Kenoshans desire neighborhoods that are safe and well kept. However, some Kenosha properties do fall into disrepair, creating a blighting influence on the entire neighborhood. The City of Kenosha has sought to preserve its neighborhoods through its Neighborhood Inspection Program. The program ensures that the exteriors of Kenosha's homes and commercial buildings, including yards and garages, meet basic criteria for upkeep. The City Department of Community Development and Inspections administers the Neighborhood Inspection Program.
How Does the Program Work?
The first step is to identify the areas that would benefit from a systematic inspection program. The Department of Community Development and Inspections requests recommendations on these areas from elected officials, City Staff, and neighborhood residents. The Department also looks at areas that are undergoing various private and/or public revitalization efforts.
The Department prepares an operating plan that outlines the neighborhoods where property maintenance inspectors will conduct exterior inspections of properties. The Department submits this plan to the City's Public Safety and Welfare Committee and the Common Council for their approval.
Property Maintenance inspectors conduct an exterior inspection of each property. Inspectors encourage owners to schedule their initial inspections, so inspectors may explain any potential maintenance problems in person. If the owner is not available, the inspectors are still required by the City to carry out their inspections.
If the inspection reveals violations, the Property Maintenance Inspector will issue an Advisory Notice or an Order to Repair. Both Notices will list the violations and provide a time frame for the owner to complete necessary repairs. If the Inspector finds minimal or no violations, the owner will receive a letter thanking them for keeping their property in good repair.
When Are Inspections Conducted?
Property Maintenance Inspectors conduct their work for the Neighborhood Inspection Program from April to October - weather permitting.
May I Appeal an Order to Repair?
Yes, Property Owners may request an appeal through the Community Development and Inspections Department. All appeals are heard by the Board of Housing Appeals. Before filing an appeal, owners are encouraged to contact our office to discuss their concerns. In order to file an appeal, owners must visit the Department and provide the following:
- Submit an appeal form within 20 days of Posting the Order to Repair
- Provide a written statement supporting the appeal
- Provide a $25 processing fee
May I Ask for an Extension on an Order To Repair?
Yes, Property Owners may contact the Community Development and Inspections Department to request an extension. The Department makes decisions on extensions in accordance with its extension policy.
What Happens if the Property is Not Repaired?
If the repairs are not completed in a timely fashion, the City may issue a municipal citation to the property owner for each violation. Once the City has issued a citation, the property owner must resolve the citation through Municipal Court, 625 52nd Street. The City also has the option to assess a reinspection fee to the property for each inspection that shows no work has been done. The amount of the fee will begin at $72, and escalate for each reinspection (with a maximum fee of $360). If the fee is not paid, it will be charged against the property as a special charge.
Common Code Violations
- No street numbers
- Chipped and peeling paint
- Missing or damaged handrails and guardrails
- Rotted or damaged porch steps
- Torn or missing screens
- Broken or damaged windows
- Damaged or missing storm doors
- Damaged siding
- Rotted/damaged soffit or fascia
- Missing tuck-pointing on:
- masonry walls
- Missing or damaged gutters and downspouts
- Roof in need of repair or replacement
- Long grass/weeds
- No grass
- Junk and debris
- Damaged private sidewalks and driveways
- Cars parked on lawns will be reported to Kenosha Police Department
- Junk vehicles will be reported to Kenosha Police Department
- Chipped and peeling paint
- Missing or damaged overhead doors
- Missing or damaged service doors
- Broken windows