Block Captain Guide
Dallas Block Captain Guide A resource for neighborhood leaders
Contents Introduction ____________________________________________________ 2 Why you should read this book
Setting Expectations _____________________________________________ 3 Apply these standards to yourself and then share with others.
The Basics of Being a Block Leader _________________________________ 5 How to be a block leader or support others
Neighborhood Management Handouts ______________________________ 6 Sharing good neighbor concepts with neighbors
Important Phone Numbers _______________________________________ 12 Departments you will need to know
Crime Prevention Tips___________________________________________ 13 Tips to share with your neighbors to make the neighborhood safe
Common Code Compliance Issues _________________________________ 14 Know how to spot what doesnâ€™t belong in your neighborhood
Neighborhood Builder ___________________________________________ 16 How to find more in-depth instructions about organizing your neighborhood for improvement
Block Captain Guide
Introduction The Block Captain Guide is tool designed for concerned neighbors who desire a better environment for their neighborhood. Todayâ€™s neighborhoods have many challenges keeping them from reaching their full potential. The good news is there are many examples of how neighbors just like you have overcome these challenges. So how did they do it? Successful leaders or activist start by reaching out to their neighbors and encouraging positive relationships and interactions. The disconnected neighborhood is an easy mark for criminals and problem neighbors. The more people talk the stronger the area becomes.
Where to start? The first section we have included in the manual is about setting expectations. It discusses what many people in the community would want their neighbors to consider as a standard of house maintenance. These are not official codes of the City of Garland, but common expectations of the community. We have included a section on becoming a block captain for your street. It lets you know what would be expected of you if you chose to be the leader for your street. We highly encourage you to consider this as a way to get things done on your street. When you have your street talking together then consider getting involved with your larger neighborhood group. They will love to have active members like yourself. If you donâ€™t have a larger neighborhood group, consider starting one. You start be encouraging more people on nearby streets to do what you have done on your street. Give them copies of this document as a start. Consider ordering the Neighborhood Builder disk, available at our web site. It provides an indepth set of directions to bring your neighborhood together.
Resources for Building Your Neighborhood!
www.BuildNeighborhoods.com Find ways to organize your street and area with the intention of building your neighborhood. Learn about how to work with your neighbors to get your streets looking attractive and being the neighborhood you want to live in.
Block Captain Guide
Setting Expectations How does setting expectations create strong neighborhoods? Today’s society has changed dramatically over the past several decades. Neighborhood residents have shown an increasing lack of interaction with each other. Reasons for this include busier schedules, frequent turnover of housing units, and others. The impacts of these trends have led to unstable neighborhoods. Unstable neighborhoods refer to areas where although the housing stock is in fair shape, signs of decline are apparent to visitors. These signs, such as Christmas lights on houses in July, overgrown yards, and unmaintained shrubbery show a lack of care by the residents. The first thought for the visitors to the area is its “changing” or becoming more “rental”. This leads to fewer homeowners interested in buying into the neighborhood. The opposite is equally true. When visitors see well kept yards, houses showing no signs of disrepair, and a generally clean neighborhood, they will have a higher opinion of the neighborhood. The result is an area where potential homeowners want to move into the neighborhood. By definition, this is a vital neighborhood.
The Neighbors With fewer neighbors interacting in a neighborhood, it becomes more difficult for a household to understand their neighbors’ expectations. If we can strive to meet these expectations, the neighborhood will improve dramatically.
First You, Then Your Neighbors! Everything starts with at you. Neighbors won’t paint the trim on their house when your Christmas lights are up in July! Use the Block Leader Guide to see if there are things requiring change to make your home appear more neighborly. Once you are addressing the needs of your own property, then you can ask your neighbors to improve theirs. The one thing you can do right away is talk to your neighbors. It doesn’t matter what you talk about, just talk! Catch them as they get home from work, when they are in their yards on the weekends, or maybe when you see them at your next block meeting. You don’t have to make them your best friend, but you need to establish a neighborly relationship with those around you. Below are some ideas of what the average neighbor expects from the people around them. If neighbors would review each section and take steps to address anything conflicting with the suggestions, the neighborhood would take on a more positive look and the attitudes between neighbors would improve.
