Property Maintenance Information
History of Code Enforcement
In 1999, the City of Frankfort created a Code Enforcement Board and a Property Maintenance Code. In late 2013, the City created a Nuisance Code Hearing Board and a Nuisance Code to ultimately replace those created in 1999. In 2016, the State adopted HB-422, which required the City to re-establish the Code Enforcement Board. In May 2017, The Board of Commissioners readopted the Code Enforcement Board and amended the ordinance to match the HB-422. The Planning and Building Codes Department is responsible for protecting the public's health, safety and welfare through effective enforcement of City codes and ordinances.
The City has two primary uniformed Code Enforcement Officers / Inspectors. Each Officer / Inspector has been trained and one has obtained ICC certification in the enforcement of property maintenance. The department's staff performs inspections daily in response to complaints and personal observation of violations of the building, zoning, property maintenance code and now the Nuisance Code.
Examples of Violations
- Building code violations may include, but are not limited to: building a structure without a permit and increasing impervious surface (placing concrete or asphalt, spreading rock, etc.). Review, approval and issuance of a building permit is required for the protection of citizens and visitors. If a structure is erected, which does not meet the City's wind load requirement, it could become a flying projectile during strong winds and, if concrete is placed without proper engineering, storm water could flood adjacent property owners or City Streets.
- Zoning code violations may include, but are not limited to: operating a business without a license, building into setback areas, or building without a permit. The intent and purpose of zoning codes are to maintain order and allow controlled development of land within the City of Frankfort.
- Property maintenance and Nuisance Code violations may include, but are not limited to: accumulation of trash and debris, illegal vehicles, dilapidated buildings and structures. A nuisance is defined as a situation that is dangerous to human life or health, or causes the ground, water, air, or food to be hazardous to the public's health or safety, or is offensive to the senses.
How Properties Are Brought into Compliance
Beginning in May 2017, City of Frankfort has a Code Enforcement Board consisting of five citizens appointed by the City Mayor and Board of Commissioners. The Boards' duties are to determine if a code violation exists, establish a date for compliance and levy a fine if it is not brought into compliance. The Board cannot grant variances or deviate from the code. It is requested that Board members not be contacted about cases that may be presented to them at a public hearing.
When a code violation exists on a property, the Code Enforcement Officer contacts the person in charge of the property, informs them of the code violation and, depending on the gravity of the violation, either, verbally requests compliance or issues a written courtesy warning or notice of code violation. The violator is always informed of the specific code(s) in violation and possible ways to bring the property into compliance.
The standard amount of time given to bring a property into compliance is 30 days. There are, however, four general exceptions to this standard: a "repeat violation"; a violation which presents imminent public danger; violation of tall grass or weeds; and a violation that is irreparable or irreversible in nature, such as, demolition without a permit.
After a notice of code violation has been issued and the time allowed to bring the property into compliance has expired, the officer will initiate a Citation with a fine that can be contested by the owner before the City's Code Enforcement Board. At this hearing, the officer will present the case to the Board and explain why the property is in violation. The person in charge of the property is also given an opportunity to present their case. If the City prevails in prosecuting the case, the Board will assess a fine and set a compliance date. Should the owner fail to comply, a repeat of the process will occur, should the owner fail to comply with a Board Order after two consecutive times, then the violation will be forwarded to District Court. It is important to remember that the Board cannot grant variances or deviate from the code.