Zoning Violations

Common Zoning Violations

Trash Cans| Fences | Home Occupations | Garage Sales | Signs in Right of Way 
Yard ParkingUnsecured PoolsDeed Restrictions

The zoning ordinance restricts land uses to areas where they do not conflict with each other; in particular, to protect residential neighborhoods from noisier, busier commercial and industrial uses. Penalties for zoning violations are assessed by a judge and may include fines of up to $2,000 per day, which if necessary may be secured by a property lien.

The following are some of the most common violations of the zoning ordinance:

Garbage and Recycling Regulations

A few guidelines:

Collection by city. The city or its contractor will collect refuse from residential customers once weekly and it shall be the duty of any person owning, occupying, managing, operating, leasing or renting any residential premises to place the refuse carts at the curb on the street prior to 7:00 a.m. on the day established for collection, but no earlier than 7:00 a.m. the day prior to the established collection day. Refuse containers shall be removed no later than 7:00 p.m. on the day after the collection day.

Storage of containers. Refuse containers shall be stored behind the front building wall of the residential structure when not placed out for collection.

Sec. 32-23 – General commercial refuse

Collection. Refuse containers shall not be placed out for collection earlier than 5:00 p.m. on the business day prior to the established collection day and shall be moved from the collection site no later than 7:00 a.m. the day after the collection day. For the purposes of this section, a business day shall be defined as any day the City of Round Rock offices are open for business.

Fence Requirements and maintenance

A few guidelines:  These regulations shall apply only to fences that:

  • Face a public street, a public park, a public recreation facility, a school, a library, or a government office; or
  • Are adjacent to a public drainage facility and are visible from a public street.

Fences are not required in the SF-2 district. However, the owners of fences subject to this section shall maintain fences in a safe condition and in good repair, with all components free from deterioration, dilapidation, rot, rust, loosening, or leaning. Fences shall be able to withstand the wind load for which they were designed. In addition, the following regulations shall apply:

  • A fence shall not be out of vertical alignment more than one (1) foot from the vertical measured at the top of the fence, with the exception of fencing measuring four (4) feet or less in height, which vertical alignment shall not be more than six (6) inches from the vertical measured at the top of the fence.
  • A fence shall not have any broken, loose, damaged or rotted components having a combined total area of twenty (20) square feet or more, said area being calculated over any 50 contiguous linear foot section of fence.
  • A fence shall not have any missing posts, panels, or pickets.
  • Painted fence components shall be regularly maintained to prevent rusting, peeling, or blistering surfaces.

If the city determines a fence is unsafe, dilapidated or a public nuisance, or otherwise in violation of this chapter, it shall be repaired, replaced or demolished within 60 days upon first notification of non-compliance. Repairs shall be made with materials comparable in composition, color, size, shape and quality to the original fence. Products not intended to be used as fencing are prohibited from being used in the repair of a fence.

Home Occupations (home-based businesses)

home_occupation-1Though some businesses can blend easily into a residential setting, others generate increased traffic, noise and other nuisances that affect neighbors’ enjoyment of their homes. In order to preserve the residential character of the neighborhood, a business conducted from the owner’s primary residence (home occupation) must remain subordinate to the property’s use as a residence.

Home occupation regulations are described in the Home Occupations brochure (pdf) and ordinance Part III Section 2-93. For specific inquiries contact the Code Enforcement Office directly at 512-341-3329.

A few guidelines:

  • No merchandise may be sold directly from the premises.
  • All employees must reside on the premises.
  • Licensed in-home day care is permitted for up to 6 children.
  • Some homeowners associations (HOAs) do not permit home occupations at all; if you have an HOA contact them directly.

The following are strictly prohibited in residential neighborhoods:

  • Commercial repair or storage of appliances, automobiles or engines
  • Storing equipment or materials in public view
  • Parking vehicles with a gross weight over 17,000 pounds

Garage Sales

Tgaragesale-b-2he sale of personal belongings from one’s residence is permitted once every six months. More frequent sales constitute a resale shop. Signs/flyers may not be posted in the right of way, on street lights or other public property (see illegal signs, below). The City recommends advertising with a sign on your own property, or in a local newspaper, newsletter or online notice board such as Craigslist.

Signs in the right-of-way

signs-1-2Signs that are unrelated to traffic control or safety are not permitted in the public right-of-way (roads, sidewalks, and areas adjacent to roads belonging to the city), and may not be posted on public facilities (e.g. utility poles, traffic signs, and mail boxes). These signs create hazards by distracting drivers, and public property is not to be used as free advertising space. The Code Enforcement division confiscates roughly 6,000 signs from the right of way each year. Please use other means of advertising, such as local newspapers, newsletters or online notice board such as Craigslist, etc.

Parking on unimproved surfaces (yard parking)

truck-14In the front or side yard of a residential lot, vehicles (cars, campers, boats, etc.) must be parked on an improved (paved) driveway, or an improved surface attached to the driveway. In the back yard, if vehicles are not parked on an improved (paved) driveway, they must be screened by a 6-foot tall wall, fence, or vegetation.

Please refer to the complete set of guidelines in the Parking on Residential Lots brochure (pdf; English/Spanish), or contact the Development Services Division (512-218-6658) with specific concerns.

Unsecured pools & structures

Uunsecured-1nsecured swimming pools can be life-threatening to children and expose the homeowner to considerable liability. Be sure that all swimming pool gates latch securely, and that the fence is in good repair. For more details, refer to the Standard Swimming Pool Code, or contact Building Permits & Inspections at 512-218-5550.

Deed Restrictions

If you live in an area with a homeowners association (HOA) it may have adopted deed restrictions that are more strict than city ordinances, such as aesthetic controls. Deed restrictions are private contracts and are not enforced by the City – you must contact your homeowners’ association.