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.
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
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.
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.
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
|Home Inspectors (when permits are not needed)||https://www.nachi.org/certified-inspectors/browse/us/wisconsin|
|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|
For more information on housing code issues/complaints, please visit