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nusiancepicture  The Code Enforcement Division of the Community
and Economic Development Department enforces
regulations within the City of Anacortes Municipal
Code, generally through a complaint generated system.

The Code Enforcement Inspector investigates complaints, educates citizens and works to resolve issues and achieve code compliance.  If a violation occurs, the inspector will try to resolve it first through education, voluntary compliance and/or negotiation.  If this proves unproductive, formal civil enforcement proceedings may begin.

Typical Code Enforcement Issues:

  • Substandard Buildings (AMC 18.14.060)
  • Yard overgrown with weeds or grass (AMC Chapter 18.14)
  • Junk vehicles on lot (AMC Chapter 18.14)
  • Garbage, debris or applicants on private property (Chapter 18.14)
  • Commercial activities in a residential zone (AMC Chapter 17.04)
  • Signs not in compliance with codes (AMC Chapter 17.40)

Nuisance Abatement Ordiance Chapter 18.14 for further code requirements.

How to file a complaint:

It is the City's policy to conduct complaint investigations upon receipt of a written complaint.  This can be done by submitting a complaint form to the Building Department.  The form is available online Code Enforcement Complaint Form or by coming into the Building Department at 904 6th Street.

Once a complaint has been made it is logged with a case number and your request will be investigated as soon as possible by the code enforcement officer and prioritized by seriousness of the complaint.  Life-Safety issues take priority over nuisance complaints.  All complaints are investigated to see if a violation of State, County or City Ordinances are violated. 

What types of complaints does the code enforcement officer investigate?

1. Substandard or dangerous buildings;
2. Public nuisances such as trash, debris, inoperable & unlicensed on private property.
3. Zoning and land use violation;
4. Public Health hazards:
5. Tall weeds & grass;
6. Illegal buildings/structures;
7. Illegal businesses (wrong zoning, no license)
8. Illegal Signs:
9. Obstructions (visual):
10. Noise (construction)

How does a complaint get processed?

If an ordinance or regulation is being violated, the Code Enforcement Officer will first send a Courtesy letter or a Correction Notice to the owner of the property and/or the tenant.  The letter requests that the violation(s) be corrected within a certain amount of time (depending on seriousness).

 1. If the violation(s) were not corrected within the designated time frame, the Code Enforcement Officer would then send a Notice of Violation, via certified mail, indicating the violation(s) are to be corrected within a certain amount of time, along with outlines of the penalties for the violation and a date would be set for the Anacortes Improvement Board to hear the violation.

2. In addition, the city may get an Abatement Order requiring the violation to be corrected and a substandard lien may be placed on the property.