Code Violation Process

Processing Steps
Upon receipt of a completed Code Violation Report (CVR) Form (PDF), enforcement staff will complete a combination of the following:
  • Open a new enforcement case or update an existing case:
    • Prioritize cases based on urgent life / safety concerns and/or severe environmental damage
  • Check permit history, mapping software, and aerial photography:
    • Has a permit been issued that authorized the work
    • Do the mapping/aerials suggest areas of concern; e.g. critical areas or a building constructed without permits
  • Conduct site inspection:
    • Document any violations
    • Attempt to make contact with the landowner / violator
    • Interview property owners and/or neighbors
  • Take formal enforcement action by issuing any of the following:
    • Notices of violation, notices of penalty, orders to abate, stop work orders, or civil citations
    • Penalties are up to $1,000 per day per violation
    • Penalties related to clearing activity may exceed $1,000
    • If violator refuses to comply, matter is referred to the Whatcom County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for criminal prosecution
  • Close the case:
    • No violation exists or permits on record
    • Corrective action successfully met