What happens if I have a violation?
Code Compliance’s primary goal is to achieve voluntary compliance. To accomplish this, the resident is normally given 24 hours up to 21 days to take whatever action is requested to correct the problem depending upon the seriousness of the violation. The Code Compliance Officer does have the discretion of requesting correction in fewer days. An example of a quicker correction period would be a vehicle parking on and blocking the public sidewalk or a vehicle under repair left unattended on blocks or jack stands etc. There may be a request to correct these types of violations within 24 hours..
What happens if the property does not come into compliance?
There are times when voluntary compliance is not achieved. When informal and formal efforts fail to get compliance, the Code Compliance Officer will initiate an appropriate progressive enforcement step. Depending on the violation, this might include issuing a “Notice of Violation” or Statement of Violation and Notice of Hearing requiring the responsible party’s appearance before the Code Enforcement Board.
How do I know if I have a violation on my Property?
Code Compliance has many methods of initiating contact. The most common form of initial communication is a ‘Courtesy Notice’. This is a printed or hand written document that lists violations and detailed required corrective actions to resolve the complaint. The Code Officer may add more detailed descriptions of the violation. In most cases, Code Officer will try to make contact with occupants by knocking on the door or ringing the doorbell. If there is no answer at the door, the notice can be left at the front door. The same notice may also be mailed to the property and/or the address on file with the Charlotte County Property Appraiser.
What is considered lack of maintenance to a structure?
A structure shall have no more than 20 percent of its exterior roofs, walls and other elements of the structure covered with disfigured, discolored, cracked, or peeling surface materials for a period of more than 30 consecutive days. A structure shall not be maintained with broken windows, holes in exterior surfaces including screens, roofs and walls, ripped awnings, loose elements or other obvious exterior defects for a period of more than 30 consecutive days. Exterior material shall form a weather tight surface with no holes, excessive cracks or decayed surfaces that permit air to penetrate rooms where such rooms are designed, used, permitted or intended for human occupancy or use.
Can I park a recreational vehicle (RV) in my driveway or on the public right-of-way?
Yes, A residence may have a single vehicle for human habitation kept or parked on the paved driveway or within the public right-of-way between 7:00am and 7:00pm; after 7:00pm a no charge permit is required
- Special Residential Overlay (SRO) District (Punta Gorda Isles, Burnt Store Isles, Burnt Store Meadows Only)
- Permits for up to 7 days within a 30 day period.
- Vehicle must be parked entirely within the driveway.
- No person can live in the RV while parked in a driveway
Can I park boat or watercraft in my driveway or on the public right-of-way?
Yes, A residence may have a single watercraft kept or parked on the premises, on the paved driveway, or within the public right-of-way off of the paved roadway between the hours of 7 am and 7 pm; after 7 pm a no charge watercraft parking permit is required.
- Special Residential Overlay (SRO) District (Punta Gorda Isles, Burnt Store Isles, Burnt Store Meadows Only)
- Permit to park watercraft overnight permitted for 2 consecutive nights, 4 times per calendar year.
- Permits may not be combined to allow a watercraft to remain on the driveway or in the right-of-way for more than two consecutive days.
Can I park overnight on the public right-of-way?
Yes, with a no-charge general parking permit
- Up to 7 occasions within a 30 day period
- No vehicle can be parked in the front, side or rear yard of any developed residential property
- No vehicle can be parked on a vacant residential property or on a public right-of-way between the hours of 1:00am and 5:00am
Do I need an occupational license to do business in the City?
Yes, no person shall engage in any occupation, business, or profession without first obtaining a City of Punta Gorda Occupational License, also known as a Local Business Tax Receipt
Do I need a permit for a garage/yard/estate sale?
Yes, permitted for up to 4 days, two times per year, Only one 2 sf sign in yard of sale permitted – 5:00pm day before sale until 8:00am day after sale, and no off-premises directional signs are permitted. Request a permit.
Are there special rules for repairing a home in the Historic Residential District?
No structure, building, or sign shall be erected, reconstructed, altered, or restored on designated property until a Certificate of Appropriateness has been approved by the City. A structure shall include anything man-made, including but not limited to outbuildings, fences, walls, lamp posts, light fixtures, signs, sign posts, driveways, walkways, and paving. The provisions of this Section shall not apply to the regular maintenance of structures, buildings, or signs.
