Code Talk

Prairie Dogs

Northern Colorado has struggled with prairie dogs for many years, and many believe the area always will, just as many areas in surrounding states do. Prairie dogs may be cute, but they can cause nuisance and devastation in a short period of time. The habitat in and around Frederick is perfect for these small rodents, providing yummy grass and a lot of open space. As you may know, prairie dogs burrow, and build mounds with deep holes. These pose a significant risk to livestock which may break a leg and need to be euthanized if they should step in a hole. Prairie dogs also carry fleas which can spread disease to pets and humans alike such as the plague and tularemia.

The Town of Frederick has an ordinance prohibiting rodent pests and prairie dogs are on that list. The ordinance basically states that a population of prairie dogs (or other rodent pests) shall not be permitted to relocate to another property and or damage the property of another. This has not been uncommon in Frederick. Prairie dogs have damaged underground utility lines in their burrowing efforts, and property owners have had costly repairs.

The solution is two-fold. There needs to be an effort made to keep prairie dogs off of your property. Tips are to keep the grass cut very short, or utilize some of the various repellents including chemical and visual aids. The flip side of the solution is that if prairie dogs already exist on your property you are required by ordinance to prevent them from leaving the property. This can be accomplished by several means of mitigation, including hiring a pest control company. To report violations of the ordinance, please contact Weld County Communications at 720-652-4222.


In preparation for upcoming Holidays, the Town of Frederick would like to discuss Fireworks. Fireworks are beautiful to look at, especially over the Fourth of July weekend, but if they fall into the wrong hands, or if there are technical malfunctions, fireworks can go horribly wrong.

Only fireworks that do not leave the ground and do not explode are legal in Colorado. In The Town of Frederick, it is unlawful for any person to possess, store, offer for sale, discharge or cause to be discharged any fireworks, other than those permitted as above-- which do not leave the ground and do not explode. 
Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 other fires. These fires caused an average of three deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and an average of $43 million in direct property damage. 

The Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, recommends attending professional fireworks displays rather than using personal fireworks. Professional displays are a safer way for the public to enjoy fireworks because they are carefully monitored and permitted, and include support from local fire departments.

Not only do fireworks present fire and personal injury hazards, the booming sounds and flashing lights of fireworks can be terrifying and overwhelming for pets. On the Fourth of July, so many pets are frightened and try to escape the sights and sounds that animal shelters around the nation report a dramatic increase in lost pets during the holiday. To help keep your pet safe, please make sure they have proper and adequate identification, keep your pets safely away from fireworks, if your pet has a known fear of sounds or fireworks, ask your veterinarian for help.

To report firework violations or to report animals at large, please contact Weld County Communications at 720-652-4222.

Leash Law

Now that the summer season has arrived, and many of us plan to spend a lot more time outdoors, we would like to remind those recreating in the Town of Frederick, that their dogs must be on a physical leash when off their own property. The town ordinance can be a little confusing at a glance because there is talk about using “voice control.” To clarify, voice control is acceptable on a dog owners’ property, or the property of another which has given permission for a dog to be on. Voice control is therefore only permissible in the presence of the person enacting it, and is not effective if the dog were to leave that property. Now that voice control is out of the way, we would like to acknowledge that many dogs are very well behaved when off leash, however, leash laws exist for many reasons:
  • They are less likely to be hit by a car
  • They can’t be stolen
  • They are easier to keep an eye on and pick up after
  • They are less likely to chase after something or someone
  • They can’t get lost
  • It reduces the likelihood of a fight or a bite
  • Less likely they will eat something they shouldn’t
  • They won’t be a pest to others
  • They won’t be the cause of an accident or be able to damage property
  • They cannot harass wildlife or livestock
  • No accidental breeding!
Let’s keep our community safe including our furry friends. To report violations please contact Weld County Communications at 720-652-4222.

Let's Talk Weeds

April showers bring May flowers…and weeds!
With the start of spring, our lawns and gardens will start to come back to life, and before we know it, they will start to grow like, well …weeds! In the past, some property owners have not kept their properties as tidy as the law requires. Of all the nuisances reported to the Town, weed complaints are among the most numerous each year.

Town ordinance requires property owners to keep grass and weeds cut to less than 8 inches in height. Anything taller than that is prohibited and, if left unabated, can be mowed by the Town at the owner's expense. 

It's not just about aesthetics, taller grass and weeds can provide a breeding ground for all manner of vermin, from mosquitoes, chiggers and ticks to mice and snakes. Many of these pests can carry diseases that can affect humans and pets. In addition, most of the pollens that cause allergic reactions come from trees, weeds and grasses. And lastly, taller grass and weeds dry throughout the season, and create a very serious fire hazard.

