Legislative Hearings

Overview

Legislative Hearings provide the forum for reviewing appeals of City-issued orders and developing recommendations for City Council consideration.  The hearing offers the public the opportunity to appeal and testify about enforcement of City codes, tax and summary abatement assessments, and certain land use matters.  There are many types of appeals heard in this process, including those for nuisance abatement orders, letters of deficiency with safety codes, orders to vacate property, and proposed orders for building removal, and special tax assessments.  The hearings are conducted by the Hearing Officer who makes a recommendation to the City Council.  Appellants not satisfied with the recommendation of the Hearing Officer also have an opportunity to be heard before the City Council if they wish to appeal further.  Any person unsatisfied by the quasi-judicial decision of the City Council may obtain judicial review by timely filing of an action.

Nuisance Ordinance

The nuisance ordinance permits the City to abate a wide variety of property nuisances, including any thing or condition on a property which is a fire hazard, a violation of the Fire Code, a health hazard, a violation of any health or sanitation law, or any other type of hazard.  The nuisance ordinance includes provisions that allow the City to ensure that the problem is corrected.

Filing an Appeal

The owner may appeal to the Legislative Hearing Officer, who can support or reverse the inspector's order and subject to City Council review, if he or she does not agree with the order in situations such as code violations and summary abatement orders and assessments.  To file an appeal by mail, download one of the appeal forms below and return the filled-out form, along with the $25.00 filing fee (Check should be made to:  City of Saint Paul.), a copy of the order and all correspondence from the inspector, and any evidence you would like the hearing officer to consider, to:

City Clerk’s Office
310 City Hall 15 Kellogg Blvd. West
Saint Paul, MN 55102

You may also appeal in person through the City Clerk's Office.  The appeal must be filed within the deadline provided for in the order.  To check the status of your appeal or for more information, call 651-266-8560 | 651-266-8585. 

Scheduling Your Appeal Hearing

The date and time of the hearing for those applications submitted in person will usually be set at that time.  Mailed applications will be copied and returned to the appellant with the date and time clearly indicated on the form.  Generally, appeal hearings are scheduled one to four weeks after the application is submitted.  Once an appeal has been scheduled, it may not be rescheduled more than once.  Additional rescheduling will only be done by referral from the City Council.   (NOTE: If you are appealing a special assessment or wish to be heard on a proposed order to abate a nuisance building, the appeal dates and times are automatically listed in the orders themselves.)

Hearings Are Held on Tuesdays & The Schedule Typically Is:

9:00 AM        Tax Assessments & Orders to Remove or Repair, Repurchase of Application
11:00 AM      Summary & Vehicle Abatement Orders, Correction Notice/Orders by Code Enforcement
11:30 AM      Condemnations, Revocations & Vacate Order
1:30 PM        Fire Certificate of Occupancy Letters & Fire Inspection Correction Order, Inspection Appointment Letters
2:30 PM        Vacant Building Registration Notices
3:00 PM        Other Cases (Usually Code Compliance Inspection Report, Fence Variance) and Overflow Hearings

What to Expect at the Hearing

A number of appeals are heard in each hearing session.  For each appeal, City Staff will give a report and appellants will be given time to present information, testimony, photos or other documents.  The Hearing Officer will take all of this into account to develop a recommendation for Council consideration.  Occasionally, a decision cannot be made at the hearing and the matter will be laid over or continued to allow the appellant and/or staff time to gather more information.  The hearings are quite informal but it is still expected that cell phones and pagers will be turned off, and City staff and appellants will address one another respectfully. (NOTE:  If you need an interpreter for your hearing, please call 651-266-8585 for us to arrange one.)

Reporting a Nuisance

To notify the City about a nuisance, call the DSI - Complaint Office at 651-266-8989, who will then contact the correct department.

For other enforcement-related questions, please contact the relevant office below:

  • Fire Prevention, Fire Marshal, Certificate of Occupancy - 651-266-8989
    • For building or housing code complaints about apartment buildings (anything with three or more dwelling units), commercial and industrial buildings.
    • For other problems which may be a potential fire hazard or for non-emergency hazardous waste incidents
  • Board of Zoning Appeals - 651-266-9082
    • For information about zoning, variances and appeals
  • Building Code (Construction Permits All Trades) DSI - 651-266-8989
    • For building permit information
  • Housing Complaints - 651-266-8989
  • Vacant Buildings - 651-266-8989
    • For vacant building complaints
  • Zoning - 651-266-9008
    • For complaints or inquiries about zoning regulations