Community Services

Podcast: Couch on the roof, goat in the driveway — the world of Code Supervisor Julie Caler

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

College Station Code Enforcement Supervisor Julie Caler makes her first appearance on the podcast and explains how she and her crew work to keep the city looking good. Sometimes, that means dealing with some odd or difficult situations.

In this episode, we cover topics ranging from parking and trash violations to hoarders and goats.

Total run time: 24:30
00:00 — Show open.
00:45 — What exactly do you and your staff do?
02:07 — Code used to be proactive, then reactive — now what are you?
03:53 — Most-common code issues in College Station?
04:45 — Why no parking in the grass?
06:25 — Most-egregious issues related to trash?
08:25 — How much of a problem is parking in yards?
09:23 — What are your Texas A&M home football game days like?
10:28 — Open storage is…fun? Bedroom suites on the roof??
13:00 — What about issues in back yards?
14:25 — Boats, trailers and RVs.
14:52 — Weeds and grass.
16:33 — Dealing with hoarders.
20:50 — Goats?
22:30 — Jay gives Julie a pop-quiz.
23:25 — Show close.


Podcast Archive


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his eighth year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he also serves as president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


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Are address numbers required on homes, businesses?


By Julie Caler, Code Enforcement Supervisor

Have you ever had a problem finding an unfamiliar home or business?

Even with the prevalence of GPS on our smartphones, locating some places remains difficult if the building isn’t identifiable from the street. That can create serious problems not only for visitors, deliveries and service calls but also for first responders in an emergency.

That’s why almost all cities, including College Station, have ordinances that require clearly displayed address numbers for homes and businesses.

What’s required?

house-numbers-poleIn College Station, the address number for houses must be at least two inches high on both sides of a mailbox near the curb, or at least four inches high on the house or a prominently displayed sign.

For businesses, the numbers must be at least four inches high and have at least a half-inch stroke width in the main body. They should also be made of a durable material.

The color of the numbers should also provide a contrast with the background. For example, brass or black numbers on a dark background are hard to see from the street, especially at night.

In addition, be sure your numbers won’t be obstructed by bushes and shrubs as they grow. If it’s behind a bush and can’t be seen from the street, you’re violating the ordinance.

Does the curb count?

2900-arroyo-st-s-002You may occasionally find a flyer on your door from a business that paints address numbers on curbs. The flyers sometimes claim that if you don’t have your address on the curb, you’re violating city ordinance.

While it’s certainly not a bad idea to display your house number on the curb, our ordinance only requires it to be on your house, mailbox or a prominent sign on your property.

For more information about properly displaying your address, contact Code Enforcement at

Related Link:


0000018EPAbout the Author

Code Enforcement Supervisor Julie Caler has been with the City of College Station for 17 years.


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City, local groups join forces to help residents in need


By David Brower, Community Development Analyst

When the City of College Station’s Community Services Department is unable to help a citizen in distress, we reach out to other community partners to see if they can help.

Two recent examples show how these partnerships are paying huge dividends in our community.

Recently, an unstable tree was threatening to fall on a home. The owner didn’t have the money to get the tree removed, so the city contacted a local church with a disaster relief ministry. Members of the congregation who had been trained to take down trees removed the dangerous timber at no cost, averting a potential catastrophe.

Another vivid example is a senior woman who lives in a 50-year-old house. Although she’s been diligent in maintaining her home, major systems are failing and need to be replaced. She can’t handle the large expenses on her fixed income, so she contacted the Community Services Department for help.

She qualified for assistance through our Housing Minor Repair Program, and we helped her replace her malfunctioning – and dangerous – electrical breaker box. We also took care of a drainage problem in her backyard.

Then, with temperatures dropping below freezing, her heater suddenly went out, too.

We reached out to an organization called Rebuilding Together Bryan/College Station, which is part of the national Rebuilding Together organization. Founded by Steve Godby, the local chapter serves low-income homeowners who are over the age of 62 or are a veteran or the spouse of a veteran. Families with children under 18 may also qualify.

Rebuilding Together BCS uses a network of business, faith groups, and other nonprofits to supply funds and volunteers for their projects. They immediately provided a space heater and within days raised funds to replace her furnace.

These are just two of many success stories that illustrate how the city takes advantage of our resources through collaborative partnerships to make our community a better place.

For more on the City of College Station’s housing assistance programs, go to


David BrowerAbout the Author

David Brower has been a community development analyst for the City of College Station since 2008. He is a 2008 graduate of Texas A&M.



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4 ways to help curbside collections work to perfection


By Julie Caler, Code Enforcement Supervisor

Let’s talk trash!  More specifically, how and when to dispose of it to avoid costly code violations.

1. Bag your trash.

How you dispose of your trash makes a difference. It may be easier to toss the items in the city-provided container, but that isn’t the way to go.  If you don’t bag your trash, it can fly all over your neighborhood when the garbage truck picks it up.

2. Use the right container.

Household trash NEVER goes in the blue recycling containers. That’s been a huge problem in recent months as residents grow accustomed to our Single-Stream Recycling program.

3. Know the collection schedule.

Many new residents don’t know when their trash, recyclables or bulky items are scheduled to be collected. To find out, call Public Works at 979-764-3690 or go to the Sanitation website. For the collection schedule, enter your street name and it will show your garbage day. If you go to the Single-Stream Recycling website, you can find your recycling week by clicking on the Collection Roster and looking for your street.

If you miss a collection day, call Public Works and ask to be put on the missed list. The Sanitation Division may not get to your container that day, but they will issue a work order to ensure your trash or bulky items get picked up.

