City Code Enforcement Corner

OKEECHOBEE — Often, people are confused by code enforcement, and this series is an attempt to remedy that. In each story, we will answer some common questions about code enforcement, and if you have a question you would like answered, please submit it to cwomble@newszap.com.

What is a Notice of Violation?

A Notice of Violation (NOV) is a notification tool to assist the property owner. The NOV states there is a code violation on their property, which codes they are in violation of, how the violation can be brought into compliance and a time frame in which to bring the violation(s) into compliance.

Property owners are encouraged to contact the code enforcement investigator identified on the NOV. A property owner may request an extension to the original compliance date established on the NOV.

There are no fines assessed with an NOV.

What is a Notice of Hearing?

A Notice of Hearing is a notification to advise the property owner that the code case has been scheduled for a hearing with the special magistrate. A hearing is scheduled when the property has not been brought into compliance by the NOV compliance date. The property owner may submit a written request for a continuance no fewer than five days prior to the scheduled hearing.

The special magistrate will rule on whether a violation exists. If found in violation, they will set a compliance date, assess operational costs and assess fines for noncompliance. The Finding of Fact order will be mailed to the property owner following the hearing. The property owner may submit a written request for an extension prior to the ordered compliance date.

If the violation has not been abated by the Finding of Fact ordered compliance date, the case will be scheduled for an imposition of fines/liens hearing. If compliance has been met after the ordered compliance date, the code enforcement investigator will recommend the accrued fines be waived. If the violation(s) remain, a lien will be imposed on all properties owned by the property owner.

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