Manatee County Government Administrative Center Commission Chambers, First Floor 9:00 a.m. - October 8, 2013
October 8, 2013 - Regular Meeting
Agenda Item #32

Ordinance No. 13-36 - Relating to Code Enforcement

Briefing Provided Upon Request

Contact and/or Presenter Information

Joe Fenton

Division Manager

748-4501 ext. 6854

Action Requested
Adopt Ordinance No. 13-36.

Enabling/Regulating Authority
Chapter 162, Part I, Florida Statutes

Background Discussion

At the Board of County Commissioners work session held August 20, 2013, Code Enforcement Division Manager Joe Fenton recommended revising the code enforcement hearing process to utilize special magistrates in place of the code enforcement board. Such revision would improve the efficiency of the code enforcement process by eliminating duplication of work for code enforcement officers and other County staff and by replacing the current procedure which consists of two hearings (a plea hearing before the special magistrate followed by a full hearing before the code enforcement board) with a single hearing conducted by the special magistrate.

Attached is a copy of Ordinance No. 13-36 relating to code enforcement. This ordinance creates Chapter 2-36 of the Manatee County Code of Ordinances to provide for enforcement of codes and ordinances by special magistrates effective November 1, 2013. The ordinance incorporates language from Chapter 162, Part I, Florida Statutes, the Local Government Code Enforcement Boards Act. The ordinance contains the following significant provisions:

  • The County adopts an alternate code enforcement system that gives special magistrates designated by the Board of County Commissioners the authority to hold hearings and assess fines against violators of County codes and ordinances, including, but no limited to, the Code of Ordinances and the Land Development Code.
  • A special magistrate has the same status as a code enforcement board under Chapter 162, Part I, Florida Statutes.
  • Definitions are included for repeat violation and special magistrate.
  • The Board of County Commissioners may appoint one (1) or more special magistrates for a term of four (4) years.
  • The County Attorney serves as counsel to the special magistrates and does not present cases before the special magistrates.
  • Each case is presented by a code enforcement officer or by a member of the County administrative staff.
  • If the County prevails in prosecuting a case, all costs incurred in prosecuting the case may be recovered by the County and included in the lien.
  • If the violation presents a serious threat to the public health, safety, and welfare, or if the violation is irreparable or irreversible in nature, the special magistrate is authorized to notify the Board of County Commissioners, which may make reasonable repairs required to bring the property into compliance and charge the violator with the cost of repairs along with the fine.
  • The special magistrate may impose a fine not to exceed $250 per day for the first violation, $500 per day for a repeat violation, and $5,000 per violation if the violation is found to be irreparable or irreversible in nature.
  • Nothing in Chapter 2-36 prohibits the Board of County Commissioners from enforcing County codes and ordinances by any other means.

In addition to the provisions listed above, the following requirements specified in Ordinance No. 13-36 are consistent with Chapter 162, Part I, Florida Statutes:

  • The enforcement procedure for violations, repeat violations, and violations which present a serious threat to the public health, safety, and welfare or which are irreparable or irreversible in nature;
  • The conduct of the hearing, including issuance of findings of fact, conclusions of law, and orders;
  • The powers of special magistrates, which include issuance of subpoenas and orders;
  • The imposition of administrative fines and liens, including factors for determining the amount of fines, reduction of fines, satisfaction or release of liens, authorization to foreclose on unpaid liens, and prohibition of foreclosure on homestead property;
  • The duration of liens;
  • The procedure for appeals; and
  • The manner of serving notices.

Ordinance No. 13-36 does not abolish the Manatee County Code Enforcement Board. Since the code enforcement board and special magistrates were established in the Manatee County Land Development Code, a separate ordinance has been prepared which amends and repeals the applicable sections of the Land Development Code. The ordinance is set for public hearing before the Manatee County Planning Commission on October 10, 2013. Following a recommendation of consistency by the Planning Commission, the ordinance amending the Land Development Code will be scheduled for a public hearing before the Board of County Commissioners.  

County Attorney Review
Other (Requires explanation in field below)

Explanation of Other

Ordinance No. 13-36 prepared by CAO.

Agenda Memorandum drafted by CAO.

Reviewing Attorney

Instructions to Board Records
Return stamped copy of Agenda Memorandum and copy of signed Ordinance No. 13-36 to Code Enforcement Division (joe.fenton@mymanatee.org and laurie.menard@mymanatee.org) and County Attorney's Office (maureen.sikora@mymanatee.org). Send copies of Ordinance No. 13-36 to State of Florida Secretary of State and Municipal Code Corporation.

Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs

Attachment:  CEB. special magistrate. Ordinance No. 13-36. final.pdf
Attachment:  Newspaper Ad.pdf