You also should avoid placing bulky items out more than 48 hours before your scheduled collection.

4. Bring in your containers. 

Now that you know your collection day, you’ll need to remember to bring in your container in after it’s been collected. It may seem easier to leave the container at the curb so you won’t have to put it out every week, but that’s a code violation.

Some homeowners associations have deed restrictions requiring you to screen your container, but the city doesn’t. We don’t enforce deed restrictions, either, so please keep the container next to your house.

MyWaste App

The MyWaste app puts the sanitation schedule and other information at your fingertips. You can even set an alert to remind you of your trash day. Click here or go to your favorite app store to download.

It’s the responsibility of the Code Enforcement Division to work with you to help make College Station a healthy, safe and aesthetically pleasing place to live.  Please contact us at 979-764-6363 or if you have questions.


0000018EPAbout the Author

Code Enforcement Supervisor Julie Caler has been with the City of College Station for 17 years.


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Game day parking doesn’t have to be a hassle


By Julie Caler, Code Enforcement Supervisor

For football fans, following your favorite team for a road game can be tricky. With tens of thousands of fans descending on a relatively small area, finding a place to park can be daunting.

That’s certainly the case in College Station.

Visitors understandably want to park as close to Kyle Field as possible, and that creates challenges for our guests and residents, especially in the Southside neighborhood. Making sure everyone abides by our city parking ordinances is a major test for city staff, too.

The laws are designed to ensure that our streets and neighborhoods are safe, which means emergency vehicles can respond if needed, and cars are kept off the grass to prevent fires, broken meters, broken gas lines, or other problems. The College Station Police Department, Code Enforcement, and the Northgate District staff work together to provide a safe environment for you on game day.

Street Parking

Many of the streets in the Southside area were developed years ago and are exceptionally narrow. Police officers will be looking for vehicles parked facing traffic, blocking a fire hydrant, parking too close to a traffic control device such as stop sign, blocking intersections, and parking in a no parking zone, to name a few. You also can’t directly block a driveway, but that doesn’t mean you can’t park across the street.

Some of these are violations of state law, and a few are towable offenses. If you are parked illegally in certain areas, your vehicle will likely be towed. If you discover your vehicle has been towed, call the Police Department’s non-emergency number at 979-764-3600.

Yard Parking

Code Enforcement Staff will be actively looking for vehicles parking in yards. We discourage residents from illegally selling parking spots on their property. If we find a vehicle parked in the yard, we issue a warning to the resident in person and with a letter. If it’s a rental property, we also inform the property owner and management company.

If the violation happens again on another game day, we may issue a citation or court summons for the property owner and resident.  If you have any questions about this or any other city ordinance, call Code Enforcement at 979-764-6363.

Northgate Parking

The Northgate District provides numerous safe and affordable parking options, including the Northgate Parking Garage, which is just a short walk to Kyle Field. The special game day rate is $25. If you park in the garage, you don’t have to worry about parking in the wrong place or being towed.

We also have limited parking available on certain Northgate streets and in the surface parking lot. The game day rate for both options is $3.50 an hour and is applicable from 6 a.m. Saturday until 3 a.m. Sunday.

For more information about the Northgate Parking Garage, including the availability of parking spaces, call 979-764-6313.

For general questions about parking or Code Enforcement, please feel free to contact me at 979-764-6363 or

Game Day Information

IMG_4223Here are some maps and other information that we hope will move you around town as quickly as possible on Aggie game days:

Gig ‘em, Aggies!


0000018EPAbout the Author

Code Enforcement Supervisor Julie Caler has been with the City of College Station for 17 years.


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Reporting issues to city as easy as See-Click-Fix


By Julie Caler, Code Enforcement Supervisor

“There’s an app for that!”

Just because that statement has become trite doesn’t mean it’s not accurate. Most of us are constantly looking for the next great app to enrich and add convenience to our lives.

SeeClickFix is not a new app, but it has proven to be one of the most useful. And it’s free.

SCFThe City of College Station has used the app since 2011 as a handy way for citizens to report potholes, broken street lights or code enforcement issues. The result has been more than 4,700 resolved problems.

SeeClickFix allows anyone with internet access to report on issues that concern them. You can access the program with desktop computers or mobile devices, including smartphones. It’s easy to use, and it creates a higher level of accountability for city staff through better communication.

When you enter an issue into the system, we are notified by email and route the message to the appropriate department or division. We even let outside agencies such as the Texas Department of Transportation know if the reported issue is within their areas of responsibility.

When an update is available, we post it on SeeClickFix and you receive a notification.

The most frequent reported issues are overgrown weeds and grass, followed by large accumulations of trash, overflowing trash containers, potholes, and broken street lights or signs. Other common issues include malfunctioning water fountains in parks, property maintenance issues, junk motor vehicles, and parking in yards.

How to sign up

Create a user name and password, log on, and you’re ready to report a problem and make your community a better place. When you submit an issue, provide as much information as you can, such as an address or the identification number on a street light pole. You can even include a photo.

If you don’t have access to a computer or mobile device, you can report issues by calling 979-764-6363. We’ll enter the problem into SeeClickFix for you so we can accurately count the numbers and types of reported cases.

SeeClickFix has proven to be a valuable tool for our citizens and has helped make the city more efficient and effective at resolving everyday issues. For more information, contact Code Enforcement at 979-764-6363 or

0000018EPAbout the Author

Code Enforcement Supervisor Julie Caler has been with the City of College Station for 17 years.


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