What We Do
Enforce codes such as lot cleaning, junk vehicles and housing.
The zoning code defines what type of activities can take place on residential, commercial, professional office, industrial and agriculturally zoned properties. Some activities require permits or special approval from the Zoning Division. Code Enforcement typically deals with violations of the zoning code that include operating a business in a residential area, operating a business without a land use permit, and improper outside storage.
Vehicles which are abandoned, inoperative, discarded or in an evident state of disuse are not allowed and subject to towing by Orange County.
Violations might include:
- Flat tires
- No license plate
- Displaying an expired registration sticker
Parking vehicles inside a garage or under a carport with a car cover is allowed.
Violations include accumulations of junk and debris of any kind on residential or commercial property and excessive growth of grass and weeds (18" or higher).
If property owners do not comply with the code violation notice within 15 days, Orange County directs a contractor to clean the lot and passes the bill on to the owner. Failure to pay the bill results in a lien against the property, and enforced collection.
Natural state properties, i.e., unimproved tracts of land, are not covered by the ordinance.
A repeat lot cleaning penalty can be assessed if the county cleans a property more than once within a 12-month period. The penalty can be as much as $200 per violation.
Houses and accessory structures are required to have functioning:
- Exterior walls
- Sanitary drainage
- Running water
Dual Rear Wheeled Vehicles
This regulation is designed to prevent the parking of large trucks in residential areas. Chapter 38 of the county code defines vehicles subject to the regulation as motor truck, trailer, semitrailer or tractor/trailer combination and used as a means of transporting persons or property and propelled by power other than muscular power which have more than or are designed to have more than four (4) weight-bearing wheels, except that a dual rear wheel pick-up truck not used for commercial purposes shall not be deemed to constitute a dual rear wheel vehicle. A public service vehicle used for emergencies shall not be deemed to constitute a dual rear wheel vehicle when approved by the zoning manager.
Unoccupied recreational vehicles may be stored within any residential district, after the owner obtains a permit from the Zoning Division. RV’s may be parked 10’ from side property line and at least 5’ from rear property line.
The code allows storage of boats on residential property.
- Boats cannot exceed 24 ft. in length if parked in the front yard.
- Typical residential lots can have two boats only one of which can be in the front yard (on an approved surface contiguous to the driveway).
- Boats longer than 24 ft. must be stored in the back yard and screened from view.
Construction Without Permit
No building or structure may be erected, altered or enlarged without first obtaining the necessary building permit and approval of the Zoning Division.
Garage sales are allowed in residential zoning districts with the proper zoning permit. Sales are limited to 2 per year.
Private signs may never be placed within the public right-of-ways unless approved by Orange County. Signs may be removed without warning by County workers and those placing such signs are subject to fines. The county picks up over 100,000 signs each year.
Temporary Weekend Directional Signs
Temporary weekend directional signs may only be placed within public rights-of-way or upon any public property with a permit from the Zoning Division.
Property owners must ensure that buildings and structures are maintained in a safe and sanitary condition. The code has standards pertaining to structural soundness, swimming pools, plumbing, electrical systems, fire hazards and ventilation.
An unsafe house or building is one that is severely dilapidated, improperly maintained, or has electrical, structural, or plumbing problems.
If the owner does not repair or demolish an unsafe structure, the county may be ordered by the CEB or SM to perform the demolition. The owner must reimburse the county for the demolition’s cost or the county pursues enforced collection.
The Nuisance Abatement Unit of the OCSO exists to promote, protect, and improve the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the county by imposing administrative fines and other non-criminal penalties as a method of abating drug, prostitution, dealing in stolen property and criminal street gang activities constituting public nuisances in the county.
Methods Of Enforcement
Education and Outreach
Citizens of Orange County want to live in clean, attractive places. The Code Enforcement Division does its best work when neighborhoods are organized and educated about the code enforcement process. This is why the Division places a big emphasis on attending community meetings, and producing content for the Orange TV and this web site.
Regulatory Functions of Code Enforcement
Code Enforcement Brochure | Spanish Version
Your Public Hearing Before the Code Enforcement Board | Spanish Version
- Code Enforcement in F.O.C.U.S - Code Enforcement Manager Robert Spivey and Code Enforcement Officer Marthaly Irizarry deliver a 25 minute overview of the Code Enforcement Division. Hosted by Orange TV's Glenn Barbour.
- The Role of Code Enforcement Orange County Live - Host Laureen Martinez gives Orange County residents an inside look at how the department of Code Enforcement works to keep our communities safe and clean.
- Community Conference 2013
Frequently Asked Questions
Orange County Code Enforcement FAQS PDF