Northampton County, Virginia

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Code Compliance Department

Mission Statement

The Code Compliance department’s goal is to provide for the safety, health and welfare of the citizens of Northampton County through effective enforcement of Northampton County ordinances.

History

Beginning with fiscal year 2005, the budget for this function has been separated from the Planning and Zoning Department.  The Code Compliance department enforces county ordinances pertaining to solid waste, over grown grass, unlicensed vehicles, dangerous structures, and abandoned or inoperable vehicles.  These ordinances were adopted by the Northampton County Board of Supervisors prior to the creation of the Code Compliance department and the lack of enforcement was an issue.   With the inception of the Code Compliance department violations can now be quickly identified and resolved.

The Process

The code enforcement process is typically initiated in several ways:

  • in response to a complaint by an individual;
  • observation of a code violation by County staff as they patrol the community and do their jobs;
  • as a consequence of an action (for example, an application for a building permit or a request for a zoning variance).

How do I notify the County about a possible code violation?

You may file a complaint about a possible code violation in person, in writing, by phone or email. In an average year, the County receives several hundred complaints related to possible code enforcement violations.
Please be prepared with specific information, such as:

  • the address of the property,
  • detailed description of the situation, and
  • the length of time you have observed the situation.

You do not have to identify yourself, but having your name will assist us with follow-up and ensure we have all the information we need to resolve the situation.

Ordinances

The Northampton County  has adopted several county ordinances designed to reduce nuisances associated with the following particular code violations:  Care of Premises, high weeds and grass, litter, trash and debris, junked vehicles, dangerous buildings.  Information about these ordinances can be found below, including links to the ordinances themselves. For specific information about each of these code violations or for information on how to acquire an information brochure, please call 678-5296.

Over Grown Grass
High weeds and grass are considered a violation when growth exceeds 12 inches in height on any property within 100 feet of a structure, in all zones except agricultural. (Chapter 94) (see ordinance)

Solid Waste
Accumulations of litter, trash and debris on private premises, by their presence, vermin-related and public health concerns often coexist.  Such accumulations must be removed by the property owner. (Chapter 50) (see ordinance)

Abandoned Vehicles
An abandoned vehicle is a self-propelled vehicle that is wrecked, dismantled, partially dismantled, or discarded; or remains inoperative for a continuous period of more than 60 days on private property . The vehicle must be removed from the property, restored to running condition and have current plates and inspection sticker, or be stored in an enclosed structure. (Chapter 92) (see ordinance)

Unlicensed Vehicles
Any vehicle in Northampton County that does not display current state license and state inspection decals is in violation of this ordinance.  Failure to comply may result in the issuance of a summons and court appearance. (Chapter 92) (see ordinance)

Dangerous Structures
All buildings or structures must meet the minimum standards of city building codes and ordinances.  Any building or structure that is abandoned, unsecured, dilapidated, has structural damage or has substandard construction is a dangerous building and shall be repaired, demolished or removed. (Chapter 94) (see ordinance)

To report any violation please contact 757-678-5296.

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