Vacant properties, agricultural roadsides, and rental properties are often a problem. The Community Service Unit deals with some property owners year after year. Property owners or occupants are ultimately responsible for lawn maintenance. The strips of grass between sidewalks and Town streets are a common problem area as well, as there can be confusion about who is responsible for maintenance. Although the land near roadways typically is covered by Town right of way, it falls to the property owner or occupant to keep the grass and weeds trimmed—this includes along all sides of the property. 

When a complaint is made, or a property is found to not be in compliance, the Community Service Unit will issue and post a ten (10) day notice to mow the property. The property will be re-inspected after 10 days have passed. If no other action has been taken, the Town can call in a mower to cut the grass. The bill is then charged to the property owner, and can be collected as part of their property tax bill. In the case of properties without a residence, officers will send a notice (by mail) to the property owners listed on the county assessor’s website. To file a complaint, please contact non-emergency dispatch at 720-652-4222.

Park Rules Refresher Guide

March is one of those tricky months in Colorado-- while we often still have snow, March is host to the Spring Equinox-- that pivotal moment in time when winter ends and spring begins! As we embrace spring and start to spend more time outdoors, it is important to review some important codes and rules that pertain to outdoor activities in the Town of Frederick. 

The Town of Frederick has over 20 public parks for use by our residents. Our residents also have the luxury of enjoying Milavec Lake and all the perks that the Frederick Recreation Area (FRA) has to offer. As a general rule, park hours are sunrise to sunset, although a select number of parks have special posted hours, as well as extensions available for reserved events. Another important code to review is that dogs are required to be on leash and to be cleaned up after. The only exception to this is dogs inside the designated dog park located at FRA (Dog Park Rules are posted at the entrance). 

FRA and Milavec Lake have a few special codes to abide by as it pertains to fishing and boating. A State of Colorado Fishing License is required for all over the age of 16 who intend to fish at the lake. The license can be purchased online through the Colorado Parks and Wildlife, or at any of the retailers listed on their website. While motorized boats are not permitted on the lake, nonmotorized watercraft 16 feet or shorter are permitted on the lake. These watercrafts must follow safety guidelines as well, such as a Coast Guard approved lifejacket for each person on board, a paddling device, at least one life ring and a whistle or other sound – producing device. Vehicles may only access the boat ramp for loading and unloading of watercraft, and are otherwise limited to the parking lots. 
For questions, concerns, or to report a violation, please contact non-emergency dispatch at 720-652-4222 and ask to speak with an officer.

Four Reasons to Get Your Pet Licensed

Pet ownership comes with many responsibilities. One that is often overlooked is registering him with the local government. For example, in the Town of Frederick, it is estimated only 16% of dogs, and 0.5% of cats are licensed. Town of Frederick Ordinance requires all dogs and cats over 6 months of age to be licensed with The Frederick Police Department by March 1st of each year, or within 30 days after; reaching 6 months, moving to town, and/or after acquiring your pet if already over 6 months of age. Failing to license your pet can hinder your chances of getting him back if picked up by a citizen or the police department, and can land you with a fine and a summons to court.

In addition to the above, here are a few more reasons to license your pet. 
1. It’s the law. In many towns, counties, and states, it is mandatory that pet owners license their pets. The license must be worn at all times, and if pet owners are caught without their pets being licensed, they can and do, face fines.
2. If your pet goes missing, having them licensed drastically improves your chances of getting him back. A license tag helps animal control and shelters quickly identify your pet and get him back to you safely.
3. The cost of the license is far less than the penalty for being caught without one. The average cost of a pet license is between $5 and $30 depending on several factors including the pets spay/neuter status and whether or not the pet has a microchip. A trip to the shelter costs approximately $75 to walk in the door and incurs daily care fees and subjects your pet to potential infectious diseases such as Kennel Cough. 
4. Licensing lets people know your pet is up to date on his rabies vaccines. A pet cannot be licensed unless it is properly vaccinated. Animal control or a good Samaritan will be much more likely to want to handle and care for your missing pet if they know that he is healthy and vaccinated for rabies.

To acquire a Frederick pet license, bring your pets current rabies certificate from the vet, and head to the Frederick Police Department, 333 5th St. For questions on pet licensing, please contact the Frederick Police Department at 720-382-5700.

