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Code Enforcement

The City's Code Enforcement Program supports the City's public safety mission by investigating potential or actual violations of the City, public health, and other applicable regulations.  Different City Departments investigate complaints depending on the nature of the violation.  Categories of typical violations include:


Complaints submitted to the City constitute a public record and may be subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act (RCW 42.56). 

Complete an online complaint form  to file a complaint regarding a potential code violation. 

Free Mediation Services
Through an agreement with the City of Bellevue, Kirkland residents are eligible to receive free mediation services.  This program provides an opportunity to resolve issues between neighbors and business owners.

Mediation can occur at any time during a code enforcement process and can even be conducted in lieu of it.

For more information about the Bellevue Neighborhood Mediation Program call 425.452.4091.


How does the City of Kirkland enforce its Zoning and Municipal Codes?

City law authorizes City staff to investigate citizen initiated complaints. If a violation has occurred, a Code Enforcement Officer or other authorized City personnel will try to resolve it first through education, voluntary compliance, and/or negotiation. If this proves ineffective, then more formal enforcement proceedings may commence.

If you have questions involving the procedures and/or types of zoning/municipal code violations subject to the City jurisdiction and review, you may contact the appropriate staff in person at City Hall, by email or by telephone at the numbers shown below.  If calling outside of business hours, please leave a message and your call will be returned as soon as possible.


Problems Involving Land Use Issues

General Topic or Type of Problem

Responsible City Department

- Animals (number and use)

- Building Height

- Building Setbacks

- Fences on Private Property

- Home Occupations (Businesses)

- Illegal Land Use

- Junk and Junk Vehicles

- Outdoor Use, Activity, and Storage

- Oversize Vehicles on Private Property

- Signs

Planning & Community Development
Phone: 425.587.3600
Email: Planning Code Enforcement for questions or complaints



Environmental Problems

General Topic or Type of Problem

Responsible City Department

- Draining, ditching, filling, or clearing in wetlands

- Air Quality

- Lighting

- Glare

- Odor

- Tree removal on private property

Planning & Community Development
Phone: 425.587.3600

Email: Planning Code Enforcement for questions or complaints

- Oily sheen or other contaminant seen in a lake or stream

- Dumping of yard or pet waste near a stream or wetland

- Clearing of vegetation near stream

- Land surface modification (grading)

- Toxic lawn chemicals used near stream or wetland

Public Works, Storm/Surface Water Division
Phone: 425.587.3900
Email: enf-pw@kirklandwa.gov

- Sewage discharge from broken sanitary sewer lines or equipment malfunction

Public Works, Wastewater Division
Phone: 425.587.3900

- Animals (Strays)

King County Animal Control
Phone: 206.296.7387

- Storage of hazardous materials

King County Hazardous Waste Management
Phone: 206.263.3050

- Water quality problems in unincorporated King County

King County Water and Land Resource Division
Phone: 206.296.1900

- Large oil spills

Department of Ecology
Phone: 425.649.7000

- Septic tank functions

King County Public Health
Phone: 206.296.4932

 

Problems in Streets and Parking Lots

General Topic or Type of Problem

Responsible City Department

- Blowing debris and/or yard waste into the street

- Chlorinated swimming pool water drained into the street and/or storm water drains on public or private property

- Landscaping dirt piles in the street

- Mud tracked out into the street or muddy water entering the street and/or storm water drains or private property, typically from a construction site

- Paint, motor oil, or other contaminant poured or allowed to flow into the street and/or storm water drains on public or private property

- Restaurants dumping food or grease into storm water drains on public or private property

- Soapy water entering the street and/or storm water drains on public or private property from washing vehicles , sidewalks, or awnings

- Vehicle fluids leaking into the street and/or storm water drains on public or private property

Public Works, Storm/Surface Water Division
Phone: 425.587.3900
Email: enf-pw@kirklandwa.gov

- City capital improvement construction project complaint

- Sidewalk obstructions, missing signs*, blocking vehicles

- Sign distance at intersections

Public Works, City Hall
Phone: 425.587.3800

- Traffic related spills

Public Works, Street Maintenance
Phone: 425.587.3900

- Graffiti

Hotline: 425.587.3824
If in process, call 911.
Email: anti-graffiti@kirklandwa.gov

- Vehicles parked at least several days on a City street

Police
Phone: 425.587.3400

- Tree removal or pruning (unauthorized)

Street Trees: Public Works, Public Grounds
Phone: 425.587.3908

Park Trees: Parks and Community Services
Phone: 425.587.3340

 

Building and Construction Problems

General Topic or Type of Problem

Responsible City Department

- Dangerous buildings or structures constructed or demolished without permits

Planning and Building Department
Phone: 425.587.3600
Email: enf-building@kirklandwa.gov

- Excessive dust in the air, generally from a construction site

Public Works, City Hall
Phone: 425.587.3800

- Sewage discharge from broken sanitary sewer lines or equipment malfunction

Public Works, Wastewater Division
Phone: 425.587.3900

- Drainage problems

Public Works, Storm/Surface Water Division
Phone: 425.587.3800

- Hours of construction and heavy equipment operation

Planning and Building Department
Phone: 425.587.3600

Email: Planning Code Enforcement for questions or complaints

* The Code Enforcement Officer also picks up improperly placed or sized signs within the public right-of-way. Contact Code Enforcement 425.587.3600 if you are missing a sign(s) from a City right-of-way.


How do I report a suspected code violation?

For in-progress activities that must be stopped immediately to prevent irreparable harm:

  • During City Hall Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., call the Planning & Community Development Department at 425.587.3600.
  • Evenings/Weekends/Holidays, dial 911.

For non-emergency complaints:

The complaint must include the following:

  1. The address, telephone number and email of the person making the complaint,
  2. A clear description of the nature of the alleged violation,
  3. Address of the alleged violation and the name of the alleged violator (if known), and
  4. Any other pertinent information.

If I file a complaint, will my name be confidential?

Not necessarily.  Complaints submitted to the City constitute a public record and may be subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act (RCW 42.56).  In addition, your name is required so we can keep you informed of the progress of the investigation and/or request further information as needed.

Complaints regarding life, health, safety, and environmental concerns are investigated, even if the complaint is made anonymously.


What happens after my complaint is filed?

The City investigates every written complaint received. As the complainant, you will be notified of the result of the investigation and any enforcement action to be taken to achieve code compliance. 


Does the City have an ombudsman?

The City’s ombudsman is available to assist you:

  • If you are unsure about which department to file your code enforcement complaint
  • If you believe you received unfair treatment during a code enforcement case investigation
  • If you believe city staff has not provided you with quality customer service
  • If you seek information about other agencies that could help you

For ombudsman assistance, please contact the City Manager's Office, Communications Program Manager at 425.587.3021.

Updated February 16, 2016

Planning & Building Department
123 5th Avenue, Kirkland WA 98033

General Inquiries:
Building Questions
Building_Services@kirklandwa.gov
Planning Questions
PlanningInfo@kirklandwa.gov
T. 425.587.3600 | F. 425.587.3232