Code Enforcement

Code Enforcement in St. James is responsible for the enforcement of several ordinances.


Animals in City limits are regulated by ordinance and may require a permit.

Curb-side giveaway procedures

From time-to-time residents may be interested in giving away some of their household items. The City’s policy relating to this curb-side process is as follows:

  • Furniture- can be placed in the boulevard for 24 hours - then it must be removed.
  • Electronics - must be in working order and can be left on the boulevard for up to 24 hours- then it must be removed.
  • Appliances - Refrigerators or freezers can not be kept on the boulevard or in the yard area under any circumstances. Stoves in working order can be left on the boulevard for up to 24 hours- then it must be removed.
  • Boxes of clothing/toys/etc. - can be left on the curb for up to 24 hours- then it must be removed. Garbage bags of clothing/toys/etc. can be left on the curb for up to 24 hours- then it must be removed. In the event the bag is torn open, it must be removed immediately.
  • Construction material - must be in usable condition. Can be left on the boulevard for up to 24 hours- then it must be removed.
  • Plumbing fixtures - must be disposed of in a proper manner. May not be left on boulevard.
  • Carpet - must be disposed of in a property manner. May not be left on boulevard.


A resident is required to obtain a one month temporary dumpster permit from the City. The dumpster must be located on private property and is not permitted on the street or in the street right-of-way. There is no fee for a dumpster permit.

Garage Sale Signs

  • No more than one such sign may be located on any lot
  • Such signs are not to be tacked, posted, painted or otherwise affixed to walls or buildings, trees, fences or poles
  • No such sign shall exceed 4 square feet
  • Such signs may not be displayed for longer than 3 consecutive days and no more than 10 days out of any 365 period
  • Ordinance 11.70 subd. 15

Open Burning

Fire Pits/Recreational Fires - City of St. James Ordinance 10.25

  • Fire Pits/Recreational fires not permitted in the front yard setback area
  • Fire Pits/recreational fires maximum size is 3’ in diameter and 3’ high
  • Only sticks, twigs, and unsawn materials may be burned in fire pits in the City(no garbage, leaves, treated lumber, etc.)
  • Keep fires at least 25’ away from any structure

Burning of Leaves - City of St. James Ordinance 10.26

  • Burning permit required
  • Burning permits available during the month of May and from October 15- December 1
  • Prohibited on City streets, boulevards, lake shores or any public property
  • 25’ setback from any structure, wood fence, hedge or bush and no less than 5’ from any property line
  • Burning allowed between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
  • Burning trash, rubbish, or other materials is strictly prohibited

House Numbers

  • All houses are required to have house numbers to enable emergency and other public service personnel to promptly identify them at all times.
  • All house numbers must be at least 4" high, and in a color distinguishable from its background
  • Street numbers that are constructed of laser-cut masonry may be allowed at the height of the cut brick, with a minimum height of 3"

Lawn Care

  • Mowing grass into the street is prohibited. Grass in the street not only clogs up the storm sewer system, which can cause street flooding and possible water backup into homes, it is also environmentally damaging to St. James Lake and St. James Creek
  • Residents are responsible for the clean-up of yard debris, grass and other garden related material. The compost site is available for disposal of these items
  • Volunteer trees growing next to the foundation of buildings should be removed as they can cause cracks in your foundation and harm the structure of the building.
  • Annual Lawn Notice English (PDF)
  • Annual Lawn Notice Spanish (PDF)

Solid Waste and Recycling Totes

  • Totes should be placed curbside, not on the street, no sooner than 24 hours prior to pick up and removed from the curbside within 24 hours after pickup.
  • Tote covers should be closed at all times.

Utility Trailers

  • Trailers used for yard clean-up or construction projects must be covered with a tarp until disposed of.


  • All vehicles must be licensed and operational.
  • Parking is allowed only on hard surface - gravel or concrete, not blocking or parked on sidewalks. Ordinance 11.70 subd. 12
  • Performing car maintenance in the City streets is prohibited.
  • Used oil from maintenance repairs should be properly disposed of. Properly does not include in the storm sewer system. One option for proper disposal is at Watonwan County Highway Department - 1304 7th Avenue S.
  • Parking of vehicles in front yard areas is prohibited except during snow removal events. Ordinance 11.70 subd. 12