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Common Code Questions

Animals

My neighbor has too many animals, what can I do?
In the City, citizens are allowed to keep 4 pets total. To report a violation, file a complaint with SCRAPS at 509.477.2532.

My neighbor's dog is always barking, how do I report that?
For any animal noise call SCRAPS at 509.477.2532.

My neighbor has a dog that he/she lets run loose, how do I report that?
For loose animals call SCRAPS at 509.477.2532.

My neighbor is neglecting/mistreating his/her dog/pet, how do I report that?
For neglected or mistreated pets call SCRAPS at 509.477.2532.

My neighbor does not clean up his/her pet's waste, how do I report that?
If your neighbor does not clean up after his/ her pet waste, contact Environmental Health Dept. at 509.324.1560.

Building Issues

I'm a renter and my house does not comply with the building code, what can I do?
If your building does not comply contact the City of Spokane's Building Department at 509.625.6300. For further information on Landlord/Tenant rights contact the Washington State Attorney General's office at 509.456.3123 or their website.

My neighbor is building without a permit; can I do anything about that?
If you suspect that your neighbor is building without a permit contact The City of Spokane's Building Department at 509.625.6300.

Weeds and Air Quality

My neighbor has noxious weeds in his/her yard and I'm afraid they will spread to my yard, is there anything I can do?
If your neighbor has noxious weed, contact the noxious weed line at 509.477.5777 or visit their website.

I have an issue with the air quality, is there someone I can contact about that?
Yes, contact the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency at 509.477.4727.

Noise

My neighbor is making too much noise, how can I report him/her?
The quiet hours are 10pm to 7am, except noise restrictions apply all hours to live music and DJ systems. Noise complaints should be made to the Police Department. During evening hours call 911. For any noise other than that made by a commercial business/machine, call the police. For Commercial Industrial machine noise file a complaint form (PDF 239 KB) with Code Enforcement.

Can I apply for a noise variance? How do I apply for a noise variance?
Variances are for large community oriented events that are unable to meet the noise restrictions. To apply please call 509.625.6700. You will be asked to provide information pertaining to your event. Variances must be applied for at least 5 business days prior to the event.

Fire Hazard

There is a yard with tall dry weeds that I'm afraid will catch fire, what can I do?
You may fill out a complaint form (PDF 239 KB) and submit it to Code Enforcement. In order for a property to be declared a fire hazard, it must meet certain criteria. Click here to see those criteria. Otherwise, unkempt yards are not a violation of the code.

Someone in my neighborhood is setting off fireworks, who do I call?
If someone is setting off fireworks in your neighborhood contact Crime Check at 509.456.2233.

Garbage, Debris, and Litter

My neighbor has trash/junk/debris/garbage all over his/her yard, what can I do about that?
In the City of Spokane, file a complaint form with City Code Enforcement or call 509.625.3867.

In Spokane County, file a complaint form (PDF 40 KB) with County Code Enforcement, 509.477.3675.

In City of Spokane Valley, file a complaint with Valley Code Enforcement, 509.921.1000

Garbage/debris/furniture etc. was dumped on my property or put in my garbage can, can I do anything about that? For City (only):
Did you find anything in the debris that identifies the party that dumped it? Or did you witness the party that dumped the debris?

  1. If yes, fill out an illegal dump form and submit it to Code Enforcement. Forms are available online, at City Hall, at your Local COP Shop, or by calling 509.625.6083 to receive by mail or fax.
  2. If no, property owner/tenant is responsible for cleanup.

Garbage/debris/furniture etc. was dumped in my street or in my alley, who cleans that up?
The City of Spokane has a litter crew that cleans up items dumped in the right of way only in the City of Spokane, call City Code Enforcement at 509.625.6083 to report it.

There is litter up and down my street, who cleans that up?
Along roadways in the city and the county, we have a crew to do that, contact City Code Enforcement at 509.625.6083 to have your street put on the list for cleanup.

For State Highways contact the Washington State Department of Transportation at litter1@ecy.wa.gov or at their website.

Zoning Violations

My neighbor is running a business out of his/her home in a residential neighborhood. Is that legal?
It depends on what kind of business it is. If it is a business that is allowed, there are certain regulations that it must follow. Call Current Planning at 509.625.6300 for specifics or see SMC 17C.340.

There is someone in my neighborhood that runs a continuous yard sale, is there anything I can do about that?
Yes, file a complaint form (PDF 239 KB) with the Code Enforcement office. A home is only allowed to have 2 sales per year, 3 days maximum in duration.

There is a sign in my neighborhood that I think is illegal, how can I check that?
There can be no commercial advertising on residential homes, except one non-illuminated sign, up to three square feet in area, bearing the name and occupation of the occupant, placed flat against the building.

A non-residential building, like a church in a residential zone, may have one identification sign not exceeding fifteen square feet in area and not exceeding a height of twenty feet above average grade along the front of the building.

No advertising signs are allowed in the right-of-way. Violations may be reported to Code Enforcement. For additional information please call Current Planning at 509.625.6300 or see SMC 17C.240 – Signs

Does a swimming pool have to be fenced? How deep does it have to be in order to require a fence?
Yes, all swimming pools, hot tubs and ponds exceeding five thousand gallons and deeper than 18 inches must be fenced. See SMC 11.12.040.

Right-of-Way Violations

There are branches blocking or infringing upon the sidewalk or street, how do I report that?
Fill out a code enforcement complaint form (PDF 239 KB).

There is a basketball hoop/skateboard ramp on the sidewalk or in the street, who do I call about that?
Fill out a code enforcement complaint form (PDF 239 KB).

Can I put a storage container in the street for my household items?
Yes, please contact Engineering Services @ 625-6300 for an Obstruction permit.

My neighbor hasn't shoveled the snow off of his sidewalk, what do I do about that?
Fill out a code enforcement complaint form (PDF 239 KB).

My neighbor is blowing his/her leaves into the street, can I do anything about that?
Small accumulations of leaves are not an issue, however, for large accumulations fill out a code enforcement complaint form (PDF 239 KB).