Code Violations List

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Property Violations

Dilapidated Structures

All buildings (residential and non-residential) must meet minimum standards for maintenance. All buildings are required to be in good general condition (both interior and exterior) and maintained in a clean, safe and sanitary condition.

Yard Areas

All exterior property and premises shall be maintained in a clean, safe, and sanitary condition. Except as otherwise provided for in the Zoning Code. It is unlawful to utilize a premises for the open storage of any inoperable, unlicensed, or unregistered motor vehicle, appliance, building material, rubbish, tires, automotive parts, junk, yard waste, or debris.

High Grass and Weeds

Grass and weeds must be kept below 12 inches in height. Native plants and ornamental vegetation must be maintained so as not to be a nuisance. For undeveloped land within the city limits, grass and weeds must be kept below 24 inches in height. Failure to maintain vacant lots or properties with vacant structures could result in the City of Johnson City cutting the grass and placing a lien against the property for the cost of the mowing.

Accessory Structures and Fences

A fence may be erected without a permit, but it must be constructed of approved materials that are designed for that purpose. 

Sheds and carports that are 200 square feet in size or larger require a permit. All sheds and carports must be set within the required setbacks for the property. Utility sheds and similar structures cannot be converted to or be used as a living space. 

Unsanitary Conditions—Hoarding

Owners of any building or accessory structure shall maintain the property in a safe and sanitary condition, free from conditions that would be hazardous to the health and welfare of the occupants. This includes the proper disposal of trash and garbage.


Owners and occupiers of property shall remove all dead, diseased or dangerous trees, or broken or decayed limbs on their property, which constitute a menace to the safety of the public. The City Forester, Pat Walding, can be reached with questions about tree ordinances at 423.975.2681.

Vehicle Violations

Inoperable / Unlicensed Vehicles on Private Property

An inoperable motor vehicle is defined as a vehicle that cannot be driven upon the public streets for reasons including but not limited to: being unlicensed, wrecked, abandoned, in a state of disrepair or incapable of being moved under its own power. Except as may be otherwise permitted by the Zoning Code, inoperable, unlicensed or unregistered motor vehicles cannot be openly parked, kept or stored on any premises within the city for a period in excess of ten (10) days unless such vehicle is completely enclosed within a building. Such vehicles must be stored in a garage or other structure designed for that purpose. An open carport will not satisfy this requirement.

Repairing Vehicles on Residential Property

Only minor repairs of motor vehicles can be done on residential property. The repairs must be to vehicles owned by either the owner-occupant or their tenant. Major repairs that require dismantling the vehicles major components is prohibited. Repair or stripping of vehicles by individuals engaged in an auto repair business in a residential zone district is prohibited.

Zoning Violations

Illegal Use of Property

All parcels have been assigned a zoning category and their use must be consistent with that assigned zoning code. Failure to use a property consistent with its zone category and/or without a certificate of occupancy is prohibited.

Yard and Garage Sales

No garage sale shall be conducted unless and until the person desiring to conduct such sale has obtained a permit from the City’s Finance Department. Malinda Stills handles permits and can be reached at 423-434-2393 or Garage sales shall be held only between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. No more than three garage sales shall be held from the same address within any calendar year with not more than two garage sales permitted within a 30-day period. Each garage sale shall not exceed three consecutive days.


The following rules apply to signs in the City of Johnson City:

* Portable signs are not permitted inside the City. (For exceptions, contact Planning at 423-434-6071.)
* Sign locations can be in violation as well, i.e. if the sign is located in the right of way.
* Signs cannot be placed on public property without permission, including on utility poles, light poles, and bus benches and utility boxes.

Contact the Johnson City Zoning Division to determine specific requirements that may affect your proposed sign before the sign is installed.