Farmington, Minnesota

Photo by Jason Jensen

Code Enforcement / FAQ's

We all like to keep our neighborhoods looking nice. That can mean different things to different people. Therefore, the city of Farmington has codes (or rules) to regulate certain things such as parking, storage of refuse, unlicensed and inoperable vehicles, and general property maintenance. Watch this short video about Farmington's codes and ordinances.


 

In the past, these situations were enforced on a complaint only basis. That will continue, but in addition, the city has increased code enforcement. If a violation is found, the property owner will receive a letter and have ten days to resolve the issue. When the property is re-inspected, if the violation has not been resolved, a second notice will be sent along with a cost recovery fee. A re-inspection will occur every ten days and the fee will continue to accumulate until the violation is remedied. If the fee is not paid, it will be assessed on the property taxes.

It is up to each individual property owner to maintain their property according to code. Take a look around your property and if any of these code violations are occurring, please remedy them to avoid receiving a notice. The city appreciates everyone’s cooperation. To review the complete City Code click on the link below:

For more information about these codes and the code enforcement process, please call the Planning Department at 651-280-6822 or email. Here are some general rules to follow regarding our most frequently reported code complaints, click on each title for details:

Recreational Vehicle Parking

Recreational vehicles parked on residential property shall be registered to the owner or lessee of the property and display a current license and may be parked or stored on the lot as follows:

  1. In the front yard, provided they are kept on a hard surfaced driveway. Recreational vehicles may not be parked in front of the principal building on a residential lot. Recreational vehicles may not be parked or stored on public property.

  2. In the side or rear yard, recreational vehicles shall be parked or stored on asphalt, concrete, or decorative landscape rock.

    (a) All hard surfaced parking areas in the side or rear yard shall maintain a five foot (5') setback from the side or rear lot lines.

    (b) All decorative landscape rock parking areas may be located in the side or rear yards abutting the property line. The decorative rock parking areas shall be installed to a depth of four inches (4") and lined with a commercial grade weed preventative mesh under the rock to impede the growth of weeds. No class V(5) rock or gravel is allowed. Edging shall be installed to prevent the rock from spreading from the designated parking area. The designated parking area may not impede the drainage within the side or rear yard utility easements or inhibit access to the easements.

Vehicle Parking

All vehicles shall be parked on a hard surface driveway or parking apron.  All parking areas shall maintain a five foot (5’) setback from side and rear lot lines.

Unlicensed / Inoperable Vehicle

No person in charge or control of any property within the city, whether as owner, tenant, occupant, lessee or otherwise, shall allow any unlicensed vehicle, or any partially dismantled, non-operating, junked or discarded vehicle to remain on such property longer than seventy two (72) hours; and no person shall leave any such vehicle on any property within the city for a longer time than seventy two (72) hours; except that this Section shall not apply with regard to a vehicle in an enclosed building, a vehicle on the premises of a business enterprise operated in a lawful place and manner, when necessary to the operating of such business enterprise, or a vehicle in an appropriate storage place or depository maintained in a lawful place and manner by the city.

Refuse or Debris

No person shall place any refuse in any street, alley or other public place, or upon any private property whether owned by such person or not, within the city except it be in a proper container for collection or under express approval granted by the city. Any unauthorized accumulation of refuse on any premises is hereby declared to be a nuisance and is prohibited.

Signs

Prohibited signs include, but are not limited to:

Snipe Signs: There shall be no use of snipe signs anywhere within the city.

Miscellaneous Signs: Such signs shall not be painted, attached or in any manner affixed to trees, rocks or similar natural surfaces, nor shall such signs be affixed to a fence or utility pole.

Public Rights Of Way: No sign shall be upon or overhang any public right of way.

Obsolete Signs: Signs which advertise an activity, business, product or service that has not been produced or conducted on the premises for more than thirty (30) days and are considered obsolete.

