General Information

GENERAL INFORMATION
To make a complaint please contact (850) 243-3566 extension 16 or fill out the Citizen Complaint Form and mail it to 195 Christobal Rd. N. Mary Esther, FL 32569 or email it to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . You may also email directly by clicking here
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Since 1946, the City of Mary Esther has been a City of its own. Like any City, Town or County, the City of Mary Esther has ordinances and codes that are designed to maintain a healthy, safe and clean environment, carry out land use regulations and policies for building and construction, and preserve the quality-of-life standards that residents and businesses enjoy in our community.

There are many types of ordinances and codes. These can include zoning, fire, uniform building, housing maintenance, property maintenance, parking, and various health and safety ordinances and codes. To be effective and efficient, code enforcement needs the cooperation of residents and businesses.

What is Code Enforcement?
Code enforcement is the act of enforcing a set of rules, principles, or laws and insuring observance of a system of norms or customs. In the United States, those employed in various capacities of code enforcement may be called Code Enforcement Officers, Municipal Regulations Officers, or other various titles depending on their specialization. Per Florida Statute 162.21, a “code enforcement officer” means any designated employee or agent of a county or municipality whose duty it is to enforce codes and ordinances enacted by the county or municipality.

How are ordinances and codes enforced in the City of Mary Esther?
The code enforcement process is typically initiated in two different ways:
• In response to a complaint by an individual or a neighborhood association. (Re-Active Response)
• Inspections and patrolling neighborhoods to ensure voluntary compliance. (Pro-Active Response)

The City performs pro-active inspections and relies on residents to help identify possible ordinance and code violations, particularly in these areas:
• Derelict and inoperative vehicles (flat tires, no license plate, expired registration, missing vehicle parts)
• Encroachments on the public sidewalk due to vegetation, white goods, vehicles, etc.
• Illegal signs such as advertising flyers and portable ground signs placed in the right of way
• Graffiti on public or private property
• Overgrown vegetation above 8 inches for developed property
• Illegal dumping of garbage and debris
• Illegal dumping of oils, sediment, chemicals and other hazardous materials into storm drains
• Overgrown foliage blocking stop signs, impeding sight of driveways or making corners dangerous
• Zoning and occupancy violations
• Housing maintenance violations
• Illegal tree removal
• Construction without a permit

What procedures does the City take when responding to a violation?
When the City receives a complaint about an ordinance or code violation or a violation is found by means of pro-actively patrolling the community, an investigation takes place to determine the validity of the violation. If it is determined that the complaint is valid, the respondent (responsible entity) is given notice of the violation, the corrective action to be taken to bring the violation into compliance, and a specified amount of time that the violation must to be brought into compliance by. Repeat violations and high priority violations such as health and safety violations are given a lesser amount of time for compliance and may have a citation or enforcement hearing summons immediately issued. If the respondent fails to voluntarily come into compliance, additional enforcement proceedings may take place.

What is a Code Enforcement Board and Public Hearing?
The City established the Code Enforcement Board in 2001. The Board is comprised of five (5) members, all of whom are Mary Esther residents from different walks of life. The Board was established to hear cases of municipal ordinance and code violations that were not resolved by voluntary compliance. Public hearings are held for each case that does not come into compliance within the time specified by the Code Enforcement Division. The Code Enforcement Board may order fines to be paid by the respondent with a maximum amount of up to $5000.00 per day and may order an administration fee to be paid of up to compensate the City for actual costs of prosecution. In addition, the board also has the authority to order violations to be brought into compliance by steps deemed necessary by the board. If a fine is not paid or the violation is not brought into compliance, the City has the authority to place a special lien on any real property of the violator and may foreclose on the property after 3 months of the filing of such lien. 

What are the penalties for violating a City ordinance or code?
Violation of any ordinance not stated below
$35.00 for the 1st offense
$75.00 for the 2nd offense
 $150.00 for the 3rd offense
 $250.00 all additional offenses.

Violation of the animal ordinance
$20.00 for the first offense.
$50.00 for the second offense.
$100.00 for the third offense.
$300.00 and mandatory court appearance for the fourth and any subsequent offense.

Violation of the stormwater ordinance
Up to $200.00 per day per occurrence

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