House Appearance 1. Any painted surface should remain free from chipping or peeling paint. 2. Brick work should be properly grouted with a uniform color of grout material. 3. Roofs should be in good repair, missing shingles should be replaced. Temporary repairs involving plastic coverings should be removed quickly with permanent surfaces. 4. Broken or cracked windows should be replaced promptly. 5. Screen or storm doors should be kept in good repair. 6. Christmas lights should be removed no later than March or whenever weather allows.
Block Captain Guide
1. Wood fences should be kept straight and upright.
1. Grass or weeds should not be allowed to grow up through cracks in the sidewalks.
2. Wood fence surfaces should be preserved with a proper wood stain. 3. Missing pieces of fence should be replaced. 4. Loose pieces should be properly secured to prevent loss during strong winds. 5. Grass on both sides should be cut low, with trimming performed where necessary.
Lawns 1. Although most city codes requires grass to not exceed 12â€?, the opinions of your neighbors would be no higher than six inches. 2. Patches of missing grass should be addressed with planting grass seed and watering.
2. Toys, tools, and other items should not be left unattended on the sidewalks.
Rear Yards 1. The rear yard should be maintained in the same way as the front yard. 2. Even though there may be a screening fence around your yard, you should not keep inoperable vehicles, old furniture, or any other unsightly items in the yard. 3. Garbage should be kept in proper containers. 4. Pets, either penned or chained to one area, should be moved periodically to avoid creating strong odors that affect your neighbors.
1. It is very important to keep trees that are located near the street trimmed back from any street lights to allow for proper lighting of the neighborhood.
1. Side yards or areas should not be used for storage of any kind.
2. Trees need to be trimmed in general to avoid looking unkempt.
3. The grass around any tree or bush should be trimmed down to give a clean appearance. 4. Leaves should be raked up and removed during the fall months.
Driveways 1. Car repair in driveways should be completed within two days. 2. Automobiles should not be left lifted up when no one is present (for safety and appearance reasons). 3. Grass or weeds should not be allowed to grow up through cracks in the driveway. 4. It is not neighborly to block the sidewalk with your vehicles.
1. All parents should be approachable regarding the behavior of their children 2. You should notify your immediate neighbors of any party plans with potential for loud music or noise. 3. The ending time of parties should be discussed with neighbors so that you understand their expectations. 4. Remain calm when discussing differences with neighbors. 5. It is ok to contact neighbors either by phone or in person about the behavior of their children. 6. You should participate in any neighborhood block watch or group. 7. Continuous barking of your dog should be addressed promptly.
Block Captain Guide
Becoming a Block Captain Becoming a block captain is an important step in the improvement of your neighborhood. A block captain sees there is work to be done and wants to see action. Often their first contact with the City is through the police department. They offer instruction for creating a crime watch. The crime watch is a great place to start for someone wanting to make a difference. We, however, want to enhance the crime watch model by making the block captain more of a leader for all improvements required by the street they oversee.
The role of the Block Captain A block captain serves a critical role in managing the neighborhood. Without the block captain, neighbors have a tendency to avoid confronting what needs to be addressed in the neighborhood. The block captain engages their fellow neighbors in conversation and problem solving to make the neighborhood better. Neighbors have a general desire to have stronger relationships with the people on their street, but fail to connect. The block captain plays an important role in introducing people to each other while asking them to work on common issues. These relationships build up a level of social capital resulting in a vital neighborhood.
How is it different from a crime watch block captain You have most likely heard of block captains and crime watches. A block captain goes beyond the role of the crime prevention block captain to look at neighborhood improvement. What are things the neighbors and the City could do to improve the neighborhood to be more attractive to both themselves and visitors? A block captain will look at beautification, needed city services, neighborhood standards and similar topics. They will organize a response when they see a need occurring in their neighborhood. A crime watch block captain will focus more on preventing criminal activity. This approach is very necessary for our neighborhoods, however there is much more to be done beyond crime prevention.
Keep communication open with neighbors Communication is key to the success of your efforts. Your neighbors need to talk to you and with others on their street. This is not the norm for most streets. The block captain will encourage people to share their concerns with the rest of the group so everyone can be aware. The block captain will also be in communication with the city departments they contact while performing their duties. When you learn something from an official, you will want to share the message with your block. Many block captains will use phone calls, email, flyers, or newsletters to communicate with neighbors.
