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Identify

rodents droppingsDroppings are typically the easiest way to identify a rodent problem. Mouse droppings are small, like black grains of rice.

You may also see rats, hear rat squeaking as well as hissing and chattering, or find chewed-up material. Outside, there may be burrows or runways.

How to get rid of rodents

With an increase in urban farming (more people growing gardens, having small chicken coops, etc.) those areas become a prime habitat for rodents.

If your neighborhood is close to fields and open area, rainfall can also exacerbate the issue due to rising water levels and rodents being pushed into neighborhoods for the winter.

This is not specifically an Albany issue but one that most cities deal with.

Prevention or extermination measures fall to individual property owners:

  1. Remove sources of food and shelter.
  2. Prevent access to your home.
  3. Remove excess debris from your yard.
  4. Keep compost enclosed in a bin with a tight-fitting lid.
  5. Contain chicken and animal food in rodent-proof containers.
  6. Sweep and contain or dispose of uneaten feed after meals.
  7. Eliminate rodents through trapping or professional help.
    Warning: Use of poison is not recommended and should be regarded as a last resort tactic. Poison can harm or kill humans, pets, birds, and other animals, as well as our environment.

rodents flooding rodents bleach rodents mopping

rodents mouse

Reporting your concerns about rodents

At or near restaurants, food carts, food booths, schools, and day cares

An inspector will be sent to the facility.

At grocery stores, farmer's markets, food processors or growers

Call the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and they will send an inspector to the facility, 503-986-4720.

At or near a specific private property in the city limits of Albany

If there’s a specific property that proves to be the source of an infestation that’s impacting neighboring properties, the City will contact that property owner directly about addressing it.  The City does not have a program to address general rodent issues that are not tied to a specific property infestation or code compliance case.  

If there’s a specific property that’s of concern, contact our Code Compliance Officer in the Albany Police Department at 541-917-7680 or by using their online form.

In or around sewers or on public property within the city limits of Albany

Contact Public Works at 541-917-7600.

Cleaning up after rodents

Always take precautions to protect yourself from the potential of infectious disease. Wear gloves, clean surfaces with disinfectant, and follow all labeled instructions.

nutriaIf you live near water in Albany and, somewhere near you, new houses or businesses are being built, you may find destructive unwanted guests on your lawn, in your garden, or on your patio or deck. They’re nutria. 

Nutria look a lot like beaver but aren’t as big and they have a rat-like (not flat) tail. They live in burrows in the banks of rivers, sloughs, streams and ponds and can cause considerable damage by weakening roadbeds, sidewalks, stream banks, dams and dikes. Nutria are also tough on gardens and field crops, trees and shrubs, and lawns and can damage natural plants. 

In Oregon, nutria are classified as unprotected nongame wildlife.  That means they can be trapped and killed; they cannot be relocated. Property owners don’t need a license to control nutria on their property. Albany prohibits discharging a firearm within the city limits, but a pellet gun or bow and arrow may be used as long as the projectiles don’t leave the property.

The City of Albany does not trap or otherwise remove nutria from private property. If you have a nutria problem, it’s best to contact a professional trapper for help.

For other information about nutria in Oregon, visit https://www.dfw.state.or.us/wildlife/living_with/nutria.asp 

The City of Albany Code Enforcement Team investigates complaints of possible violations of the Albany Municipal Code or Albany Development Code that relate to dangerous buildings, fire and life safety, and nuisance conditions. Since 1999, the team has used the City codes to repair, clean up, or otherwise abate such buildings or problem properties.

Team members include representatives of the Police and Fire departments, Community Development (building and planning divisions), the City Attorney’s Office and the City Manager’s Office. The team meets monthly to review complaints, set priorities for investigating them, and to make progress reports. They compile formal reports for the City Council twice a year.

Code Enforcement currently has a $16,900 annual budget, which comes from property taxes. The budget includes money to pay occasionally for property clean-up; for title searches; and for prosecution of serious cases in Albany Municipal Court or Linn County Circuit Court. The budget does not include the time spent by Building Division investigators, police officers who assist in inspecting or documenting violations and serving citations, team members attending the monthly meetings, or preparation of reports.

These pages provide some information about the most common complaints that the Team receives, with the relevant sections of the Municipal and Development codes that apply. If you have a question about code enforcement, call the Albany Police Department non-emergency line at 541-917-7680.

To report a code violation, contact APD at 541-917-7680.

Common Code Complaints

Animals

Dogs

At large:
Dogs must be kept on leash when they are not otherwise contained by fencing or a kennel. Dog owners must clean up after their pets.

Barking:
Dogs that bark cumulatively for more than 10 minutes during any one-hour period when such barking is audible off the premises of the dog's owner or keeper is considered a public nuisance.

Issues of abuse/neglect:
Dog left in hot enclosed vehicle, being physically abused, etc.

Immediate threat:
Against a human or animal by an animal (occurring now).

