Violation Process

  • How do I report a violation?
    • You can call the City Attorney’s Office or the Community Development Department and we will get you connected with Code Enforcement or you can leave a message for the Code Enforcement Officer.
    • You can also fill out the online Community Policing form located on the Code Enforcement page.
  • What do I need to do if I receive a Notice of Violation?
    • Generally, you will need to fix the violation within the time given in the notice. This will be a minimum of fourteen days but can be a longer, reasonable period of time depending on the nature of the violation.
  • Why is it taking so long for a violation to get fixed?
    • The City tries to work with violators to get voluntary compliance before resorting to filing criminal charges or seeking a court order. As long as the violator is making consistent progress in fixing the issue, the City will typically grant extensions of time.
  • What happens if a violation does not get fixed before the deadline?
    • The City can take the necessary steps to fix the violation itself; however, depending on the nature of the violation, the City may need to start a criminal process first or petition the court for an order authorizing the City to take action.

Junk, Garbage, and Trash

  • Can I store junk (scrap metal, recycled materials, parts, or old vehicles or equipment) on my property?
    • Yes and no. It’s illegal to collect any amount of scrap iron or metal, glass, cardboard, scrap lumber or wood, mattresses, furniture, old appliances, parts, and nonoperating or unlicensed vehicles on property within the city limits; however, the City Attorney's Office has discretion to decide whether a violation exists and small amounts of these items may not be considered a code violation depending on the number and type of items, how and where they are stored, and their planned use.
  • What about garbage or trash? Can I store it until I can take it to the dump?
    • No. It's illegal to allow refuse to pile up on your property. Refuse includes garbage, trash, and household waste; tree, grass, and plant trimmings; and wood, stone, brick, and other construction debris.
  • What if I keep the scrap or garbage in my fenced in back yard, in the bed of a pickup, or inside a shop?
    • Except for nonoperating or unlicensed vehicles, it doesn’t matter where the items or materials are stored. It’s illegal to collect and store junk or refuse on your property, regardless of whether it's behind a fence, in the bed of a pickup, or inside a building.
    • Nonoperating or unlicensed vehicles must be kept within an enclosed building.
  • What if I’m in the process of repairing or restoring the appliances, equipment, or vehicles?
    • The purpose for collecting and storing the items doesn’t matter.
  • What if I have a permit from the State of Washington to operate a salvage/junk yard?
    • A state permit may make it legal to operate that sort of business within the state, but it's still illegal under the laws of the City to allow scrap/junk to collect on property within the city limits.


  • There are so many parking rules. How do I know where I can and can't park on the street?
    • Generally, no parking signs, curb paint, or parking restriction signs (i.e., number of hours or time limits) will be placed along the street to show where or when vehicles cannot be parked.
    • It’s also illegal to park close to driveway entrances, alleys, street intersections, crosswalks, and fire hydrants. These spaces may or may not be marked no parking.
  • Can I park on my front lawn?
    • No. It’s illegal to park on any lawns whether in the front, side, or back of your house. Vehicles can only be parked upon hard surfaced driveways or parking areas.
  • Can I park on the sidewalk or in the space between the sidewalk and the street?
    • No. Vehicles can only be parked on hard surfaced areas on your property or along the curb in the street. It is illegal to park on the sidewalk or in the planting strip between the sidewalk and the street.
  • What if there is no planting strip and the area between my building and the curb is completely paved? Can I park there as long as there is enough space for people to walk around my vehicle?
    • No. That whole area is considered a sidewalk and it's illegal to park on the sidewalk or to park a vehicle in such a way that it overhangs onto the sidewalk.
  • Can I park my trailer on the street in front of my house or business?
    • No trailers of any kind can be stored on the street in any part of the City.
    • In residential neighborhoods, trailers can be temporarily parked on the street for up to twenty-four hours.
    • In commercial or industrial areas, there is no limit on how long trailers can be temporarily parked as long as the trailer is being used for a purpose (i.e., being loaded/unloaded, used as part of ongoing construction activities, etc.).
  • Can I park an RV in front of my house or business?
    • No vehicles of any type, which includes RVs, may park on the street within a residential neighborhood for more than 120 consecutive hours.
    • There are no time limits for on-street parking in commercial or industrial areas.


