Hurricane Irma ravaged our community and many others across the state, leaving Floridians struggling with basic needs like food, water and shelter. Staff from Code Enforcement and Building Inspection spent the hours and days immediately following the storm assessing damage throughout the City, identifying and categorizing damage at approximately 3,000 properties. As we continue to restore and recover from Irma, please be assured that Code Enforcement will NOT be citing code violations caused by this terrible natural disaster, nor will they schedule hearings or take additional action against violations cited in the weeks preceding the storm. That of course will not be the case forever, but right now the entire City of Lakeland workforce is focused and committed on repairing, restoring and rebuilding our GREAT CITY!!! Should you have any questions, please contact Code Enforcement at 863.834.6251. Thank you.
Many business were adversely impacted by Hurricane Irma, including damage to or loss of their ground signage. To mitigate that impact, the City of Lakeland is temporarily extending the same temporary sign provisions currently in place for grand opening signs to those businesses that lost ground signage as a result of the storm. In short, a single, unlighted ground sign constructed of rigid materials, not larger than 32 square feet or 8 feet in height, may be installed on the business premises (not in the public right-of-way) until the damaged ground sign is repaired or replaced, or until January 1, 2018, whichever occurs sooner. No permit is required for this temporary signage.
The Code Enforcement Board meeting scheduled for Tuesday, September 26, 2017 has been canceled as a result of Hurricane Irma. All cases previously scheduled for the September 26th hearing will be rescheduled for Tuesday, October 24, 2017. The rescheduled hearing will take place at 1:30 p.m. in the City Commission Chambers at Lakeland City Hall, 228 South Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland, Florida 33801.
The Code Enforcement Board Hearing Officer proceeding scheduled for Friday, September 8, 2017 has been canceled in anticipation of Hurricane Irma. All cases previously scheduled for the September 8th hearing will be rescheduled for Friday, October 6, 2017. The rescheduled hearing will take place at 9:00 a.m. in the City Commission Chambers at Lakeland City Hall, 228 South Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland, Florida 33801.
Code Enforcement is vitally important to the safety and appearance of neighborhoods, ensuring compliance with the City's codes and ordinances relating to housing, overgrowth, open storage/care of premises, zoning, disabled/abandoned vehicles, minimum maintenance standards for commercial structures, signage, and newsracks.
When violations are cited, violators are notified and provided a reasonable time to correct the violation. Violations that are not brought into compliance are scheduled for an administrative hearing before the City's Code Enforcement Board Hearing Officer or full Code Enforcement Board, where formal findings are issued and fines imposed for continued non-compliance. Code Enforcement also manages a lots cleaning and clearing program whereby unresolved violations are abated by a contractor, with the cost passed on to the property owner via special assessment.
The City uses both a Code Enforcement Board Hearing Officer (Special Magistrate) and a 7-member Code Enforcement Board to consider continued and repeat violations of the City's codes and ordinances. In a typical case, the Hearing Officer makes as finding as to whether a violation exists, and issues an order requiring the violation to be corrected a certain date, after which a fine may be imposed. Cases that remain in violation beyond the date ordered by the Hearing Officer are scheduled for the Code Enforcement Board, where the Hearing Officer's previous order is confirmed, i.e. fine imposed, or additional time is granted for respondents with unusual hardships. The Code Enforcement Board also considers requests for reconsideration of previously issued orders and fines imposed. While the Code Enforcement Office initiates the vast majority of cases before the Hearing Officer and Code Enforcement Board, the Building Inspection, Lakes and Stormwater, and Fire Inspection Divisions also bring cases as needed.