- Change in the exterior, appearance or material of existing buildings or structures [color is not to be regulated].
- New construction.
- Reconstruction of existing walls and fences, or construction of new walls and fences.
- Change in the exterior of commercial structures.
- Outbuildings, lamp posts, light fixtures, sign posts, driveways, walkways, paving and similar accessory structures.
When do I need a construction/building permit?
It shall be unlawful to conduct, use or occupy any development or construct any structure until all applicable development review and approval processes have been followed, all applicable approvals have been obtained, and all required permits or authorizations to proceed have been issued. For building permit information contact the building department.
Is outdoor storage permitted?
No outdoor storage of goods and materials or refuse containers shall be located in any yard, which is visible from the public right-of-way or adjacent properties (when viewed at ground level), or abutting a street, nor in any required buffer or screen, except for the temporary placement of refuse for scheduled curb side collection.
What is considered junk, trash, debris and litter?
The keeping, storage, depositing, or accumulation on the premises for an unreasonable period of time of any personal property, including but not limited to abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicles or watercraft, automotive parts and equipment, watercraft parts and equipment, appliances, furniture, containers, packing material, scrap metal, wood, building materials, junk, rubbish, and debris, which is within the view at ground level of persons on adjacent or nearby real property or the public right-of-way and which constitutes visual blight or reduces the aesthetic appearance of the neighborhood or is offensive to the senses or is detrimental to nearby property or property values.
What is considered high growth?
The following conditions are hereby declared to be public nuisances – dense wild growth of trees, vines, underbrush, wild growth and weeds and/or grass in excess of twelve (12) inches in height from the ground upon property located within the City and on the sidewalks and parkways abutting thereon, except as may be provided by the City Council. Homeowners are also responsible for maintaining the unimproved alley ways and rights of way that adjoin their property.
What is considered an unlicensed/ inoperable vehicle?
Any vehicle, including trailers, kept in residential areas of the City must have a current license tag assigned to it, and be capable of being immediately and legally driven on the street. Any vehicle which is inoperative or unlicensed for a period of ten (10) days is prohibited on public or private property unless within a completely enclosed garage. This does not apply to the Special Purpose (SP) district provided the site has a valid Local Business Tax Receipt which permits the on-site storage of such vehicles.
What is the difference between Code Compliance and a Homeowner’s Association?
Code Compliance is the prevention, detection, investigation and enforcement of violations of statutes or ordinances regulating public health, safety, and welfare, public works, business activities and consumer protection, building standards, land-use, or municipal affairs.
In the City of Punta Gorda a primary objective is to educate residents and businesses about City Codes and requirements. Most codes and ordinances apply to every property within the City. The purpose of the Code Compliance Department is to promote, protect and improve the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Punta Gorda through effective code compliance techniques.
Homeowner’s Associations are private organizations that are paid by designated neighborhoods to oversee their particular maintenance standards, as established by written Codes, Covenants and Restrictions also known as ‘deed restrictions’ for the properties within specific neighborhood. The neighborhoods were designed to be managed by a Homeowner’s Association. Homeowner’s Associations have the right to enforce and assess fines to members in accordance to the Home Owners Association’s Codes, Covenants and Restrictions (aka deed restrictions).
Typically as part of the purchase process, each property owner within these designated neighborhoods signs documents agreeing to the standards that have been established and will abide by any penalties assessed.
No public agency shall be responsible for enforcing any deed restrictions or restrictive covenants.
What if the property is a rental?
For common violations, Code Compliance will typically try to gain voluntarily compliance from either the resident of the property or the property owner. In the event the resident does not voluntarily comply, the Code Compliance Officer will notify the owner of the property as recorded with the Charlotte County Property Appraiser, with either a courtesy notice or a Notice of Violation. The property owner is ultimately responsible for compliance of the property.
Are complainants required to identify themselves?
Complainants do not have to identify themselves; although if they would like a Code Compliance Officer to contact them regarding the status of the investigation, their name and daytime telephone number or email address are necessary. If the complainant provides any type of identification, including but not limited to name, phone number, email address, etc., this information becomes public record.
How can I report a possible code violation?
- In person: Our office is located at City Hall Anex, 126 Harvey St., Punta Gorda FL., Office hours are 8AM through 4:30PM, Monday through Friday.
- Phone: 941-575-3352
- On line Code Violaton