What can I do if I believe a violation exists?
If you are seeking relief from conditions on a property in your community, there are a number of options available to you:
Make contact with the responsible person
- Describe your perception of the problem
- Discuss how the problem affects you and possible solutions
We have found that if neighbors can discuss their concerns with one another, issues can be resolved without any enforcement action.
Contact East Metro Mediation
If making contact with the responsible person is not successful, contact East Metro Mediation at 503-618-3247. A skilled mediator can help clarify the issues and clear up misunderstandings so the people involved can consider their options for improving the future. This service has proven invaluable to many difficult cases where it was thought that mutual cooperation would not be found.
Submit a Complaint
If you believe that there is a violation in your neighborhood or near your business, you may submit a complaint by:
The following information must be included in your complaint:
- Specific location, including address or nearest address
- Description of complaint and violation
- Contact name, phone number and email (if applicable)
The City will not accept a complaint if any of the above information is missing. Please note that complaints will be addressed as staff time allows, typically within five business days. In your complaint, be sure to let us know if you would like a response.
Can my complaint be anonymous?
No. It is the policy of Code Compliance to require the source of the complaint. It is also the City's policy to keep the source of the complaint confidential. There is a potential, however, that the City may be ordered to reveal this information in a judicial proceeding. The City will no longer accept complaints from anonymous sources.
What actions should I expect from Code Compliance once a complaint is made?
You may follow the progress of a case using the Code Compliance case tracking system. Mediation is also an available resource.
In most cases, the person responsible for an alleged violation is given an opportunity to voluntarily comply and correct the situation. This time frame is typically seven to 45 days depending on the type or severity of the violation. For the calendar year 2010, over 80% of general nuisance cases were resolved within 60 days of property owner notification.
The City's goal is to resolve violations in a timely manner and without additional enforcement measures. For the times that violations continue to exist and the deadline in our Notice has expired, the owner or responsible person may be subject to one or more of the remedies listed below.
This remedy is typically used for violations over 45 days in non-compliance or for properties with repeat offenses. The amount for violations of the Gresham Revised Code varies from $180 to $5,000 depending on the nature of the violation and how long it has been in existence. Gresham Development Code violations carry a penalty of $500 and Gresham Building Code violations carry a penalty ranging from $200 to $1,000.
Subject to available budget resources, this remedy is used as one of the last resorts where the City requires the property owner to take action to abate the nuisance. If the property owner fails to take corrective action, the City may hire a contractor to correct the violations. All costs of abatement are due and payable by the property owner and may become a lien on the property if left unpaid.
The assistance of the City Attorney is requested when the property owner fails to voluntarily comply. The City Attorney may file criminal or civil cases against the responsible parties. This remedy has historically only needed to occur on a rare basis and usually requires the approval of City Council.