Code Enforcement

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Common Concerns

My neighbor…


is doing construction work without a permit.

General permit information can be found on the Building Department webpage

 

Detached storage sheds that are less than 120 square feet, shorter than 10 feet at the peak of the roof, and do not have any electrical, plumbing, or mechanical systems, do not require a building permit. However, the detached shed will need to comply with setback limitations and may need a grading permit. Please contact the Planning Department to verify requirements. 

 

Replacing exterior windows and doors, furnaces, installing a wood stove, and demolishing a structure are just a few of the items that require a permit. Common items that do not require permitting include non-structural patios/sidewalks, decks less than 30" above grade, replacement of floor covering, and painting/papering or similar interior/exterior work. 

 

If you commence work requiring a permit before obtaining one, you will be subject to paying four times the normal permit fee.


is moving dirt, or building a berm.

A grading permit is required any time dirt is moved, including landscape berms. There are some exemptions from grading permits including utility excavations, mining activity, cemeteries, agricultural roads, and grading that will not impact adjoining properties. Please contact the Engineering Department before starting work to determine if your project requires a permit or qualifies for an exemption.


does not have a wildlife resistant ("bear proof") trash can.

Eagle County Ordinance 07-001 requires residents and businesses in unincorporated areas to have approved wildlife resistant ("bear proof") trash containers. This ordinance is in the process of being updated. Once approved the link to the new ordinance will be posted. 

 

Wildlife resistant containers must be certified by the Living with Wildlife Foundation as bear resistant. Homemade modifications do not satisfy the ordinance. Locally, compliant cans are available through your trash provider and at the Vail Valley Ace Hardware.

has an illegal apartment (accessory dwelling unit or ADU).

Most residential lots in unincorporated Eagle County are zoned for one dwelling unit. If you have a full second kitchen in your home, and you do not live in a resource zone district or otherwise have county approval, chances are you have an illegal second dwelling, or accessory dwelling unit (ADU).

 

If illegal dwelling units are discovered, code enforcement will require that the second kitchen be removed. In addition, any building work that took place without permits must be inspected and approved through the permitting process.

is accumulating junk or garbage.

Eagle County does not have an ordinance prohibiting the accumulation of junk or rubbish. Code enforcement often works informally with landowners to have properties cleaned up voluntarily, however they are under no obligation to do so. In addition, the operation of a junkyard, landfill, or the presence of a condition that rises to the level of a public health nuisance, may result in formal enforcement action.

is noisy.

The noise standards in the Eagle County Land Use Regulations apply only to industrial and commercial activity. Residential noise issues can be addressed through civil action under state statute and via homeowner associations. The state statute exempts certain entities and activities, including schools, snow plowing, and public safety efforts.

Landlord or Tenant Disputes: 

If this is a tenant/landlord dispute, we are unable to provide assistance in these matters as they are civil in nature.

Complaints:

Submit a complaint online here or you may file a complaint about a possible code violation in person, in writing, by phone 970-328-3554 or email gail.baker@eaglecounty.us. Please provide us with specific information, such as:

  • location of the property and property owner
  • nature of complaint
  • length of time you have observed the situation

We will investigate alleged violations that are reported. Having your name and phone number will assist us with follow-up and ensure that we have all the information we need to resolve the matter. Due to the Colorado Open Records Act, Eagle County may not be able to guarantee anonymity. Open records requests for unincorporated Eagle County can be found here


Code enforcement investigates complaints regarding zoning, building, and environmental issues in unincorporated Eagle County. If your concern is within an incorporated town, follow the appropriate link to Avon, Basalt, Gypsum, Eagle, Minturn, Red Cliff or Vail.


Email smokefree@eaglecounty.us to report violations to Eagle County's Smoking Ordinance in unincorporated areas.

Animal complaints are handled by the Animal Services Department

Code enforcement also works with other outside agencies including:

Army Corps of Engineers: For 404 (discharge to water and wetland) compliance.


Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment: For hazardous materials spill notifications; the Water Quality Control Division as it pertains to StormWater Management Plans required to control erosion from all construction sites that disturbs one or more acres of ground; as well as the Air Pollution Control Division as it relates to open burning, dust, and odors from the various sources within Eagle County.


Colorado Attorney General's Office: For reporting and prosecution of environmental crimes.


Process

The code enforcement process typically begins in response to a complaint of an individual or by observation of a code violation by county staff (e.g. building inspector).


Top priority is given to possible code violations that pose a serious risk to health and life safety. Criminal prosecution or civil injunction are more likely remedies when major and immediate health and safety threats are evident. Examples include raw sewage on the ground, etc. Other cases are pursued in the order in which they are received.


Cooperation in the form of voluntary compliance within a reasonable time period is the preferred course of action. However, official notice of violation, court procedures, as well as civil and criminal remedies are available when the violator is not responsive.


Upon verification of a violation by an authorized building official or code enforcement officer, a request for voluntary compliance is made using any or all of the following methods: in person, by telephone, or in writing via email, first class, or certified mail. If the violation is not voluntarily corrected, a written notice is sent to the alleged violator by certified mail, return receipt requested. The notification states the violation(s) and states that the violator shall correct the violation within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of the notification. If not corrected within ten (10) calendar days, the county attorney may request the sheriff to issue a summons and complaint against the violator pursuant to Colorado law.


If the violation is a life safety issue governed by the International Building Code, the International Mechanical Code, the International Plumbing Code or the National Electrical Code, an authorized building official will immediately be notified and a stop work order will be posted at the job site to stop construction activity instantly. If the complaint involves a safety issue with an existing building, a building official is notified to verify that a violation does exist and the code enforcement process is initiated. 


Fire Code violations fall under the jurisdiction of the applicable fire department or fire district for that area. Eagle County has six (6) fire entities: Vail Fire & Emergency Services, Eagle River Fire Protection District, Rock Creek Volunteer Fire Department, Greater Eagle Fire Protection District, Gypsum Fire Protection District, and Roaring Fork Fire Rescue

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