Posts tagged “code enforcement

Are address numbers required on homes, businesses?

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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 codeenforcement@cstx.gov.

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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4 ways to help curbside collections work to perfection

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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 codeenforcement@cstx.gov 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

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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 jcaler@cstx.gov.

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

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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 codeenforcement@cstx.gov.


0000018EPAbout the Author

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


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 


Why gorilla art is permissible but rooftop beds aren’t

By Julie Caler, Code Enforcement Supervisor

Outdoor living areas have become increasingly popular, especially as do-it-yourself projects. Lots of people enjoy larger and more functional backyard patios that are out of public view.

But the latest trend is to turn front yards and carports into outdoor living rooms complete with big-screen TVs, sectional couches, and coffee tables.

We even see an occasional bed on a roof.

bed on roof

(more…)


Moving out? Consider the options for your unwanted stuff

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By Julie Caler, Code Enforcement Supervisor

The end of each semester means many Texas A&M and Blinn students are graduating and preparing to move out of their apartments and houses. As part of the process, they discover they no longer need much of what they’ve accumulated through their college years.

For the City of College Station’s Code Enforcement Division, that can lead to problems.

Many apartment complexes don’t always order the large rectangular trash containers in time to accommodate the high volume of discarded items. When this happens, the tenant sometimes resorts to finding inappropriate places to dump their unwanted items, including commercial dumpsters behind businesses.

You may not realize that constitutes theft of service or illegal dumping, which are violations of city ordinance. After all, someone else is paying for service at that location. If we can track down the culprit, we’ll issue a costly citation that graduates certainly don’t need to deal with right now.

We’ve discovered that many of the discarded items could be recycled or reused. With that in mind, here’s a solution you may not have considered: Instead of illegally dumping your reusable stuff in someone else’s bin, how about donating it to your favorite charity?

Here’s a short list of local organizations that will accept household items, including furniture and food:

Brazos Valley Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse
Accepts most household items.
405 West 28th St., Bryan (979-823-5300)

Brazos Valley Food Bank
Food donations may be dropped off weekdays from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
1514 Shiloh Ave., Bryan (979-779-3663)

Grace Bible Church’s The Big Giveaway
Accepts household items and furniture.
701 Anderson St., College Station (979-695-2000, ext. 111)

A&M Church of Christ’s iHouse Market
Accepts household items and furniture.
Contact ihouseaggieland@gmail.com to arrange pick-up or drop-off.

Project Unity
Accepts household items and furniture.
1400 Beck St., Bryan (979-774-6788)

Twin City Mission
Call 979-822-7511 to schedule pick-up of large items.
Drop-off Locations:
>> Second Chance 1, 803 Wellborn Road, College Station
>> Second Chance 2, 3808 Old College, Bryan
>> Alice’s Attic, 424 North Main, Bryan (979-822-2979)
Accepts household items and furniture.

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church
Accepts household items and furniture.
Contact ddkingau@gmail.com or 979-739-5582 to arrange drop-off or pick-up.

If you live in a residential single-family neighborhood, you can either put your items on the curb on your designated bulk day or take them to the Twin Oaks Landfill, which offers a free dumping service with your utility bill.

If you live in an apartment, you should dispose of your items in the roll-off bin provided by your complex. You also have the option to take them to the landfill.

Because of the additional volume of discarded items, it may take our hard-working sanitation workers longer than normal to complete their collection routes. We appreciate your patience!

For questions about Code Enforcement, call 979-764-6363 or visit us at cstx.gov/codeenforcement. For questions about sanitation services, call 979-764-3690.

 


0000018EPAbout the Author

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

Previous blogs by Julie Caler


 

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