Single-Family Residential & Structural Inspections
Lamar County unincorporated areas currently does not conduct inspections on single-family residential construction. In addition, we do not conduct structural inspections in unincorporated areas at this time for any construction project. Lamar County does not have structural building codes outside of the city limits. However, we do require a Flood Permit for any structure requiring a utility of any type.
Site Plan Development Inspections
Lamar County has a responsibility to monitor the construction activities occurring within the unincorporated portions of the County. The County has multiple ordinances that all persons developing a parcel must adhere to during the course of the construction process. Although the County is limited in its ability at times, the County Development Official serves as the primary inspection position. Beginning January 1st, 2019 Lamar County will begin a regular inspection process for site plan approved developments. This process will primarily ensure Site Plan, Storm Water approval compliance. Inspections will entail on-site visits documenting current conditions, placement and or methods of construction used by the developer or builder to ensure compliance with the approved plans.
Site Plan Development Individual Site Self-Inspections
Once permitted, is the primary responsibility of the builder and owner of the project to ensure that construction is as approved by the County. Although Lamar County does not have structural building codes. Our site plan review process allows the County to ensure that the built project is in-line with the approved plans and our ordinances. Our storm water ordinance requires that sites between 1 to 5 acres in size comply with an approved Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan. Beginning December 1st, 2018, all newly approved site plans will be required to conduct the storm water self-inspection and retain the form on site for review by the County during the regular on-site inspection. This self-inspection will aid the developer or builder in ensuring compliance with the regulations of Lamar County regarding storm water discharges.
The Planning Department works with the Board of Supervisors and the County Engineer to review on more frequent basis the progress of subdivision development. Addressing any issues before they get out of control. The county requires timing of certain portions of the project such as the installation of the utilities and roadways. No structures allowed until we have the opportunity to review the project and the development goes back before the Board of Supervisors. This multiple inspection and review process is ensures that the roadways and neighborhoods are in good condition if the County was to take over maintenance of the roadways.
Lamar County’s Code Enforcement works diligently to enforce the ordinances adopted. Our sworn officer has the ability to write a citation to bring a violator to court. Issuing of courtesy warning notices, when warranted; allow a possible violator the ability to correct the issue prior to a citation issuance. Lamar County generally enforces the following ordinances as indexed in the table below:
Although each Ordinance handles enforcement differently right now Lamar County Planning Department and the Board of Supervisors strives to uphold the Ordinances in order to promote the health and welfare of the County. Working in conjunction with Lamar County Sheriff’s Department as back up when requested the Planning Department.
Notification of Violation Via Posting of Violation Sign
Lamar County Planning Department has begun to use white colored NOTICE & CEASE AND DESIST signs for violations. The signs posted give a certain amount of time to contact the Planning Department as well as begin addressing the nature of the violation. The signs used cite a violation or issue a cease and desist to stop all work at the site. The signs are considered County Property and removal of the signs could be considered theft of County Property and shall be treated as official notices of either a violation or to stop all work depending on the sign used.
Civil versus Criminal Enforcement when it comes to violations
Lamar County does have civil avenues for pursuing violations such as court order injunctions, cease orders, and judgments. These court orders allow Lamar County to time to figure out corrective measures that may need to be taken, or to order the halting of an operation that the Board of Supervisors has determine is not in compliance with an ordinance or approval.
Ability to Charge With More Than One Ordinance
Lamar County has the ability to file charges against a violator under more than one Ordinance, and more than one subsection of that Ordinance at any given time. This means Lamar County reserves the ability to charge a violator to the maximum amount possible by utilizing all portions of the Ordinances. Multiple ordinances used if the violations are cross violations related to another Ordinance.