Knowing who to call A large part of the responsibilities of being a block captain surround making phone calls. Often they receive emails or phone calls from their neighbors about something requiring attention by a city department. By using the City Directory, the reader will be able to determine the proper department to call or email with their request. Your neighbors need someone who has the answer of who to call. Over time, the block captain will gain working knowledge of the city departments and not only know which department to contact, but also the individual/employee they should call.
Follow-up When a block captain puts in request of city departments or asks a neighbor to take action the activity doesnâ€™t stop there! Follow-up is key to having success in managing your neighborhood or street. You will need to make phone calls or emails to your contact people to make sure progress is being made. The frequency of your follow-up should be kept in mind to avoid becoming overbearing but yet enough to get the desired action. 5
Block Captain Guide
Friendly Reminder Campaign Many block leaders run into the problem of lack of awareness by their neighbors when it comes to maintenance and other issues related to their yard and home. It doesn’t seem to matter if the neighborhood is old or new. There are several ways you can approach the topic with your neighbors: 1. Call a meeting where you stress the importance of curb appeal on your street and throughout the neighborhood. 2. Pay a visit to your neighbor and talk about the importance of presenting a good image for the neighborhood. 3. Take the message door-to-door about the importance of yard/house maintenance. In all three examples, it would be important to have some written material to leave with them. The following are pages of flyers to utilize when talking about the topic. These pages are also available for free download at our web site. If you put them on colored paper, stay with the pastel colors so the text is easy to read. Avoid dark colored paper.
Calling a meeting The best method here is to call a meeting for the topic or simply have it as one of the items you are discussing at your next meeting. Stand up and give a brief message about preserving home prices and having a street where people enjoy coming home to a beautiful neighborhood. Acknowledge the fact there is some work involved to achieve an attractive street. If everyone would work on their own yard and home, the whole block would prosper. You may want to mention how neighbors can work together to take on large projects or to share tools. Sometimes the only thing to be shared is knowledge of how to do something like building flowerbeds. After you get agreement from the group to try to improve their home, let them know you will be putting out some information over the next couple of months. One objection may be the neighbors who are not taking care of their yard are not at the meeting. Assure your neighbors your plan is designed to make them aware of their obligations. 6
After the meeting, make copies of the first flier and deliver it to the door of every house on your street. The idea of the flyer is to put reminders of the neighbor’s responsibilities in a non-threatening manner. It is important for all houses to receive the flyer. When a disgruntled neighbor ask you why you put the flyer on their door, you simply reply you put it on everyone’s door as useful information for everyone
Pay a Visit Try to catch the person-in-question on the weekend or after work when you see them in the front of the house. If you don’t know them, introduce yourself. Tell them you are working to preserve and improve the appearance of the street so more people enjoy living in the neighborhood. Talk about examples on the street or nearby where people have put effort into the appearance of their homes. Let them know you will be putting out some information on how people can make their home look better with simple little things. The person in question may start getting defensive. Avoid talking about the deficiencies of their house. Instead share how you too find it hard to keep up on things with a busy life. You may get the reason for their lack of beautification is financial. Try to identify with them on this reason too. What you want is for them to see you have the same struggles. However, you can share how you overcome these obstacles such as “I just set aside 20 minutes a week to work in my flowerbed” or “I bought those bushes on sale at the end of the season”. Simply avoid confrontation no matter how good it will make you feel. Don’t try to solve the problem in one conversation; people just don’t change so easy. You want to follow up this conversation with the door-to-door campaign mentioned. This system works through a series of reminders.
Message to Everyone A good way to avoid conflict is to simply drop off a flyer at every house. Wait two or three weeks and then drop off a different flyer. You can repeat this process in the spring and near the end of the summer to keep maintenance and being a good neighbor on everyone's mind.
About Our Yards . . . Steps to Improve Our Street!
R educe the Number of Mowings!
Many times we cut our grass because of the weeds, not the grass. When we see our neighbors yard in need of cutting it is mainly due to the weeds. Lets encourage everyone to apply weed killer twice a year to take away the weed issue and to make our yards look better!
