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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I file a complaint?

If you wish to report a violation to Code Compliance please use one of the following options:

  • Call 253-931-3020, and select Option 4
  • Take a photograph of the property of concern and email it to Code Enforcement along with an address
  • Fill out the Code Enforcement Complaint Form and click the 'SUBMIT' button at the bottom of the page to email the completed form to Code Enforcement
  • Download the YourGOV app for Apple or Android devices and submit a request

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Is my report anonymous?

It is important that you provide your contact information when you file a complaint.  This allows our officers to contact you should we have additional questions, if we need to access your property to view a violation, if we need more information from you, and to provide feedback on the situation.  In most instances your contact information will remain anonymous, however, the City cannot make guarantees because there are very few documents that are exempt from the Freedom of Information Act. 

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What can I expect once I file a complaint?

Once a complaint has been received, our officers will begin to investigate the concerns.  This may include a review of previous violations, a phone call to the property owner, a site visit or a combination of approaches.  If it is determined that a violation exists, our staff will work with the property owner to address the areas needing correction.  Depending upon the property owner we are working with, you may see results immediately or it may take a while to correct. Whenever we approach a property owner for the first time we always offer an opportunity for them to voluntarily comply without incurring penalties and fines. This is because the City is more interested in achieving compliance than penalizing property owners and collecting fines. This is effective for most violations, however, there are times where a property owner doesn't take advantage of this opportunity.

In those less common circumstances Code Enforcement begins a formal process of establishing mandated timelines for compliance where fines and penalties incur when progress is not made. Unfortunately, even though the City may be taking these actions the violation may still be present which may make you feel as though nothing is happening.  All property owners are protected under constitutional rights which means that enforcement procedures provide everyone with due process but process can take time before results are achieved. You are always welcome to follow up with our office should you have questions, would like to inquire about the status of a case, or if you have additional concerns.

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What if I receive a violation notice?

Our goal is to work collaboratively with our residents and business owners to gain voluntary compliance.  This team approach benefits everyone.  We understand life happens, and situations can slip out of our control.  Once you receive a violation, City codes allow for reasonable time lines to correct the issues identified. This can range from 1-15 days depending on the nature of the violation and as determined by the Code Compliance Officer.   It is important that you maintain open lines of communication, and continue to make noticeable improvement on the areas needing correction.   Know that failure to comply with City code will result in enforcement action which may include issuing penalties and infractions in order to achieve compliance.
See Auburn City Code 1.25links to external site Civil Penalties for Violations.

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What can be done about graffiti?

The City feels very strongly about the presence of graffiti and the negative effects it can have on our community.  The key to reducing the impact of graffiti on our community is to:

  • Identify it early 
  • Report it immediately    
  • Promptly remove it (within 24-48 hours)

Residents are encouraged to report graffiti if it is identified throughout the city. If you witness graffiti in progress, call 9-1-1. Otherwise you may use one of the following options to report:

For tips on graffiti prevention you may visit Graffiti Hurtslinks to external site 

Your Code Compliance Officers are working hard to keep our community graffiti free.  We strive to work with property owners who are victims of the crime of graffiti. It is a violation of City code to not comply with a notice to remove graffiti.  If you are the victim of graffiti and receive a graffiti notification, we ask that you cooperate and correct the violation immediately. 
See Auburn City Code 8.13links to external site on Graffiti.

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How many pets are allowed per City code?

The maximum number of dogs and cats allowed at a residence is four dogs or four cats or any combination of dogs and cats for a total of four animals.  A pet license IS required per animal. You may go to Pet Licenses & Animal Services and apply online.
See Auburn City Code 18.31.220links to external site on Permitted animals.

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Is it legal to raise chickens in the City limits?

In most areas of the City, chickens or domestic fowl ARE permitted.  If you are looking to obtain domestic fowl be sure to check local zoning ordinances and minimum lot size requirements.  Roosters are not permitted anywhere within the City of Auburn.  Additionally, any structures that house domestic fowl must meet all setback requirements.
See Auburn City Code 18.31.220links to external site on Permitted animals.

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Who do I contact about a vehicle illegally parked on the street?

You may report this to Parking enforcement by calling the non-emergency dispatch line at 253-288-2121.

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My neighbor appears to operating a business out of their home.

Any person who engages in business activities must have a valid license issued by the City of Auburn.  Please contact Code Compliance at 253-931-3020 ext. 4 and we will investigate your concern.

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Do I have to tolerate the garbage and weeds at my neighbor’s home?

Excessive vegetation growth, garbage, litter, inoperable vehicles, junk and other debris on a property is considered a "public nuisance" and a violation of City code. Code Compliance Officers work hard to address public nuisances as these conditions affect public health and safety, and have a negative impact on property values. If you believe a property has become a public nuisance, please call Code Compliance at 253-931-3020, and select Option 4.
See Auburn City Code Title 8links to external site on Health and Safety.

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What do I do about my neighbor's blackberry bushes?

A neighboring property with invasive vegetation such vines, blackberry bushes, or noxious weeds that are encroaching on your property is generally a civil issue between you and your neighbor. The first thing to try is talking with your neighbor about the situation.  They may not be aware of the issue, and might be happy to address the problem.  In the event your neighbor does not respond favorably to your request, check with your homeowner’s association to see if they have rules to address this issue.  Lastly, you may contact the Code Compliance Unit at 253-931-3020 ext. 4.See Auburn City Code 8.20links to external site on Vegetation.

If the vegetation is on the public right of way, you may submit your concern via Online Citizen Reporting

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I am concerned about an abandoned home in my neighborhood.  Who should I call?

Abandoned properties can create a multitude of code violations.  Code Compliance Officers work hard to minimize the impact these properties have on the community. Many of these homes now belong to mortgage holders who are out of state and can be slow to respond to our requests and inquiries.

If you are observing suspicious activity or someone illegally entering an abandoned home, be sure to report that to 9-1-1.  Be prepared to provide an address and description of the person(s) involved.

For more information on a specific property, or to report an abandoned property in your neighborhood, please contact the City of Auburn Permit Center at 253-931-3090 or by sending an email to Permit Center.

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How can I verify if a business has the appropriate permits?

To check the status of a permit or application, please contact the Permit Center 253-931-3020.

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Who do I contact if I live in unincorporated King or Pierce County?

King County Code Enforcementlinks to external site
Pierce County Code Enforcementlinks to external site

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How can I view all Auburn City Codes?

Please visit Auburn City Codelinks to external site

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