The codification – or organization – of ordinances is an essential part of the governmental function.  It provides both local governments and citizens with a body of current, enforceable laws, in a way that makes the code easy to use and reference.

To meet this important obligation, American Legal Publishing will partner with you through each phase of the codification process.

Ordinance Review

The first step is to review your ordinances and resolutions to determine what provisions are of a general and permanent nature and have not been repealed or superceded by more recent legislation.  Once identified, these materials are included in the code.


Logically organizing your materials is critical to ensure that the code is easy to use.  Each code typically includes:

Table of contentsOpen Binder

  • Charter, if applicable
  • Body of the code divided into the following titles:
    • Administration
    • Public Works
    • Traffic Code (including traffic and parking schedules)
    • General Regulations
    • Business Regulations
    • General/Criminal Offenses
    • Land Usage
  • Table of Special Ordinances that contains a summary of ordinances such as:
    • Annexations
    • Easements
    • Franchises
    • Sale and Purchase of Real Property
    • Street and Alley Vacations
    • Zoning Map Changes
  • Parallel References Table that lists references to prior code sections, state law cited in the code, municipal ordinances and resolutions
  • Index

Editorial and Legal Review

Our experienced staff of editors provides an editorial review of the code, noting any errors and outdated material for you to address during the review phase.  In addition, our staff of attorneys conducts a legal review of the code to point out inconsistencies in your ordinances and to ensure that your provisions conform with state statutes and major federal laws.

Draft, Review and Final Production

Once our extensive review of your code is complete, a draft is provided for your review. This phase gives you the opportunity to review the layout and organization of the code, accept or reject our suggested changes, and make any other changes to the code that you find appropriate. This is also your chance to add any legislation that has been passed since the beginning of the project.

Then, after you have completed your review of the draft and provided us with any changes in response to our recommendations in the editorial and legal report, we will incorporate the changes and prepare the code for final publication.

Ordinance Drafting Guidelines

Attached are guidelines to assist municipalities in drafting new ordinances.  Drafting Guidelines

Code Online and on CD

When the code is completed, we can post it online and make it mobile accessible in a searchable format for all of your residents to view. We can also provide it to you on CD in various formats, including MS Word, WordPerfect, PDF and the Folio VIEWS search program.