Common Violations

Overgrown Grass
House Numbers
Garage Sales
Illegal Dumping
On Street Parking
Abandoned and Junked Motor Vehicles
Residential Brush Pickup
Junk and Debris on Property
Unoccupied and Dilapidated Structures
FencesMulched-Grass-BladesOvergrown Grass

Overgrown grass on lots can create hazardous, unsafe, and unhealthy conditions and constitute a public nuisance. IF you have grass, weeds and other vegetation that are over 12" in height, you are in violation of the city code of ordinances. Overgrown lots create a breeding place for mosquitoes, a refuge for rats and snakes, and a collecting place for trash and litter.
City Code requires that tall grass and weeds not exceed the height of twelve (12") inches, including the alley. A one time yearly notice is enforced.

lawnNOTE: Be sure to trim around curbs (or edge of pavement if there is no curb), sidewalks, driveways, fences, trees, flowerbeds, and/or any other building or structures.

We encourage everyone to maintain the grass and weeds before it becomes a problem. Property owners who allow their property to get out of control may be issued a municipal court citation and may be billed for any cleanup costs and associated fees.


Code Compliance is requesting your assistance in keeping the alley adjacent to your property clean, neat, and accessible. It is the responsibility of property owners to maintain alleys that adjoin their properties. Listed below are the requirements of the City of Harlingen ordinances for those properties that adjoin alleys:

Grass shall not be allowed to grow to a height of 12" or more in the alley.     
The alley next to your property shall be maintained free of junk/debris and other obstructions at all times.
Trees that overhand the alley or easement shall be maintained with a minimum of a 12 foot vertical clearance.
All fences and walls shall be maintained free of graffiti;
All fences shall be maintained in good repair
House-NumbersHouse NumbersBuildings shall have approved address numbers placed in a position to be plainly visible from the street.
Numbers shall be a minimum of 4 inches high.

We Can't Find You!

ambulance police-car-5577102 fire-truck2

garage-sale-clip-art-762398Garage Sales

No more than four (4) garage sales shall be conducted at the same address in any calendar year. 
No garage sale shall exceed more than four (4) days in duration.
Garage sale signs are not allowed to be posted on utility poles or stop signs!
Permits are not required for garage sales, but sales are monitored by Code Compliance Officers.

illegal dumpingIllegal Dumping

Illegal dumping is placing trash, garbage, old furniture, mattresses, tires, lumber, debris, and waste, anything discarded where it does not belong. Placing trash/debris, brush, and tree trimmings onto someone else's property, on vacant lots, or anywhere other than on your side of the alley is illegal dumping. Also, placing trash into a dumpster that is not yours is considering illegal dumping. Dispose of your own trash and debris properly.

Why is illegal dumping a serious problem for our community?

Decreases neighborhood property values
Costs taxpayers millions of dollars in clean-up costs
Is a community eyesore
Provides a breeding ground for disease carrying rodents, insects, and other vermin
Fines range up to $2,000 and.or up to 18 days in jails for illegal dumping.
Contact Code Compliance or the Police Department to report Illegal Dumping.
You may contact Public Works at (956) 216-5300 for scheduled pick up times.


Can I place my sign by the curb and on a stop sign or utility pole?
Why does the City prohibit these type of signs?
These signs create traffic hazards that block vision of pedestrians and drivers, confuse/obscure official signs, damage mowing equipment and most often become litter and trash in our neighborhood. Also, nails and staples do considerable damage to utility poles.
What about "For Rent," "For Sale," "Garage Sale," "Lose Weight," "We Buy Houses," and other similar signs. Is there an exception for these?
There is no reason to allow someone to place a sign or handbill in a street, right of a way, or on a pole. This includes garage sale, open houses, houses for sale, and any type of home business signs.
The City of Harlingen Code Compliance Officers will remove any signs found to be on the right of way, on stop signs, or utility poles.

On Street Parking Regulations

No person shall park or cause to be parked on a right-of-way of any street, alley, or other public way in the City for a period exceeding twenty four (24) hours in any fourteen (14) day period for commercial trucks, truck trailers, truck cabs, boats and boat trailers, and forty-eight (48) hours in any fourteen (14) day period for motor homes and travel trailers.
In addition, in Residential Districts, no semi-tractor trailer with or without an attached storage box shall be parked on the right-of-way or stored on any lot in such designated zones.
Boats, trailers, and R.V.'s may be parked on the driveway as long as they are not creating a nuisance. Improper parking of your vehicle can create a visibility and traffic hazard for neighbors, police and fire departments.

junk carAbandoned and Junked Motor Vehicles

Violations may include:
Inoperable for more than 30 days     
Flat tires
No license plate or expired tags
How Can You Help?
Keep automobile repair limited to minor repairs. Avoid storing inoperable vehicles on your property. If the vehicle is operable, please contact our office to make arrangements to verify the condition of the vehicle or if you have any questions.

Residential Brush Pick Up

It is the recommendation of the Public Works Department that you place your brush out for pickup no sooner than a week prior to your pickup week.
Do not place brush and bulk material on the street .
If you have alley garbage collection, place the brush on your side of the alley along your property line only.
NOTE: Placing brush anywhere other than on your property is considered illegal dumping.
Brush pickup service is not provided for any vacant lot or unoccupied property within the city.
Remember that contractors that you hire are required to remove brush, tree limbs, etc., from your property.
Service will not be provided if bulk trash is improperly places, deemed unsafe to collect, or contains unacceptable items as such as construction material.
Crews are responsible for removal of large debris only. The equipment used often leaves behind small debris, which is the responsibility of the resident to clean up.
Please contact Public Works at (956) 216-5300 if you have any questions or for information on the brush schedule.

Junky_yardJunk and Debris on the Property

It is a public nuisance and unlawful for any owner or occupant to permit any accumulation of junk and debris. All exterior property and premises and the interior of every structure, shall be free from any accumulation of rubbish or garbage.
Every occupant of a structure shall dispose all of trash and debris in a clean and sanitary manner by placing such trash and debris in approved containers and locations for pickup.    
NOTE: The City allows for the first 500 lbs of trash to be thrown away for free on a monthly basis with a current water bill and a drivers license with matching address.

Useful Information:
The storage and accumulation of trash, junk, rubbish and debris provides a harborage for rodents and pests. These conditions result in dangerous and unsanitary conditions and a threat to public health.
Refrigerators, stoves, furniture, tires, etc., stored outside are considered debris and are prohibited.
You may contact the Recycling Center at (956) 216-5300 for any items that can be recycled.

abandoned houseUnoccupied and Dilapidated Structures

These structures attract vagrants and illegal activity and they often become home to rodents and snakes and because of lack of maintenance, they become dilapidated to the point of potentially collapsing. Depending on the condition of the structure, the structure may be cleaned and secured; or demolished by the City at the owner's expense.
A building designated unsafe will have a placard posted at the entrances of the building which means that it is being addressed by staff.     

If the structure can be repaired:
some repairs to a structure require a permit by licensed contractors

If the structure is beyond repair:
demolition of a structure requires a permit
Permits may be obtained at the Building Inspections Department
502 E. Tyler Ave.
(956) 216-5160


Fences shall be maintained structurally sound and in good repair.    
Removing and properly disposing of a dilapidated fence or repairing a fence will correct the violation.
Solid face fences shall be restricted to a height of not more than forty (40) inches in height.
Please contact the Planning Department as your first step to building a fence at (956) 216-5101