Code Compliance works closely with residents and business owners to ensure that property within the City is properly maintained, and that it does not detract from the aesthetics of the neighborhoods or commercial districts. Since safety within the City is paramount, the Codes Officer works closely with numerous Universal City Departments to ensure that each structure and property meets minimum safety requirements. The desired result is to provide a safe environment and inspire pride in the community.Addressing code compliance and property maintenance issues with the public requires tact and diplomacy. Citizens or business owners are notified of the violation through courtesy phone calls, face-to-face conversations, letters to property owners, and code enforcement door hangers. Fortunately, most citizens are appreciative of the gentle reminder or notification process and take corrective action in the time allotted. However, in some cases, a firm written warning is necessary. It is important for the public to know that State laws provide that a property owner, once notified, has 10 days to correct an issue. Therefore, patience is required. If repeated written warnings are issued with little or no effort by the property owner, a court citation is issued.
The code issues that the City deals with are not unlike most communities--alleyways, easements, garbage/ debris issues, No Permit violations, overhanging trees, high weeds/grass, junk vehicles and parking on front lawns. Trees, shrubs, and high weeds and grass are predominant issues, making up fifty percent of the code cases.
Concerns or questions regarding Code Compliance can be directed to a Codes Officer by calling 210-619-0725 or using the FixIt form on the City's website.
Below are a few pointers that concerned citizens should consider when reporting a code violation:
- Please be advised that while each concern submitted is investigated, it does not mean that a violation exists. In particular, an adage of Code Compliance is that "we don't ticket ugly." Simply put, just because something looks unsightly, it does not always equate to a violation of the adopted Code of Ordinances.
- Code Officers cannot enter on to private property to conduct an investigation. They can only address what is seen from the public right-of-way such as a street or alley. The Code Officer cannot enter into your back yard to see what is in your neighbor's yard. This is a violation of privacy laws.
- Code Officers and Development staff cannot intervene in matters between two private property owners (civil matters). Issues that fall into civil matters included, but are not limited to, trees over hanging into someone's yard or roof, leaves blowing into your yard, fences leaning into your property, landscaping issues, and where property lines are located for each respective lot.
If you are unsure if a violation exists, do not hesitate to contract the staff and we will assist you in making the determination.