Orange County Government, Florida
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What We Do

Enforce codes such as lot cleaning, junk vehicles and housing.

Zoning

The zoning code defines what type of activities can take place on residential, commercial, professional office, industrial and agriculturally zoned properties. Some activities require permits or special approval from the Zoning Division. Code Enforcement typically deals with violations of the zoning code that include operating a business in a residential area, operating a business without a land use permit, and improper outside storage.

Junk Vehicles

Vehicles which are abandoned, inoperative, discarded or in an evident state of disuse are not allowed and subject to towing by Orange County.

Violations might include:

  • Flat tires
  • Undergrowth
  • Dismantled
  • Wrecked
  • No license plate
  • Displaying an expired registration sticker

Parking vehicles inside a garage or under a carport with a car cover is allowed.

Lot Cleaning

Violations include accumulations of junk and debris of any kind on residential or commercial property and excessive growth of grass and weeds (18" or higher).

If property owners do not comply with the code violation notice within 15 days, Orange County directs a contractor to clean the lot and passes the bill on to the owner. Failure to pay the bill results in a lien against the property, and enforced collection.

Natural state properties, i.e., unimproved tracts of land, are not covered by the ordinance.

A repeat lot cleaning penalty can be assessed if the county cleans a property more than once within a 12-month period. The penalty can be as much as $200 per violation.

Housing

Houses and accessory structures are required to have functioning:

  • Exterior walls
  • Foundation
  • Roofs
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Sanitary drainage
  • Electrical
  • Running water

Dual Rear Wheeled Vehicles

This regulation is designed to prevent the parking of large trucks in residential areas. Chapter 38 of the county code defines vehicles subject to the regulation as motor truck, trailer, semitrailer or tractor/trailer combination and used as a means of transporting persons or property and propelled by power other than muscular power which have more than or are designed to have more than four (4) weight-bearing wheels, except that a dual rear wheel pick-up truck not used for commercial purposes shall not be deemed to constitute a dual rear wheel vehicle. A public service vehicle used for emergencies shall not be deemed to constitute a dual rear wheel vehicle when approved by the zoning manager.

Recreational Vehicles

Unoccupied recreational vehicles may be stored within any residential district, after the owner obtains a permit from the Zoning Division. RV’s may be parked 10’ from side property line and at least 5’ from rear property line.

Boats

The code allows storage of boats on residential property.

  • Boats cannot exceed 24 ft. in length if parked in the front yard.
  • Typical residential lots can have two boats only one of which can be in the front yard (on an approved surface contiguous to the driveway).
  • Boats longer than 24 ft. must be stored in the back yard and screened from view.

Construction Without Permit

No building or structure may be erected, altered or enlarged without first obtaining the necessary building permit and approval of the Zoning Division.

Garage Sales

Garage sales are allowed in residential zoning districts with the proper zoning permit. Sales are limited to 2 per year.

Illegal Signs

Private signs may never be placed within the public right-of-ways unless approved by Orange County. Signs may be removed without warning by County workers and those placing such signs are subject to fines. The county picks up over 100,000 signs each year.

Temporary Weekend Directional Signs

Temporary weekend directional signs may only be placed within public rights-of-way or upon any public property with a permit from the Zoning Division.

Property Maintenance

Property owners must ensure that buildings and structures are maintained in a safe and sanitary condition. The code has standards pertaining to structural soundness, swimming pools, plumbing, electrical systems, fire hazards and ventilation.

An unsafe house or building is one that is severely dilapidated, improperly maintained, or has electrical, structural, or plumbing problems.

If the owner does not repair or demolish an unsafe structure, the county may be ordered by the CEB or SM to perform the demolition. The owner must reimburse the county for the demolition’s cost or the county pursues enforced collection.

Nuisance Abatement

The Nuisance Abatement Unit of the OCSO exists to promote, protect, and improve the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the county by imposing administrative fines and other non-criminal penalties as a method of abating drug, prostitution, dealing in stolen property and criminal street gang activities constituting public nuisances in the county.

Methods Of Enforcement

Education and Outreach

Citizens of Orange County want to live in clean, attractive places. The Code Enforcement Division does its best work when neighborhoods are organized and educated about the code enforcement process. This is why the Division places a big emphasis on attending community meetings, and producing content for the Orange TV and this web site.

  • Brochures
    Regulatory Functions of Code Enforcement
    Code Enforcement Brochure | Spanish Version
    Your Public Hearing Before the Code Enforcement Board | Spanish Version 
  • Code Enforcement in F.O.C.U.S - Code Enforcement Manager Robert Spivey and Code Enforcement Officer Marthaly Irizarry deliver a 25 minute overview of the Code Enforcement Division. Hosted by Orange TV's Glenn Barbour.
  • The Role of Code Enforcement Orange County Live - Host Laureen Martinez gives Orange County residents an inside look at how the department of Code Enforcement works to keep our communities safe and clean.
  • Community Conference 2013 

Frequently Asked Questions

Orange County Code Enforcement FAQS PDF

How do I make a complaint and have Code Enforcement investigate?

Call 3-1-1. Describe the situation you observe and provide an address. It’s best to specify if the violation is more likely to occur at certain times of the day or during the week. You can remain anonymous. The County also has a 3-1-1 mobile app on which you can report code enforcement issues.

What does the County do about graffiti?

