On July 6, 2017, a code enforcement officer noticed Appellant’s lawn was overgrown. A Notice of Violation, dated July 12, 2017, was sent via regular mail to Appellant. It required the violation to be corrected by Sunday, July 16, 2017. Appellant’s representative testified that he received the Notice on Saturday, July 15, and immediately alerted the tenant of the property, who cut the grass that day. On Tuesday, July 18, the code enforcement officer found the property was not in compliance because although the front yard was cut, neither the back nor side yard was. The code enforcement officer referred the matter to the Board, and a hearing was held on August 1, 2017. The Board found that as of the date of the hearing Appellant was currently in compliance, but the property was in violation past the July 16 date set for compliance. The Board did not impose a fine, but based on the finding of violation, any repeat violation could be fined at an amount of up to $500 a day.
The court ruled on appeal that in code enforcement cases, the law requires a violator be given “a reasonable time to correct the violation.” See § 22-72, Code; § 162.06(2), Fla. Stat. Such time period shall be no fewer than five days and no more than 30 days.” Accordingly, the appellate Court found that Appellant was not given a reasonable time to correct the violation at its rental property and reversed the order of the Code enforcement Board.
ARL & IL REVOCABLE TRUST, Appellant, v. CITY OF DUNEDIN CODE ENFORCEMENT BOARD, Appellee. Circuit Court, 6th Judicial Circuit (Appellate) in and for Pinellas County. Case No. 522017AP000041XXXXCI. L.T. Case No. 17-000041AP-88B. July 23, 2018. 26 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 700b