The City of Denton works with residents and businesses to preserve the health, beauty, safety, and property values of the community.
To achieve this goal, Community Improvement Services addresses property maintenance violations such as tall grass and weeds, trash and debris, junk vehicles, illegal outside storage, and dilapidated structures.
Follow these guidelines to avoid common violations, and contact us for more information.
Grass, Weeds, and Other Vegetation
- In yards, easements, and rights-of-way (including easements and rights-of-way behind fences), grass and weeds shall not be taller than 12 inches.
- Vegetation that is growing within one foot of a street or alley, which interferes with traffic or visibility, must be removed.
- Tree limbs lower than 13.5 feet above a street or 12 feet above an alley that obstruct vehicular traffic, must be trimmed.
- Tree limbs lower than 7 feet above a sidewalk must be trimmed.
- Vegetation growing or encroaching upon improved rights-of-way (sidewalks, curbs, or streets) must be removed.
- Construction wood, wrought iron, masonry, brick, vinyl, PVC, or composite material. Support frames, braces, and fastenings must be on the inside of fences.
- Newly constructed side and back yard fences, eight feet maximum; front yard fences, three feet and six inches maximum.
- Must be set back at least 10 feet from the street or alley or five feet from the sidewalk, whichever is greater.
- Shall not be placed in any right-of-way, easement, fire lane, required parking space, or obstruct any visibility sight lines or triangles.
- Shall be maintained in sound structural condition with no broken, loose, damaged, or missing parts.
- Repairs must be made using the same or similar materials of like color, size, and shape of the original fence.
- If 50 percent or more of one side of a fence needs repair, the entire side must be replaced.
Garage & Yard Sales
- No more than one sale every four months with a limit of three days per sale.
- Signs stating the location and date may not be larger than six square feet.
- No more than one sign is allowed on premises and no more than three signs may be located off premises.
- Put out signs no more than 24 hours before the sale and remove within 24 hours after the sale.
- Signs may not be placed on any public property, e.g. utility or traffic sign poles, utility boxes, street medians, etc.
- Are required and must be at least four inches high and visible from the street.
- Remove or paint over all graffiti.
Trash & Recycling Containers
- Containers may not be set out until after 6 p.m. the night before scheduled pickup, and all containers and unaccepted items must be removed by 8 a.m. the morning after scheduled pickup.
- No items may be set outside the containers unless a special collection has been requested from Solid Waste Customer Service. Please call (940) 349-8787 for more information.
- Containers may not be stored in the front yard, on the front porch, or in front of the main structure on the property. Store containers at the side or back of the residence, in the garage, or in a storage building.
Trash & Debris
- Remove any refuse, trash, debris, junk, garbage, etc. from property, including adjacent easements and rights-of-way.
- Do not maintain property in a manner that creates unsanitary conditions.
Parking of Oversized Vehicles
- Recreational vehicles, travel trailers, boats or boat trailers, tow trucks, or any vehicles other than a motor vehicle may not be parked or stored on a residential street. The police department enforces this ordinance: please call (940) 349-8181.
Parking on Rights-of-Way
- Do not park any vehicle in or on any right-of-way, including sidewalks, alleys, public easements, streets, or highways and their shoulders. Exception: vehicles legally parked on a street or highway.
Storage of Goods in Rights-of-Way
- Do not store any objects, items, or personal property (basketball goals, skateboard ramps, etc.) in or on any right-of-way such as a sidewalk, parkway, street, or easement.
- Park vehicles on improved surfaces only.
- When adding an improved parking surface, it must be made of the same material, be connected to, and run parallel with the original driveway.
- Added parking surfaces may not be more than 12 feet wide or closer than three feet to a neighboring property line. If the additional surface is parallel with a sidewalk, there must be at least five feet between the added surface and the closest edge of the sidewalk.
- In a side or back yard, that has no improved parking surface, a vehicle may be screened behind a privacy fence or wall.
- Additional parking surfaces cannot be placed in an easement or right-of-way, or interfere with traffic visibility.
- Existing dirt driveways must be improved. Options: concrete, asphalt, pavers, and open pavers. Single-family and duplex residences may opt to use four inches of gravel, which must be bordered.
- Do not use a vehicle for living, sleeping, or storage of trash, debris, or personal property not normally associated with the vehicle.
Inoperable and Junk Vehicles
- Inoperable vehicles and junk vehicles may not be visible from any right-of-way or adjacent property.
- Only one such vehicle is allowed on residential property if screened completely by a solid, opaque fence or enclosed in a building.
- A cover or tarp is not considered adequate screening.
