Code Enforcement Information

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The City of Eau Claire has many written ordinances that are designed to maintain a healthy, safe and clean environment, carry out land use policy and preserve the quality-of-life standards that residents and businesses enjoy in our community.

There are many types of codes: Zoning Codes, Fire Codes, Uniform Building Codes, Housing maintenance codes, various health and safety codes. Code enforcement is a responsibility shared by many City departments. To be effective and efficient, code enforcement also needs the cooperation of residents and businesses.

Because there are so many codes—many involving complex technical or legal issues—residents frequently have questions about code enforcement and their role in keeping Eau Claire a great place to live and work. The following information will answer the most frequently asked questions about code enforcement in our community.

How are codes enforced?

The code enforcement process is typically initiated in several ways:

1.  In response to a complaint by an individual; or a neighborhood association

2.  Observation of a code violation by City staff as they patrol the community and do their jobs;

3.  As a consequence of an action (for example, an application for a building permit or a request for a rezoning variance).

The City relies on residents to help identify possible code violations, particularly in these areas:

  • Abandoned and/or inoperable vehicles
  • Graffiti on public or private property
  • Housing maintenance issues
  • Illegal dumping of garbage and debris
  • Illegal dumping of oils and other hazardous materials into storm drains
  • Illegal signs, such as advertising flyers and portable ground signs
  • Long grass and weed violations
  • Overflowing garbage or other garbage problems
  • Overgrown foliage blocking stop signs, impeding sight of driveways or making corners dangerous
  • Parking regulations in residential neighborhoods - on-street parking and parking on lawns
  • Snow and ice on public sidewalks
  • Zoning and occupancy issues
How do I notify the City about a possible code violation?

You may file a complaint about a possible code violation in person, in writing or by phone. Phone numbers of the departments are listed below. In an average year, the City receives thousands of complaints related to possible code enforcement violations.            

Please be prepared with specific information, such as:

The address of the property,

Detailed description of the situation, and

The length of time you have observed the situation.

You do not have to identify yourself, but having your name will assist us with follow-up and ensure we have all the information we need to resolve the situation.

What is the procedure for following up on possible code violations?

City staff responds to code enforcement complaints according to the impact of the violation on the community. Situations that appear to pose a serious risk to health and safety are given top priority; others are pursued in the order in which they are received.

For all types of code complaints, the first step in the follow-up procedure is an inspection by a City staff member to see if a code violation exists. In general, a notice of violation is issued to the owner/tenant to correct the code violation in a timely manner. The City may also take court action if the situation poses a significant risk to the community or if the individual has ignored the notice of violation.

What penalties result from code violations?

In many cases, the individual responsible for the code violation is given the opportunity to voluntarily correct the situation and comply with current codes without a penalty. If the correction is not made, then the individual may be subject to fines and civil injunctions or other penalties.

 Specific Complaint Department/Agency Responsible  Phone 
Abandoned vehicles on public streets  Police Department  715-839-4972
Animal control - dogs running at large (daytime), licensing and vaccination of dogs, dead or injured animals  Animal Control  715-839-4972
Animal control - barking dogs, poisoning of animals, possession of fighting animals  Animal Control  715-839-4972
Animals - too many, unsanitary conditions  Animal Control  715-839-4972
Buildings - dangerous or substandard  Code Enforcement  715-839-4947
Fire hazard  Fire Inspections  715-839-4825
Fire - emergency  Fire (24 hours)  911
Furniture on porches/yards  Code Enforcement  715-839-4947 
Garbage - overflowing garbage cans and dumpsters   City-County Health Department  715-839-4718
Garbage cans at properties left out on the street longer than a day before or after collection day   City-County Health Department  715-839-4718
Graffiti - private property   Police Department  715-839-4972 
Graffiti - public property   Engineering  715-839-4934 
Hazardous Waste - residential/commercial/industrial

 City-County Health Department

 Fire Inspections

 715-839-4718 

 715-839-4825

Housing code issues  City-County Health Department  715-839-4718 
Inoperable vehicles pared on private property  Code Enforcement   715-839-4947 
Noise disturbances  Police Department   715-839-4972 
Signs - Illegally posted  Code Enforcement  715-839-4947
Smoking in prohibited buildings  City-County Health Department  715-839-4718
Snow and ice on public sidewalks  Streets Division  715-839-4963 
Storm drains - illegal dumping  Engineering   715-839-4934 
Streets trees - trimming  Forestry Department  715-839-5039 
Vegetation blocking sidewalk, obstructing signs or obstructing vehicle sight lines  Streets Division  715-839-4963 
Vehicles - parked on unimproved surfaces  Police Department   715-839-4972
Vehicles illegally parked on public streets  Police Department   715-839-4972 
Weed abatement, long grass  Streets Division  715-839-4963
Zoning occupancy issues and questions  Community Development  715-839-4914