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Enforcement Tell me about your Code Enforcement Program

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,588
Points
54
Code enforcement is a fascinating aspect of what we do. More so, every state has different regulations regarding how code enforcement actions are to be handled and what you can or cannot do. I am looking to do a full overhaul of our program as there has been some legacy related issues that are carrying into application today.

So with that, can you answer the following questions:
  • How many times does your code official (CO) inspect a property before a violation notice is issued?
  • How long between inspection to the issuance of a violation notice do you allow?
  • Do all notices go out certified return-receipt? Of not, which ones don't?
  • Do you use a code enforcement tracking program, and if so, what is it and how do you like it?
  • Do you conduct monitoring inspections between the issuance of a violation notice and the required compliance date?
  • Do you use standardized violation notice templets or craft independent letters?
  • If you use standardized templets and their are multiple violations, how do you handle it?
  • What state are you located in?

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.
 

MacheteJames

Cyburbian
Messages
1,003
Points
23
Semi O/T - Based on this question, I assume you're directing a combined planning and building office? If so, how and when do you carve out time for meaningful planning work while dealing with the day to day grind of NOV issuance and court appearances?

I'd always considered code enforcement to be a different discipline than planning (and something to stay out of to the extent possible), but many communities have these functioned combined, for better or worse.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
15,420
Points
53
My current city has code enforcement separate from planning and development. I have no clue, but they do use a standard form with a section for notes to write out the list of violations.

When I did it in Kansas,
  • How many times does your code official (CO) inspect a property before a violation notice is issued?
    • 2 inspections. 1 warning, 1 last change before we file
  • How long between inspection to the issuance of a violation notice do you allow?
    • 45 days
  • Do all notices go out certified return-receipt? Of not, which ones don't?
    • All certified or posted on the door with pictures taken of posting if certified didn't work.
  • Do you use a code enforcement tracking program, and if so, what is it and how do you like it?
    • Nope, just had a binder full of violations.
  • Do you conduct monitoring inspections between the issuance of a violation notice and the required compliance date?
    • I worked with people and checked to make sure the work was done before I cleared the violation.
  • Do you use standardized violation notice templets or craft independent letters?
    • I had a standard letter that covered most violations, but some required a custom letter.
  • If you use standardized templets and their are multiple violations, how do you handle it?
    • I had the most common code violations covered with check boxes. I usually gave notes below
  • What state are you located in?
    • Kansas
 

dw914er

Cyburbian
Messages
1,529
Points
21
Code enforcement is a fascinating aspect of what we do. More so, every state has different regulations regarding how code enforcement actions are to be handled and what you can or cannot do. I am looking to do a full overhaul of our program as there has been some legacy related issues that are carrying into application today.

So with that, can you answer the following questions:
  • How many times does your code official (CO) inspect a property before a violation notice is issued?
  • How long between inspection to the issuance of a violation notice do you allow?
  • Do all notices go out certified return-receipt? Of not, which ones don't?
  • Do you use a code enforcement tracking program, and if so, what is it and how do you like it?
  • Do you conduct monitoring inspections between the issuance of a violation notice and the required compliance date?
  • Do you use standardized violation notice templets or craft independent letters?
  • If you use standardized templets and their are multiple violations, how do you handle it?
  • What state are you located in?

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.
  • How many times does your code official (CO) inspect a property before a violation notice is issued? 1 time - the first inspection is just a warning though, and subsequent inspections may trigger our fees
  • How long between inspection to the issuance of a violation notice do you allow? 30 days
  • Do all notices go out certified return-receipt? Of not, which ones don't? Yes
  • Do you use a code enforcement tracking program, and if so, what is it and how do you like it? We have a permit software program that also does the code enforcement tracking. The program is quite dated, so it's not very good or user friendly - we are about to transition to a new enterprise system and can hopefully really improve our SOP and have a better tie into our tracking process
  • Do you conduct monitoring inspections between the issuance of a violation notice and the required compliance date? The compliance date is typically the only reinspection date since my staff does not have the time to do too many additional follow-ups. However, if we get additional complains or there is some sort of life and safety issue, then they may go back out more frequently.
  • Do you use standardized violation notice templets or craft independent letters? Standardized forms
  • If you use standardized templets and their are multiple violations, how do you handle it? The forms allow for us to input the different violations observed, so it become a sort of simple punch list of the problems (unpermitted construction, unpermitted land use, etc)
I am hoping to improve our system in the next year, though. I took over in Jan 2020, and definitely see room to improve, though some efforts were delayed due to COVID.
 

dw914er

Cyburbian
Messages
1,529
Points
21
Semi O/T - Based on this question, I assume you're directing a combined planning and building office? If so, how and when do you carve out time for meaningful planning work while dealing with the day to day grind of NOV issuance and court appearances?

I'd always considered code enforcement to be a different discipline than planning (and something to stay out of to the extent possible), but many communities have these functioned combined, for better or worse.

The day to day grind is mostly done by my Code Enforcement staff, so that helps. My workload is pretty substantial though, so balancing project management of planning projects, plus the administrative side for different departments can make for some long weeks. The connection between the disciplines is that quite a bit of the code violations trigger Planning or Building Department review, and everything falls under the community development umbrella, so the coordination between those departments helps improve the guidance offered to help resolve the violations. That said, I've seen other places that have code enforcement under the police department, which also makes sense.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
15,001
Points
59
We do both zoning and property maintenance enforcement in my Dept.
  • How many times does your code official (CO) inspect a property before a violation notice is issued?
    • typically a formal notice right away. We only do 'warnings' if time permits and the violation is very minor or easily corrected quickly
  • How long between inspection to the issuance of a violation notice do you allow?
    • generally 30 days for property maintenance repairs and about 2 weeks for minor easily corrected violations
  • Do all notices go out certified return-receipt? Of not, which ones don't?
    • all go regular first class mail and/or prominent posting on the site. certified is a waste off time and money
  • Do you use a code enforcement tracking program, and if so, what is it and how do you like it?
    • we have Bascigov (a Saleforce product) that's robust enough for simple action tracking and reinspect notices and it's decent
  • Do you conduct monitoring inspections between the issuance of a violation notice and the required compliance date?
    • if we're in the area we'll check on it or the violator contacts us about correction progress or completion before due date
  • Do you use standardized violation notice templates or craft independent letters?
    • we have a standard general format, but that gets adjusted as needed for more complex situations
  • If you use standardized templates and their are multiple violations, how do you handle it?
    • we have a long, long letter
  • What state are you located in?
    • Ohio
 
Last edited:

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,588
Points
54
Semi O/T - Based on this question, I assume you're directing a combined planning and building office? If so, how and when do you carve out time for meaningful planning work while dealing with the day to day grind of NOV issuance and court appearances?

I'd always considered code enforcement to be a different discipline than planning (and something to stay out of to the extent possible), but many communities have these functioned combined, for better or worse.

Yes and no. We subcontract our building inspections to the county, but we have an in-house zoning and code enforcement officer. They enforce the property maintenance code and zoning code violations. At some point we will likely transition into more of a development and planning services department and bring building inspections in-house.
 
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