- An inoperable motor vehicle that remains inoperable for more than 30 consecutive days becomes a junk vehicle.
Temporary Carports or Auto Shade Covers
- A structure that provides shade, shelter, or weather protection that is not permanently secured below ground level or that has a nonrigid top material must be removed.
Temporary Containers & Portable Storage Units (PODS)
- Shall be permitted by the Building Inspections Division. Please call (940) 349-8360 for more information. Post permit in a visible location.
- Limited to three 30-day permits per calendar year.
- Storage containers must be located on an improved surface.
- Storage containers may not be located in any part of a fire lane, required parking space or maneuvering lane, public right-of-way, or visibility triangle.
- Property must have a primary structure to which the storage container is an accessory use.
- Storage containers less than 120 square feet, located in a back yard and screened from public view, do not require a permit.
- Items or objects shall be located in the side or back yard only and shall be completely screened from public view.
- Children’s play equipment, smokers, barbeque grills, and furniture or appliances designated for outdoor use shall be stored in the side or back yard, but do not need to be screened.
- Outdoor furniture that is in good repair may be maintained in the front yard.
Frequently Asked Questions
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Who is responsible for fixing code violations on a property?
Anyone with a form of control over the property can be held responsible for a code violation including, but not limited to, property owners, tenants, and property managers.
A property owner is ultimately responsible for all violations on the property, however, when addressing a code violation Community Improvement Services attempts to determine the most culpable party and also educates all of the parties with an interest in the property in an attempt to correct current violations and prevent future occurrences.
How long does it take for a violation to be fixed?
The time it takes to correct a violation depends on the type of violation being addressed. Some violations, like graffiti, have specific timelines established by the State that the City must follow. Other violation timelines are left to the City to create. Generally, owners and/or tenants of properties with a violation(s) are given two weeks to address the violation(s). MBS violations may take many months and sometimes up to a year to completely address. Extensions can be granted if mitigating circumstances exist or if progress is being made.
What is the process the City uses to address a violation?
If a violation is found the standard process includes a Notice of Violation, a Citation or Court Summons, and a Work Order. Notices of Violation are designed to inform and educate residents about violations and possible solutions before any enforcement action is taken. The vast majority of the City’s code violations are corrected voluntarily by property owners and tenants, without the need for Citations or Work Orders.
Who is the CIS Officer in my neighborhood?
The City is divided into districts, and every Officer is assigned to a district. As the City grows and changes, districts grow and change.
If you have a general question or would like to know who your district Officer is, you can contact our office at (940) 349-8743. If you are ever contacted by our office with respect to a violation on your property the name of the Officer can be found in the documentation you receive, along with their direct contact information.
A CIS Officer sent me a Notice of Violation. What do I do?
Read the Notice carefully. Make sure you understand the violation on your property, the comments from the Officer, and the penalty for failing to comply. If there is something in the Notice you don’t understand, or if you need more time to comply, contact the Officer listed at the bottom of the Notice.
A CIS Officer sent me a citation. What do I do?
Appear at the Denton Municipal Court on the date and time on the citation. At that time you will meet with a City prosecutor who will explain your options.
You can also pay the citation fine to avoid going to Municipal Court, however, if the violation for which you were cited has not been corrected, you can be cited again.
To avoid citations, follow the instructions in your Notice of Violation if you received one. Work with your CIS Officer if you have questions or need more time to comply.
I need an extension to correct the issues on my property. What do I do?
Contact your CIS Officer to request an extension. If an extension is agreed to, the officer will simply place a note in the case file. However, if the extension is for an extended period of time, he/she will request that you complete and submit an Extension Request Form to be placed in the case file.
If you left an extension request on a voice mail, call back the main line at (940) 349-8743 or to the Officer’s direct line to assure that an extension has been granted.
I received a Notice of Violation from a Community Improvement Services Officer. I don’t think this is a violation, but the Officer thinks it is. What do I do?
If the Officer hasn’t heard from you, he/she hasn’t heard your point of view. Contact the Officer to discuss your situation. The Officer can meet you at your property or invite you to meet at our office, and you can present whatever information you have to the Officer. Maintaining a good relationship with your CIS Officer helps the Officer learn more about you and your neighborhood, which helps him/her address violations to keep you and your family safe.
If the Officer determines that a violation does not exist, your case will be closed and no further action will be taken. If it is still determined that a violation does exist, you can work with the Officer on a “compliance plan” to bring the property into compliance. The plan may include giving you more time to correct the violation, or getting you in touch with other City departments or resources that can help you.