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Be a Great Neighbor


Please review the following excerpts from the Guide to Neighborhood Living found on the City of Rochester Hills website.

Homeowners in Rochester Hills have the responsibility to comply with local ordinances and your Homeowner's Association regulations. The key to keeping our community beautiful is the commitment, cooperation, and team work between you, your neighbor, your Homeowner's Association, and the ordinance inspector responsible for your area. 

The Building Department ordinance staff is responsible for monitoring your neighborhood for compliance with local ordinances. Ordinance inspectors routinely patrol our neighborhoods and address any violations found in accordance with our code compliance process (outlined in this guide). Your Homeowner's Association is responsible for enforcing the association regulations adopted in your neighborhood.

It is our hope that through education and awareness, homeowners will do their part to be good neighbors by voluntarily complying with local ordinances and their Homeowner's Association regulations. We encourage you to read through these ordinances, talk to your neighbors, attend your association meetings, and work with the ordinance inspector responsible for your area.


It seems to come from nowhere, it piles up overnight, and soon it is out of control and begins to cause problems in the neighborhood.  If it is not controlled, it can ruin a good neighborhood by inviting unwelcome pests, rodents, and criminals. Therefore, each homeowner is responsible to get the blight out of sight. 

The ordinance defines blight in several ways:

  1. Inoperable or unlicensed vehicles - All vehicles that are unlicensed or inoperable must be stored in an enclosed building or removed from the property. Homeowners do have a reasonable amount of time to get an inoperable vehicle in working condition.

  2. Building materials - Old building materials are not allowed to be stored outside. Materials that are going to be used in a current project must be neatly stacked. Firewood must be split and stacked up off of the ground to avoid giving harborage to pests.

  3. Junk - This would include trash, appliances, equipment, brush piles, and rubbish or refuse of any kind. Note: Brush can no longer be burned in the city.

  4. Vacant or uninhabitable structures - Structures that are vacant must be kept secure. Secure means that all windows must have glazing, and all doors locked. Structures that appear to be uninhabitable, or have become structurally unsound, will be identified for demolition.

  5. Partially completed structures - Construction of structures must be completed in a timely manner according to the time frame indicated by the Building Code.

Solid Waste and Recycling

The City of Rochester Hills has a Single Hauler Solid Waste program that serves all single family homes in the city. The City has a contract with Green For Life (GFL) that features fixed prices and dependable customer service. Each home receives two carts, one for trash and one for recycling. The contractor provides unlimited refuse, recycling, yard waste (April to November), and one bulk pick up per month. The program features a four-day week pick up schedule, with residents being assigned one of the days, Monday through Thursday. All owners of a single family home are required to participate in this program. Our pick up day in Christian Hills is Tuesday. 

Below are ordinance regulations that homeowners should know:


  • Waste hauling units are allowed to operate in the single-family residential areas between the hours of 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM, Monday through Thursday. (Friday will be reserved for Holiday and snow emergencies.)

  • Residents are to store any refuse or garbage in plastic bags or containers with lids.

Owner Responsibilities:

  • At no time shall refuse or garbage be stored on site for more than 10 days.

  • Garbage, recycling, or compost material may not be placed at the roadside sooner than 24 hours prior to pick up.

  • Trash and recycling must be placed at curb by 7:00 AM on the day of pick up.

  • Empty trash containers shall be removed from the roadside the day of pick up and shall be stored in a side or rear yard. 

  • To help in the quick and efficient removal of trash and recycling, remember to place the refuse cart and the recycling cart with the handles toward the house and at least 4 feet apart to accommodate the automatic lift arm and the chip reader for Recyclebank.


To contact GFL for service requests or complaints, call the customer service line at 248.204.6750. 

To contact Recyclebank, go to their website at or call 888.727.2978.

If, after contacting either company, your concern is not handled to your satisfaction, you may contact the City Program Administrator, by calling the Building Department at 248.656.4615.

Unlicensed/Inoperable Vehicles and Junk & Debris

There is currently no limit to the number of vehicles that may be parked on a residential property in the city, but there are conditions. The conditions are:

  • All vehicles that are parked or stored on residential property must be operable, meaning the vehicle is capable of performing the transportation function for which it was manufactured. The vehicle must be currently licensed and operable at all times.

