Code Enforcement
Code Enforcement is responsible for investigating and enforcing, or referring to proper enforcement authority, all Town, County, or State code violations; and the coordination of activities of all assignments related to code enforcement and animal control ordinances.

The department initiates inspections, based on a complaint or physical observation. The department also enforces all provisions of Town licensing and permit ordinances or directives and ensures that all businesses are properly licensed as required by law.

Code Enforcement is charged with upholding the safety, health, and building codes of the Town, County, and State, which includes the issuing of building permits, sign permits, and general purpose permits. Code Enforcement also provides technical and educational  assistance to town residents and businesses when it comes to codes and licensing matters.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Code Enforcement Division is to enforce the codes of the Town in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of the community; and where violations occur, to work with our citizens to achieve compliance through an efficient and fair process.

Goals:

  • Maintain an attractive, safe, and healthy environment in order to provide a high quality of life for our residents and visitors;
  • Improve both the appearance and quality of life for residents and business;
  • Provide prompt, courteous and professional service to the citizens of the Town of Bladensburg;
  • Encourage responsible property maintenance;
  • Seek cooperation and support from residents, property owners and businesses for voluntary compliance with the provisions of the Town Code;
  • Maintain open communication with our community.

Values:

  • Being dedicated to quality, timeliness and excellence in our service to the community.
  • Candor, honesty, and ethical behavior by the members of our department.
  • Having pride in our work, in our dedication to public service, and being the best we can be.
  • Honesty, integrity, and consistent discipline within our organization to maintain our credibility with the community.
  • A partnership with the citizens of Bladensburg in making the Town safe for all to work, live and play.
  • The opportunity to provide service to our community in a manner which is fair, courteous, responsive and efficient.
  • The need to treat people with respect and dignity, regardless of their age, race, gender, appearance, individual beliefs or life style.
  • Sensitivity is the key quality that we should bring to our interaction with the public and other agencies.

Code Compliance

The Bladensburg Town Council has adopted Town Codes (laws) specifically designed to ensure the absence of blight, nuisances, and to maintain a clean environment for all citizens in our community. The Town of Bladensburg does this by working in partnership with the people of Bladensburg.

The mission of the Code Enforcement Division is to promote and maintain a safe and desirable living and working environment. We help maintain and improve the quality of our community by:

Administering a fair and unbiased enforcement program to correct violations of municipal codes. Working with residents, neighborhood associations, public services agencies and other Town departments to:

  • Facilitate voluntary compliance with Town laws and codes
  • Empower community self-help programs
  • Develop public outreach programs.
  • Establish community priorities for enforcement programs

The violator of a Town code(s) is usually given the opportunity to voluntarily comply with the law and correct the situation within a reasonable period. If the violator has not complied with the Compliance Order within the specified time the Code Enforcement Department will take corrective action to remedy the problem. Several options are available:

  • Administrative Penalties are designed to address all violations. Fines may vary and range from $100 to $1,000
  • Civil Penalties are used for major violations. Fines can reach $250 per day starting from the date a non-compliance letter is issued for an alleged violation and/or a Town code enforcement officer is assigned the case. All information provided is kept confidential.
  • Judicial remedies are used when other remedies are not believed to have high probabilities of success.
  • Nuisance Abatements is a growing area with in code enforcement. The term refers to using town codes to resolve violations by the town removing the violation it self.

Town Codes you should know:

Junked/Unregistered Vehicles

Abandoned and unregistered vehicles (includes expired registration), inoperable, dismantled, or partially dismantled or substantially damaged or disabled vehicles may not remain on private property for 48-hours unless in a fully enclosed garage. Exceptions are made for car dealerships, auto repair shops, and towing company storage compounds. Abandoned vehicles located on public streets may be removed immediately.

Fences

A Town permit is required before a fence or walls over 48” is installed. Additionally, the County requires a permit is obtained before a fence in excess of 48″ in height can be erected.

Graffiti

No property owner shall allow defacement (graffiti) to remain on their property.

Grass, Plants and Weeds

Grass may not exceed 9 inches in height. This includes the grass bordering the front or side of the property and grass between the sidewalk and the curb. Bushes or hedges bordering a sidewalk may not exceed 48 inches in height and may not inhibit full use of the sidewalk. However, on occupied residential properties, areas that are actively protected, maintained, or cultivated for a use other than a lawn, such as a wildflower garden, wildlife habitat, meadow, or vegetable or herb garden, shall not be considered a code violation unless they are a threat to health or public safety, a fire hazard, a substantial and unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of neighboring property, or an obstruction of public right of way.

