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The City of Collinsville uses code enforcement to seek correction of public nuisances as defined by City Ordinances and State Statutes. A public nuisance is generally defined as a condition that affects the community's health, safety, and welfare. Some of the most common public nuisances are high grass, trash accumulations, and unsecured or dilapidated buildings.
A private nuisance, which is not enforceable by the city, generally only affects adjoining properties such as improperly installed fences or trees that overhang a neighbor's house. The City of Collinsville does not enforce neighborhood Covenants and Homeowner's Associations (HOA).
In Collinsville, code enforcement has civil and criminal tools available to seek correction of public nuisances. Through ordinances and statutes, the City can enter onto private property to abate public nuisances. All costs for doing such work can be assessed as a lien against the property. Inspectors can also issue criminal citations through the Municipal Court.
Each day a violation continues to exist represents a separate offense. Currently, the City uses both a citizen complaint process and observations by personnel in the field to initiate code enforcement cases. In most cases, public nuisance issues are resolved informally by verbal contact or informal letter.
The City of Collinsville has a separate ordinance that makes it unlawful to keep an inoperable vehicle in open view upon private or public property. Generally, inspectors look for vehicles on private property that have significant components missing or damaged such as body parts, engines, or tires and wheels. A currently unlicensed vehicle can be considered inoperable by city ordinance. However, as a general rule, there need to be other indications of inoperability, before actions would be taken upon private property.
Parking such vehicles on the street is cause in itself for action. The street does not serve as a parking lot for vehicles that are physically or legally incapable of being operated. If a vehicle remains inoperable upon public or private property for more than 10 days, it may be subject to towing and impoundment. Vehicle owners or property owners could also be subject to criminal citations.
The City’s Zoning Code provides regulations on what activities can occur in residential, commercial or industrial areas. Enforcement is generally done through a letter, verbal contact, criminal citation or a civil action in District Court. Some of the most common violations include businesses operating in a residential area, construction of buildings or carports.