The following are some basic homeowner responsibilities within the City of Altoona, as established by the Altoona Code of Ordinances. This list is intended as a general guide and is by no means comprehensive. The full City code can be read here:
The Right-of-Way includes the land along either side of a road, which is owned by the City. Often, this is the land between a public sidewalk and the street.
Property owners are responsible to mow the grass within their property lines as well as the grass located in the Right-of-Way adjacent to their property. In developed residential areas, grass and weeds are not to exceed six (6) inches in height.
If the homeowner has a fence placed along their property line, they must still maintain the adjacent right-of-way between their fence and the road.
If there is a ditch between a property and the road, the homeowner is responsible for maintaining that ditch. If the ditch is too steep for a mower, the homeowner must use a weed whacker, trimmer, or other tool in order to keep the ditch grass trimmed.
According to the Altoona City Code, tree branches must be at least fourteen (14) feet above the surface of the street and eight (8) feet above the sidewalks.
If trees are not properly trimmed and maintained within compliance, the City may serve notice, requiring homeowners to trim their trees. If action is not taken within five (5) days, the City may perform the required action and assess the costs against the abutting property for collection in the same manner as a property tax.
According to the 2007 Iowa State Code Book (Chapter 364 Section 12(b) and Altoona City Code, homeowners are responsible for keeping snow and ice from public sidewalks adjacent to their property. Snow, slush, and ice must be removed within 24 hours following the cessation of the weather event.
If the sidewalks are not cleared, the City may serve notice, requiring homeowners to clear the sidewalks. If action is not taken within 12 hours, the City may perform the required action and assess the costs against the abutting property for collection in the same manner as a property tax.
Homeowners are responsible for maintaining and repairing sewer and water service lines from the house to the sewer or water main. This may extend beyond the homeowner’s property lines.
For example, if the water main is located on the west side of the road and the home is located on the east side of the road, the homeowner is responsible for maintaining and repairing the 1-2” residential water service line that runs from the west side of the road, under the street, to the house.
See Chapter 157 – Plumbing Code (Section 6)
See Chapter 90 – Water Service System (Section 12)
Residents must NOT
- Own/Keep livestock within City limits
- Neglect confined animals
- Abandon cats & dogs
- Allow pets to roam freely
- Allow pets to damage property
- Clean up animal waste
- Vaccinate dogs for rabies
Read Chapter 55 of the Altoona City Code for additional information.
The City of Altoona has adopted an ordinance prohibiting noise disturbances between the hours of 9pm and 6:30am. Examples of such prohibited sounds include:
- Engine Repairs & Testing
- Musical Instruments
- Construction Noise
- Sound Equipment
- Lawn & Garden Equipment
For the full list of prohibited noise disturbances and the list of exceptions, view the City Code.
According to Iowa Law, residents must request utility locates through Iowa One Call at least 48 hours before any excavation. If a resident accidentally damages a utility line while digging on their property without locates, they are responsible for paying the repair cost.
You can learn more about utility locates here.