Living with Wildlife

As the Town of Frederick grows, our new and expanding subdivisions impact our wildlife’s habitat, and often displace them. Some species are able to live in nearby open spaces, parks, or undeveloped land, while others, skunks and raccoons in particular, have adapted well to urban living, and thrive in towns and cities. In most situations, people and wildlife can co-exist. The key is to respect the wildness of wildlife- wildlife should not be harassed, captured, domesticated, or fed. Intentional or inadvertent feeding is the major cause of most wildlife conflicts, and most dangerous and potentially harmful encounters occur because people fail to leave wildlife alone. 
While the presence of wildlife in Frederick is usually a delight to our residents, the close proximity can sometimes cause problems. Most people agree that a skunk in the window well, a raccoon in the fireplace, or a coyote in the backyard can be unsettling, yet these are situations many Colorado residents encounter, and may not know what to do about them.
The key to avoiding problem wildlife encounters is keeping unwanted wildlife out of homes, buildings, and yards. Some quick tips include:
   DO NOT FEED WILDLIFE- feeding birds is ok, but be aware it may attract other animals
   Cover window wells 
   Close holes around and under the foundation of buildings
   Don’t give wildlife the opportunity to get into your garbage
   Keep pet food inside
   If birds are flying into windows, mark them with strips of white tape or with raptor silhouettes
   Fence gardens and cover fruit trees with netting
   Screen fireplace chimneys and furnace, attic, dryer vents etc..
   Seal all cracks and holes larger than ¼ inch in diameter
If a wildlife conflict poses immediate danger for the animal or people in the area, please contact non-emergency dispatch at 720-652-4222 to have an officer dispatched to your location. For nuisance wildlife issues, please consult the “Living with Wildlife” page on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website, or speak with a Community Service Officer for advice to resolve the issue. When nuisance wildlife issues cannot be resolved, you may check with your local pest control company. For the most part, wildlife laws are governed by the state, and laws should be consulted prior to taking matters into your own hands. For those wishing to help animals, the Frederick Police Department is looking for volunteers interested in transporting to nearby wildlife rehabilitation centers very occasionally throughout the year. Please email the Community Service department for more information.

Snow Removal

With winter approaching, we wish to remind residents that Frederick ordinance requires property owners/renters to clear sidewalks on all sides of their property of snow and ice. This ordinance is in effect so that EVERYONE can navigate our walkways safely. Senior citizens, people with disabilities, parents with strollers, and mail carriers, just to name a few, are only a small portion of those who struggle to navigate our sidewalks when they are snow covered. We all need to do our part to keep our community safe, and therefore snow and ice removal is required within 24 hours once the snow has stopped.

Our officers patrol the neighborhoods following an accumulation of snow, residences with sidewalks which have not been cleared within the 24 hour timeframe will be given a warning to correct the violation within a reasonable amount of time. If the sidewalk remains uncleaned, the town will correct the violation at the cost of the responsible party, and the party will receive a ticket.

Please practice safety when removing snow. Offer to help your neighbors or ask your neighbors for help when necessary. In neighborhoods where streets are plowed, it may be advisable to wait until plows have passed before shoveling sidewalks, to prevent multiple trips. Push the snow with a shovel as opposed to lifting the snow. The use of an ergonomic shovel can be beneficial. Prompt response to clearing sidewalks prevents packed snow, and ice. Also, always carry your cell phone when shoveling, in the event of an emergency call 911. 

To report sidewalks which need clearing please contact non-emergency dispatch at 720-652-4222.

Sign Code

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign. Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind. Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign….code? Did you know that the Town of Frederick has an entire chapter of the Land Use Code dedicated to signs? The code pertains to a variety of signs including signs for businesses and even signs placed in residential yards, and covers topics like design, location, installation, repair and maintenance. This code includes permanent and temporary signs.

The purpose is to lay out regulation to prevent sign clutter, visual distraction, physical obstruction, and degradation of the aesthetic character of our small town. There are regulations regarding the size, number, type and locations of signs that can be displayed on or around a building. Some key points are below.

Some types of signs are not allowed under the code:
Signs with more than 2 faces
Animated or moving signs (Message centers permitted with their own regulations)
Pole signs
Cardboard, cardstock, paper signs
Feather flags
Flashing lights (Holiday displays exempt)
Abandoned signs

Some sign locations are not allowed under the code:
On stacked products (tires, soft drink cases, bagged soil etc…)
On trees/shrubs
On utility poles
In or over a public right-of-way
Off-site advertising
On motor vehicles/semi trailer/shipping contains unless exceptions are met

Check out the full Sign Code for more information.