Dog, Cats and Other Animals

Dogs and cat licenses required;-No person shall keep a dog or cat over the age of (4) months unless it has a current license issues by Prince Georges County Animal Control. Dog leashing required-Dogs are required to be on a leash while on any public property or public way. Nuisances by Dogs-Any animal which causes annoyance by loud or habitual barking, yelping or howling, annoying people or vehicles on public ways injuring or destroying the property  of persons other that the owners. Dangerous and vicious animal are prohibited.

Sidewalks

All property owners or their tenants are required to clean the sidewalks and trim common grass adjacent to their property. Property owners or tenants are also responsible for the removal of snow and ice from the sidewalks adjacent to their properties within 24 hours after the snow or ice storm has ended.

Signs

It is illegal to display signs of any kind on public utility poles, medians, and in public rights of way.

Trash & Debris

Refuse receptacles must have tight fitting lids and be free of leaks. Residents are encouraged to place receptacles near the curb no earlier than 5:00 pm the night prior to collection and trash receptacles must be moved from the curb line no later than midnight after trash pick-up is completed. Examples of prohibited trash include auto parts; construction debris such as wall board, concrete, rocks, and roofing materials; and hazardous materials such as acids, fuels, oils, oil-base paints, solvents, and medical waste. Such debris is also not allowed to accumulate on any property in the Town.

Yard Sales

A General purpose permit must be obtained before sponsoring a yard sale. Each residence is limited to three General purpose permits per year. The placement of any signage on utility poles or trees is prohibited. For more information on this, please contact the Code Enforcement Department at 301-927-0330 of e-mail: code@bladensburgmd.gov.

Enforcement Process

Code Enforcement staff are responsible for ensuring that properties within Bladensburg are maintained in a safe and sanitary manner in accordance with the Property Maintenance Code. These standards apply to all existing residential, commercial, institutional and accessory structures and premises as well as vacant land. These code provisions constitute minimum standards.

Inspections

An inspection can be triggered by a complaint, observed while on patrol or a referral from another agency, or included as part of an overall strategy to improve conditions in a neighborhood or business area. Inspections are also conducted during the licensing process. Code Enforcement staff conduct general property maintenance code inspections. Prince Georges County Department of Permit, Enforcement and Inspections conducts rental housing inspections.

Courtesy Notice

When the inspector has identified minor property maintenance code violations, a Courtesy Notice will be issued. The Courtesy Notice, a simple door hanger or flyer that is placed on the front entrance to the building, identifies the code violation(s) that have been observed by the inspector and encourages the owner to contact the inspector if they have any questions. The inspector will return to the site within five to 7 business days to re-inspect. If the violation(s) have been corrected, the case is closed. If one or more items remain unresolved, a Notice of Violation is issued.

Notice of Violation/Abatement Posting

If violations are observed when the property is re-inspected or when the code violation is more serious, the inspector prepares a Notice of Violation and the owner is given a specific deadline for the correction of the violation(s). Once the deadline has passed, the property will be re-inspected. If the owner has made the required repairs, the case is closed. If work to correct the violation is underway or the weather has prevented the owner from fully addressing the violation, the owner may request additional time to correct the outstanding violation(s). Requests for extensions are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. If the owner has not been responsive and the violations remain, the property will be abated by the town to resolve the issue.

Animal Control:

The Town of Bladensburg does not have an Animal Control Division please contact http://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/232/Field-Services

The town does have a few traps that it can loan if needed and when available. These cannot be used to capture wild animals. A special permit is required for wild life trapping.

Pay a Code Enforcement Violation:

To pay for a Code Enforcement Violation, you can pay the violation in person at the Bladensburg Police Department, 4910 Tilden Road, Bladensburg, MD 20170. Please bring a copy of the Citation and exact change.  For more information, contact the Bladensburg Police Department at 301-864-6080.

To report any possible code violation or concern, please contact our Code Enforcement Department.

Contact Code Enforcement

Roger (Shaun) Rinehart
Code Enforcement Supervisor
301-927-0330
rrinehart@bladensburgmd.gov

David T. Fraley
Code Enforcement Officer
dfraley@bladensburgmd.gov


For general information please email us at: code@bladensburgmd.gov

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