Code Enforcement

Code Enforcement is a part of the Building Services, which enforces regulations within the City of Anacortes Municipal Code, generally through a complaint generated system.


The Code Enforcement Inspector investigates complaints, educates citizens, and resolves issues to 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.

Housing Being Torn Down

Typical Code Enforcement Issues


The city does not investigate mold related issues. If you have a concern related to a mold infestation, see the Indoor Air Quality FAQs, by the Northwest Clean Air Agency.

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 Building Services. The form is available online Code Enforcement Complaint Form (PDF) or within Building Services 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 regular 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?

  • Illegal buildings / structures
  • Substandard or dangerous buildings
  • Illegal businesses (wrong zoning, no license)
  • Noise (construction)
  • Street Obstructions
  • Public Health hazards
  • Public nuisances such as trash, debris, inoperable and unlicensed on private property
  • Tall weeds and grass
  • Zoning and land use violation

How Does a Complaint Get Processed?

If an ordinance or regulation is being violated, the Code Enforcement Officer will 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).

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.

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.