Cottage Grove's Code Enforcement staff works with residents to ensure neighborhoods are clean, safe and healthy for the community to enjoy. Staff responds to questions and concerns and reacts appropriately to ensure the preservation of property values and prevent unsafe, unsanitary issues from infringing on the rights of others.
The full City Code can be read here.
For a look at the nine most common City code violations, click here.
Code Enforcement staff address questions and concerns of residents and local business owners regarding City ordinance guidelines and possible violations. Code violation cases are generated on a complaint basis. In all cases with code compliance, the City wants to work with you to achieve compliance with regulations. Please contact Code Enforcement Officer Jim Carlson by phone at 651-458-2870 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trash Container Storage
In order to keep neighborhoods looking beautiful and maintaining their value and integrity, the City Code requires keeping your trash containers stored in your garage or in an enclosure to shield them from public view.
All trash containers must be stored in an enclosed structure and remain completely out of public view at all times other than during trash collection. Trash containers may be placed out for collection no earlier than 6:00 p.m. the night prior to trash collection and must be stored away no later than 6:00 p.m. the night of trash collection. (Code Title 4-2-15)
Long Grass & Weeds
Grass over the height of eight (8) inches within the community serves as a public nuisance, dangerous, and unsightly to the public. Properties will be required to maintain their lawns in such a manner to keep from becoming a public nuisance. Properties left abandoned are required to be maintained by the responsible party.
It is unlawful for any owner, tenant, or occupant of land in the city to permit or maintain noxious or poisonous weeds or plants on such land. (City Title 4-3-1A)
It shall be unlawful to permit the growth of grass, weeds, brush, or other rank vegetation to height greater than eight (8) inches. (City Title 4-3-1B)
In residential districts, no more than a total of four (4) vehicles may be parked on a single lot outside of a building or accessory structure. A vehicle is defined as any self-propelled device in, or upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported. This includes but is not limited to cars, trucks, boats, trailers, snowmobiles, etc. A vehicle properly loaded on a trailer shall constitute a single vehicle. (Code Title 6-2-4C)
All vehicles, including but not limited to cars, trucks, boats, trailers, snowmobiles, etc. must be parked on improved parking surfaces such as concrete, asphalt or brick pavers at all times if parked in front of the principle structure. If parked behind the front plane of the principle structure, class 5 or landscape rock is acceptable for an improved surface. (Code Title 11-3-9)
Commercial vehicle parking is restricted in residential areas. No Class l commercial vehicle may be parked in a residential district except while loading, or rendering a service. A Class l commercial vehicle is defined as a vehicle exceeding an axle weights of five tons, or any of the following types of vehicles, regardless of axle weight: semitrailers, the tractor portion of semi-trucks, garbage trucks, tank trucks, dump trucks, flatbed trucks, tow trucks, cattle trucks, trucks carrying or designed to carry explosive or flammable materials, well drilling equipment, earth moving equipment, or school buses. (Code Title 6-2-4)
Parking of Class ll commercial vehicles in residential districts is restricted. No more than one Class ll commercial vehicle may be parked or stored on a property located in a residential district. Class ll commercial vehicles include all commercial vehicles other than Class l commercial vehicles including pickup trucks, vans, trailers, and recreational vehicles that are used for commercial purposes. (Code Title 6-2-4)
*All vehicles must be properly licensed and operable. (Code Title 6-2-4)
The presence of accumulating excessive materials and equipment creates an unsightly condition tending to decrease property values and create fire and safety hazards within neighborhoods. The storage of excess materials also attracts rodents and vermin and creates blight within the community. Accumulation and improper storage of such materials and equipment is a public nuisance and will be addressed in a serious manner.
All items must be stored in an enclosed structure such as a garage or shed at all times. (City Title 11-6-2)
Signs - Permanent
A Permanent Sign falls into three categories:
1. Monument or Pylon Signs
2. Wall Signs
3. Awnings, Canopies, Marquees
The square feet of permanent signage allowed for a business is based on the principal structure square footage. To determine how much signage your business is allowed or to change a permanent sign, please contact the City of Cottage Grove Planning Division at 651-458-2827 or email@example.com.
A building permit must be obtained from the City for installation of wall and monument signs. It is required to use a City-licensed contractor for these projects. Please contact the Cottage Grove Building Division (651-458-2804 or firstname.lastname@example.org) for information on how to obtain a permit.
Signs - Temporary
What is a Temporary Sign?
Any sign, banner, pennant, or advertising display intended to be displayed for a limited time period.
What are the Regulations for Temporary Signs?
Temporary signs require a No Fee Permit that is filed with the City of Cottage Grove Code Enforcement Officer by filling out this Temporary Sign Application.
