Zoning Compliance generally means adhering to the regulations laid out in the Zoning Ordinance adopted by the local governing bodies in Warren County. This includes conformance with regulations at the time of construction (landscaping, parking, conditions, etc), and complying with land use regulations dealing with numerous subjects specific to zones in which property is located. Examples may range from signs, businesses in residential zones, types of residences, parking on proper surfaces and a number of other regulations meant to enhance the health, safety and welfare of our community. The Planning Commission does not receive any fines collected through the enforcement process.
Construction Compliance is intended to reduce the number of enforcement issues that often present themselves at a later date. Ensuring the proper construction and installation of landscaping, parking, building materials and other such requirements help ensure our community is developing as intended and approved. If you see an issue with new or recently completed construction and feel something is not right, please use our contact form and select Construction Compliance as a subject and let us know your concern. We will address your concern as soon as possible.
Zoning Enforcement is an unfortunate, but necessary part of an effort to keep minimum standards to protect adjacent properties and make sure the desired character of each zone is protected or enhanced. When a person or property is not complying with these standards it may be necessary to start enforcement actions in order to compel compliance with our community’s adopted ordinances. Zoning enforcement is not the same as code enforcement. In general terms, code enforcement deals with nuisance issues such as tall grass, rubbish, dilapidated properties, etc. City of Bowling Green and Warren County staff handle code enforcement (nuisance) complaints. Zoning enforcement deals with the use and occupancy of land and structures. Different uses are allowed (or prohibited) as defined in the Zoning Ordinance. Common issues or complaints include unpermitted structures, uses not allowed, business activity in a residential zone, renting of property to too many people, and unpermitted signage. If you see any of these issues in our community, please let us know through the contact for and select Zoning Enforcement Complaint in the subject line. We will address your concern as soon as possible. Most of our enforcement activity is complaint driven.
The process for each complaint type is generally the same. The zoning enforcement process is generally as follows:
- A complaint is received and logged into the system.
- Our Zoning Compliance Officer makes an inspection of the property.
- Other staff is consulted if necessary and a determination if there is a violation or not is made.
- If a violation is found, contact is made with the property owner by mail or in person or both; and steps needed to come into compliance are discussed. Often a Notice of Violation is issued.
- If compliance cannot be achieved then a citation and fines are issued.
- A Code Enforcement Board hearing may be held. The city and county boards hear appeals and decide on fines and citations.
Compliance with the ordinances is the only goal of the enforcement arm. At any point compliance is achieved, enforcement cases are closed. When enforcement is necessary, staff always hopes that cases are resolved by step four prior to any fines being issued.