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Code Compliance: A Problem Thick as Weeds

SafetySmart Lilburn tackles code compliance in this week's column. This time of year, yard maintenance can be a big nuisance, but it doesn't have to be.

Code compliance is important to any neighborhood: It helps keep property values high, neighbors safe from nuisances and builds a healthy and attractive community.

The Lilburn Code of Ordinances (rules) can be found on www.municode.com (then click on Library, Georgia and Lilburn.) Descriptions and discussion of nuisances are listed in Section 38 of the Lilburn Code. 

One of the most common complaints this time of year is yard maintenance. If the grass or weeds in a yard on private property exceed 12 inches in height, it is a code problem.

What can neighbors do?

Before the grass reaches 12 inches, try to talk to the occupants of the property.  Maybe they are sick or have a broken lawnmower. Building relationships and serving as someone to help them avoid receiving a notice helps to improve community relationships while resolving code concerns. People want to be compliant but may have unseen barriers. If they are not receptive, please respect their privacy and property rights.

If there is no occupant of the property and no real estate listing, check the Gwinnett County property records to view to whom the tax bill is sent. On the website for Gwinnett County (www.gwinnettcounty.com), search the departments for “Graphical Information Systems” or GIS. This site gives the owner/tax payer’s address -- and often the phone number -- when you put in the property address.

You can often call and notify the owner of the potential violation. If there is a real estate agent involved, usually a call to the office will suffice, as they want to sell the property. If this is not successful, you can put in a code complaint on the city website www.cityoflilburn.com, click on code enforcement and fill out the form. For those living in unincorporated Gwinnett, go to here or email QualityofLife@gwinnettcounty.com. Let them know what information you have and what you have done to fix the problem.

Working in concert with the city or county can solve nuisance complaints in the neighborhood. It can take a while, as the resident must be notified and given time to correct the problem. If you have an unresolved code problem in your neighborhood and the violators are unreceptive you can submit a complaint.

It is always easier to fix small problems before they become big neighborhood nuisances. The best way to solve problems is to treat others with dignity and respect in all circumstances.

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(Editor's Note: This article was written for SafetySmart Lilburn by Kathy Rice.)

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