Junk Vehicles

That vehicle doesn’t seem to be doing so well…amongst the pumpkins, it is starting to look like a Halloween decoration… Halloween decoration or not, vehicles which fall under the “Junk Vehicle” ordinance have “special regulations” to follow if an owner wishes to keep them. 

A junk vehicle (which applies to campers, trailers and other equipment too), is a vehicle which does not display currently registered license plates or is wrecked, damaged, or dismantled to the point that the vehicle is permanently or in its current state inoperable. It is also a vehicle which does not have all its tires inflated.

In general, junk vehicles may never be stored on the street. On private property however, a junk vehicle may be kept with the following “special regulations.” The vehicle must be stored within a completely enclosed structure. If not within a structure, one single individual junk vehicle may be stored on a lot or parcel of land if it is covered with a one piece, opaque (not see through) tarp or car cover, and the one, single, individual junk vehicle must be stored in the backyard or the driveway of the lot or parcel. In non-residential areas, the requirement is that junk vehicles be reasonably concealed from adjacent properties. Vehicles awaiting repair or the settlement of an insurance claim are exempt from these “special regulations” for up to 90 days, but still may not be stored on the street.

Violators of this ordinance are often given a written warning and a specified timeframe to correct the issue, failure to correct may result in a summons to court. To report a violation, please contact non-emergency dispatch at 720-652-4222.

Sidewalk & Street Obstructions

Ob·struc·tion: an obstacle or blockage. 
Did you know that The Town of Frederick Municipal Ordinance prohibits the obstruction of a street or sidewalk? Ordinance prohibits any owner or occupant of property to allow any tree, plant or object to project into, obstruct or encroach upon any public way in such a manner as to impair, obstruct or endanger pedestrian or vehicular traffic or to present a potential hazard to public or private property. This means that all sidewalks should be safely and easily passable. This also means that vehicles should not have to weave in and out to navigate down a street full of landscaping materials, and should be able to safely enter intersections without having their view obstructed by trees, trash cans, etc. Other examples of obstructions include Basketball Hoops, Bicycles, Dumpsters, Wrecked Vehicles etc… 
As mentioned above, it is common that landscape materials as well as towed inoperable vehicles, be delivered to an address in the street. Landscape materials may be allowed with the purchase of a permit through Town Hall with their own provisions. Inoperable vehicles not only constitute an obstruction, but are governed by the “Junk Vehicle” ordinance and may never be stored in the street.
Violators of these ordinances are often given a written warning and a specified timeframe to correct the issue, failure to correct may result in a summons to court. To report a violation, please contact non-emergency dispatch at 720-652-4222.


Parking rules exist to prevent chaos, be organized, and control traffic flow. Frederick has adopted the Model Traffic Code and enforces parking based on those standards. 

Common parking violations include parking:
Parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.
Parking within 30 feet of a stop sign.
Parking where signs prohibit parking.
Parking in the wrong direction or wrong side of the street.
Parking on a sidewalk.
When a vehicle is found in violation, a photo is taken and a parking ticket is written out and often posted on the vehicle. In instances where the vehicle in violation needs to be removed immediately, a tow company may be contacted, and the vehicle is towed at the owners’ expense. The registered owner, by default, is responsible for the payment of the ticket/fine, which is due within 72 hours. Failure to pay the fine can result in a “show cause order” by the court.

With school just around the corner, it is important to note many schools have parking restrictions. These restrictions while sometimes inconvenient, are in place to protect the students and are taken very seriously.
To report parking violations, please contact Weld County Communications at 720-652-4222.

Barking Dogs

The mailman. The doorbell. The squirrels. A leaf…
The list of what dogs will bark at could go on and on. Barking dogs is one of the most common pet problems that dog owners and non-dog owners experience. It is widely understood that dogs communicate by barking, howling, yipping etc…but a barking dog should not affect the quality of life of their owner, nor their neighbor(hood). 
Owners of animals in the Town of Frederick must prevent their animals from disturbing any person by barking, howling, yelping or any other audible sound. The first step in prevention is to understand why dogs bark. Dogs may bark for a variety of reasons including to gain attention, out of boredom or frustration, territoriality, playfulness or excitement, for health reasons, or other reasons. The next step is to take action. If you have been informed that your dog barks, or received a warning from an officer, take immediate action! It is important to correct the problem so your neighbors do not take legal action, or take their anger out on your dog. Some immediate solutions include:
*Bring your dog in the house when you leave. If you have a dog door, close it.
*Draw the blinds or curtains.
*Provide adequate shelter and fresh clean water, many dogs will bark or whine if they are cold or thirsty.
*Provide your dog more outdoor exercise/stimulation. Many dog toy companies have a variety of “boredom busters,” or puzzle toys.
*When your dog barks, investigate to find out what is causing the disturbance. Do not ignore the barking, and do not allow your dog to bark persistently.
Other solutions to consider:
*Anti-bark or Bark-limiting collars
*Ultrasonic devices to prevent barking
*Specialized/ Obedience training classes
Sometimes “dogs will be dogs,” however, a series of short barks periodically may feel like the barking lasts the whole day. The ordinance is written to protect citizens from being disturbed by barking dogs, and therefore is subject to what a person may feel is disturbing. This means there is no time limit, or time of day which dogs are allowed to bark, unlike our common noise ordinance.
To report a barking dog, the Frederick Police Department strongly encourages neighbors to take a pro-active role in trying to resolve a barking dog problem. This can be accomplished in person or by sending a signed letter describing the specific problem. If you are uncomfortable making the initial contact, an officer can contact them instead and issue a warning by contacting Weld County Communications 720-652-4222. To issue a warning, the officer will need the following information from you:
*The complete address of the dog owner
*A brief description of the dog(s) and
*A time frame when the last incident occurred