T rees and Shrubs
W hat About No Grass?
It is great to have shade trees, but this leads to bare spots in the lawn where grass won’t grow. The answer is to plant ground cover or a type of grass called “shade grass”. This is a special type of plant that requires less water and sunlight to grow. Cover the area with some top soil that is easily purchased at your local hardware store. Then sprinkle the shade grass on top and then sprinkle more top soil over top of the seed. Water the spot every night until the grass starts to grow. You can add some straw if you like to help keep the seed and soil from washing away. Spots of no grass in a yard really takes away from the appearance of the neighborhood. We can all do our part to make the neighborhood a nice place to live by keeping our yards attractive.
Nothing makes the yard look better than some trees and shrubs. However, even these require a little attention now and again. Trees tend to get a little rough around the edges. They should be trimmed up and back along the outer edge of the branches. Small trees tend to get small branches or leaves growing from the lower trunk. These need to be trimmed up once or twice per summer to give a nice clean look. You wouldn’t believe how much this can improve the streetscape of the block.
About Our Homes . . . Steps to Improve Our Street!
S iding and Paint
You won’t find a better return on your investment than siding or painting your house. Even houses with brick exteriors usually have some type of trim-work that is hardy board or wood requiring painting. Nothing lasts forever, so we should review our homes each year to determine if there is a need. Roofs, gutters, and windows all help to preserve our houses so they last longer and minimizes our repairs. These are also very visible investments that encourage others to do the same. Seasonal decorations make the neighborhood seem very festive, but we must remember to take them down in a timely manner. Christmas lights in July does not put our best foot forward.
P arking Cars
How cars are parked is very important to the image of the neighborhood. There are only a couple of don’ts that we should avoid. The first is to park in-operable cars on the property or in the street. People know quickly if a car is not working. Cars with tarps over them, grass growing tall around the base of them, or other indicators tell the story. The neighborhood’s image just can’t afford to have these cars just laying around. Too many cars in the street show signs of overcrowding and greatly disturbs the neighbors.
C lutter in the Yard?
We always have the need for more storage, don’t we? Many times we leave things in the front of the house, because of a lack of places to put them. The down side of this is that it detracts from the image of our block and neighborhood. The solution may be to ad a storage shed in the backyard. If it isn’t a lawn ornament, it should not be left in the front yard. This includes toys, furniture, vehicles, garbage, or other items. All of these items may give a poor image of our neighborhood. We do care! We want a beautiful neighborhood to be proud of. We can do this by simply making sure our visible yard areas are kept free of clutter.
Cars parked in yards or facing the wrong way on the street are both illegal and damaging to the image of the neighborhood. These are all things we can work with each other to improve our neighborhood!
About Our Neighbors . . . Steps to Improve Our Street!
T alk to Your Neighbors
Of all the things we can do to make our neighborhood great, talking is the easiest and the most beneficial. Communication is king when looking at what makes a healthy neighborhood. By talking to each other, we learn what is happening in the neighborhood and what needs to be done. Discussing a vacant property, loud music, or other issues leads to solutions. Beyond the issues is the value of the relationships that are formed by simply talking about sports, hobbies, family, and even the weather!
S et the Example
As caring neighbors of the block, it is our desire to see everything in order and strong relationships on our block. We can make this happen by setting an example with our property and our actions.
A ttend Meetings
It is one thing to talk to our spouse or our neighbor about what the issue in our neighborhood is, its another to take action. Taking action usually requires organizing a response then acting on it with others. The best place for this is at our neighborhood meeting. By attending our neighborhood meetings, we get other peopleâ€™s opinions and ideas. Sometimes, it will be our individual input that will provide the missing piece to solving an issue. Not everyone has to be a leader, but everyone should be involved in planning our future.
When our neighbors see us walk out in the street to pick up a discarded piece of paper, they will be encouraged to do the same. When we edge our grass along our driveway and sidewalk, they begin to see the need to do the same. When we come home at night and see a neighbor in their yard, let us take a few minutes to walk over and start a conversation with them. You would be surprised at how many others will take notice of this. The hope is that others see the value in creating these positive relationships and repeat the process.
About Walking . . . Steps to Improve Our Street!
