A question for the group.

In Des Moines we are inundated with complaints about car lots not be in compliance with zoning standards and site plan requirements as well as other complaints about violations. We don't go looking for problems but we address them when someone complains. How do the different cities address such complaints? I know for example that some cities in the metro area follow the follow procedure: Planners sign off on the Certificate of Occupancy since they do all the reviews for compliance with zoning and if requirements are not met then no CO until all requirements are met. After the CO is issued the first complaint about a site is handled by the planner to try to get the site back in compliance. However, everything after that is handled by zoning enforcement people. And zoning enforcement people are used for all other violations where site plans are not involved. Des Moines doesn't handle enforcement for site plan violations in this manner but we are looking for a better way to enforce site and zoning requirements and be more pro active about violations. Is there a better way of doing enforcement and issuing CO's? Should planners be enforcing site and zoning requirements or should others be doing that? Is this a serious problem in your area? Are violations handled on only a complaint basis or do people (govenment workers and board and commissioners) activily seek out violations and report them? Do site plan reviewers sign the CO or do others visit the site to see if standards are met and then sign the CO?

Let me know you thoughts and proceedures on this subject as I would like to make a recommendation to the Community Development Direct in the near future.

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