Code Enforcement FAQ’s

What does the City consider to be weeds?

Tumbleweeds or severely overgrown grass are the most common and considered what is called a noxious weeds. It can create a fire hazard or create a breeding ground for rodents as well as being unsightly.

When can I burn tumbleweeds?

Typically, there is only a couple of time a year that burning weeds is prohibited.   Those periods of time are usually in March and September.  You would need to get a same-day burn permit from Washington County by calling (435)627-4949.  You can visit the website for the Santa Clara Fire Department for more information.

What is considered junk?

Junk is any type of material that has been discarded or no longer being used for its’ intended use.   Junk items are considered a nuisance.

What is a junk car?

Junk or inoperable cars refer to a vehicle that is not currently licensed, or is not worthy of being driven on the street (such as a project car).  It can be in a garage or similar enclosed building or behind a fence in the rear yard.

Who is responsible for cleaning a property?

The occupant is usually the person that needs to clean the property of a nuisance, but the property owner is ultimately responsible for a property to be clean and free of problems or nuisances.  Court imposed fines or certificates of non-compliance can be issued for zoning enforcement matters that are left unresolved after contact from the City to clean it up.

Can I rent out a section of my home?

Yes, within an R-1-10 zone; which is a residential zone, you are allowed to have a second dwelling within your home.  However, it needs to have requirements met within the necessary approved Conditional Use Permit that allows a second dwelling within a home.  There is also a $100 application fee and this requires Planning Commission approval.

What are short-term rentals and can I do one?

Short-term rentals are becoming more popular nowadays.  Short term rentals are rental units that are rented for nightly occupants up to 29 days of rental.  It is not a long-term rental type of situation.  Yes, a property owner can have a short-term rental, but there are specific areas zoned within Santa Clara City that allows short-term rental.  You also need to have a Santa Clara City business license and a local property management company.  Check with the City prior to purchasing a home for such use to make sure it is in the allowed zone.

How many people can live in a house?

The Santa Clara City ordinance defines a family as an individual or two or more persons related by blood, marriage, or adoption living together as a single housekeeping unit in a dwelling unit or a group of not more than four unrelated person, who need not be related by blood, marriage or adoption, living together as a single housekeeping unit in a dwelling united.

People that are related by blood, marriage, or adoption, may not have more than three additional persons living with them as a single housekeeping unit in a dwelling unit.

Can I have a home occupation?

Yes, a home occupation is allowed with an approved Santa Clara City Business License and a Home Conditional Use Permit.  Home occupations are not to impact the surrounding neighborhood with any type of commercial business dealing, employees, off street parking, violations, etc.

Am I allowed to have chickens?

Yes.  However, there are restrictions within a residential neighborhood.  If the property is located within an R1-10 zone (residential neighborhoods) and under 1 acre in size, a person is allowed to keep up to three small fowl on the property.  If the property is over 2 acres in size, up to 20 small fowl animals be kept on the property.