G reat Neighborhood Activity
Picture the people in our neighborhood walking in the evening hours as the day cools down. What a natural opportunity to meet and greet each other! We also get a chance to identify things we need to get fixed in our neighborhood. People are the greatest asset we have, so lets make sure we socialize and find out what is happening both on our street and with our neighbors!
N otice Things E xercise
Everyone can benefit from getting out and walking. Light exercise keeps us young and energetic. As we age, we tend to become inactive. Walking in our neighborhood with our fellow neighbors allows us to get our blood pumping and muscles moving all while socializing with our neighbors.
To make a healthier street we have to know our neighborhood. When we walk we see both the things that are good and those that need to be addressed. Letâ€™s use our time to make note of things that should be improved and take action on them. Donâ€™t assume that something has been reported to the City or to our neighborhood organization. We can make a difference by taking notice and then taking action.
N eighborhood Walk Night Mondays at 7:00 PM
Just step outside at this time and start walking. When you encounter other people walking introduce yourself or simply waive. Better relations will lead to a better neighborhood.
About Our Children . . . Steps to Improve Our Street!
K now What They Are Doing!
We often hear or see young people are causing mischief in our neighborhood. Our children are our greatest asset so me must take good care of them. At a certain age, we find they are old enough to play in the neighborhood without supervision. As parents, we owe it to them to take time to track them down and observe their behavior. This means walking down the street to the house they are playing at and checking with them to see if all is well. This reminds them that they are being monitored and that their behavior matters!
O h The Toys! H ear From Your Neighbors
You can’t be everywhere at once, so accept help when you can get it. In today’s society, we are afraid to tell some one that their kids have been acting up. We need our neighbors to be open to hearing about their children’s behavior. Along with the bad news comes an opportunity for good things. The same neighbors who report the bad will look out for your children. Your neighbors can keep a protective eye on the children when they are playing. We need to provide a setting where the “village can raise the child”.
If you have children, you most likely have those big monstrous toys like the big cars or wagons the kids enjoy so much. The down side for the neighborhood is when these big toys or others are left in the front or side yards of a home. Neighbors and visitors find this look to be a poor reflection on the neighborhood. We need to have a storage place for these toys and they need to be picked up when they are not being played with.
Block Captain Guide
City of Dallas Phone Numbers Building Inspections _______________________________________________________ 214-948-4480 320 E. Jefferson Blvd, Room 204 Code Compliance__________________________________________________________ 214-670-5708 3112 Canton, Suite 100 Fair Housing _____________________________________________________________ 214-670-5677 City Hall, 1BN Fire-Rescue ______________________________________________________________ 214-670-5466 City Hall, 7AS Housing/Community Services _______________________________________________ 214-670-5988 City Hall, 6DN Park and Recreation________________________________________________________ 214-670-4071 City Hall, 6FN Police ___________________________________________________________________ 214-671-3730 1400 S. Lamar, 6th Floor Public Information Office ___________________________________________________ 214-670-3322 City Hall, 4ES Public Works and Transportation _____________________________________________ 214-948-4192 320 E. Jefferson Blvd, Room 101 Sanitation Services _________________________________________________________ 214-670-3555 3112 Canton, Suite 200 Street Services ____________________________________________________________ 214-670-4491 2710 Municipal St. Water ___________________________________________________________________ 214-670-3146 City Hall, 4AN
Block Captain Guide
Crime Prevention Tips From Dallas Police Department Preventing Residential Burglaries Residential burglaries literally hit close to home. There is almost nothing more personal than having one’s home, and one’s privacy, invaded by an unwelcome outsider. Things a Burglar Looks For When “Shopping” for a Home: • A home that looks unoccupied. Are there newspapers piling up on the lawn? Is the mailbox overflowing? Are the lights always on or always off? Are vehicles that are usually in the driveway not there, or vehicles in the driveway not being used for days on end? • Can a burglar’s access to the home be easily hidden? Are there high hedges that block windows? On the rear of the home, does a fence block sightlines of doors and windows? At night, does a lack of outside lighting make it hard to see what’s going on around the perimeter of the home? • Is there an alarm in the home? If a burglar eyes an alarm company sign or stickers, he’ll usually think twice about striking that home. • The schedule of the residents. Most residential burglaries take place during work hours, because often homes are unoccupied during these hours. When do the residents leave for work? When do they return from work? Do they come home for lunch? • What’s in the trash? Is the box from the new 60” plasma HD TV prominently displayed on the curb, awaiting trash pickup? • During the holidays, window shopping takes on a whole new meaning. A holiday tree prominently displayed in the front window, complete with holiday gifts, makes for great window shopping for burglars. • Open garage doors. Not only property to steal, but tools to use for this and future burglaries. Ladders, hammers, saws, drills…. • Dogs. Burglars don’t like dogs. Even small dogs, with big barks, make a home a little less attractive to burglars. Remember: criminals don’t like witnesses, and don’t like noise.
