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Code Enforcement

The Code Enforcement department is responsible for all aspects of inspection and enforcement of the 2012 International Property Maintenance Code.  This code requires certain minimum property and building maintenance standards, including the height of weeds, grass and other vegetation. 

Currently, the Code Enforcement department is complaint driven.  Upon complaint, an inspector will visit the area of alleged violations to perform an inspection.  If it is determined that a code violation is present, a violation notice will be sent to the property owner to begin the compliance process.  In addition to common conditions of weeds and grass height, this department also evaluates compliance of the property (including the house or structure) to ensure it meets our property maintenance standards.  Other than weed complaints, other common violations include peeling paint, cracked or dangerous sidewalks, trash and debris and abandoned or inoperable motor vehicles. 

Often, when a complaint is generated, it is the result of the lack of maintenance over a significant period of time.  It is our experience that when a complaint is generated, an inspection of the general neighborhood reveals several aspects of property maintenance/nuisance codes that are in violation.  When a complaint is generated for a particular address, our inspectors will also canvas the general neighborhood to assess whether there are significant numbers of other violations.  Depending upon the number and/or severity of the other violations, other property owners may also receive violation notices unrelated to the original complaint.  Our experience is that property owners who receive notices of violation are aware of the issue, and our letter works as a reminder to complete those tasks for the benefit of the entire neighborhood.  In other cases, foreclosures, death or abandonment of property can quickly lead to an eyesore for a neighborhood, and can threaten not only property values, but the health and safety of its neighbors.  It is important for property owners to notify this department immediately when a code violation is suspected, so that the lack of maintenance does not continue.

On July 8, 2009, the Board of Aldermen adopted a new ordinance setting the standards for maximum grass height.  That ordinance completely revised Section 302.4 of the 2006 International Property Maintenance Code, and those changes were continued in the 2012 Edition, which now reads as follows:

All premises and exterior property shall be maintained free from weeds or plant growth in excess of:

  • Seven (7) inches in all residentially zoned ground with an approved final plat and all commercial and industrial ground, if a structure is located on the lot.
  • Sixteen (16) inches on all undeveloped ground without structures, and all agricultural zoned ground without crops, that is adjacent to ground with an occupied residential structure, but only for the first Thirty (30) feet from the property line, or Fifty (50) feet from the adjacent residential structure, whichever is less.  Hay and grass shall constitute a crop if, and only if, it is regularly harvested.  If not regularly harvested, then such hay or grass shall not constitute a crop for purposes of this section.

If a violation of any of these requirements is suspected, you may report the violation online. An inspector will view the site to determine if a violation exists.

Development Department
Development Department
107 W Main St
Smithville, MO 64089



Jack Hendrix
Community Development Director
City of Smithville, Missouri
City of Smithville
107 West Main Street - Smithville, MO 64089 -
Phone: 816-532-3897
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