The warm days of summer are upon us.  This is the time that many property owners are enjoying the outdoors, doing home improvements and gardening.  Here are some things to keep in mind this summer.

PROPERTY MAINTENANCE

Grass should be kept at no more than 8 inches in height.  Noxious weeds are prohibited.

  • Bushes, trees, and other plantings must be trimmed so that they are not a hazard.  In particular, they must not impede pedestrian and automobile traffic.
  • When cleaning your yard, don’t forget the alley, if you have one
  • Keep garbage can lids on tight
  • Screens must be in place on all windows and remain in good repair
  • Remove all standing water
  • Clean up after your pets

CODE ENFORCEMENT COMPLAINTS

In the spring and summer, the code enforcement officers handle hundreds of complaints.

Feeding Wild Animals

Feeding birds is a favorite pastime for many, but birdseed also lures nuisance animals like pigeons, squirrels, raccoons, skunks, and even rats.  By increasing the food supply, feeding birds can encourage the rapid growth of animal populations.  Department of Public Health and Safety officials are often then required to trp the intruders.  Diseases are also spread from animal to animal through infected feeders and bird baths.

Be cautious in your feeding of birds.  Place food in a bird feeder.  Regularly rake under the feeder to remove food from the ground.  If the notice nuisance animals, remove the food source at once.  Disinfect feeders with a small amount of bleach every two weeks.  Change the water in bird baths weekly (this will also help reduce the risk of West Nile Virus).

Also, the City Council recently passed an ordinance prohibiting the feeding of geese, ducks and other waterfowl, especially in Centerpoint Preserve.  Feeding of waterfowl is harmful to the birds, and also encourages them to linger at Centerpoint where they leave droppings on the bike path and playing fields.  Signs have been posted, and the fine is $25.00 per violation.  If you don’t want your children playing in good waste, please do not encourage the geese to hang around by feeding them.

Building Permits

Please remember that Building Permits are required before undertaking most construction projects in your home.  Building Permits ensure that the construction conforms to the Zoning Ordinance and Building Codes.  To obtain a building permit or request information, contact the Building Department at (708) 343-8700.

Fence Permits

A permit for a fence is required before you install the fence.  Fences are not allowed in the front yard of a residential property.  To obtain a fence permit, residents must complete a simple application form, show a copy of their plat of survey, and indicate the location, size, height, and type of fence to be installed.  If a contractor is installing the fence, the contractor must be licensed, bonded, and insured and present a copy of the contract.

Excavation Work

For your protection, call the Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators (J.U.L.I.E.) at the number below before you dig for any home improvement project, including additions, sheds, decks, pools, or tree planting.  J.U.L.I.E. is a message handling service which coordinates the locating of utilities to protect those digging and the underground facilities from damage.

J.U.L.I.E.’s number is toll free and they operate 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.  When you or your excavator call, J.U.L.I.E.’s operator will request your name, phone number, and address, as well as the excavation site address, the type and extent of work, and start date.  J.U.L.I.E. 1-800-892-0123 Illinois State Law requires two-working days notice.

Be A Good Neighbor

 The following are matters of being good neighbors:

The parking of vehicles in the grass is prohibited

  • Loud music from cars and residences is not only disturbing to your neighbors, it can result in a ticket and fine
  • Garbage is not allowed to be placed out for collection before 5:00 pm. on Thursday
  • Fireworks are illegal, and especially disturbing to your neighbors late at night.
  • The Illinois Vehicle Code requires that all motorized vehicles using the streets must be licensed.  This means that all motorized scooters, go-carts, dirt bikes, etc. are prohibited from the streets unless they are licensed by the state.  These devices are also prohibited from our sidewalks and the bike path as well.  Parents, please remember that if you purchase these items for your children, they are only allowed on private property, and that operation on the public right of way is at your own risk and could result in a citation.

A large number of Code Enforcement calls can be eliminated if everyone remembers to be a good neighbor, especially during the summer when everyone is outside and the windows are open.  Let’s try to remember this so that everyone can have an enjoyable summer.

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