Things Homeowners Can Do to Make it Harder for a Burglar • Lock all doors and windows. On the subject of locks, invest in a good lock. Deadbolt locks with long bolts that terminate in a good, solid door frame make breaking down a door a chore. And, invest in a good, solid core door. • Keep shrubs trimmed back. If windows are visible, it’s easier for neighbors or police to spot a broken window. Also, consider “thorny” shrubs; if it’s painful to access a window over shrubs, it is a deterrent. • Keep your garage door closed at all times. Not only does this prevent items from being stolen, it also takes away another sign that you’re home or away. • If you have a garage, use it to store your vehicles. This makes it harder for crooks to not only determine when you’re home and when you’re gone, but also helps prevent them from burglarizing your vehicles. • Get to know your neighbors. A great deterrent to crime. Extra sets of eyes keeping a watch on your property, reporting suspicious activity, and helping keep you safe. Be sure and return the favor and keep an eye on their home, too. • Consider an alarm system. Most insurance companies offer discounts for alarms, and some systems also monitor for fire. • Watch what your throw out with the trash. If you’ve purchased a new TV, computer, or other expensive item, consider another way to dispose of the box. Will the store dispose of the box in their trash for you? Can you cut up the box and place in garbage bags? • When away for long periods of time, use timers for lights to give the home a lived in look. Leave a radio or TV on at a conversational volume level. Have a neighbor pick up your paper and mail, and accept packages. Have that neighbor remove door hangers and other advertisements that pile up on the front door. • Consider a safe deposit box for jewelry storage, especially expensive jewelry, or jewelry you don’t wear often.
• Unlocked doors and windows. Most homes have a lest one window that the owner has forgotten to lock. Opening a door or window makes a lot less noise than breaking glass.
• Join or form a crime watch group. Getting to know a lot of your neighbors, and inviting the police to your meetings, is a powerful tool in your arsenal against crime.
• Where is the spare key? Burglars know all the hiding spots.
• Turn on exterior lighting after dark. Use the same schedule for lighting when you’re away that you do when you’re home. Consider timers for exterior lights. • Think like a burglar. Ask yourself, “what would a burglar find when he looks at my house that would be inviting?” Remember YOU are an important partner in the fight against crime.
Block Captain Guide
Common Code Compliance Issues City of Dallas Brush Collection/Bulky Trash (Section 18-4) This once-a-month large item (includes large limbs, shrubbery, bagged leaves-sealed in bags up to 50-gallon capacity, furniture, appliances, mattresses and box springs, etc.) is operated by Sanitation. The City does not collect debris from construction, demolition or clearing of land unless an additional fee has been paid. Additionally, no dirt, rock or concrete will be removed. No material may be placed out front earlier than the 7:00 a.m. on Thursday prior to collection week, and must be in place by 7:00 a.m. the Monday of the pick up week. Violations of our bulky trash ordinance are immediately ticketed.
Litter and High Grass/Weeds (Section 7A-18/Section 18-13(a)) Homeowners or tenants are responsible for keeping their lawns mowed, clipped mulched or cleared and the property free of litter (garbage, paper, cardboard, wood, glass, bedding, auto parts, appliances, limbs, etc.). The property must be maintained between the curb in front of the house (or if no curb then from the edge of the pavement) to the middle of the alley (or the back property line if there is no alley). Weeds or grass more than 12 inches high is a violation of the City Code. Failure to do so may result in a court citation and/or a bill for the City's mowing services.