The following rules apply to businesses regarding temporary signs:
1) Existing Business: A maximum of four temporary sign permits may be issued to each business per
calendar year for up to 15 days each. All four temporary sign permits can be combined into a single time period of 60 days. The temporary sign must be in the form of a weatherproof banner no larger than 32 square feet in size attached to the principal structure.
2) New Business or Reopening of an Existing Business or Store Closing: One temporary sign permit per calendar year shall be issued for no more than 15 days.
3) Removal after Expiration of Permit: On premises temporary signs must be removed within 24 hours after the expiration of the permit.
Temporary Signs – Acceptable
- Banners signs are a permitted temporary sign. They must be placed on the principal structure, must be weather proof, cannot exceed 32 square feet in size, cannot be on the building longer than 15 days, and require a temporary sign permit.
- Sandwich board signs or merchandise signs are permitted but must be kept within 20 feet of the main entry to the building and can only be placed out during business hours. They do not require a temporary sign permit.
- Window signs are permitted but must not exceed 40% of the entire window display space for the building. Window signs do not require a temporary sign permit.
Temporary Signs – Not Allowed
- Inflatable signs are not allowed anywhere within the City. This includes helium based balloons or giant inflatables.
- Any sign that is not attached to the principal structure is not allowed. This includes flag signs and yard signs. The exception is sandwich board signs.
Temporary Sign Violations
All temporary signs require a No Fee Permit. If a sign is placed on a building without a permit or is not a legally complying sign, it will be removed at the owner’s expense. Additionally, if signs continue to be placed on the property without proper approval through a temporary sign permit, it shall constitute a misdemeanor offense with a mandatory court date.
HOW DO POTHOLES FORM?
Potholes form when a paved surface becomes worn down by weather and traffic. First, moisture seeps into the pavement surface and freezes, which expands the pavement. When this moisture melts, it creates a cavity under the surface of the pavement. As vehicles drive over this cavity, they begin to crack and loosen the pavement, creating the pothole.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO REPAIR POTHOLES?
Potholes in paved areas that are not promptly repaired may result in costly vehicle damages. Potholes may also be detrimental to the safety of motorists and pedestrians. Properly maintained pavement around commercial buildings, such as parking lots and driveways, makes a good impression on visitors and facilitates better customer experiences.
Utilize preventative measures such as sealcoating or crack sealing pavement to slow water infiltration and reduce the frequency of potholes. These measures will increase the longevity of the pavement and are much cheaper than the cost to patch a pothole or resurface pavement.
City Code Title 4-1-5K states that a deteriorated private road or parking lot is any paved surface that is likely to cause injury to any person or damage to the property as a result of damage or improper maintenance. Evidence of such deterioration may include potholes greater than 36 square inches and 2 inches in depth, cracks, trip hazards, or walking surfaces not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Parking and driveway pavement areas must be free of potholes and other deterioration and be striped according to approved plans. Private roads must also be maintained.
1. Pothole violations will be addressed with an initial warning letter allowing 5 to 14 days (depending on the severity and hazard of the pothole) to bring the property into compliance.
2. If the property has not been brought into compliance by the allotted time frame, the owner will receive a final notice to bring the property into compliance.
3. If the property is not brought into compliance within 48 hours after receiving the final notice, the City will perform the necessary work and charge the owner the cost.
For the short-term pothole solutions listed below, no City permits are required.
Cold Patch Repair
Patch the pothole yourself with cold patch asphalt by following these steps:
1. Obtain a bag of cold patch or cold mix asphalt at a local hardware store.
2. Follow manufacturer recommendations for placement.
Infrared Heater Patching
This type of pothole repair must be completed by a City-licensed contractor. For infrared heater patching, the asphalt is heated to a depth of 2 to 3 inches. Next, debris around the area around the area to be patched is removed. The heated existing asphalt is reworked. More asphalt mix is added if needed. Finally, the area is compacted and the patch is completed.
Traditional Full Depth Patching
This type of pothole repair must be completed by a City-licensed contractor. For traditional patching, the damaged sections of asphalt pavement are cut out and removed. New hot mix asphalt is then placed and compacted.
If there are several potholes on the property, it may be sensible to resurface a larger area. This will fix any existing potholes or cracks in the pavement, as well as remove older or weakened pavement that may be susceptible to pothole formation in the near future.
Mill & Overlay
Mill and overlay includes the removal of the top 1.5 inches of pavement with a specialized machine and should include partial full depth repairs at excessive deterioration areas. Once milling and full-depth repairs are completed, a new wear course is placed and compacted creating a new paved surface.
The total replacement method includes the complete removal and replacement of the asphalt pavement. For any repaving operations, a building permit must be obtained from the City. It is required to use a City-licensed contractor for these projects.
Permits are required for major pavement maintenance, such as repaving a lot. Permits are not required to fix individual potholes. Please contact Cottage Grove’s Building Division (651-458-2804 or email@example.com) to obtain a permit or for more information pertaining to pavement permits.