  • In addition to vehicle storage, city regulations prohibit the storage or accumulation of old, rusty, wrecked, damaged, deteriorated or discarded machinery, appliances, scrap metals, materials or parts not suited for use upon the property. Old and used building materials outside of a completely enclosed building are prohibited. Building materials that are to be used to improve the premises in which a valid building permit exists may be kept if piled off the ground to prevent becoming a home for rodents.

  • If a vehicle is being stored for a long period of time because a family member is in the military, contact the Building Department Ordinance Compliance division and arrangements will be made to make a note to file.


Beginning May 1st, the Rochester Hills Weed Ordinance requires all weed and grass that has grown to over 8 inches in height be cut. If your lot is found out of compliance, the city contractor will cut the lot and you will be billed for that service. 

If you have retained the services of a contractor to regularly service your vacant lot, you may submit a contact email to the city. In the event that an ordinance inspector cites your lot as being in violation, we will be send you an email notifying you of the violation and you will be given 72 hours to clear the violation. If your lot is not cut within 72 hours, the city contractor will be directed to cut your lot and you will receive a bill.

Please send your lot number(s) (15-##-###-###), and contact email to

The Rochester Hills Building Department
Ordinance Division

Vacant Lots
The owners of vacant property are required by ordinance to cut grass and weeds that have grown over eight inches in height. All lots in the city are to be cut 100 feet back from the edge of the road. All lots must be cut back 100 feet from the side and rear property line when adjacent to any school, park, subdivision, or occupied dwelling.

Occupied Lots
All occupied lots must be cut back 100 feet from the edge of the road. If the lot is located in a subdivision where 60% of the lots contain houses, then the entire lot must be cut.

The city ordinance gives the city the authority to enter any property to cut the grass and weeds when they exceed 8 inches in height. This authority begins on May 1 of each year and continues through the entire year until all the offending lots are brought into compliance. A notice of such authority is posted in the local newspaper on three different dates in March and April notifying property owners in the City of Rochester Hills of the ordinance requirements.

A local newspaper posting serves as legal notice for the owners of vacant and occupied lots. As a convenience to the owners of a lot with a dwelling on it, the Ordinance compliance staff will place a warning sticker on the premise, advising the owner of a 72-hour notice to cut the grass or weeds. If the owner fails to comply, the city directs a contractor to cut the grass and weeds at the property owner's expense.

Dog Licenses for City Residents

  • The last day to purchase a dog license at City Hall for the non-delinquent fee is June 1.

  • Per Michigan State Law, all dogs four months or older are required to be licensed.

  • To obtain a license, a current rabies vaccination certificate signed by the veterinarian is needed.

  • Dog License fees vary based on whether the animal is male/female or unsexed, and there is a discount for senior citizens. See pricing below. 

  • Per City Ordinance, no owner can keep more than 3 dogs; therefore, we will not issue more than three dog licenses to an owner. If you have more than 3 dogs, you must apply for a kennel license. 


Where to Purchase License: 

When to Purchase License:

  • Dog licenses must be renewed annually; three-year licenses are also available.

  • Licenses are valid January 1 through December 31. Licenses not renewed by June 1 become delinquent and license fee increases to $40.00.

License Fees

Unsexed License: 1-year $15.00 / 3-year $40.00
Senior Citizen Price (65 or older): 1-year $14.00 / 3-year $37.00
Male/Female License: 1-year $25.00 / 3-year license $70.00 
Senior Citizen Price (65 or older): 1-year $23.00/3-year $64.00 
Delinquent (after June 1) $40.00*

*Unless new resident (within 30 days), new dog (within 30 days) or dog just turned four months of age (within 30 days)


Per City Ordinance, no owner can keep more than 3 dogs; therefore, we will not issue more than three dog licenses to an owner. If you have more than 3 dogs, you must apply for a kennel license. 

Cat Licenses (County Only)

Oakland County offers licenses for cats for a one-time charge of $7.50. A current rabies vaccination certificate must be presented when you apply for the cat license. Rochester Hills does not require the licensing of cats

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