Obstructions (Section 18-14) The occupant or owner is responsible for keeping the street, alley, sidewalk and public grounds clear of obstructions. This includes the trimming of trees, shrubbery and vines which may obstruct any vehicle traveling through an alley, or which may obstruct a sidewalk or street or other public grounds. Additionally, sidewalks must have a height clearance of 8 feet - streets and alleys must have 15 feet of overhead clearance. Take advantage of the City's Bulky Trash Program by trimming trees and shrubbery to coincide with your legal Bulky Trash Week.
any tangible property in the City commits an offense if he/she fails to remove all graffiti from the property that is visible from any public property or right-of-way or from any private property other than the property on which the graffiti exists. Statistics prove that removing graffiti quickly may avoid the graffiti from re-appearing. Owners will be issued a Notice of Violation and a timeframe to remove the graffiti. Failure to remove the graffiti may result in a citation.
Junk Motor Vehicle (Section 18-20) Motor vehicles that are inoperative and/or partially dismantled and have expired license tags or safety stickers are considered "junk motor vehicles". These vehicles are in violation of the City Code. Owners of the vehicles and all lien holders will be notified of the violation by certified mail. Should the owner fail to remove the junk motor vehicle from the property or prove the vehicle operable, the vehicle will be towed and sold for salvage. Owners may store inoperable vehicles in a garage to avoid towing. Please note: Code Compliance only addresses vehicles on private property. If the vehicle is on the street, the Dallas Police Department has jurisdiction. Please report your concern to 311 and Dallas Police Department will respond.
Parking on an Approved Surface (Section 51A-4.301(d)(5)) Motor vehicles must be parked on an approved surface which is defined as concrete, asphalt or 6 inches of gravel with a border surrounding the gravel where permitted. It is a violation to park a vehicle on the lawn. Vehicles should be parked on a driveway or on the street were permitted. Violations are immediately ticketed.
Substandard Structure (Section 27-11(b)) Property owners are required to keep structures in good repair. Peeling paint, leaking roof, electrical and plumbing problems, holes in the wall, floor and ceiling, and decayed wood are building violations.
Open and Vacant Structure
An owner must keep the doors and windows of a vacant structure or vacant portion of a structure securely closed to prevent unauthorized entry. Notice will be posted near the front door of the structure, should the property be found unsecured. The City will secure the structure at the owner's expense, if the owner does not secure the structure. The owner will be billed for the cost of securing any unsecured structures.
Any item that is not customarily used or stored outside or is not made of material that is resistant to damage or deterioration from exposure to the outdoors cannot be placed outside on your property. This ordinance applies to items stored on the front or rear yard of the property or on an open porch or carport. Exceptions include motor vehicles on improved surface, lawn furniture and landscaping items.
(Section 27-11(a)(4) and 19-30)
The owner is responsible for providing drainage to prevent standing water, flooding on the property and/or mosquito breeding.
Defined as any marking, including, but not limited to, any inscription, slogan, drawing, painting, symbol, logo name character, or figure that is made in any manner on tangible property. An owner of
Block Captain Guide
Signs (Section 3, 7A-16 and 51A) It is a violation of the City code to post any signs (notices, posters or other paper devices) on a utility pole, lamp post, shade tree; public structure or building or on the City's right-of-way or median except as may be authorized or required by law. This includes garage sale signs.
Garage Sales (Section 51A-4.217(b)(9)) The City of Dallas permits two garage sales each year per property. The sale may last no longer than three days and a person cannot sell merchandise acquired solely for resale purposes in the garage sale. A sign advertising the sale can only be placed on the property were the sale is occurring. Garage sale signs may not be placed on property other than where the garage sale is occurring. No signs are permitted in the right-of-way or in the median. Signs placed other than on the property where the sale is occurring may be removed and/or ticketed. A person may not operate an occasional sale in the city without a valid permit issued by the director of code compliance. The fee for an occasional sale permit is $15.00. No refund of a fee may be made. Only the owner or lessee of the property upon which the occasional sale is being conducted may obtain a permit. Before a permit is issued the applicant shall provide proof that the applicant is the owner or lessee of the property (driver's license, utility bills, or other identification).
