Code Enforcement

Code Enforcement is a part of the Building Services, which enforces regulations within the City of Anacortes Municipal Code, generally through a complaint generated system.  AMC Title 20 provides general city policies regarding the enforcement of the municipal code, and the procedures for the investigation of civil violations.


The Code Enforcement Inspector investigates complaints, educates citizens, and resolves issues to achieve code compliance. If a violation occurs, the inspector will try to resolve it first through education, voluntary compliance and/or negotiation. If this proves unproductive, formal civil enforcement proceedings may begin.

Housing Being Torn Down

Typical Code Enforcement Issues


The city does not investigate mold related issues. If you have a concern related to a mold infestation, see the Indoor Air Quality FAQs, by the Northwest Clean Air Agency.

How to File a Complaint

It is the City’s policy to conduct complaint investigations upon receipt of a written complaint. This can be done by submitting a complaint form  to Building Services. The form is available online Code Enforcement Complaint Form (PDF) or within Building Services at 904 6th Street.

Once a complaint has been made it is logged with a case number and your request will be investigated as soon as possible by the code enforcement officer and prioritized by seriousness of the complaint. Life-Safety issues take priority over regular nuisance complaints. All complaints are investigated to see if a violation of State, County or City Ordinances are violated.  

What types of complaints does the code enforcement officer investigate?

  • Illegal buildings / structures
  • Substandard or dangerous buildings
  • Illegal businesses (wrong zoning, no license)
  • Noise (construction)
  • Street Obstructions
  • Public Health hazards
  • Public nuisances such as trash, debris, inoperable and unlicensed on private property
  • Tall weeds and grass
  • Zoning and land use violation

How Does a Complaint Get Processed?

If an ordinance or regulation is being violated, the Code Enforcement Officer will send a Courtesy letter or a Correction Notice to the owner of the property and/or the tenant. The letter requests that the violation(s) be corrected within a certain amount of time (depending on seriousness).

If the violation(s) were not corrected within the designated time frame, the Code Enforcement Officer would then send a Notice of Violation, via certified mail, indicating the violation(s) are to be corrected within a certain amount of time, along with outlines of the penalties for the violation.

In addition, the city may get an Abatement Order requiring the violation to be corrected and a substandard lien may be placed on the property.