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Building Department

Contact the Building Department   Phone: 989-837-3383  Email: jwegner@midland-mi.org

Code Enforcement

Maintaining a high quality standard of living in a city requires the cooperation of all residents and property owners. Good property maintenance leads to pride in one’s neighborhood and can instill community pride and spirit throughout the city. Well-maintained neighborhoods also maximize property and resale values while poorly maintained properties lead to lower values.

A helpful guide to to some common questions about our community and ways to maintain its beauty, safety, and integrity is the City's Neighborhood Preservation, Maintenance and Safety brochure. This easy-to-read brochure details who to call about topics such as refuse collection, barking dogs, tall grass and weeds, and off-street parking regulations, to name a few.

While it is hoped that everyone will properly maintain their properties, there may be instances when this does not occur. It sometimes becomes necessary to create ordinances that require the upkeep of property and the regulation of activities that are harmful to the public in general. As such, the Building Department enforces portions of the City Code of Ordinances and the City Zoning Ordinance.

Common Code Violations

Abandoned Vehicles: Inspectors ensure that abandoned vehicles do not accumulate in the city. All vehicles parked outdoors or in open carports must be operable and have a current plate. Tires must be inflated. Car parts and tires must not be stored outdoors.

Illegal Vehicle Parking: Vehicles and trailers in residential neighborhoods may not be parked on unimproved surfaces in front or side yard setback areas or next to the home. Vehicles may not drive across the lawn on a continual basis, thereby creating an unimproved driveway. Approved surfaces include concrete, brick, or asphalt. Existing gravel driveways are allowed and may be maintained, but no new gravel parking areas may be constructed. Recreational vehicles and stored vehicles may be parked on the lawn behind the home if they are operable and have current plates. Click here for a downloadable Parking Diagram.

Trash, Litter, Debris: Inspectors will notify property owners if there is an accumulation of trash, garbage, indoor furniture, boxes/barrels, unused building materials, leaf and brush piles, etc. Any trash/garbage stored outdoors (except at the curb for pick-up by the City) must be in trash cans with covers, not in garbage bags, boxes, or lying loose.

Property Maintenance: Inspectors ensure that all structures are well maintained, including business structures, houses, garages, sheds, fences, etc. Buildings must be completely painted or be covered with other protective treatment (vinyl or aluminum siding, shingles, stain, etc.).

Home Occupations: There are limitations on businesses operated from an occupied home. See the City Zoning Ordinance for details on Home Occupations.

Signs: Inspectors will remove signs placed in the outlawn (the area between the sidewalk and street or roughly 12 to 15 feet behind the curb). Exceptions exist for legally-placed garage sale signs.  Click here to view requirements for Proper Yard/Rummage Sale Sign Placement.

Repeated violations or failure to remove garage sale signs may result in the issuance of citations to the violators. Signs may never be attached to utility poles, trees or traffic sign posts without approval.

Contractor, real estate, election, advertising, charity, or special event signs must be located behind the property lines unless special approval is obtained.

One-Ton and Business Vehicles in Residential Zones: No commercial vehicle or trailer with a rated capacity of over 1 ton may be parked or stored on a residential lot. Exceptions would include contractor vehicles for construction and repair projects or vehicles making a delivery. 

Clear-vision Zones: For properties located on street corners, a clear vision zone extending twenty (20) feet from the corner in both directions must be maintained so that traffic visibility is not impaired. All fences and vegetation may not be more than 30 inches above the top of the curb. Trees in this area must be kept trimmed so they do not impede visibility.

Enforcement

Property owners are informed in writing when a violation is noted and a specific amount of time is provided to correct the violation. If not corrected within this time period, the case will be forwarded to the City Attorney for further action if it is a violation of the City Code of Ordinances. If it is a violation of the City Zoning Ordinance, a citation may be issued. The initial citation will be for $50; the second, for $250; and for the third and more, $500. In the case of rental properties, both the property owner and the occupants are sent a copy of the violation; however, the property owner is responsible for making sure that corrections are made, and they will be responsible for any possible citations or court-ordered fines. Anyone who receives a violation notice is encouraged to contact one of the inspectors listed below. Inspectors are willing to work with the property owners to obtain compliance within a reasonable amount of time.

Complaints: Anyone who has a complaint or concern about a possible zoning violation is encouraged to contact one of the code enforcement inspectors. All names will be kept confidential.

Code Enforcement Inspectors: