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Environmental Code

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The following Frequently Asked Questions are examples of questions posed by Wake County citizens that relate to enforcement services provided by various Wake County Departments and Agencies. These questions are intended to address complaints specifically within the unincorporated areas of the County and not within another Town’s corporate limits.

 
There is an abandoned house on my street that has the windows broken out, the front door is wide open, and the roof is caving in. Who do I call to address this situation?
Housing-related complaints for the unincorporated areas of the county are addressed by the Wake County Planning, Development & Inspections (PDI) Division. The building inspectors conduct inspections of residential dwelling complaints to determine if the homes are unsafe based on the unsafe rules of the NC State Building Code. Wake County PDI is only responsible for inspecting homes within the unincorporated areas of the county. Please contact Wake County Code Enforcement Coordinator Geoffrey Pearson at 919-856-2613 to report an unsafe condition.

If you live within the corporate limits of one of the following towns, please contact its housing representative.

Apex

Rudy Baker

919-249-3381

Cary

Darryl Parnel

919-469-4384

Fuquay-Varina

Kathy Vaughn

919-552-1413

Garner

Paul Ray

919-772-4452

Holly Springs

Larry Dovoric

919-557-3907 

Knightdale

Ken Tyndall

919-217-2242

Morrisville

Forest Fleming

919-463-6182 

Raleigh

Robert Spurill

919-807-5180 

Rolesville

Thomas Lloyd

919-554-6517 

Wake Forest

Larry Rochelle

919-435-9522

Wendell

Daryl Hales

919-365-4822 

Zebulon

Bo Dobrzenski

919-269-7455

 

 
I live in the County, and my next-door neighbors haven’t cut their grass in more than a month. The weeds and grass are very tall. Can the County make them cut the grass?
 
Unfortunately, Wake County does not have any regulatory authority to require a homeowner or tenant to cut tall weeds and grass within the unincorporated areas of the County. We advise that you review any restrictive covenants for your neighborhood, or contact your homeowner’s association to address this matter.
 
Because my neighbor’s grass is overgrown, I’m sure there are rats and snakes breeding there. Is it true that tall weeds and grass generate these health hazards?
 
Generally, there are no environmental or health concerns as a result of tall weeds and grass. High grass and overgrown vegetation do not cause rats and snakes. These areas may be home to wildlife in general. Rodents and rats need a continuous source of food. If there is no food source, these animals typically leave the area; however, if there is visual evidence that rodents or snakes are breeding, please contact Wake County Code Enforcement Coordinator Geoffrey Pearson at 919-856-2613 to arrange an inspection.
 

 
 
I rent a house in the county, and there is mold growing around the windows and in the basement. What can I do about this?
Although mold can be troublesome, the County does not inspect or regulate this condition. For rental properties, this is more of a civil matter between the tenant and the landlord; however, there is a local resource that can help identify and possibly aid in the treatment of mold. Please contact Romie Hering with the NC Division of Air Quality at 919-707-5950 to seek assistance in this matter.
 
I have told my landlord that the roof to the house is leaking, but he is unwilling to repair it. Who can I call to address this?
 
Normally, a leaking roof is the responsibility of the landlord to fix and is not an unsafe condition under the building code; however, if this situation has persisted for some time and you feel it is an unsafe condition, you can call Wake County Code Enforcement Coordinator Geoffrey Pearson at 919-856-2613 to provide more information and to request an inspection from the Building Inspections Department. Furthermore, you may also contact the NC Department of Justice Consumer Protection Division at 919-716-6000 to discuss the condition of the tenant housing.
 

 
 
If someone’s property looks “trashy” and is filled with wooden pallets, old tires, toys and household items, is this a violation of an ordinance?
 
The Wake County Solid Waste Ordinance regulates the storage, collection and disposal of solid waste in the unincorporated portions of the county. As defined within this ordinance, items such as bulky waste, garbage, pallets, tires, auto parts, construction debris and yard waste can constitute a solid waste violation if not properly stored or disposed of. In general, household items that are regularly used, such as garden and lawn care appliances, children’s toys and pet supplies do not constitute a solid waste violation.
 

 
 
There is a vacant lot where people bring their used furniture, appliances and trash and dump it on this lot in the county. Who do I call to report this?
 
If you discover that solid waste items are being improperly stored or disposed of outside the corporate limits of a town in Wake County, please contact Wake County Code Enforcement Coordinator Geoffrey Pearson at 919-856-2613.
 

 
 
I have a friend who works on his cars at his house, and he pours motor oil and antifreeze down his private well. Can he do this?
 
No. Discharging hazardous substances like motor oil and antifreeze into a private well can potentially contaminate the ground water of the adjoining area. Please contact Greg Bright with Wake County Water Quality at 919-856-7465 to report these types of complaints.
  

 
 
I just purchased a new piece of property and discovered an abandoned well on the lot. Who can help me correct this situation?
 
To permanently abandon a private well in the county, you must first contact the Wake County Water Quality Division at 919-856-7400. The property owner or a certified well contractor registered with the County must obtain a permit and follow the county’s guidelines for proper abandonment procedures.
  

 
 
There is a foul sewer odor coming from my neighbor’s property, and I see wastewater seeping from under the ground. What can this be?
 
If there is a profound sewer odor and wastewater discharging onto the surface of the ground, chances are that the neighbor’s septic system has malfunctioned. To report this condition, please contact Ed Duke, Environmental Health Supervisor at 919-856-7436.
  

 
I have recently encountered a very bad mosquito problem in my back yard. My neighbor has an uncovered swimming pool filled with water that he no longer uses, but I’m unsure if this is causing the mosquitoes. What can cause this problem?
 
Wake County residents are encouraged to help reduce and eliminate the factors that can cause mosquito-borne illnesses. Generally, mosquitoes breed in areas of stagnant water such as abandoned and uncovered swimming pools, surface-level pools of water, and receptacles like used tires or drum barrels. These types of breeding sites can be treated with pest substances such as mosquito dunks; however, if you are aware of a condition that promotes mosquito breeding, please contact Wake County Code Enforcement Coordinator Geoffrey Pearson at 919-856-2613 to report this problem.

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Environmental Services
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Content Type: Article Page
Version: 6.0
Created at 8/9/2012 11:16 AM by Stephen R. Walston
Last modified at 1/4/2013 9:30 AM by Meghan H. O'Connor
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