Code Violation Examples

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Examples of Code Violations


Issues NOT handled by Code Enforcement



Code Violations

Abandoned Vehicles

Ordinance 18-3911 Adopted July 3 2018.

Limits on Parking on City Streets and City Property - KMC 10.12.020  

Abandoned vehicles parked on city streets is a problem every city contends with, and the City of Kelso is no exception. Abandoned vehicles cause blight within the city, can cause traffic issues, and can be viewed as a safety concern, as fluids frequently leak onto the street and in turn into the storm water system.. But what exactly is an abandoned vehicle? And when is it subject to impoundment?

Under RCW, the term “abandoned vehicle” is a specific term used by tow truck operators and refers to impounded vehicles left abandoned in their storage yards. What we’re really talking about, at least under RCW, is “unauthorized vehicles”.  RCW 46.55.010 defines an unauthorized vehicle in the public right-of-way this way:

RCW 46.55.010 (14) a (ii) "Unauthorized vehicle" means a vehicle that is subject to impoundment after being left unattended in one of the following public or private locations for the indicated period of time:

Subject to removal after:

Once a vehicle has been determined to be an unauthorized vehicle, it can be tagged by law enforcement, and, if not moved within a 24-hour period (Kelso PD traditionally has given vehicle owners 48 hours as a courtesy), be subject to impoundment. KMC10.04.050. What does unattended mean? For purposes of this section, the city interprets unattended to mean a vehicle that is not being driven regularly and is essentially being stored on the city street.

Substandard Housing

On January 8, 2009 a landslide knocked 307 Burcham St, an occupied residence, off its foundation. The home was rendered uninhabitable, and various efforts by the city over the years to have the home owner abate the dangerous structure proved difficult.


A new owner took possession of the property in August 2017, and abatement efforts with this group were ultimately successful. The structure was demolished March 9, 2018.



Tall grass, vegetation blocking street view, signs, etc.

Grass - Before  Grass - after

Tall grass hinders visibility along street and at corner - before & after.


Tree before  Tree after

Tree over roadway - before & after.


Garbage, shopping carts, junk or debris, in a yard, in the Right of Way or on Public Property.

Cart Before  cart after

Mattress Before  Mattress after



Issue NOT Handled by Code Enforcement

Tenant / Landlord Issues.

  •  Your Rights as a Tenant in Washington State
  •  Washington State’s Landlord Mitigation Law (RCW 43.31.605) became effective on June 7th of 2018 to provide landlords with an incentive and added security to work with tenants receiving rental assistance. The program offers up to $1,000 to the landlord in reimbursement for some potentially required move-in upgrades, up to fourteen days’ rent loss and up to $5,000 in qualifying damages caused by a tenant during tenancy.

Property Line or Boundary Line Disputes between Neighbors.

RCW 58.04.007

Environmental Health Issues. Including Mold, Rodents, Bed Bugs, Fleas, and other pests. 

Building repairs that DO NOT require a permit

  • Fences that meet height and set back requirements KMC 17.22.080
  • Cosmetic repairs - painting, carpeting, cabinetry, countertops
  • Siding and roofing repair
  • Accessory sheds under 200 sq. ft. and meet set back requirements
  • Window replacement, like for like size.