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How can I find out about City Codes?
The Big Spring Code of Ordinances are available online or at the Howard County Public Library. In many instances a paragraph in the City Code book adopts another book. Those books should also be available at the library. Review the
Big Spring Code of Ordinances
What are the most common complaints that Code Enforcement investigate?
Overgrown lots, junk vehicles, and other hazardous conditions. Please call 432-264-2504 for more information.
How can I make a complaint?
1. File a complaint in the Code Enforcement Office located at 305 South Johnson Street. You can speak to Code Enforcement staff and file a written complaint.
2. Call 432-264-2505, to file a complaint.
3. Mail your complaint to the Code Enforcement Office at 305 S Johnson Street
Big Spring, TX 79720
4. Fax your complaint to 432-264-7024.
5. File your complaint
How will I find out what happens to my complaint?
A Code Enforcement Officer will contact the complainant after investigating the complaint. Typically, Code Enforcement Officers will call complainants, so please include a daytime phone number in your complaint. Please call 432-264-2503 for more information.
How long should it take for the Code Enforcement Officers to investigate my complaint?
Code Enforcement Officers will try to perform an initial investigation within 48 hours of receiving your complaint. Complaints are prioritized with issues dealing with the health and safety of our community getting first priority. Please call 432-264-2503 for more information.
What if I want to stay anonymous?
You may choose to stay anonymous, however, the department staff will not be able to inform you of any actions taken or planned. Often, citizens complain about a situation, which is not a city code violation, but have failed to give the Code Enforcement officers a way to advise them of such. The code enforcement officers do not disclose the name of a complainant with a violator when a complaint is addressed. Please call 432-264-2503 for more information.
How can I get my restrictive covenants (deed restrictions) enforced by the city?
The city cannot enforce deed restrictions unless they mirror city codes. Restrictive covenants are a contract between the homeowners in a specific area and the developer. The city is not a party to that contract. If you want your restrictive covenants enforced, first try your homeowners association. If one does not exist or they will not enforce the restrictions, any party to the contract has the right to go to the Justice of the Peace’s office and file a “Suit for Specific Performance.” The complainant must pay a filing fee and a fee for the Constable to serve the defendant. The complainant may request that these fees be part of any judgment against the defendant. Please call 432-264-2503 for more information.
What can I do if I disagree with a city code?
If you feel that a code needs to be changed, contact members of the City Council. If they feel that a code needs to be changed or to be removed, they can have the Planning and Zoning Board review the specific code for possible modifications. Please call 432-264-2503 for more information.
How do the code enforcement officers attempt to enforce the codes?
When the Code Officer investigates a complaint and find the complaint is valid, they take pictures of the violation and return to the Code Enforcement Office. The officer looks up the legal property to find the owner(s). If the property has not been in the complaint computer prior, then the Code Officer will send the property owner(s) a letter giving them 10 to correct the violation. In 10 the Code Officer will re-inspect the property.
If the violation has been corrected, the Code Officer will close the complaint in the computer. In the event the violation has not been corrected in the allotted time, the Code Officer will retake pictures and send the property owner(s) a citation, at which time they will 10 days to contact Municipal Court and pay the fines. Please call 432-264-2503 for more information.
If the city abates a problem on my property, do I have to pay anything?
Usually when the city is forced to abate a nuisance or problem on private property, a bill will be sent to the property owner. If payment has not been received, or a payment plan has not been authorized, a lien can be filed on the property. Please call 432-264-2503 for more information.
Can the city come onto my property and abate a hazard without my permission?
Yes, under certain circumstances they can. If the hazard creates an immediate fire or safety problem, the problem can be abated and a bill sent with no other notice. If you have been notified to abate the hazard or other violation and you chose not to do so, the notice includes notice that the city can enter and abate the problem after a certain time has elapsed. Please call 432-264-2503 for more information.
How much can I be fined for violating some city code?
That depends upon the violation. The minimum fine a judge can assess is $1 per violation. The maximum can be up to $500 for most violations but can go up to $2,000 for a health and safety violation. Please call 432-264-2503 for more information.
Can Code Enforcement Officers file the same complaint on me more than once?
In most instances, each new day that the violation exists is a new violation, therefore, you can be filed upon every day that a violation is not abated or fixed. Please call 432-264-2503 for more information.
Can the Code Enforcement Officers enter my property without my permission?
That depends upon the purpose of the visit and the location of the violation. The curtilage area of a yard is open to all unless posted. In some instances, the city codes give the code enforcement officers authority to enter your property to examine for certain violations. In some instances a search warrant is required. Please call 432-264-2503 for more information.
Do the Code Enforcement Officers perform any other functions?
Yes. The Senior Code Enforcement Officer is charged with the investigation of environmental crimes. The usual investigation involves illegal dumping of solid waste but can include hazardous wastes and materials. They also perform courtesy safety inspections when power is turned on at a house or business. At this time they look for safety problems such as improperly secured pools, hazardous conditions or chemicals. Please call 432-264-2503 for more information.
Do Code Enforcement Officers have the authority to act outside of the city limits?
Yes, Code Enforcement Officers have the authority to act outside of the city limits. Please call 432-264-2503 for more information.
Am I only responsible for my property?
A property owner is responsible for the center line of the street to the center line of the alley or easement. Please call 432-264-2503 for more information.
How tall can my vegetation reach before I will get a letter from the city?
The City of Big Spring Code of Ordinances allows your grass or weeds to reach a maximum of 12 before a letter will be sent to the property owner. The property owner has 10 to correct the violation. At the end of the 10 the Code Officer will reinspect the violation. If it has been corrected the complaint will be closed. If the violation still exists, the Code Officer will send the property owner a citation. Please call 432-264-2503 for more information.
Can I allow my trees or shrubs to grow into the city easements?
A property owner must not allow their vegetation to grow into the city streets, alleys, or side streets. This can, and will create a safety hazard for traffic at intersections and in alleys. If a property owner allows their vegetation to enter into the public right of ways, the Code Officer will send the property owner a letter asking them to trim the trees or vegetation back. Property owners then have 10 to correct the violation before a citation will be sent. Please call 432-264-2503 for more information.
Can I have an abandoned, inoperative or junk vehicle on my property?
Under Article 3, Section 13-46 of the City Code of Ordinances, a motor vehicle is considered a junk vehicle if it does not have lawfully attached to it:
1. An expired license plate and sticker
2. A valid motor vehicle inspection certificate
3. Is wrecked, dismantled or partially dismantled, or discarded
4. Remains inoperable for more than 45 consecutive days
A certified letter will be sent to the property owner(s) to remove the vehicle(s) from the property. After the 10 a reinspection will be done by the Code Officer. If the violation has been corrected the complaint will be closed. If the violation still exist a citation will be sent to the property owner(s), for every day that the violation occurs. Please call 432-264-2503 for more information.
May I drain my swimming pool or pond into the street or alley?
The Texas State law states that no water from a swimming pool or pond may be emptied on streets, alleys, or private property. This is punishable by a fine up to $1,000 per day. Please call 432-264-2503 for more information.
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