Skip to main content

What is Code Compliance?#

This refers to how we enforce the City codes and ordinances affecting the quality of life in our neighborhoods. As a city, we want all of our citizens to be able to live happily in their homes, whether as a renter or an owner. Each one of these codes and ordinances have been established to assist in sustaining the high quality of life we appreciate in Fort Collins. We strongly suggest you take time to read each one, understand the consequences, and know how to report a violation.

How Do I File a Complaint or Request an Inspection?#

The City of Fort Collins Has developed Access Fort Collins as an easy way to send your questions, service requests and comments directly to staff.

Follow the link below to find "Nuisance Reporting" in the topic list. There you will see answers to frequently asked questions about many common nuisance topics. To report a nuisance complaint through the system, select the appropriate topic under nuisance reporting and then submit your request.

By using Access Fort Collins, citizens can be assured that their problem will be reported to the appropriate department.

Submit a request through Access Fort Collins

You may also call the Nuisance Hotline at 970-416-2200 during business hours (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday).

Common Violations#

Although Neighborhood Services enforces many neighborhood codes, some violations are handled by other City departments. The list below explains our most common violations.


Larimer Humane Society is contracted with the City of Fort Collins to enforce codes regarding animals. Violations that can be reported to Larimer Humane Society include:

  • Barking dogs
  • Animals off leash
  • Neighbors not cleaning up after their pets
  • Animal bites

For more information about animal code violations or to report violations, you may call Larimer Humane Society at 970-226-3647 or you may report violations online using Access Fort Collins.


People Noise

Loud parties, people and vehicles can be reported to the City of Fort Collins Police Services department. Please call the non-emergency dispatch at 970-419-3273 while the noise is occurring.

Construction Noise

With construction comes a lot of noise and the City recognizes that this can be very disruptive for neighborhood residents. Construction noise is exempt from the noise ordinance between the hours of 7am and 8pm. However, under certain circumstances contractor's may obtain a noise variance that would allow them to work outside of these hours.You may report violations online or you may call Code Compliance at 970-416-2350.

View the code (Sec. 20-21)

Parking in Neighborhoods#

Parking on Yards

Vehicles and trailers must be parked on an improved parking surface of inorganic material such as gravel, rock, concrete or asphalt with a permanent border to define the parking area. Only 40% of the front yard may be improved for parking unless on street parking is not allowed.

View the code (Sec. 20-105)

Parking on Residential Streets

Vehicles parked on public residential streets must be in operable condition and display current registration. Abandoned vehicles are subject to removal and impoundment.

Vehicles may not impede the public sidewalk. Parking in front of a neighbor's house is not illegal, unless you are blocking their driveway.

Street parking violations should be reported to the City of Fort Collins Police Department's non-emergency line at 970-419-3273.

View the code (Part 18, Sec 1801)

Inoperable Motor Vehicles

Inoperable vehicles (vehicles not currently licensed or incapable of operating) must be stored in a garage or behind solid screening such as a privacy fence and should not be visible from a public street, sidewalk or alleyway.

View the code (Sec 20-91)

Public Nuisance Ordinance (PNO)#

In 2000, the Public Nuisance Ordinance (PNO) was established to remedy chronic "problem properties". The City considers a property a problem when City Code violations occur on a regular basis annoying or disturbing others, and tickets were issued. The City considers property owners accountable for the use of their properties. After the first ticket is issued, the violator, property owner and property manager receive a letter from the City explaining the PNO consequences, and encouraging positive resolution so no additional tickets are issued.

PNO takes affect on a property when the following occurs:

  • 2 tickets are issued for the same code violation within 6 months OR
  • 3 or more separate code violation tickets are issued within 12 months OR
  • 5 or more separate code violation tickets are issued within 24 months

Visit the City Attorney's Public Nuisance Ordinance webpage

Trash Containers#

  • Trash must be stored in plastic or metal cans with tight-fitting lids, or in sealed plastic bags
  • Trash containers must be stored so they are not visible from a public street on days other than trash day*

*in 2023 the City attorney issued an updated interpretation of the unscreened trash container code. Now, a property is found in violation when a trash container is not securely stored behind the front plane of the building. This means that the trash container can be seen but cannot be on the street or in front of the building.

  • Trash containers can be placed out for collection no earlier than 12 hours before scheduled pickup and cannot remain there for more than 12 hours after the pickup
  • Trash containers should be placed at the curb on the street and not on the sidewalk. They should not interfere with bicyclists, pedestrians or vehicles

Unshoveled Sidewalks#

Residents are required to shovel sidewalks within 24 hours of snow accumulating. If a sidewalk is not completely cleared of snow and ice, the City may hire a contractor to do the work. The cost of this, in addition to a city fee will be billed to the property owner.

