The Community Development code enforcement process starts with an investigation by the Code Enforcement Officer who determines whether a code violation has occurred. The code enforcement officer follows up with the owner of the property where the violation has occurred, not with the person reporting the violation. The person reporting the violation can call the Code Enforcement Officer for a status update. Code enforcement investigation and actions are prioritized as follows:
1. Violations that constitute a danger to life and safety such as living or sleeping in an unpermitted structure;
2. Violations that result in damage to the environment such as unpermitted tree removal, shoreline armoring or wetland fill;
3. Other violations such as operating a vacation rental without a permit.
General Code Enforcement Process
Once a code enforcement request has been made, the Code Enforcement Officer investigates and determines whether a violation has occurred. If the violation involves activity such as clearing, grading or construction without a permit, a stop work order will likely be issued. The code enforcement officer follows up with one or two letters or emails to the property owner with instructions on how to resolve the violation. If the property owner does not respond or fails to resolve the violation, the Code Enforcement Officer will issue a Notice of Violation including fines as mandated in San Jan County Code 18.100.
Code Enforcement Process for Unpermitted Vacation Rentals
It is a code violation to advertise or operate an unpermitted vacation rental in San Juan County. The penalty for advertising an unpermitted vacation rental is $2,300. The Code Enforcement officer regularly reviews online advertising and documents the advertisements for unpermitted vacation rentals. A notice of violation is issued for each violation.