Guide to Code Compliance
We know you take pride in the maintenance and upkeep of your property. You expect others to display the same care and concern for their properties as well. We put this guide together to let everyone know what to do to their property to keep it free from basic code violations.
If you have any questions, please contact the Community Development Department at 952-873-5553. Visit the Belle Plaine City Code page for specific code language.
Thanks for doing your part!
Proper yard maintenance enhances aesthetics, reduces blight, and reduces fire and safety hazards; therefore, the City requires that the owner of any lot maintain any vegetation growth to a maximum eight inches high. Remove or cut weeds, grass, brush or other noxious or harmful vegetation as often as necessary. This requirement does not apply to all lots or lands.
Litter & Junk
Storage of litter and junk is unsightly and can create a danger to public health, safety, and welfare; therefore, junk such as old, used, or second- hand material of any kind is not allowed on private property unless housed within a lawfully-erected building. Litter such as garbage, refuse, non-outdoor furniture, miscellaneous debris, rubbish and all other waste material are not permitted on private lands except in authorized private receptacles for collection.
Storage of Garbage & Refuse Containers
Garbage cans and other refuse containers shall be waterproof and must be stored indoors or in rear or side yards except on pickup day.
Junk vehicles (inoperable or unlicensed) are not allowed on private property unless stored in a lawfully-erected building, except as allowed under zoning standards for certain businesses. Junk vehicles are defined as any unlicensed, unregistered, inoperable motor vehicle including automobiles, boats, RVs, motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles, go-carts, or any components or parts thereof.
Passenger vehicles and trucks not exceeding a gross weight of 9,000 pounds may be stored on private property. Such vehicles are required to park on a hard-surface driveway or improved surface parking pad. Parking pads must be at least two feet from property lines and often require an easement encroachment permit. Vehicles must not block a public sidewalk.
A maximum of two currently licensed and operable recreational vehicles or recreational equipment items may be parked or stored on a property at one time. This means a maximum of any combination of two of the following items may be parked/stored outdoors on your property at one time: any self-propelled vehicle, any vehicle drawn, towed, or carried by a self-propelled vehicle, any trailer, any snowmobile, any ATV, any watercraft, any snowmobile, or any yard care equipment. Licensed and operable vehicles conventionally stored on a trailer in a typical fashion may be counted as one vehicle. Other vehicles or recreational equipment must be stored indoors.
Recreational vehicles like snowmobiles, ATV, and dirt bikes may be operated between 7 am and 10 pm Domestic power equipment like lawn mowers and leaf blowers may be operated from 7 am to 10 pm weekdays; 9 am to 9 pm weekends and holidays. Refuse hauling and construction activities may occur weekdays between 7 am and 10 pm and on weekends/holidays between 9 am and 9 pm.
It is often unlawful to erect, construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, improve, remove, convert or demolish, equip, use, occupy, change occupancies, or maintain any building or structure without a permit. A building permit is required for all accessory structures over 200 sq. ft. Other permits are required for smaller accessory structures, driveways, easement encroachments, and fences.
Home occupations are allowed with limitations. Home occupations must only be conducted within your house. Detached accessory structures can't be used for home occupations and no outside storage of home occupation related vehicles or equipment is allowed. One unlit sign not exceeding four square feet is allowed.
Public nuisances include weeds, dirt, rubbish, garbage, yard clippings, fallen trees, dead trees, dead tree limbs, noise, stagnant water, some odors, rodents, dangerous or hazardous buildings or conditions. These public nuisances are not permitted.
- Vacant dwellings, garages, and accessory structures must be securely locked and protected to prevent entrance by non-authorized persons. Hazardous buildings as defined by state law are prohibited.
- Outside storage of firewood used solely by the property owner and stored in rear or side yards is allowed.
- Dangerous or diseased trees and tree limbs, roots, and other brush shall be promptly removed from the property. Diseased trees/tree parts can't be transported in City.
- Clothesline poles and lines, play equipment, lawn and patio furniture, trampolines, and construction and landscaping material currently being use on the premises are not be considered outdoor storage. All other materials and equipment must be stored within a structure.
Signs that do not require a permit but are limited in their size, area and number such as yard sale signs, election signs or similar temporary signage.
Do not place Temporary Signs:
- Within the street right-of-way. Instead, locate the signs on the building side of curbs and sidewalks. Make sure you have written authorization if the sign is not placed on your property.
- In a manner that interferes with sight lines at intersections. On corners, generally, measure 30 feet along the curb line on each street, and draw an imaginary line connecting these two points to form a triangle.
- Onto utility poles or light standards.
- On any publicly owned property such as parks, wetlands, and City buildings.
All Other Signs
- Yard Sale signs may be displayed seven days prior to the sale on private property and must be removed immediately after the end of the yard sale.
- Most all other signs require a permit and are limited in their size, area, placement, and number.
- Home occupation signs are limited in size and location. All signs shall be maintained in a safe, presentable and sound structural condition at all times.
Standard Enforcement Policy
Belle Plaine residents are supported in their efforts to maintain the physical environment of their neighborhoods through standards set in the City Code. In 2010 the City Council approved a policy that details the standard inspection process, including criteria for extensions, enforcement, compliance and citations.
The code enforcement policy and city code is available online.
Code Violation Concerns & Reporting
A resident can contact the Community Development Department with a question or concern. If a written complaint is filed, a site inspection will be made. If a violation is confirmed at the inspection, the property owner is notified and given a deadline to make the correction. If it becomes necessary, a misdemeanor citation may be issued following reasonable amount of time for continued noncompliance. A citation requires the property owner to appear at Scott County District Court, typically resulting in a fine and confirmation that the violation has been corrected.