The Planning Director works closely with the Inspectors at the Franklin Fire Department on land use compliance and enforcement issues. There are many factors to consider in making any determination:
- All new structures and land use activities must conform to the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance. Older structures and uses have some greater flexibility since the zoning ordinances have changed over many years time. But, a zoning violation can occur or be created in any structure in the City.
- Compliance with the zoning provisions helps to protect public health and safety, the integrity of the different neighborhoods throughout the City, and the City’s natural resources.
- The existence of a violation can be brought to the attention of the City and the Planning Office through the submission of a Service Request form.
- Our primary goal in any enforcement action is to resolve the problem and bring the use or activity into compliance.
- If there is a violation of one or more sections of the Zoning Ordinance then the first step is to notify the property owner of the violation and outline the steps which can be taken to resolve the matter.
- Timeframes to bring the property into compliance are outlined for the owner, and it is hoped that an agreement can be reached between the Office and the owner to bring the violation to a satisfactory resolution.
- In the event that the violation cannot be easily resolved through a simple letter or discussion, then formal violation notices can be sent to the owner. Depending on the specific violation, formal letters of violation can be appealed to the Zoning Board.
- If the matter cannot be resolved on this level then the City can initiate court action in order to achieve compliance.
- There are some problems [a neighbor’s vegetation hanging over the lot line or a neighbor working on a car in the garage late at night] that are not zoning issues and the City cannot get involved in trying to solve these problems.
- Please keep in mind that if the enforcement action is taken to the ZBA or court level, it can take many months for any final order to be issued or any conclusion to be reached.
The cooperation of all residents and landowners in this important area of managing the City is appreciated.