the form provided on this website.

Please be prepared with specific information, such as:

  • the address of the property,
  • detailed description of the situation, and
  • the length of time you have observed the situation.
  • You do not have to identify yourself, but having your name will assist us with follow-up and ensure we have all the information we need to resolve the situation.

How Are Code Violation Reports Handled?

City staff responds to code enforcement complaints according to the impact of the violation on the community. Situations that appear to pose a serious risk to health and safety are given top priority; others are pursued in the order in which they are received.

For all types of code complaints, the first step in the follow-up procedure is personal contact by a city staff member to see if a code violation exists and to request compliance. If the individual responsible for the situation is not available or appears unwilling to voluntarily correct the code violation in a timely manner, a notice of violation or a citation may be issued. The city may also take court action if the situation poses a significant risk to the community or if the individual has ignored previous notices/citations.

What Penalties Result from Code Vialations?

In many cases, the individual responsible for the code violation is given the opportunity to voluntarily correct the situation and comply with current codes without a penalty. If the correction is not made, then the individual may be subject to fines and other penalties.
All city code violations are infractions or misdemeanors. For some serious code violations, usually involving major and immediate health of safety issues, criminal prosecution or civil injunctions may be used by the City to enforce code compliance.