Property Maintenance Standards Printable Brochure

Part of understanding the community and being a good citizen means learning about local rules that impact your quality of life. This brochure is provided to help you be a good citizen. Remember, quality neighborhoods benefit everyone by keeping our City an attractive, clean and safe place to live and raise families. Following is information on some of our most common questions and/or sources of complaints and the departments to call. Please become familiar with this information and call if you have any questions.

ALLEYS: Residents must help maintain alleys by trimming brush, grass and picking up refuse, litter or trash, to the center of the alley, even if it is outside fenced areas. This includes mowing and keeping them free of garbage and lawn waste. Alleys are graded and plowed if they are on the City’s maintenance schedule. You may call the Department of Public Works (DPW) about alley maintenance (grading, plowing) at 231-724-4100. Environmental Inspectors will send notices and may ticket unkempt areas adjacent to alleys. Call SAFEbuilt at (231) 724-6766.

ANIMAL WASTE: To report excessive dog feces call the Building Inspection Services Department at 231-724-6715.

APPLIANCES: Appliances require a separate neon green sticker, which costs $25.00. Acceptable appliances include: refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, microwave oven, washer, dryer, water heater, trash compactor and dehumidifier. The stickers may be purchased at the City Treasurer’s Office in City Hall or they can be purchased by phone at 231-724-6720 using your credit card, for an additional $3.00 processing fee.

GARBAGE PICK-UP: To report a problem with garbage pickup, call the DPW at 231-724-4100.

JUNK CARS: Vehicles must be licensed, operable and in good repair. The Police Department may tow inoperable or unlicensed vehicles. To report junk vehicles, call the Police Department at 231-724-6750.

MOWING AND YARD UPKEEP: During the growing season, (typically April – October) City rules require that grass and vegetation be maintained so as to NOT EXCEED 6 INCHES IN HEIGHT. Grass clippings may not be in the roadway or gutter. The terrace (the area between the curb and sidewalk) and alley areas must also be maintained. An Environmental Inspector will take action on properties that are not maintained. The City may also have weeds, grass, etc., cut at the property owner’s expense. YOU WILL RECEIVE ONLY ONE LETTER PER YEAR FOR A TALL GRASS/WEEDS VIOLATION. Subsequent violations will result in the City cutting the grass at the property owner’s expense and may be cut the same day that a work order is processed.

Please, also keep shrubs and trees trimmed back at corners to prevent traffic hazards and away from sidewalks for pedestrian safety. For more information call SAFEbuilt at (231) 724-6766. Please do not put lawn clippings or leaves in the road, alley or gutter since they may clog storm drains, which can be costly to clear out. Call the Highway Department at 231-724-4100 to report dumping in the street.

PARKING: Cars may not be parked in the front yard unless on a legal paved driveway. To report front yard parking, call Planning Dept. at 231-724-6702. Parking on the terraces is allowed during the parking ban that take place on December 15th through the end of February each year. Parking is NOT permitted on any street between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. from December 15 through the last day of February.  Parking in alleys is not permitted, since a clear path through the alley may be needed for emergency vehicles. To report a vehicle in violation, call the Police Department at 231-724-6750.


  • Development Permits are needed in the City to construct fences, sheds or pools, and divide parcels or clear land. Call the Planning Dept. at 231-724-6702.
  • Building Permits are needed to remodel, wire, and plumb, change heating or cooling systems or to construct buildings. Call the Building Inspection Services Department at 231-724-6715.
  • Permits are needed to change or put in new driveway openings and public sidewalks. Call the Engineering Department at 231-724-6707.

SPRING CLEAN UP: A dumpster day for each neighborhood is announced for both spring and fall. A dumpster is placed in each neighborhood and residents can bring household items they want to dispose of. Each neighborhood supervises its dumpster day. Call the DPW for dates at 231-724-4100.

STICKERS: If you have more garbage than the toter can hold, you must have a hot pink garbage sticker on each item (couch, TV, extra garbage bag, etc.). We recommend that you staple the sticker on the item if there is a chance it will blow off. The stickers may be purchased for $3.00 each at the City Treasurer’s Office in City Hall or at the Public Works building. If buying in bulk, stickers are 4 for $10. Stickers can also be purchased by phone at 231-724-6720 using your credit card, for an additional $3.00 processing fee. If loose items do not have a sticker, you will get a 24-hour violation notice (bright orange notice attached to the item), which could result in a clean-up bill.

TOTERS: Call DPW at 231-724-4100. To keep neighborhoods looking neat and avoid spilling trash, please do not overload your toter and do not put them out before 7:00 p.m. the night before garbage pick-up. After toter is emptied, they are to be stored out of public view. If a toter is not taken care of, you may be ticketed or it could be taken away

YARDS, YARD WASTE & LEAVES: Items like building materials, car parts, tires, household items, tools, appliances, dismantled machinery, scattered trash, cardboard, or domestic waste may not be openly stored in yards. If such items are not disposed of properly or stored in a suitable manner (i.e., in a garage or shed) an Environmental Inspector will take action to initiate clean-up. Action may include sending a violation notice by mail, City cleaning the property at the property owner’s expense and/or ticketing responsible parties. Call SAFEbuilt at (231) 724-6766 for more information.
• Leaves: Leaf season begins September and ends April. Once leaf season has concluded, un-bagged leaves on a property with a principal structure MUST be removed. Enforcement begins May 1. Please keep leaves and other yard waste out of the gutter. It’s illegal; it clogs storm drains, and makes a huge mess when plows go through! You may not rake leaves into the gutter, road or alley. To report a violation, call the DPW at 231-724-4100.
• Yard waste is picked up on your garbage day and should not be set by the curb until the night before. Yard waste service typically runs from the first week of April through the first week of December, weather permitting. Yard waste (grass, leaves and twigs) must be in paper bags or rigid containers only or the waste hauler will not pick it up. Rigid containers should be labeled “yard waste”. An Environmental Inspector will cite yard waste stored in plastic bags or other inappropriate containers.

• Branches and sticks need to be tied up with twine in manageable bundles no greater than four feet in length. Branches can be no more than 4 inches in diameter. Large limbs and trees coming from residential units may be disposed of by making an appointment with the DPW at 231-724-4100.

WASTE PICKUP: Call the DPW at 231-724-4100. The Public Service Building is located at 1350 E. Keating Ave.

Prepared by the City of Muskegon Planning Dept.