By Charlotte J. Nash, Chairman
Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners
Warm weather is here and it’s time to get out of the house. Many Gwinnett property owners are busy planting shrubs and flowers to make their homes and businesses more attractive. It’s a good time to look around the outside of your own home for maintenance issues that need fixing. Even if you don’t own the property, you can still keep it neat and tidy.
The Board of Commissioners sets minimum standards for buildings and property in unincorporated parts of the county to protect public health, safety, convenience, order, and general welfare of all residents. The goals are to preserve and improve the quality of life for present and future residents and to promote a sense of community, preserve the sanctity of the family, facilitate quiet and peaceful neighborhoods, limit congestion of motor vehicles, and control transiency.
The Gwinnett Police Department’s Quality of Life Unit is a special operations section responsible for enforcing the rules about property maintenance, zoning, solid waste, occupational tax certificates (business license), and signs. That includes litter, junk vehicles, parking, and outdoor storage on private properties.
Last year, Quality of Life officers investigated 10,796 complaints, issued 10,799 violation notices and 702 citations, and removed 6,016 illegal signs. The staff consists of 15 civilian code enforcement officers, four sworn police officers, and four supervisors, led by Lt. Jason Rozier.
Violators usually get a notice first with a deadline for fixing the problem. Missing that deadline could result in a citation, which requires an appearance in Recorder’s Court to explain the situation to a judge. Penalties vary by ordinance. Property maintenance violations are subject to a minimum $250 fine, not to exceed $1,000 per day. Each day the violation continues is considered a separate offense. Habitual violators are subject to 60 days in jail.
Attractive, well-kept neighborhoods increase the value of your investment, reduce disagreements among residents, and help to lower crime rates in the area. So for many reasons, it’s worth your time and effort to cut the grass and keep your home or business looking good.
You can find a form to file a complaint plus links to related ordinances at www.gwinnettqualityoflife.com. The telephone hotline for complaints is 770.513.5004, and for updates on previously submitted violations, please call 770.513.5020. You can also send an email to QualityofLife@gwinnettcounty.com. We are required by open records laws to disclose upon request all information about the complaint, including the identity of the person filing the complaint.
Erosion control violations fall under Stormwater Management and you should call 678.518.6099 to report those concerns. In addition, reports of illegal dumping in sewers should be directed to Fats, Oils, and Grease Prevention at 678.376.7000. And you can report graffiti to Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful, a partner in protecting our quality of life, by calling 770.822.5186 or completing a form at www.gwinnettcb.org.
County government exists to provide infrastructure and services to all residents in a fair and equitable manner. Our population has almost doubled in the past 20 years, so we need basic rules and standards now more than ever. Please do your part to help.