RV/Trailer Rules

It’s getting to be that time of year, when people start pulling their RV’s and trailers out of storage. While the Town wants people to use their RV’s and trailers, there are ordinances in place to lessen the impact on our community. 

The term Recreational Vehicle (RV) is often used as a broad category of vehicles and trailers which include temporary living quarters. For the purposes of the related municipal codes, RV’s also include (and are not limited to) vehicles which may be used for recreation or personal purposes, such as a boat, and/or the trailer used to transport such a vehicle. A Utility Trailer is defined as any wheeled vehicle, commercially manufactured or homemade, without motive power, which is designed to be drawn by a motor vehicle. Aside from being unsightly, these RV’s and trailers can cause a lot of issues including: obstructing intersections, blighting business districts and neighborhoods, occupying valuable parking spaces, creating safety hazards, and cluttering the streets. The ordinance allows for RV’s and Trailers to be parked on the street for loading and unloading, as long as this process is complete within 72 hours. For RV and Trailer owners, residential properties may only have one RV and one utility trailer on the property at any time, and may only park one of the two in the driveway.

Trailers can also fall under the “commercial vehicle” ordinance. The term Commercial Vehicle refers to any vehicle or trailer used for commercial or business purposes. Passenger vehicles are excluded. No commercial vehicle may be parked in the street or on residential property except for uninterrupted loading and unloading, up to 12 hours, or, during a job, to provide service to a property. This same code also prohibits the parking of semis, and any vehicle over 25 feet.

These vehicles are often left standing well beyond the hour limit. The interpretation of the ordinance is meant to keep the parking or storing of these vehicles to residential driveways, backyards, or storage facilities, and is NOT intended to “reset the hours” every time the vehicle is moved/driven. To report violations of this kind, please contact non-emergency dispatch at 720-652-4222.

Choose the Path of LEASHED Resistance! 
At first glance, The Town of Frederick Municipal Code, regarding the use of leashes for dogs may be a little “ruff” to understand. For dogs on their owner's property, or on the property of another who has given permission, the ordinance requires that dogs stay on that property by means which prevent the dog from crossing into any public way. This can be accomplished several ways, including, but not limited to; the use of a leash when in the presence of a person, a fence, an underground electronic barrier with a transmitter collar worn by the dog, or voice control of a competent person. 

For dogs off their owner's property, the ordinance explains that they must be restrained by a leash 15 feet or shorter. To summarize, all dogs must be leashed unless they are on private property. The exception would be when visiting the Town of Frederick Dog Park located at Milavec Lake! 

It is important to note that leashes don’t exist just to be a buzzkill, they’re an important safety tool. They protect the safety of humans and non-humans alike, and we all need to take responsibility for the use of them.

 A person charged with a dog running at large violation for the first time, or second time within a three-year period, may at the discretion of the charging officer, be eligible for a mail-in plea of guilty, not requiring a court appearance.  Residents of Frederick holding a current dog license issued by the Frederick Police Department (either at the time of the violation or having purchased the dog license prior to entry of the guilty plea by mail) are eligible for the early pay option.  The early payment option carries with it a $75.00 fine, $25 surcharge and $50 impound fee per animal. Dog running at large is designated a noncriminal violation; therefore not subject to incarceration upon conviction and not entitled to a trial by jury.  Any person convicted or pleading guilty to this charge may be fined an amount not to exceed $1,000. Please contact non-emergency dispatch at 720-652-4222 to report off-leash dogs causing unease and stray dogs as well. 

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