The Building Official is responsible for investigating and enforcing zoning, environmental and building code violations. In most cases, they will undertake an investigation in response to a citizen complaint about improper land use or other code violations. Following an investigation, a landowner may receive violation notices or warnings if they are warranted. These initial actions might be followed by additional legal actions, such as civil penalties, fines or recordation.
The most common type of code violation is the conversion of a structure not intended for habitation into a dwelling unit. For example, an individual might convert a barn into a studio apartment without getting the proper permits. The first step of the enforcement process is generally the filing of a complaint. Next, a letter is sent to the property owner, informing them of the complaint.