Zoning Code Enforcement

The Zoning Enforcement Division of the Department is charged with enforcing the Marion Zoning Regulations  which requires that all investigations be initiated by a written complaint.  After a complaint is received it is assigned to a member of the Planning Staff or forwarded to the appropriate department.  City Staff will visit the site to determine if a violation exists.  If a violation is found to exist the property owner is given a written notification by mail of the violation and specific action that must be taken to correct the violation within a specific time frame. 

The following are typical zoning violations.

  1. Parking vehicles, including boats and trailers on the grass.
  2. Operating a multi-tenant rental building without the proper zoning and rental inspections (additional regulations via Marion Housing Division
  3. Building a structure (shed) or deck without the proper setbacks from property lines or within recorded easements even if that project does not require a building permit.Please confirm with the Building Department if your project requires the need for a building permit before beginning.
  4. Placing signs in the public right-of-way (between the curb and sidewalk).
  5. Home Occupation that is operating outside of the home and is clearly evident from the public right-of-way.
  6. High weeds and/or grass on public or private property you must contact the Marion Parks & Recreation Department.
  7. Garbage, litter, building without permits, animal waste and poor exterior housing condition. You need to contact the Code Enforcement Division of the Marion Building Department.
  8. Issues regarding noise / barking dogs should be directed to the Marion Police Department.

What happens when I file a complaint?  

  1. Describe the complaint in writing. You are encouraged to use the following form to file a complaint. Must include address of violation within the comment section, enforcement cannot proceed without the address of the possible violation.
  2. After receipt by Zoning Enforcement, the complaint is assigned to a staff member or forwarded to responsible Department.
  3. The inspector conducts an inspection and researches the property. If a violation is confirmed, the property owner is advised in writing about the violation and what action must be taken to correct the problem and is given a date by which compliance must be achieved. Inspectors work with property owners who request assistance in resolving violations. An extension of time may be granted to property owners who promise to resolve the violation within an acceptable time frame.
  4. The inspector re-inspects the property after the compliance date. If the violation remains, citations may be issued or legal action is initiated.
  5. If the violation continues, the inspector may issue additional citations or refer the case to the City Attorney for review and potential litigation in Linn County District Court.

What is taking so long? 

  1. Please be aware that although it may appear that nothing is happening after you report a zoning violation, the process may take some time from weeks to months.
  2. Inspectors must personally visit each reported property and conduct necessary research.
  3. Property owners must be located and legally notified.
  4. Adequate time to comply must be given to property owners - extensions of time may be necessary if efforts to correct have been noted.
  5. Administrative actions may be pending including a request for a variance hearing, appeal or trial.  All enforcement ceases during appeal process. 
  6. A citation is issued to the property owner and they have asked to stand trial on the citation - at that point all Zoning Enforcement actions cease until the property owner goes to court and a judge issues a decision.  Court hearings could potentially take up to a year to for final decision to be received.
  7. A violation may not exist or the inspector is unable to view the violation (property posted no trespassing).