Cats

There is no State or municipal code governing the licensing of cats or the need to maintain immediate control of a cat like there are dogs.

Community Service Officers do respond to pick up a cat that is sick or injured when the owner can’t be found and they do investigate reports of abuse or neglect.

Non-domesticated / injured animals

Feral cats, raccoons, opossums, nutria, ducks, and mink are often found inside of the city; however, these animals are not DOMESTIC animals, therefore, generally do not get a response from a Community Service Officer.

A Community Service Officer will also respond to cougar sightings near a human population or livestock (horses, chickens, sheep, etc) in harm's way or on public property.

OTHER Resources

Property

Grass and Vegetation

  • Vegetation on residential properties and vacant lots must not be more than 10 inches tall; encroach on neighboring property, sidewalks or streets; be poisonous to the touch; create a fire hazard; or block vision at intersections or driveways. Report vegetation violations online or by calling Kris Schendel at 541-917-7680; report vision clearance hazards to 541-917-7600.
  • Keep sidewalks clean and unobstructed.
  • You are also responsible for maintaining the planter strip between the sidewalk and the curb in front of your property.
  • Trees overhanging sidewalks should be trimmed 8 feet above the height of the sidewalk.
  • Trees overhanging streets should be trimmed 14 feet above the height of the street.

Junk & Trash

Living or working next to a property in the city that collects junk vehicles, parts, tires and other accumulated trash is both a hazard and a blight on our community. We take pride in our city and encourage good neighbor relationships. Investigating reports of debris, garbage and junk deemed a nuisance by the Municipal Code is just one of the many duties a Community Service Officer investigates.

AMC 7.84.040 states that it is unlawful for any person, or any agent or employees of any person to keep any debris, garbage or junk out of doors on any street, public sidewalk, lot, or premises within the City.

If a Community Service Officer determines during their investigation that a property is in violation of this city ordinance, a citation may be issued. If this is the first citation the person has ever received for this violation, the person in charge of the property may be able to have the citation dismissed, if the property is cleaned up within 30 days, and prior to the court date on the citation. Additional citations for the same violation are not allowed to be dismissed.

I received a citation for Junk & Trash, how do I have my property re-evaluated before my court date?
At the time a person is issued a citation for violating the Junk and Trash ordinance, the Community Service Officer informs the person receiving the citation if they’re eligible to have the citation dismissed, and provides a form outlining the procedure. Follow the instructions on that form. If the form has been lost, or there are additional questions, call the Community Service Officer that issued the citation for more information.

I was issued a citation for Junk & Trash, why is the bail amount so high?
The bail amount identified on the citation is not necessarily the amount of the fine associated with the violation. The bail amount is identified on the citation to inform the person receiving the citation what the bail amount could be if the person fails to appear for their court appearance and a warrant for their arrest is issued.

Miscellaneous

  • Trash containers should be placed at the curb no more than 24 hours before pick-up; store containers off the street.
  • Garage sales are limited to three times per year, per property, and for no more than three consecutive days.
  • Portable basketball hoops should be used in your driveway, not the street, blocking sidewalks, parking areas, or mailboxes.

Vehicles

Boats and Trailers

  • Must be stored off the street.

Cars & Trucks

  • Vehicles for sale, that are being repaired or don't run, or that are not licensed cannot be parked on the street.
  • AMC 13.70.020 defines an “Abandoned Vehicle” as a vehicle left unoccupied and unclaimed; or in such a damaged or disabled or dismantled condition that the vehicle is inoperable; or not currently licensed through DMV. And parked or left standing on the right-of-way of a City street, alley, or City property for a period in excess of 24 hours.

Campers & RVs

  • Must be stored off the street.
  • You cannot live in a camper or RV except in an RV park.

rvCity ordinances allow motor homes, travel trailers, boats, fifth-wheel trailers, and other recreational vehicles to be parked on public rights-of-way for up to 48 hours with the consent of the adjacent property owner.  Without that permission, vehicles may not be stored on the street for more than 24 hours.

Length Restriction

Any vehicle or combination of vehicles more than 23 feet long or eight feet wide cannot be parked on a street, alley, public parking lot, or parking strip between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on weekdays or all day Saturday, Sunday, and holidays.  Vehicles must not block traffic signs or a driver's clear view at intersections.

Camping in your Vehicle

Albany ordinances allow camping in recreational vehicles on a front yard setback for up to 48 hours with the consent of the property owner.  A residential property owner may allow someone to camp in a recreational vehicle on their property for up to seven days in a 90-day period.

If your vehicle is parked illegally...

Vehicles found parked illegally will be marked by Albany police and must be moved within 72 hours.  If the vehicle is not moved, police will contact the registered owner by mail.  The penalty for the violation is $100.

Vehicles that are not registered, have expired registrations, or are stored on a street may be tagged as abandoned and could be towed.  The owners are charged for the towing bill and vehicle storage fee along with the civil penalty.

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