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What Is a City Ordinance?


Different types of law are passed by different forms of legislature at a national or local level. These laws address people and their concerns based on the extent to which they can be applied—local, state, federal, or national. Some laws are limited in their scope and are meant only to address local issues. These laws are commonly referred to as a city ordinance.


A city ordinance is issued by a city government. A city council decides upon the necessity of instituting such a rule or regulation, and may enact one in the event that it is decided that a city ordinance is necessary. When a city ordinance has been agreed to by majority of the members of the city council, it is passed and placed within the city’s municipal code.


City ordinances address a wide variety of issues—health care, safety, welfare, and a few minor offenses. In the event that an individual or entity does not comply with the stipulations made by a city ordinance, it is possible that the punishment for such an offense be in the form of a fine. This is given by the enforcing agent, usually a district attorney or the police officer. It is sometimes possible for a person to receive warnings before he or she actually receives the punishment for violating a city ordinance.


Some examples of city ordinances include zoning regulations, fire ordinances, park ordinances, and so on. The purpose is to provide a response to issues experienced at a local level.

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