If your sidewalk was covered by a City snowplow after you had already cleared it, you may contact the City's Streets Department at 970-221-6615 who will send someone to clear the sidewalk.

View the sidewalk snow and ice code

Yard Maintenance#

Dirt Yards & Dilapidated Fences

No more than 20% of a yard can be dirt. Dormant grass and a yard covered in common weeds does not qualify as dirt.

Fences cannot have broken, loose, damaged, removed or missing parts.

These violations must be visible from a public street or sidewalk. Alleyways are not included.

View the brochure for more information.

Rubbish & Outdoor Storage

  • Accumulations of rubbish such as vehicle parts, tires, appliances, discarded household items, lumber, construction materials, trash, branches and yard waste in your yard also violate nuisance codes
  • The unscreened storage of materials not customarily stored outdoors in residential neighborhoods is restricted including but not limited to: tires, construction materials, and household items
  • Furniture designed and manufactured for indoor use, cannot be placed in a yard, on a roof, or on an enclosed porch

Rubbish and items stored outdoors must be screened so as to not be not visible from public view (street, sidewalk or alley way) or disposed of.  These items can be a health or safety hazard, as well as an attractive nuisance for people and animals to disturb. 

View the code (Sec. 20-41 and Sec. 20-42.6).

Weeds/Grass & Noxious Weeds

  • Weeds and grass cannot exceed a height of 6 inches in yards and alleys or 12 inches in fields or undeveloped lots
  • Noxious weeds are prohibited in all areas, as they are easily spread through the air and underground. For a list of prohibited weeds, visit the Larimer County Weed District webpage

Public Nuisance Ordinance#

Public Nuisance Ordinance was updated in December 2022. See Public Nuisance Ordinance Information for the current Ordinance.

Enforcing The Codes#

Our policies and procedures were developed to encourage compliance. This is achieved both proactively and through complaints from citizens.

Proactive Enforcement
Each day, we inspect neighborhoods throughout Fort Collins in an attempt to catch any violations before someone needs to complain. There are 4 Code Compliance Inspectors responsible for different areas of Fort Collins. These inspectors drive through the neighborhoods, normally Monday through Friday, observing and noting any City Code violations. 

When a complaint is received, that area's Code Compliance Inspector is dispatched and will conduct an inspection within one business day of the complaint.

When There is a Violation
Upon finding a violation, a letter is sent to the property owner and a courtesy copy may be sent to the tenants and/or a property management company informing them of the violation and giving a date by which the violation must be corrected. After the correction due date, the Code Compliance Inspector will revisit the property. If the violation is corrected, the case is closed. If the violation is not yet corrected, the City will resolve the problem with an abatement action.

Solution Procedures (Abatement Action)#

When a Violation is Not Corrected

After written notice, if a subsequent inspection continues to bear witness to violation of the Code, that violation will be abated (a contractor is hired to correct the problem [i.e. remove the snow and ice, mow down the weeds, remove the trash, etc.] and the property owner will be billed, or assessed, for the work, along with associated inspection fees) by the City. If you feel the solution (abatement) was done in error or if a property owner wishes to contest, challenge, or seek adjustment to an assessment invoice, there are two options available through the City: (1) A formal hearing before the Referee or (2) an administrative review by city staff. There is no fee for either option. Once the Referee or Staff enters a decision, the property owners will be notified of that decision. You should be prepared to pay the full amount of the assessment (if any) including fees and costs at the time of the decision. Unpaid assessments, including fees and costs, will be turned over to a collection agency and/or a lien may be filed against the property.


Request for a Referee Hearing

Request for Administrative Review

Assessment and Abatement Review Policies and Procedures

Complete the applicable form and return to Neighborhood Services. You have several options to get it to us, please visit our contact page.

Municipal Court

In some cases, a summons to Municipal Court is issued to the property owner and/or a tenant. The Fort Collins Municipal Court is responsible for administering the operations of the judicial branch of City government according to the ordinances adopted by City Council. Cases adjudicated in Municipal Court include misdemeanors and traffic violations. Generally, cases are brought to Municipal Court by Fort Collins Police Services, Colorado State University Police, Larimer Humane Society, City Attorney and other City departments. The fine schedule is set and periodically updated by the Municipal Judge. For municipal violations, the maximum penalty is $2,750 and/or 6 months in jail. For the current fine schedule and contact information, visit Municipal Court.


 Annual Code Stats
Quality Neighborhoods Brochure

Fire Prevention Bureau Technical Information Research Request#

Technical Information Research is provided by Poudre Fire Authority's Community Safety and Service Division. All requests must be made by completing and submitting the form on THIS LINK.

Poudre Fire Authority can be contacted at 970-416-2892 for additional questions about this request form.