Code Compliance

Code Compliance is responsible for enforcing various chapters of the Sammamish Municipal Code that address public health and safety issues, including regulations related to zoning, dangerous and abandoned buildings, environmental violations, removal of vegetation, and junk vehicles on private property.

Our goal is to provide high-quality and responsive code compliance services to maintain and enhance safety and general welfare. Our focus is on customer service and public awareness while respecting the property rights of our citizens.


Filing a Complaint

Code complaints are vital to ensuring our community is safe and attractive.  Filing a code complaint is a legal matter that should not be taken lightly. To file a formal complaint with the Code Compliance Division, simply submit a code violation report online.  

Comments received are part of the public record and subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act, RCW 42.56. Please do not include any information in your comments or supporting materials that you do not wish to be made public. The City of Sammamish will only release information by Public Disclosure Request or by order of a court of law. 


REQUESTING CASE DETAILS

If you would like more information related to a specific code case, please submit a Public Record Request to the City.

Your Public Record Request should include:

  • Address and parcel number
  • Code case number (if known)
  • The type of document you are requesting, photos of violation(s), notices mailed to property owners, outstanding invoices, canceled or incomplete permits, or repair agreements with the property owner.
  • Date or date range of documents being requested.

Our Process

When we receive a complaint, a case file is created and assigned to a Code Compliance Officer. Officers will contact the property owner to discuss the violation and actions needed to remedy the situation. Usually, property owners are unaware of the regulations and voluntarily fix the problem within a reasonable time frame. The average time to fix a violation is 2-4 weeks, but complicated situations may take up to a year (or more) to correct. 

Please note that we are experiencing a high level of code violation reports at this time. Our response time and ability to resolve a violation are taking longer than usual.  Priority is given to high and moderate risk violations. Please be patient.


Non-emergency complaints

Complaints that are considered a police matter should be reported by calling the King County Sheriff's Office 24-hour communications line at (206)296-3311, or by reporting online (for non-emergent crimes).

Examples of Non-Emergent Complaints:

  • Noise
  • Parking

 Code Compliance Response Priorities

Response to life/safety violations will occur with or without a complaint. Life/safety violations are those that, in the opinion of the Code Compliance Officer, Building Official, or Director, could result in injury or create an unhealthy environment. Otherwise, violations will be responded to on a “complaint-only” basis. Violations may be addressed without a complaint at the discretion of the Code Compliance Officer if discovered during the investigation.

The Code Compliance Officer investigates complaints based on where they fall into three priority violation categories: high, medium, and low priority.

 

High Priority (1) – Immediate health and safety violations include:
  • Dangerous/unstable structures;
  • Raw sewage;
  • Illegal discharge into stormwater system;
  • Illegal tree removal;
  • Unpermitted construction work;
  • Unpermitted clear and grade;
  • Unauthorized development in shorelines.
Medium Priority (2) - Serious violation include:
  • Abandoned property;
  • Unpermitted ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit);
  • Hoarding;
  • Junk vehicles;
  • Litter and debris;
  • Mechanical complaints (for example AC, water heater, furnace installations);
  • Zoning issues;
  • Sight distance obstructions;
  • Occupancy limits.
Low Priority (3) - Minor violations include:
  • Right-of-way issues (Signs, garbage cans, basketball hoops);
  • Construction hour violations;
  • Lighting;
  • Fences;
  • Structures in setback;
  • Chickens;
  • Short-term rentals.

Glossary of Terms:

  • Abatement: A process by which the City of Sammamish removes Nuisance conditions on a property. Abatement may be performed with a warrant if the Nuisance is on private property, or without a warrant if the nuisance is on public right-of-way or an imminent threat to life safety.
  • Appeal: A request by the property owner to the DCD Director or Hearing Examiner to re-evaluate any part of a Notice of Violation, Civil Penalty, or Voluntary Compliance Agreement.
  • Civil Penalties: A fine issued by the City of Sammamish to the property owner as a result of non-compliance with property corrections.
  • Hearing Process: The process in which the City pursues legal action to abate a property or remove a building in violation. The hearing is conducted by the Hearing Examiner who makes a decision about the course of resolution for the case.
  • Notice and Order: Represents a determination that a civil code violation has occurred and that the person named therein is responsible for correcting the violation, as well as the other penalties and remedies specified in the Notice and Order. Notice and Orders can be issued at any time during the Code Compliance process. Typically, this step is taken after exhausting voluntary compliance efforts. Notice and Orders are subject to appeal and are recorded on title.
  • Notice of Violation:  Written communication to the property owner detailing code violations, the City process for pursuing compliance, and the property owner's rights.
  • Notice to Comply: Provides a description of a violation, the code violated, a deadline to comply, and what a person must do to resolve the violation on a voluntary basis.
  • Public Record Request: A public record is any record containing information relating to the conduct of government business, which is prepared, owned, used, or retained by an agency. This includes, but is not limited to, electronic media, paper, email, microfilm audiotapes, videotapes, magnetic tapes, and disks (CDs/DVDs). Public records may be obtained from the City by request.
  • Right-of-Way: Includes the area of land, the right of possession of which is secured by the City for right-of-way purposes and includes the traveled portion of the public streets and alleys, as well as border area, which includes, but is not limited to, any sidewalks, driveway approaches, planting strips, traffic circles, parkways, or medians, or area between the sidewalk and the curb line.
  • Stop Work Order (SWO): A written order specifying code violations and prohibiting any work or other activity at a particular site.
  • Voluntary Compliance Agreement (VCA): A written contract between the person responsible for the violation and the City, under which such person agrees to abate the violation within a specified time and according to specified conditions.
  • Warrant: The process in which a Superior Court Judge issues permission for the City to abate nuisance conditions on a property or demolish a building.

 Questions

For general questions, contact Code Compliance at codecompliance@sammamish.us

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