Q. What is a code violation?
A. A code violation is an issue that exists on a property that does not comply with the Okeechobee County Codes and Ordinances, such has overgrown grass and weeds or trash and debris.
Q. Why is Code Enforcement necessary?
A. Code Enforcement is an integral part of maintaining a safe and economically viable community.
Q. I want to file a complaint, but I want to remain anonymous. Is that possible?
A. Many complaints are filed anonymously. If you provide your name and contact information, it will be added to the case file and will become public record. This means that if someone requests copies of public records for a specific case, that information may be provided.
Q. I was sent a Notice of Violation, can I have more time to bring my property into compliance?
A. Prior to sending a Notice of Violation, a Code Enforcement Officer will often leave a Notice of Visit or send a courtesy card. Either of those notices will detail the violation and give a time period to rectify the violation. If compliance is not met, then a Notice of Violation is sent. The Notice of Violation usually provides an additional 7-14 days to bring the property into compliance. Time extensions are not common, but if there are special circumstances, please contact the officer managing your case to discuss possible options.
Q. I received a Notice of Hearing and cannot attend the hearing. Can I reschedule?
A. The Special Magistrate Hearing is a quasi-judicial hearing that adopts the form of a judicial process and has the ability to impose legal penalties. The Code Enforcement Hearing is as important as any other court hearing. Once an item is placed on a Code Enforcement Hearing Agenda, it cannot be rescheduled. If a special circumstance has arisen, contact the officer managing your case to see if any options may be available.
Q. I'm not happy with my hearing results. What can I do about it?
A. If you do not agree with the result of the hearing, you may appeal the final administrative order to the circuit court. Such an appeal must be filed within 30 days of the execution of the order to be appealed.
Q. A fine was imposed on my property. What do I do?
A. If a fine has been imposed, please bring your property into compliance as soon as possible to stop the fine that usually accrues daily. If you believe your property is now in compliance, it is your responsibility to request a re-inspection by a Code Enforcement Officer. If the Code Enforcement Officer finds that you have brought your property into compliance, the daily fine will stop accruing. However, the fine that has accrued to that date must still be paid. Please contact a Code Enforcement Officer if you have any questions about how much a fine is and where to pay the fine to clear your property of the lien that has been filed.
Q. I recently purchased a piece of property that has an old code enforcement lien on it. What can I do?
A. If the lien is still accruing, you will need to bring the property into compliance. Once the property is in compliance, you can pay off the lien yourself. You may also be able apply for a Request of Reduction of Accrued Fine. The form can be obtained from our office. Once it is completed and received by our office, your case will be scheduled before the Special Magistrate. If a reduction is recommended by the Magistrate, it has to be approved by the Board of County Commissioners. If a reduction is approved, you will receive instructions on how to pay the reduced fine. Usually, the fine is required to be paid within 10 to 30 days after a reduction has been approved.
Should you require more information or have other questions, please call the Code Enforcement Department at 863.763.5548 Monday - Friday between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.