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Development Services

Priority of Cases

Building inspector taking pictures of an old abandoned house

The Building & Land Use Enforcement Division responds swiftly to address serious private property violations and assigns a priority to each investigation. Cases that pose imminent health and safety hazards or constitute significant code violations are given the highest priority, since they have the highest potential result in significant harm to the community. Infraction-level cases are directed to Alternative Compliance, which helps to produce voluntary compliance at the neighborhood level.

Priority I Cases

Imminent Health and Safety Hazards

These cases are inspected within a business day.

  • Dangerous/Unstable Structures
  • Inadequate barriers for swimming pools/spas
  • Leaking sewage
  • Live, exposed electrical wires
  • Uninhabitable living conditions

Priority II Cases

Significant Code Violations

These cases are inspected within five business days.

  • Abandoned Properties
  • Disturbance of environmental resources
  • Historic Sites
  • Substandard housing conditions
  • Unpermitted grading

Priority III Cases

Other Code Violations and/or Conditions Adversely Impacting Quality of Life

These cases are inspected within 20 business days.

  • Accessory structures
  • Adult entertainment
  • Billboards
  • Building, electrical, plumbing and mechanical violations
  • Disabled access
  • Discretionary permit violations
  • Off-street parking elimination
  • Fence/wall violations
  • Food trucks
  • Garages illegally converted to living space
  • Garages used for storage
  • Newsracks
  • Outdoor merchandise displays
  • Recycling facilities
  • Required landscaping 
  • Residential care facilities
  • Setback violations
  • Sidewalk cafes
  • Storage
  • Unpermitted businesses/uses
  • Unpermitted construction
  • Unpermitted demolition
  • Unpermitted dwelling units
  • Vehicle repair in residential areas

Alternative Compliance

Complaints and concerns served by Alternative Compliance include:

  • Front yard parking violations
  • Garage sales
  • Lighting
  • Signs
  • Street trees
  • Noise
    • Submit a report for machinery/equipment or animal noise.

    • Contact SDPD at 619-531-2000 to report noise coming from social gatherings and bars.

With Alternative Compliance, when a complaint is received a case will be opened immediately. After a brief initial review, correspondence begins. Staff provides structured information to the alleged violator and the complainant.

These matters are typically best addressed by discussion with neighbors, and the City-provided information helps to guide that approach. If needed, mediation can help resolve questions between neighbors. Community members interested in mediation can contact the National Conflict Resolution Center at 619-238-2400.