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Posted on: January 2, 2019

New city ordinances in effect January 2019

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New City Ordinances in Effect January 2019

Ordinances are laws passed by municipal government. Ordinances are passed at most City Council meetings, but many of them don’t impact the day to day quality of life or business of the residents. Some ordinances are required by State statute and affect the business of the City, and some ordinances are proposed by City staff or elected officials in order to enhance the quality of life in the City. Local decision making with citizen-centered solutions is known as Home Rule, or the flexibility to address unique local needs with solutions. Our elected City Council members propose and pass ordinances to address the needs of our community. In 2019, there are three new ordinances that may affect the quality of life of Boca Raton residents.  

Ordinance 5469 Florida Friendly Fertilizer Use

Proposed by: Staff and passed unanimously on September 25, 2018

Why it was proposed? This Florida Friendly fertilizer ordinance was approved by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and has been adopted by most cities in Palm Beach County.  It attempts to minimize the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus being discharged into various water bodies in Palm Beach County.

What does it do? The ordinance regulates the over-application of fertilizer for all properties: residential, commercial and institutional.

Who does it affect?  It affects property owners, residents, commercial and institutional applicators of fertilizer and businesses applying fertilizer.

How to comply:

  • Training:  Businesses applying fertilizer to turf or landscape plants must ensure that the business owner or his/her designee holds the appropriate “Florida Friendly Best Management Practices for Protection of Water Resources by Green Industries” training certificate prior to obtaining a local business tax certificate or contractor registration from the City.  Private citizens on their own residential property are encouraged to follow the recommendations of the UF/IFAS “Florida -Friendly Landscape Program” and label instructions when applying fertilizer.
  • Timing of applications: No fertilizer containing nitrogen and/or phosphorous shall be applied before seeding or sodding a site or for the first 30 days after seeding, or on saturated soils.
  • Fertilizer free zones:  Fertilizer shall not be applied within 10 feet of any pond, stream, water body, lake, canal or wetland.
  • Application practices: Fertilizer applied, spilled or deposited on any impervious surface shall be immediately removed. In no case shall fertilizer be washed, blown or swept off impervious surfaces into stormwater drains, ditches, drainage conveyances or waterbodies. Grass clippings and vegetative matter shall not be washed, blown or swept onto or into storm drains, drainage ditches or conveyances, water bodies, wetlands, sidewalks or roadways.

How will this Ordinance 5469 be enforced?

Commercial applicators will be notified as their business tax licenses come up for renewal. Warnings will be issued as the public becomes more aware of the ordinance, and ultimately, repeat offenders, after warning and education, may be fined according to the Code Enforcement policies.


Ordinance 5470 Garage Sale Permitting & Regulations

Ordinance 5470 amends the Zoning Code of Ordinances to provide a definition for Garage Sale and provides requirements including permits, a limitation on the number of sales and the hours of operation. Proposed by staff and unanimously passed on October 10, 2018.

Why was it proposed? The ordinance was proposed by staff after frequent complaints about single family residences that were having excessive numbers of garage sales, essentially constituting business operations that were disruptive to the single-family neighborhood.

What does it do? This amendment to the Zoning Code of Ordinances clarifies the definition of garage sales and yards sales, requires a simple permit which is free and can be obtained on the City’s website or over the counter, limits the number of garage sales at a residence to four times a year for no more than two consecutive days and limits the hours from 8 am-5 pm.

Who does it affect?  The ordinance affects homeowners in residential areas.

How to comply:   Homeowners who wish to hold a garage/yard sale can complete and submit the free permit online or apply over the counter. Permits can be issued Monday-Friday with quick turnaround time. Garage sales can be held for two consecutive days between the hours of 8 am-5 pm, no more than four times during a year.   

How will Ordinance 5470 be enforced? Code enforcement officials will work with residents to educate and inform first, issuing warnings if necessary. Repeat offenders may receive a direct citation of $150.00 and fees will increase if repeated violation or non-compliance is found. 

Ordinance 5474: Direct Issuance of Citations by code enforcement officers for certain violations 

Accompanying Resolution 163-2018 which sets minimum civil penalties and fines 

Ordinance 5474 amends Chapter 9, Article IV, Section 9-60, “Supplemental Code Enforcement Procedures” Code of Ordinances, to provide for direct issuance of citations by code enforcement officers. Proposed by staff as directed by City Council. Passed unanimously November 27, 2018

Why was it proposed? The standard code enforcement process was time consuming and slow, and often didn’t cite the actual violator, when tenants at rental properties were at issue.

What does it do?  Direct ticketing expedites compliance timeframes, cites the actual violator, discourages repeat offenders, and enhances health and safety and preserves property values.

Which code violations are subject to direct citation?

  • Alcohol hours of operation
  • Animal noises and limitations
  • Fire prevention and protection
  • Nuisances: litter, untended vegetation, stagnant water
  • Noise: music, equipment and construction
  • Vehicles & parking: parking on grass, commercial & recreational vehicles, storing inoperative vehicles
  • Unlawful signs and handbills
  • Outdoor storage and display of merchandise
  • Unpermitted garage sales
  • Construction site maintenance and hurricane preparedness
  • Solid Waste Pick up procedures and prohibited activities
  • Swale area maintenance
  • Prohibited uses: vibration, smoke, fumes, odors, glare, sewage and waste

How will direct citation work? Warnings may be issued prior to the citation, except: repeat violators, serious threat to public health, safety or welfare. Violators will have the option to pay and comply, contest (appeal), in writing, within 10 calendar days. If the violator chooses to pay and comply, the amount on the citation is owed. If the violator chooses to contest, the special magistrate process will be followed.  If found guilty, the violator may owe a significantly higher amount.

If you would like to access any of the ordinances or resolutions mentioned above, please contact the City Clerk's Office at 561-393-7740.

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