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Repeat offenders

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
5,398
Points
32
Does anyone have a mechanism to treat repeat offenders more harshly than the average violation? I discovered the the city was not covering its cost when removing snow from landowners sidewalks. When I proposed increasing the rates, this came up. Any good language out there?
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
I've seen them around before... but the only one I can think of off the top of my head is King County (Seattle) Washington... They have a separate title for code enforcement (Title 23). You can access their code through www.mrsc.org ... but here is an excerpt for you (sorry about the formatting... it's a mess):

23.32.010 Assessment schedule.
A.1. Civil fines and civil penalties for civil code violations shall be imposed for remedial purposes and shall be assessed for each violation identified in a citation, notice and order, voluntary compliance agreement or stop work order pursuant to the following schedule.

a. Citations
(1) With no previous similar code violations $100
(2) With one or more previous similar code violations $500
(3) With two or more previous violations of K.C.C. Title 10 Double the rate of the previous penalty

b. Violation of Notice and Orders and Stop Work Orders
(1) Stop work order basic penalty $500
(2) Voluntary compliance agreement and notice and order basic penalty $25
(3) Additional initial penalties may be added in the following amounts for violations where there is:

(a) public health risk $15
(b) environmental damage risk $15
(c) damage to property risk $15
(d) one previous similar code violation $25
(e) two previous similar code violations $50
(f) three or more previous similar code violations $75
(g) economic benefit to person responsible for violation $25
2. For the purposes of this section, previous similar code violations that can serve as a basis for a higher level of civil penalties include violations of the same chapter of the King County Code. Any stop work order or notice and order previously issued by the department shall not constitute a previous code violation for the purposes of this section if that stop work order or notice and order was appealed and subsequently reversed.
B. The penalties assessed pursuant to this section for any failure to comply with a notice and order or voluntary compliance agreement shall be assessed daily, according to the schedule in subsection A of this section, for the first thirty days following the date the notice and order or voluntary compliance agreement required the code violations to have been cured. If after thirty days the person responsible for code compliance has failed to satisfy the notice and order or voluntary compliance agreement, penalties shall be assessed daily at a rate of double the rate for the first thirty days. Penalties may be assessed daily until the person responsible for code compliance has fully complied with the notice and order.
C. Penalties based on violation of a stop work order shall be assessed, according to the schedule in subsection A of this section, for each day the department determines that work or activity was done in violation of the stop work order.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
Not sure if this would work, but. Could you not ticket them for the violation and do the work at their expense?
 

plannerkat

Cyburbian
Messages
204
Points
9
donk said:
Not sure if this would work, but. Could you not ticket them for the violation and do the work at their expense?
Yep! In the case of overgrown yards, violators here get a set amount of time to correct the problem (30 days I think) and if it is still in violation then the city sends someone out to correct the problem for the owner and a lien is placed on their property.
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
5,398
Points
32
donk said:
Not sure if this would work, but. Could you not ticket them for the violation and do the work at their expense?
Council wanted to target repeat offenders, and not be so hard on someone that just forgets.
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
The King County code also has some very good provisions for that type of scenario too. They have just about everything in there... of course, they are a huge organization and have the employees to do that sort of thing. It may not be as practical for smaller towns.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,853
Points
39
I am having a dilemma because just on my street, I have neighbors (and I use the term loosely) parking 1) a semi; 2) 2 dump trucks, and 3) a bushhog on a trailer, in their yards. I report them to code enforcement. They are cited and given 2 weeks to comply. They do that. Then they bring the crap back. Then it's a new case. They are scamming the system because they know the case will close if they comply for a couple weeks and thus it will never get to the code board/court.

I like Nerudite's example of escalating fees!
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,305
Points
43
I am going to bring this one back because we are looking at changing over to a fee schedule.

Does any have any info.
 

luckless pedestrian

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,427
Points
39
whereasses notwithstanding...

here's ours:

After the Fact Penalties

~ An Order of the Bar Harbor Town Council ~

Whereas, there are occasional violations of the Town of Bar Harbor or State of Maine building or electrical regulations, and

Whereas, there are instances of repeated violations within a five year period, and

Whereas, ensuring compliance with Town and State regulations consumes considerable public tax dollars, due to the excessive town attorney and staff time required, and

Whereas, the Bar Harbor Town Council desires to encourage compliance in a more timely manner, and

Whereas, State Law and the Town of Bar Harbor Land Use Ordinance (LUO) section 125-101B(1) gives Town Council the authority to impose fines and penalties, now therefore,

Be It Resolved, that there is hereby added to the Planning and Code Enforcement Fee Schedule the category “After The Fact Penalty”, which is subject to the following conditions:

1. For each building project begun before the applicable building or electrical permit is issued, there shall be due, in addition to the usual and customary permit fee, an “After The Fact Penalty” as provided below, the payment of which shall allow the applicant to obtain the necessary permit and proceed with the permitted work while the Town considers appropriate enforcement action.

2. A “First Violation” is deemed to have occurred when the code enforcement officer issues a Notice of Violation and within the immediately preceding five years no owner of the subject property has received a Notice of Violation for the subject property. Notices of violation issued prior to August 16, 2005 shall not be considered as within said five year period.

3. The penalty for a first violation shall be $100 for Single Family Residential projects, $200 for Small Commercial projects and $300 for Large Commercial projects, each class of project being defined in the current Town Budget Fee Schedule for Planning and Code Enforcement.

4. A “Subsequent Violation” is deemed to have occurred when the code enforcement officer issues a Notice of Violation for the same property within five years of a previous Notice of Violation, regardless of any change of ownership.

5. The penalty for subsequent violations shall be a multiple of the amount of the usual building and electrical permit multiplied by the total number of Notices of Violation issued for the lot upon which the project took place. For example, the second time that work starts prior to getting a building or electrical permit, that property owner shall pay a penalty equal to twice the amount of the usual permit fee. For a third offense, three times the usual permit fee will be charged as a penalty, and so on.

6. The After The Fact Penalty shall be charged in addition to the usual building or electrical permit fee.

7. After the fact penalties for plumbing permits shall be governed by State Law.

8. The After The Fact Penalty constitutes partial payment of the fines, penalties and attorneys fees that might eventually be assessed by a Court. It is not in lieu of other enforcement options available to the Town under State and Local law, and the Town reserves the right to pursue other remedies as appropriate.

9. The existing After The Fact fee structure, as shown on Chart E of the FY06 Budget, is hereby repealed.


IMHO, having a zoning czar charter works best whereby code enforcement can go directly to court for zoning violations - here you have to get Town Council approval first -
 
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