Generally, the enforcement of codes occurs on both a reactive (complaint from a community source) and a proactive (initiated by the inspector) basis. When a complaint is received, it is investigated; any other violations observed are also addressed. Additionally, any violations noted on neighboring properties are also addressed with the appropriate person. These include zoning ordinance, building code, and nuisance code violations. Our goal is to encourage both owners and tenants to voluntarily eliminate any violations that may exist so that Spearfish remains a city in which we can be proud to live.
When a code violation is reported, we open an incident and work towards resolving the issue through a process of education, inspection, and notices. Continued violations are followed by progressive enforcement.
Each code has its own set of enforcement procedures; however, the process generally follows this sequence:
- Abate (violation removed/corrected by a contractor hired by the city)
- Complaint received from citizen or observed by city employee
- Criminal prosecution filed if not corrected ($500 fine per offense, each day in violation is a separate offense)
- If violation is corrected, case is closed
- Inspection conducted to verify if violation exists
- Lien is filed with the county against the property
- Notification is given to property owner or tenant allowing time for correction (see methods of notification)
- Process turned over to city attorney for prosecution if not corrected
- Re-inspection is conducted after date to correct has passed