Common Nuisances and Property Maintenance Issues


Below is a list of common nuisances and property maintenance issues, along with a summary of the code. Please refer to Title 8, Chapter 6 of the Mesa City Code for official code requirements.


Alleys:  The property owner is responsible for the half of the alley immediately behind the property.  The alley must be kept clear of all vegetation, trash and debris.  If you are interested in getting your alley gated off, please review the Alley Access Change Program.

Commercial activity:  Business activities are prohibited in a residential district.  No employees or customers may come to the home for business purposes and no inventory may be stored on the premises that does not conform to the definition of "Accessory Use" or "Home Occupation" or "Home Occupation", in Title 11 of the City Code.

Fences:  Fencing and screening walls must be sound and made from standard, consistent fencing material.  They also must be free of deterioration and blight.  Fences in residential zones cannot be higher than 42 inches in the required front yard and 6 feet in the required rear yard.  Fencing in a residential district may not have barbed/razor wire or any other injurious materials attached to them.

Garage Sales:  Four (4) events are allowed per calendar year.  Each event must not exceed 3 consecutive days. 

Graffiti:  The property owner is responsible for removing graffiti from all sidewalks, walls, fences, signs and other structures or surfaces visible from beyond the bounds of the property. 

Housing condition:  Exposed, exterior surfaces of the building(s) must be structurally sound and have no holes, breaks, rotting, crumbling, cracking, peeling and rusting.   Yards and landscaping should be well maintained and free from weeds and litter.   Painted surfaces should not have peeling, chipping, cracking or blistering paint.   Materials, colors and finishes used on buildings, structures or exterior walls and fences must be consistent.  For example, you may not paint half of your block wall and leave the other half unpainted.   Exterior windows and doors should not be broken, missing or poorly fitted.  Window screens should not be excessively worn or have any rips or tears.  Canopies and metal awnings should be in good condition - no rips, holes or excessive fading.   Roofs should be free from surface breaks, raised edges, and missing, curled loose, or excessively worn shingles.   Exhaust ducts, air conditioners and evaporative coolers should be in good repair with no rust.   Chimneys should be structurally sound with no cracks, deteriorated mortar, and missing or broken bricks.   Fences, screening walls and retaining walls must be built with standard fencing materials, be free from graffiti, and should not be broken, dilapidated, unsightly, leaning or have missing blocks or slats.   Foundations must be repaired if there is settling, cracking, crumbling or excessive leaning.   Outdoor stairs, porches and railing should not have broken or deteriorated deck boards, steps or handrails.

Illegal constructionA building permit is required for any construction that changes the footprint of the structure, changes or adds to the electrical service or plumbing system.  For details see:  Homeowners' Guide to Building Permits.

Inoperable vehicles:  Inoperable vehicles must not be seen from beyond the property line boundaries.  An inoperable vehicle is a vehicle that is not equipped with all parts that are required to legally and safely operate it on public streets and/or cannot be driven under its own power.  Car covers, tarps, bamboo, shades and other similar types of materials are not acceptable screening.  The vehicle owner has 10 days to repair the vehicle or remove it from sight.  Vehicles parked in front must be currently licensed.  There is a restriction on the number of inoperable and/or unregistered vehicles that may be stored in the rear yard.  Refer to Title 8 Chapter 6 Section A for specifics.  Said vehicles stored in rear yard must be screened by a 6 foot opaque fence.

Junk, litter and debris:  Junk, litter and debris cannot be left in the yard.  It must be disposed of properly.  This includes but is not limited to:  junk auto parts, appliances, furniture, building and/or landscaping materials, tires, discarded paper, cardboard, plastics, beer cans, tree trimmings, fallen tree limbs and/or any other items that have been discarded.

Landscaping:  Property owners are required to maintain landscaping so that it does not appear blighted. 

Open and vacant buildings and structures:  The property owner is responsible for maintaining buildings, structures and grounds of a property.  Windows, doors and other openings must be kept secure so they cannot be opened from the outside.  A property owner may be required to board up a building/structure if it becomes vacant and is not secure.  Accessory buildings/structures on the property such as storage sheds and garages also must be secured.  If the building/structure is not secured upon request, the city may secure the property and lien the property for such service.

Outside storage:  Outside storage including but not limited to:  equipment, building or landscaping materials, parts/auto parts, appliances, mattresses, boxes or any scrap items, cannot be left where visible from beyond the property boundaries.  These types of items must be stored safely within an enclosed building or screened by a fence.

Parking:  Vehicles must be parked on the legal driveway or on an improved, dustproof surface immediately adjacent to the legal driveway.  Any vehicle parked in the front yard must be currently licensed.  To provide a dustproof surface, please provide 3 inches of gravel with a permanent border, concrete pad or asphalt.

Pool water disposal:  Pool water must be either maintained in the yard or drained into the sewer clean out on the property.  Water may NOT be drained into a public right-of-way such as the street or alley. Visit the City's How to Drain or Backwash Your Pool website for more information.

RV storage/occupancy:  RVs, motor homes, 5th wheels, campers, etc., must be stored in the rear yard or in the side yard behind the front face of the house.  If over 6 feet in height, the item must be screened with a 6-foot opaque fence/gate.  Such vehicles may NOT be used as living quarters.  Only one (1) such item may be stored at the residence.

Stagnant water:  The property owner is responsible for maintaining any body of water or pool in a clean, clear manner.  Observers must be able to see the bottom of the pool.   Any ponding water that breeds insects or oversaturates the soil in a hazardous manner is prohibited.

Unsafe rental conditions:  Property owners are responsible for providing a safe and healthy residence for their tenants.  Written permission is required from the property owner or tenant to enter and inspect.


Vegetation
:  Property owners are responsible for maintaining their properties, and the adjacent right-of-way (sidewalk, street, alley), free of dead or dried vegetation (weeds, tall grass, shrubs, trees, palm fronds, etc.).  All dead or dried vegetation must be removed and disposed of properly.  Property owners are also responsible for assuring that weeds/grass on their property and adjacent right-of-way do not exceed 9 inches in height.   Trees that hang over the sidewalk should be trimmed so that a minimum of 8 feet is allowed for passage.  Trees that hang over the street should be trimmed so that a minimum of 14 feet is allowed for passage.  Brochure (pdf)


Watercraft/utility trailer storage
:  All watercraft, utility trailers, or any nonvehicle-mounted camper shell or truck camper must be stored in the rear yard or side yard.  All watercraft trailers, utility trailers, nonvehicle-mounted campers and truck campers visible to the public rights-of-ways must be operable, have inflated tires and be kept free of weeds and debris.