Georgetown Code Compliance

Common Violations

About the Code Compliance Department

Code Compliance is responsible for monitoring both public and private property, commercial and residential, to ensure that there are no health or safety hazards that might endanger the public and determining compliance with all City codes and ordinances. These code requirements are the minimum standards the City has adopted to protect the interests and eliminate hazards that could affect public safety, health, and general welfare.

The City’s codes and ordinances address a wide variety of areas, including building construction and safety, fire safety, dangerous buildings, nuisance violations, public health, zoning, sign violations, and more. View details about common violations. They can also be found in the City’s Code of Ordinances, as well as the Unified Development Code.

For additional information on violations, or to register a concern or complaint, please contact the Code Compliance Office at (512) 930-3606 or register a complaint online here.

Code Compliance Officers

Team members have many years of experience in Code Compliance.  Each officer is responsible for a geographic area of the City and are responsible for enforcement of all codes and ordinances within that area.
Officers might receive a complaint from a concerned citizen or identify a hazard while patrolling the city. They then take action to ensure that the hazard or violation is removed or corrected. While officers can issue Notices of Violation, their primary goal is to gain voluntary compliance. Note: Officers enforce only minimum City standards and cannot enforce deed restrictions or covenants, as they are a civil agreement between a developer or HOA and a property owner, and must be enforced by the HOA or through a civil court process.


Common Violations

Bandit Signs

(UDC Sec. 10.03.020J)
City Ordinance prohibits the placing of any temporary signs in the public way. The public way includes both city streets, county roads, and state highways. The public way averages approximately 25 feet in width from each curb (or the edge of the paved surface), or may be estimated by the placement of utility poles which are typically within the public way.

City ordinance also prohibits the placing of any signs on any utility pole, street or stop sign, or tree.

Note: Signs for some events may be permitted by the City of Georgetown to be in the right-of-way. For more information on Sign permits and a link to the application, please visit the Signs Permit page.

Garage Sales
(UDC Sec. 10.03.020.D.2)

Garage Sale signs are allowed on the site of a garage sale if they are not larger than four (4) square feet. Off-site signs can not be more than 1,000 feet from the site of the sale.

Signs cannot be placed in the public way or placed on utility poles or sign posts:

Related Documents
Unified Development Code : (multiple .pdf publications)
Sign Permit Application : 32Kb

Display of Address

Code of Ordinances Sec. 15.36.110 and 15.26.120

City Ordinance requires that address numbers be:

    • Displayed on all addressed structures
    • A minimum of 4 inches and not more than 28 inches in height
    • Of a color contrasting with the color of the structure
    • Visible from either direction of the street in all weather conditions, day or night.

Posting your address as required by ordinance is necessary to enable emergency services to locate your home or building quickly and efficiently. Failure to post your address as required is not only a violation of city ordinance, but could also cost precious, life-saving minutes.

Note: Address numbers posted on the mailbox or painted on the curb are NOT sufficient to meet the visibility requirements set by the ordinance.

For more information on the addressing requirements for your particular structure, contact the Code Enforcement Office at (512) 930-3606.

Garage and Yard Sale Signs

Unified Development Code Sec. 10.03.020 D.2
Garage and yard sale signs no larger than four (4) square feet are permitted on the site of a sale and off-site with the permission of the property owner when not more than 1,000 feet from the site of the sale. Garage and yard sales signs may NOT be attached to utility poles, street signs, stop signs, or other traffic control devices. Signs must be placed on private property only and may not be placed in the public right-of-way, generally 10 feet from the curb on a city street and 25 feet from the curb on a state highways.
(Sec. 10.03.020.J, Sec. 10.04 G)

Obstruction of Fire Hydrant, Electrical Boxes, Water Meters, etc. by Landscaping

International Fire Code Sec. 508.5.5, International Business Code, 2000 International Residential Code
Generally, three (3) feet of unobstructed space must surround all fire hydrants, mechanical, electrical and plumbing equipment to allow access for emergency access, repair and maintenance.

Obstruction of the Public Way

Unified Development Code Sec. 12.06.D (1 & 2)
City Ordinance prohibits having tall plants or hedges taller than three (3) feet from the street gutter line or low-hanging tree branches lower than seven (7) feet (measured from the highest point of the street) on a corner lot where it obstructs motorists’ view of on-coming traffic. The sight triangle consists of an area beginning at the intersection of the curbs and going twenty-five (25) feet down each curb line. A line between those two points completes the triangle.

Obstruction of View of Oncoming Traffic

Unified Development Code Sec. 12.06.D (1 & 2)
City Ordinance prohibits having tall plants or hedges taller than three (3) feet from the street gutter line or low-hanging tree branches lower than seven (7) feet (measured from the highest point of the street) on a corner lot where it obstructs motorists’ view of on-coming traffic. The sight triangle consists of an area beginning at the intersection of the curbs and going twenty-five (25) feet down each curb line. A line between those two points completes the triangle.

Open Storage

Code of Ordinances Se. 8.20.020.U & V
It is a violation of City Ordinance to place any item outside for storage in public view, regardless of sheltering or covering, on public or private property. Examples include but are not limited to: furniture, appliances, building materials, tires, oils or paint containers, inoperable lawn equipment, motor vehicle parts and other similar items.

Parking on Unapproved Surfaces

Code of Ordinances Sec. 10.16.085
It is a violation of City Ordinance to park or allow to park a vehicle in the front or side yard of a residential property, except on a driveway or other approved surface.

