Community Preservation Is Everyone's Responsibility!
The City of Murrieta has a comprehensive code enforcement program, which helps to protect property owner investment, promote general health and welfare and enhance the quality of neighborhoods. It is an important part of the City’s commitment to neighborhood preservation and improvement. When homes and businesses are properly maintained, it has a positive effect on the overall appearance of the community.
The main goal of the code enforcement program is to bring to the attention of residential and business owners any existing code violations that could have a negative impact on their property, neighborhood and the community as a whole. Such conditions are often referred to as public nuisances However, through voluntary compliance, cooperation and a spirit of personal responsibility for the well-being of our community, such conditions can be eliminated. This will make the City of Murrieta an even better place to live, work and shop.
Code Enforcement Officers do sometimes issue Administrative Citations to violators of the Murrieta Municipal Code. To learn more, click the following link about Administrative Citations. Or click the following link to learn more about the City of Murrieta's Municipal Codes. For the mobile version of the Murrieta Municipal Code, click here.
Click the following link for a quick look at some of the common Code Enforcement Violations.
Code Enforcement During Drought Conditions
The City of Murrieta’s Code Enforcement Unit is cognizant of the on-going drought conditions and the Executive Order issued by Governor Jerry Brown regarding water conservation.
Landscaping should be appropriately maintained to include irrigation in compliance with current drought regulations established by the water district that serves your residence.
In an attempt to balance the need for enforcement of the Murrieta Municipal Code and compliance with drought regulations, the Code Enforcement Unit will continue to inspect possible nuisance yards for bare dirt, weeds and overgrown vegetation. Landscaping that is unsightly or a nuisance is subject to the requirements set forth in Murrieta Municipal Code sections 8.20.030(P)(5)(a) and 8.20.030(P)(5)(b), which state:
“a. Front and visible side yards, except for lots in the R-R, R-A, and A-1 zones, one acre or larger, shall be landscaped (except for improved surfaces including but not limited to walks and driveways) with ground cover, plant material, decorative rock, redwood bark and/or lawn, so as to prevent excessive dust, accumulation of debris, or depreciated values of adjacent properties. Lots in the R-R, R-A, and A-1 zones, five acres or larger, shall comply with the provisions of Chapter 8.32 of this code relating to the abatement of seasonal and recurrent weeds. Trees and shrubs shall not be planted in public right-of-way easements.”
“b. Trees, shrubs, lawns and other plantings shall be maintained, including regular irrigation, pruning of trees, trimming of shrubs and cutting of lawns, in conformity with the surrounding vicinity. Parcels in the R-R, R-A, A-1 zones shall comply with the weed abatement standards in Chapter 8.32 of this code; and, in any case, abate dead, decayed, diseased, overgrown or hazardous trees, weeds and vegetation, cultivated or uncultivated, which is likely to harbor rats or vermin, or constitute an unsightly appearance, or is detrimental to neighboring properties or property values.”
What these sections mean is that landscaping in residential tract homes must be maintained to a reasonable neighborhood standard. A front lawn is not required, but a front lawn must be mowed and maintained. Front lawns may be replaced with a variety of other ground cover options, but bare dirt or weeds are not allowed.
The Code Enforcement Unit will only use administrative citations as a last resort to gain compliance. Before a citation is issued, the Code Enforcement Unit will issue a Notice of Violation or NOV as the first notification to correct the violation. A Notice of Violation is not a Citation and has no fines. Code Enforcement will work with the property owner or resident to establish a reasonable timeline as to when certain landscaping issues should be addressed.
The State of California and your local water districts have web pages established that address water conservation. Please visit the City of Murrieta Water Conservation web page which contains links to each of the four water districts that serve the City of Murrieta as well as numerous water conservation guidelines and helpful tips.