  • Does the city have quiet hours?
    • Yes. Quiet hours are between 10:00 pm and 8:00 am. It is illegal to yell, shout, or cause or allow a disturbance during this time.
  • What about constant noise issues outside of these hours?
    • Regardless of the time, it is illegal to create a public disturbance, which is defined as a frequent, repetitive, or continuous sound that disturbs or interferes with the peace and comfort of others. This includes loud music, party/crowd noise, barking dogs, horns, or loud engine noise.
  • Who should I contact with noise complaints?
    • Please call the Police Department non-emergency phone number: 360-330-7680.

Grass & Weeds

  • Is there a limit to how tall my lawn can be?
    • Yes. It is illegal for grass and weeds to be taller than twelve inches.
  • Does the height limit apply to my front yard, back yard, or both?
    • The height limit applies to all lawns on your property and the grass on the planting strip between the street and sidewalk.
  • What if the grass and weeds are dried out or dead?
    • Dead grass and weeds are a fire hazard and must be cut short or removed. There is no height limit for dead grass and weeds.
  • Am I responsible for cutting the grass next to the street even though it's city property?
    • Yes. Property owners are responsible for maintaining the sidewalk and planting strip adjacent to their property. This includes mowing grass, trimming trees, and keeping the sidewalk clear of vegetation and in good condition.


  • Can I have a fire pit in my backyard?
    • Recreational fires in a proper enclosure are allowed unless the City is under burn restrictions or a burn ban. There are also limits on how big a fire pit can be and what materials can be burned.
  • Can I dispose of trash by burning it in a fire pit or burn barrel?
    • No. It is illegal to dispose of trash within city limits by burning it.
  • What's the difference between burn restrictions and a burn ban?
    • Burn restrictions are typically for a short amount of time and the Fire Authority will announce the specific restrictions that are in place. Burn bans last for a longer period of time and prohibit all fires, regardless of type.


  • Are chickens and roosters allowed within city limits?
    • All residential properties can have up to a total of five female chickens or ducks, as long as the animals are provided with a large fenced in area to roam around in and a suitable coop that protects them from weather.
    • Roosters, geese, and all other fowl or birds are prohibited.
  • Is there a limit on the number of dogs or cats I can have?
    • It is illegal to own five or more dogs unless you operate a licensed kennel.
    • There are no restrictions on the number of cats you can have.
  • Do my animals have to be licensed?
    • All dogs older than two months of age must be licensed with the City.
    • Cat licenses are not required, but we recommend licensing cats in case of emergencies.
    • No other allowed animals are required to be licensed.


  • When can I set off fireworks?
    • Fireworks can only be used on the Fourth of July between the hours of noon and midnight and on New Years Eve/Day between 6:00 pm and 1:00 am.
  • Do I need a permit to sell fireworks?
    • Yes. It is illegal to sell fireworks without obtaining a license from the City.

Sidewalks & Street Rights-of-way

  • Can I store or advertise things on the sidewalk next to my business or house?
    • Generally, no. Sidewalks must remain clear of any obstructions. In certain areas of town, where the sidewalk is wider than four feet, goods can be displayed or advertised for sale if you receive a permit from the City.
  • What about placing items in the space between the sidewalk and street?
    • This area is part of the street right-of-way and is city property. It’s illegal to store any items, including vehicles, on the sidewalk or in the planting strip next to the street.


  • Do I need a permit to put a sign up?
    • Almost all signs require a permit before they can be placed. There are a few exceptions for government signs, political signs, real estate signs, and other small and temporary signs. Please contact the Community Development Department to find out if you need a permit.
  • What parts of signs does the City regulate?
    • The City regulates the physical characteristics of signs and their placement on property. This includes size, height, brightness, location, type, and the structure the sign is connected to.
    • The City does not regulate content of signs.
  • Can signs be placed on the sidewalk or along the street?
    • No. Signs can only be placed on your property, not on the sidewalk, in the street, or in the planting strip.
  • Can I put up a sign advertising someone else’s business?
    • No. Any sign that advertises a business, goods, services, or events that are at a different place from where the sign is located are prohibited. This includes billboards.