Parking Vehicles and Trailers in Street

Code of Ordinances Sec. 10.16.080 .A.
It is a violation of city ordinance to park certain vehicles, including commercials vehicles, truck tractors, road tractors, trailer, semi-trailer, pole trailer, utility trailer, house trailer, travel trailer, camper trailer, boat trailer, motor home, bus, or special mobile equipment upon any street or right of way within a residential district or within 300 feet of the property line of a residence located in a residential district.

Parking Vehicles for Sale

Code of Ordinances Sec. 10.16.080.C.1
No vehicle may be parked on public or private property specifically for the purpose of displaying the vehicle for sale,  unless the vehicle is owned by the person who owns, manages, or leases the property, or the location is the authorized location of a commercial auto sales, rental or repair business.

Signs Without Permits

Unified Development Code Sec. 3.18.010
No signs, permanent or temporary, may be put up within the city limits or extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ) of the city without a permit, unless specifically exempted by the code. Exempted signs, such as real estate, window or garage sale signs, will have specific limitations.

To determine if your particular sign will need to be permitted, contact the Inspections Desk at (512) 930-2550. 

Tall Weeds and Grass

Code of Ordinances Sec. 8.20.0100
Weeds or grass are a violations of City Ordinance if they are taller than six (6) inches on a developed lot (with a building on it) or twelve (12) inches on an undeveloped lot. Property owners are required to keep all areas from their property line to the curb free from tall weeds, grass, brush, or objectionable or unsightly vegetation.

Trash and Debris

Code of Ordinances Sec 8.20.080
It is a violation of City Ordinance (8.20.080) to place, deposit, throw, or allow to be placed, deposited, or thrown any garbage, brush, loose waste, or refuse of any kind, on any public or private property outside of any building, unless deposited in accordance with the policies and procedures of Texas Disposal Systems.

For more information on trash disposal options, including bulky waste and brush disposal, call Texas Disposal Systems at (512) 930-1715.

Vehicles – Junked

Code of Ordinances 8.28
A vehicle may be a junked vehicle, and a violation of City Ordinance, if it is on private property and:

    1. does not have a valid inspection or registration sticker on it, or
    2. is wrecked, dismantled or partially dismantled, or discarded, or
    3. is inoperable for more than 30 days


Related Links

Work Done Without Permits

2003 International Building Code Sec. 105.2, 2000 International Residential Code Sec. R105.2 – Amended in Code of Ordinances Sec. 15.03.060

Permits are required for any work done to the plumbing, heating/air conditioning and electrical systems of any business or residence. Additional permits are required for irrigation systems, water heater replacement, roofing or rooffing repair, foundation repair, demolition or partial demolition, fences, accessory structures, hot tubs and swimming pools, sidewalks and driveways, patios and more.

Call the Inspections Desk at (52) 930-2550 to inquire if your work or project will need a permit from the City.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to give my name and other information to register a complaint or concern?

No. Complaints can be made anonymously, and will receive the same attention as complaints accompanied by the complainant’s name and phone number. The only difference in attention is that if we have a name and phone number we are able to contact the complainant back with updates on the status of the case as it develops. If a call is made anonymously, the complainant will have to call us back, but we can still provide an update on the case. Any information given by the complainant, with a few exceptions, is public information and must be released by the City upon request. Complaints may be made to the City by phone to (512) 930-3606, by e-mail to or via internet (Click here to Submit a Complaint).nt

Is there anything that I need to do with the City before I have a garage or yard sale?

No. The City of Georgetown does not currently issue permits for a garage or yard sale. However, according to the Texas State Comptroller, any person holding more than 2 sales a year is considered to be operating a business and is required to pay sales tax on items sold. Therefore, If more than two sales are held, a resident is operating a resale business out of their home and may be in violation of City ordinances regulating home occupations. Also, see Garage and Yard Sale Signs under Common Violations for restrictions on placing signs for your sale.

How do Code Compliance Officers enforce City Ordinances and Codes?

Code Compliance Officers are not Police Officers and cannot issue citations. However, officers can still file complaints with the City’s Municipal Court, which requires a property owner or occupant to appear in court to answer to charges of code violation. Fines up to $2,000 per day may be assessed by the court, depending upon the type and severity of violation. In addition, for certain types of violation, the City may remove the nuisance and charge the property owner for the cost of work, including placing a lien on the property to recover the costs. However, the primary focus of the officers in enforcement is education, and officers will normally work with first-time offenders and allow them time to remove the nuisance themselves.

If it can't be seen, is it a violation?

Many of the codes and ordinances of the City require that a violation be visible from “public view,” that is, from a public street, right-of-way, alley, or sidewalk, before it is considered to be a violation. However, there are also ordinances, usually related to sanitation, health and safety, that are considered violations even if they are not visible to the public. Accumulation of trash and debris is one example. Officers will request consent from the owner or occupant to inspect a property, but also have the ability to appeal to the courts for an administrative warrant to inspect a property without the owner’s consent in certain cases. Also, once an officer has identified a violation, such as a junk vehicle, covering the violation does not bring it into compliance with the City’s ordinances. The owner or occupant must still show the officer that the violation was resolved.

Why can't the City enforce my HOA rules, deed restrictions, or covenants?

HOA rules, deed restrictions and covenants are civil agreements between a property owner and the developer or homeowners’ association. When someone purchases a property, they agree to follow certain rules set by the developer or HOA. These rules are not set by the City, nor does the City have any responsibility in determining what they are. City ordinances generally establish a minimum standard required for the health, safety and comfort of its citizens, but deed restrictions generally establish a higher standard of living for a particular area. Violations of deed restrictions should be reported to your HOA. If there is not an active HOA, they may be enforced by one individual against another by filing a case in civil court.


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