Report Code Violations
- Start a Business Association
- Organize a District Cleanup and Graffiti Removal
- Report Code Violations
- Create a National Register District
- Right-of-Way Programs
- Parking Requirement Relief
- Historic Preservation Overlay
- Neon Sign Grant Program
- Request Mixed-Use Zoning Along BRT Route
- BRT Development Fee Reimbursement
There are many types of code violations. Some common violations are described below. For a full list of categories, visit Tulsa311.com. Please bear in mind the differences between personal opinions and code violations. In order for a code violation to exist, it must be defined by a Tulsa City Ordinance.
It’s usually best to try to talk to nearby businesses or property owners about a potential code violation before reporting it to the City.
How to Report a Violation
- Call 3-1-1 to file your complaint. Be prepared to give a phyiscal address, your name (will be kept confidential), and a description of the problem.
- If this is your first visit, click ‘Register’ to create an account.
- Once logged in, click ‘Services’ to file a new complaint.
- Select the category that best fits the problem you’re reporting, and enter the requested information, including the address and a description of the problem. Be specific.
- When you’re finished, click ‘Submit’.
Use the Mobile App
- Download the Tulsa311 app from your mobile app store.
- Log in or create an account if this is your first visit.
- To submit a new complaint, click ‘File a Report’.
- Select the category that best fits the problem you’re reporting. Note: the mobile app does not include all of the categories listed on Tulsa311.com. If your category is not included, select ‘Other’ and provide a detailed description.
- Enter the requested information, including the address and a description of the problem. Be specific. The app also allows users to upload a photo of the problem.
- When you’re finished, tap ‘Submit’.
What Happens Next
The case will be assigned to an investigator, who will visit the property. If a violation is found at the time of inspection, a written notice will be given to the property owner, who will have 10 days to correct the violation. Immediate interventions can be made if the violation poses a health and safety risk.
What do I do if I’ve received a Notice of Violation Letter?
The notice includes the name and phone number of the City of Tulsa Inspector assigned to your case. You may also call 3-1-1 to be directed to Working In Neighborhoods.
Common Code Violations
Zoning Clearance Permit
A Zoning Clearance Permit is required before establishing any new Use on a vacant lot or before changing uses. Zoning Clearance Permits can be issued as a stand-alone permit, or as a part of the Building Permit, if applicable. (Chapter 70, Section 70.080)
All signs in the City of Tulsa require a Sign Permit (Section 60.020), except for those listed in Section 60.030 of the Tulsa Zoning Code (Sign Exceptions).
The Tulsa Zoning Code requires all private outdoor commercial lighting to be arranged or shielded to direct light downward and away from abutting lots that are not under common ownership. Light-producing elements must not be visible from an abutting property, 5 feet above grade. Spillover light (light trespass) may not exceed 0.5 foot-candles when abutting a Residential or Agricultural Zoning District and may not exceed 3.0 foot-candles when abutting any other zoning district or public right-of-way. (Chapter 67, Section 67.030)
Most Commercial and Multi-Family Residential Uses are required to maintain an F-1 screening fence or wall along any abutting Single-Family Residential Zoning District. An F-1 screening fence must be an opaque fence at least 6 feet in height, typically a wooden privacy fence, or a masonry wall with a minimum height of 6 feet. The finished sign of the fence or wall must face the adjacent property or street and must always be maintained. Chain link fencing cannot be used to satisfy the screening fence requirements. (Chapter 65, Section 65.070-C)
Required landscaping must be continuously maintained by the property owner, including necessary watering, weeding, pruning, pest control, litter and debris clean-up, and replacement of dead, diseased or damaged plant material. (Chapter 65, Section 65.090-F)
Outdoor Storage in CS Zoning District
In the Commercial Shopping (CS) Zoning District, outdoor storage and display of items (including merchandise) is prohibited within 300 feet of a Residential Zoning District. (Chapter 15, Section 15.040-A)
All parking areas must be designed and marked in accordance with the dimensional standards listed in section 55.090-D of the Tulsa Zoning Code. Parking spaces must be at least 8.5 feet in width and 18 feet in length, not including access drives and aisles. Unless the business abuts a minor street, all parking areas must be designed to allow vehicles to enter and exit a street in a forward motion. The parking surface must be dustless, all-weather material such as concrete or asphalt. Accessible parking facilities must be provided in accordance with the Building Code. (Chapter 55, Section 55.090)
Promotional Signs, Flags, and Banners
Promotional signs, such as banners, flags, corrugated signs, and non-rigid displays require a Promotional Sign Permit from the City of Tulsa. No more than 4 promotional sign permits are allowed per business per year. The promotional sign permit is issued for a 14-day period, but the 4 allowed time periods may run consecutively. Promotional signs are not allowed within the public right-of-way and are subject to size and setback restrictions based on the Zoning District. More information about Promotional Sign Permits can be found at cityoftulsa.org/permitting or by calling (918) 596-9456. (Chapter 60, Section 60.030-E-4)
Window signs are allowed but must not cover more than 25% of the area of the window to which they are attached. (Chapter 60, Section 60.030-D)
Digital Signs (Dynamic Displays)
Dynamic Display Signs are required to be equipped with a light detector/photocell that automatically adjusts the display’s brightness according to natural ambient light conditions. Brightness must not exceed 500 nits at night and 6,500 nits during the day. All messages must be full and complete in and of themselves and must have a minimum dwell time of at least 8 seconds each. Transitions from one message to another must occur within 1 second or less. All movement, animation, audio, video, pyrotechnics, or other special effects are prohibited. (Chapter 60, Section 60.100)
Vacant, Unsecured Structures
Property owners are responsible for securing all structures and components including windows, doors, or other openings. An owner may need to board up a vacant structure if a break-in or fire occurs. These structures are a very real problem for neighborhoods and commercial districts. They have become a target for vandals, criminal activities, and a general nuisance for adjacent properties. (Title 55, Section 1003)
Tulsa City Ordinances
Tulsa Zoning Code
• Online: visit tulsa311.com
• Download the Tulsa311 mobile app
• Dial 3-1-1
• After logging in, click ‘My Requests’
• Click on a specific case to see details
Tap on ‘My Reports’, then select a specific case to see details
Online Self Service Portal
• Click on “Search Inspections”
• Change the Search box to “Code Case”
• Enter the address you are searching and hit enter
• Results will show all cases on the property since 2018
Contact Working in Neighborhoods
Call 918-596-1292 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact the Permit Center
Visit cityoftulsa.org/permitting or call 918.596.9456.
Contact the Tulsa Planning Office
Visit tulsaplanning.org or call 918.584.7526.