Department of Permitting, Inspections, and Enforcement (DPIE) Launches Stepped Up Enforcement Blitz

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Starting today, Department of Permitting, Inspections, and Enforcement (DPIE) is launching its "Stepped Up Enforcement Blitz," an enforcement campaign focused on addressing unlicensed and illegal businesses. This Code Enforcement Blitz is in response to increasing complaints regarding illegally operating businesses in the County. The Enforcement team will concentrate on the areas with the highest complaint rates. DPIE’s Enforcement team will work to raise awareness of County Codes, which are in place for health and safety reasons, and explain necessary steps needed to come into compliance.

How Does the Code Enforcement Blitz Work?  

DPIE’s "Stepped Up Enforcement Blitz," will have several phases: an outreach strategy, an amnesty period, followed-up with citations. 

It begins with public outreach through flyers and collaboration with various community groups regarding illegal businesses. DPIE is targeting two categories of unlicensed businesses—those that CAN achieve compliance and those that can NOT achieve compliance.  

Businesses that can achieve compliance are defined as establishments that are operating outside of County Code but are able to bring their operation into compliance. 

Businesses that can come into compliance

Examples of businesses that can come into compliance:

  • Unpermitted Residential Hair Salons/Barber Shops or Nail Salons 
  • Food Trucks Vending on Side of Public Roads 
  • Tax Preparation Business in Your Home 
  • Unlicensed Room and Boarding House Rentals 
  • Unlicensed Day or Elder Care 
  • Operating a Store from Your Home 

For these types of businesses, DPIE will educate business owners on how to secure required permits and licenses and provide a 90-day window for businesses to respond before issuing fines. 

Businesses that cannot come into compliance

Businesses that can NOT achieve compliance are defined as those that are illegal to operate.  

Examples of businesses that cannot achieve compliance: 

  • Running a Restaurant, Any Type of Eatery, or Selling Food from Your Home, Garage or Yard 
  • Operating a Home Car-Repair Business or Vehicle Paint Booth 
  • Selling Items from the Center of Intersections or from the Trunks of Vehicles 
  • Using Your Home to House Goods for Resale 
  • Operating Pay-to-Attend Parties or Selling Alcohol from Your Premises 
  • Converting a Single-Family Home into More than One Dwelling Unit 
  • Allowing Sheds to Be Used as Living Quarters 

For businesses that can NOT achieve compliance, DPIE will immediately begin issuing citations and fines. 

Addressing Concerns About DPIE’s Capacity 

As you may be aware, we’re working on beefing up our enforcement capabilities at DPIE, as the agency has been understaffed for years. Our FY 24 budget funded the creation of 30 new Inspector positions at DPIE and we have filled just over half of those so far. Unfortunately, the staffing challenges have had an impact on operations. It is with this knowledge that, with a significant budget deficit looming, County Council continues to pass legislation adding to DPIE’s responsibilities. Last year alone, under different leadership, several councilmembers worked to pass 5 pieces of legislation that required DPIE have a role— the Rent Stabilization Act of 2023, the Universal Design for Housing bill, Landlord-Tenant Regulation legislation, Early Warning Process legislation and the Tobacco Store Enforcement legislation. Additionally, there is legislation under consideration right now that would add parking enforcement, something that is already handled by the Revenue Authority, to the list of responsibilities for DPIE. For each of these bills, my administration asked Council to slow down, warning that DPIE was stretched too thin— that DPIE’s staffing challenges would make enforcement of new legislation difficult at this time. Simply put, we have a situation where the asks placed on DPIE outpace the agency’s ability to hire quality inspectors. 

DPIE is committed to serving Prince Georgians, but the limited resources at DPIE’s disposal mean the agency has to prioritize its work.  Because DPIE is a complaint-driven agency, enforcement is focused on resident complaints like trash, weeds, and other quality of life code violations. As always, residents wishing to report suspected code violations, please report them by filing complaints to 311 so DPIE can respond in a timely manner. And, please spread the word about our "Stepped Up Enforcement Blitz.” Learn more about the campaign here, download fliers and help spread the word in your community. 


Yours In Service, 

Angela Alsobrooks  
Prince George’s County Executive