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Code Compliance Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I report a possible violation?

There are two available options to report a violation:
Code Compliance Division – You may call the Code Compliance Division directly at
(727) 562-4720, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Be prepared to give the street address and a brief description of the potential violation. Your call may remain anonymous.
Clearwater Connect – You may report violations online through the Clearwater Connect system. Visit myclearwater.com and then click Contact Us located on the sidebar. The Clearwater Connect link will be on the top of the page. From there you will be provided with a report identification number at the time of submission, which allows you to track the progress of your complaint or inquiry. Your inquiry may remain anonymous.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to leave my name and number or email address when I report a possible violation?
No, our office receives and investigates both named and unnamed complaints on a daily basis. A person who makes a complaint may remain anonymous. Please note: In accordance with Florida Sunshine Law, if you do leave your name, phone number or email address, it becomes part of the public record and is available for any citizen to review upon request.

How do I know my complaint was acted upon?
A: If you called in a complaint and do not see any results, please call us again. Our staff will gladly check the computer records and inform you of the status of your report, or put you directly in touch with the assigned code inspector. If you used the online Clearwater Connect system, you may simply log back in to the system and track the complaint at your convenience. Should you still have questions, call us at (727) 562-4720.

What happens if I’m in violation?
First, if there is a suspected violation, the assigned code inspector will take various steps to make sure you are aware of the violation. They may leave their business card or an informational door hanger at your residence or place of business. Second, if we receive no response from you, a notice of violation will be mailed to the property owner and/or occupant giving a specific amount of time to comply. If you need additional time to correct a violation, please take the time to telephone the code inspector. Our goal is to achieve voluntary compliance through education, communication and cooperation. As a rule, Municipal Code Enforcement Board or Pinellas County Court action (to include monetary fines and/or liens against your property) are used only as a last resort.

What is a Notice to Appear citation?
Code inspectors have the option of issuing a Notice to Appear citation in lieu of a Notice of Violation. The Notice to Appear citations are sent directly to Pinellas County Court. You will have the option of a trial or paying the fine indicated on your Notice to Appear citation within the time period noted. Notice to Appear citations are used most frequently for water and other transient/itinerant-type violations and for repeat violators and/or violations.

Is there any type of assistance available?
Our code inspectors will gladly work with you to come into compliance with city codes. However, if you need additional assistance, there are a variety of alternative options and/or agencies available, including the city’s Economic Development and Housing Department. Please call them directly at (727) 562-4220 for information on how they may be able to assist you.

My whole neighborhood has violations. Why are you picking on me?
Our code inspectors are tasked with monitoring their entire zone on a routine basis and may have observed your violation at that time. In addition, they respond to any and all complaints that are brought to our attention. If you feel we have missed a violation in your neighborhood, please feel free to call and ask for an inspector to investigate. In no way is this program designed to be used as a selective enforcement tool or to be biased against any one citizen, group or business entity. Our focus is to be fair, consistent and impartial in our regulatory processes.

How do I use the Citizens Guide to Code Enforcement?
This guide has been compiled to educate the reader about the city’s ordinances as they relate to some of the most commonly violated codes. The goal is to provide a fairly comprehensive list of these codes, while at the same time providing useful and helpful information. The passages or code sections included herein may be slightly modified or abbreviated in order to fit the format of this guide. The complete version of the Clearwater Community Development Code (CDC) and Code of Ordinances (CO) can be found here.

The guide index includes sections for property maintenance codes, public nuisance-type codes and business/commercial type codes. Code issues handled through other city departments are also listed, as well as the contact information for that department.