Fences

Do I need a permit for a fence?
If the fence is four 4 feet in height or less a permit is not required. A variance is required for fences over 6 feet  and up to 8 feet in height when constructed within the buildable areas of lots in residential districts. A site plan or legal survey with the location of the proposed fence shall be submitted to the building inspection division for approval for all fences over 4 feet in height. An application for a building permit is required for all fences exceeding 6 feet in height.

How high can my fence be?
Residential Fence Heights: In residential districts 4 foot  fences may be located on any lot line except that fences on interior lots may be 6 feet in height on the side and rear lot lines beginning at the nearest front corner of the principal building.

Corner Lots: Fences up to 6 feet in height may be constructed on the side and rear lot lines behind the nearest front corner of the principal building subject to the following:
1. The front corner of the principal building is defined as beginning at the widest point of the structure's front street facing foundation as determined by its street address.
2. No fence over 4 feet in height shall be located within the triangle of visibility which is that area within a triangle created by measuring from a point on the curb or edge of the street closest to the center of the intersection, down the front curb lines or edge of the intersecting streets 30 feet, and then connecting these end points with a straight line.
3. When a fence is adjacent to a driveway of a neighboring lot, a 5 foot triangle of visibility or a 5 foot  setback along the street side shall be provided at the intersecting lot lines.

Varying Setbacks: Should the fence be located between principal buildings with varying setbacks on adjacent lots, a fence up to 6 feet in height may not extend beyond the average setback of the two buildings.

Commercial and Industrial Districts: Fences located within commercial and industrial districts may be located on any lot line up to a height of 8 feet except in the required front yard.
How do I find my lot line?
If you have your property survey, the lot lines are shown on there. There should be metal pins deep in the ground at the corners of the lot. You can also contact a surveyor to have your property surveyed.
What materials can I use?
Fences in all districts, except agricultural, shall be constructed of materials widely accepted in the fencing industry. No plywood boards, canvas, plastic sheeting, metal sheeting or similar material shall be used for any fence construction. All fences shall be maintained in good condition and vertical position, and any missing or deteriorated wood slats, pickets, other fencing material, or structural elements shall be replaced in a timely manner with the same quality of material and workmanship.

Construction Trailer Parking

Construction trailers shall be parked on a hard surface driveway or parking apron.  All parking areas shall maintain a 5 foot setback from side and rear lot lines.

Winter Parking Restrictions

Winter parking restrictions begin on November 1 and end on April 15 of each year. No person shall park a vehicle or permit it to stand upon any street, highway, alley, or public parking area within corporate city limits for a period of time exceeding 72 consecutive hours. In addition, no person shall park a vehicle or permit it to stand upon any street, highway, alley, or public parking area between the hours of 2:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. or after a two inch or greater snowfall until the streets are plowed curb to curb except as authorized.

Sidewalk Snow Removal

Removal of snow and ice from sidewalks and trails in the city is the responsibility of the abutting property owners or occupants.

(A) Accumulation Prohibited: It shall be unlawful for any owner or occupant of any building, in front of which or adjacent to where a sidewalk has been constructed for the use of the public, to allow any accumulation of ice or snow to remain upon the sidewalk longer than 12 hours after ice or snow have ceased to fall.

(B) Public Streets: It shall be unlawful for any person to deposit snow from private property upon any public street within the city.

(C) Enforcement: In the event an owner or occupant fails to comply with the provisions of this section, the city may, at its option, remove the ice or snow. All costs of removal shall be billed to the owner of the premises, and is immediately due and payable to the city.

(D) Penalty: The fact that an owner of premises reimburses the city for ice or snow which has been removed shall not preclude the city from issuing a complaint for violation of this section.

(E) Delinquency: Unpaid bills more than 30 days past due shall be considered in default and will be assessed a penalty by resolution of the city council. The city council may levy an assessment equal to such unpaid cost plus penalty against each lot or parcel of land from which the snow has been removed pursuant to the provisions of Minnesota Statutes.