Definition The sale of tangible personal property at retail by a person who is not in the business or does not hold himself or herself out to be in the business of selling tangible personal property at retail
District Restrictions This accessory use is not permitted in the P(A) district
Required Off-Street Parking None
Required Off-Street Loading None
Additional Provisions •
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A person shall sell tangible personal property only on the premises of the owner or lessee of the premises where the sale is conducted, and the owner or lessee must be the legal owner of the tangible personal property at the time of the sale. The sale must be inside the building or garage, or on the patio of the premises A person shall not sell, offer, or advertise for sale merchandise made, produced, or acquired solely for the purpose of resale at an occasional sale A person shall not conduct an occasional sale for a duration of more than three consecutive calendar days A person shall not conduct more than two occasional sales at a premises during any 12 month period A person shall not place more than one sign, not to exceed two square feet, upon the lot where the sale is taking place.
Any other signs at any locations remote from the sale property are not permitted The area restrictions in the general provisions do not apply to this use Any advertisement of an occasional sale or of an item being offered for sale at an occasional sale must contain the street address at which the sale will occur and the date(s) on which the sale will occur
Home Occupation (Section 51A-4.217(b)(8)) Persons who have a home occupation in residentially zoned area may not employ more than 2 persons other than the occupants of the residence, may not use a sign, advertisement or display on or off the premises. You may not generate loud and raucous noise or excessive traffic that interferes with the public peace and comfort. Selling, offering or advertising products on the premise is prohibited. A Notice of Violation is issued prior to a citation being issued.
Multi-Tenant Property (Section 27-31) A multi-tenant property is a building or group of buildings on the same premise containing three or more dwelling units, which are for lease to occupants. The definition also includes rented condominiums, lodging or boarding house, a group residential facility, and extended stay hotel or motel or a residential hotel. Multi-Tenant properties operating in the City of Dallas are required to register annually with the Multi-Tenant Inspection Program. For additional information contact the Department of Code Compliance at (214) 9484105, 320 E. Jefferson Room 216, Dallas, Texas 75203, Monday through Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Scrap Tire Enforcement Program (Section 18-56) All businesses where used tires are collected, repaired, processed, recycled, scrapped, sold, bought, or stored are required to be licensed, effective January 1, 2005. This includes mobile tire repair businesses and salvage yards. Anyone transporting scrap tires is also required to be licensed/decaled. For additional information, contact the Department of Code Compliance at (214) 670-5708, 3112 Canton St., Ste. 100, Dallas, TX 75226, Monday through Friday between 8:00AM and 5:00PM. (Back to Top)
Mandatory Watering Guidelines (Section 49-21.1(b)(c)) It is a violation of the City Code to water a lawn or landscape in a manner that wastes water or causes runoff including causing water to fall on sidewalks, driveways, or other areas not lawns or landscapes. You must maintain your irrigation system to prevent waste by repairing broken, missing, or misdirected sprinkler heads. Watering is prohibited during any type of precipitation, as well as between April 1 through October 31 between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Hand watering and soaker hoses are allowed at any time. Rain and Freeze sensors are required on all automatic sprinkler systems. More information about Water Conservation.
Block Captain Guide
Build Neighborhoods.com Neighborhood builder provides instructions and insight to organizing your neighbors in a meaningful way leading to a strong, healthy neighborhood.
Who is it for If you are frustrated in how your street or neighborhood is becoming then Build Neighborhoods is for you. There are many people like you who reach a point where they feel they must get involved and do something. The question of what and how confront them. Often they ask around and get incomplete information of what they can do. Neighborhood Builder answers those questions.
How to use it Our manuals are designed to lead you through a series of steps designed to move your efforts forward and help you accomplish your goals.
An overview The instruction is divided into sections, Block Builder and Organization Builder.
Block Builder Designed for those trying to make improvements on their street. It share how to invite people to a street meeting, how to run the meeting and how to pursue the questions people bring up. Block builder also provides instruction to a leader who wants to see more block groups formed throughout a larger neighborhood.
Organization Builder For those leaders who see the big picture and want a strong neighborhood organization for the larger area, Organization Builder discusses forming committees and getting people involved.
How to get it We provide these manuals and more to our subscribers who pay a very reasonable fee to have access to our instructional materials. We hope you will visit our site and consider joining as a member.