Call 3-1-1 and report the location. It will be painted over as soon as possible.

I think my neighbor is offering a short-term vacation rental (Airbnb, Homeaway, etc.) at their home. Is this allowed?

No, it is not allowed in residential areas in Orange County. If such activity is suspected, Code Enforcement will investigate. Also, consider reporting the activity to your homeowners association.

I see signs all over the roadways. Sometimes even political signs. What is being done about this?

Orange County removes more than 100,000 signs from the right-of-way each year. A private contractor, along with Code Enforcement Officers, is currently helping pick up the nuisance signs. Political signs are allowed on private property, but not on the right-of-way. They are only allowed on private property 90 days prior to and 10 days after an election.

My neighbor hasn’t cleaned his pool in months. I’m worried about the potential for insects, etc. Can the County clean this pool?

No, but the County can issue a violation notice and impose fines. Report by calling 3-1-1.

I called a complaint into 3-1-1 days ago. Nothing on the property has changed. Why doesn’t the County do something?

Code Enforcement is a legal process. Properties are alleged to be in violation. Property owners must be given adequate time to correct the violation. So it is not uncommon for it to take three to six weeks to obtain compliance. However, 80 percent of the violations come into compliance within 20 to 40 days. More than 94 percent of the properties cited by Code Enforcement

What is the best way to make sure Code Enforcement is paying attention to our neighborhood and understands our concerns?

Form a partnership with the Code Enforcement Division. If you have a homeowners association, invite the area officer by calling 3-1-1. Once the residents and the area officer are in communication, a relationship can be formed. Maintaining that relationship is the best way to keep clean, orderly neighborhoods.

I am a business owner. Code Enforcement recently issued me a violation notice because there is no land-use permit for my property. What does this mean?

Every parcel of property is assigned a zoning district (residential, commercial, agricultural, etc.). There must also be an established “use” for each parcel because a wide range of activities is allowed within each zoning district. It is important to make sure uses are compatible with neighboring properties. Depending upon the use, the County might require certain types of permits and inspections. This ensures that life-safety, drainage and development standards are met.

Can the County do anything if my neighbor refuses to cut his grass or keeps piles of debris in his yard?

Grass growth of more than 18 inches is a violation. So is the accumulation of junk, trash and debris. If property owners refuse to clean up, the County sends out a contractor to do the work. Refusal to pay the bill for the work results in a lien that is placed on the tax rolls.

Code Enforcement says junk vehicles are not allowed. What constitutes a junk vehicle?

Flat tires, undergrowth, dismantled, wrecked, no license plate, expired tag or registration. If owners do not remove or repair the vehicle in 15 days, the County contractor will tow it away.

I’ve been trying to get my landlord to fix a leaky pipe for weeks. So far he has not done so. Is this a code violation?

Yes. Under the County Property Maintenance Code, every structure has to be properly maintained. Every building’s roof must be free of leaks, have no faulty wiring, no cracks in walls, etc. The owner can be subject to fines if violations are not repaired.

I just found out there is a code enforcement lien against my property. How do I get the lien released?

Code Enforcement has a process. Once the property is in compliance, the fines can be reduced and the lien (if applicable) released. Compliance is the key. Call 3-1-1, explain you are calling about a lien release, and the appropriate county staff will respond.

My neighbor has loud parties late at night. Who do I call?

The Noise Ordinance is enforced by the Sheriff’s Office. Please call the non-emergency number at the Sheriff’s Office at 407-836-4357.

Who takes care of vehicles, trailers, or boats abandoned in the street?

Please call the non-emergency number at the Sheriff’s Office at 407-836-4357.

Does the County ban commercial vehicles?

No. For example, there is no rule that says someone can’t park a work van on his/her property. The County does, however, prohibit dual rear-wheeled vehicles. If you see a big truck, be sure to report it to 3-1-1 when Code Enforcement is most likely to see it (evening, weekend, etc.).

Does the County prohibit parking in the front yard?

No. There is no ordinance that prohibits parking on the grass/front yard.

What is the role of the Code Enforcement Board and Special Magistrate?

After a Code Enforcement Officer observes a violation and discovers it has not been corrected, a hearing is scheduled. There are two governing boards – think of them as two different “judges” – set up under state law that take testimony and evidence, and determine if a property is in violation. A property owner found in violation is given a specific period of time to correct the violation or a fine starts accumulating for every day the violation exists. Fines can range up to $1,000 per day. Liens are filed against the property as well.

The County has a Special Magistrate and a Code Enforcement Board. What’s the difference?

Under state law, they both perform the same function - determine if a violation exists, and if one does, set a compliance date and a fine if the violation is not brought into compliance. Due to the volume of work Orange County established a Special Magistrate in 2004. Cases are assigned to the boards based on the region of the County where the property violations exist (east, central, west).

Does the County have enforcement powers?

Every city and county in Florida is bound by the same law, which allows fines of up to $1,000 per day for an initial violation and $5,000 per day for a repeat violation. Failure to comply will result in filing of liens against the property. Under certain serious circumstances, local governments can foreclose on the liens, taking ownership and seeking more responsible owners or uses for the property.

Contact Us

Orange County Code Enforcement
2450 W. 33rd Street, Second Floor
Orlando, FL 32839

Phone: (407) 836-3111
Fax: (407) 836-4240