The County Code Enforcement Officer handles the enforcement of codes related to land use and building code matters as authorized and provided for by State Law. La Plata County code enforcement is primarily a complaint driven process. Although potential violations may be discovered by county staff while carrying out assigned work in the field, most violation allegations are reported to the Code Enforcement Officer by neighboring property owners and other concerned citizens. Violation allegations are reported to the Code Enforcement Officer who then initiates an investigation that includes records research and a site visit conducted by a county inspector. Evidence gathered during the investigation is then considered by the Code Enforcement Team for determination of the violation.
The county follows a “tiered” categorization system for determining the “degree” of the violation. Violation “degrees” are based on life-safety issues. Once a violation has been determined a notice of violation is sent to the property owner from the Building Director and/or the Community Development Director. The violation is addressed with the property owner based on the “degree” of the violation.
Property owners usually respond by working with county staff toward the goal of bringing their property into compliance with the county’s codes. In the event that efforts on the part of the property owner do not result in achieving compliance or the property owner does not cooperate with the county, the violation case is then turned over to the County Attorney’s Office for legal action. Such legal action may include but is not limited to, the recording of a notice of violation for the property in the Clerk & Recorder’s Office, the filing of a lawsuit seeking the removal of the violation from the property and fines up to $100 per day, and possible criminal action that may result in penalties of fines and/or in incarceration as provided for by State Law.