Got trash? Here’s what Mesa County does to deal with messy neighbors

A Mesa County Code Compliance Officer talks about what they do to ensure Mesa County residents follow the codes the county has.
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 8:54 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - If you’ve ever observed or lived by someone who collects trash in their yard, it can become an environmental nuisance and public health  problem, and that is where a Code Compliance Officer comes into view.

The Mesa County Code Compliance Code Officer enforces Land Development Code and specific Mesa County Public Health Regulations. Their responsibility is to ensure that no one maintains violations on their property  that can affect people’s  environmental health in the surrounding area. “Code Compliance Services” is a Department  under the Mesa County Community Development Division and Mesa County Public Health Division,” said Greg St. Martin, Mesa County Code Compliance Services Senior Code Compliance Officer.

According to St. Martin, a good example of most complaints are when someone would call to file a complaint regarding illegal activities like trash piling up.

A Code Compliance Officer will investigate the complaint within ten days and determine if it violates The Land Development Code, Public Health Regulations, or both. If they are in violation, they will get a notice in the mail giving them 10-30 days to mitigate the violation with a  Notice to Comply. If they cannot comply within thirty days, standard operating procedure allows them to send the individual a Notice of Violation with another deadline of 10 to 30 days.

The property owner will also have offers throughout the correction process to work with Code Compliance Services to clean up / mitigate the existing violations with the use of compliance plans, and environmental assistance in lieu of legal action . If they refuse to comply, fail to comply or ignore notices, the property owner will be referred to the Mesa County Attorney’s Office for a Summons and Complaint in Civil court.

St. Martin also states that Code Compliance Services is a proud supporter of the “Team Mesa Culture” being a county entity that works with all County Departments to improve the quality of life for the community they serve. Mesa County Code Compliance Services is the creator of the Annual Mesa County Neighborhood Cleanup.

As part of the enforcement policies with Public Health Codes, Code Compliance also focuses on illegal burning, air quality, harboring infestations and rubbish complaints. According to St. Martin, illegal burns can include burning on Red Flag Days and improper burning of trash like mattresses, pallets and tires. Improper burning can lead to bad air quality. Also, having open burns requires a permit from the Mesa County Public Health Department.

In Mesa County, the areas with the highest number of active code violations currently include Clifton, Fruitville, and Orchard Mesa. St. Martin mentions that if you have a concern regarding what you believe to be an activity that may be in Violation  to please call the Mesa County Code Compliance Services office at 970-244-1631 or email them at