Tony Elmo, with the City's Building and Safety department, who also heads up the city's code enforcement, gave a presentation yesterday at City Hall explaining their new approach towards bringing violators into compliance.
The new measures stem from a January 17th city council workshop where councilmembers and city staff discussed existing code enforcement operations, which had up to this time been overloaded with a backlog of complaints. In that meeting, council directed code enforcement to step up its measures in becoming more proactive, rather than reactive.
In particular, the city will plan to focus more efforts by sending code enforcement officers into Romoland three days a week, and two days a week in both Quail Valley, and Sun City.
"The first is the temporary sign abatement program, these are the plants, banners, balloons, and those types of things", Elmo described in the presentation. "Our approach is going to be proactive, approaching all of the business areas, in the same manner".
Elmo went on to say the city will be advertising its efforts against illegal signs for an initial two-week period in local publications, and then after that begin making contact with business violators.
"At that time, the very first contact that we make with businesses is going to be informational", Elmo explained, implying that any violators caught will simply be asked to comply. Officers will then return to the scene at a later time to take action, if necessary. "We hope we won't have too much of that to do", Elmo continued.
Illegal dumping, abandoned vehicles, illegal businesses, illegal grading, and property maintenance were cited as other problem areas that code enforcement will be cracking down on, taking a similar approach with an informational first contact, and then follow up.
After three months of this increased, proactive effort, the city will take a reevaluation and determine if these new measures are working or not.
"I think it's important to understand that what we took away from our feedback from the community and the council is that we want the city to take steps to improve the quality of life, but to do it in a way that's thoughtful and with a soft hand", City Manager Bill Rawlings summarized in response to concerns from councilmembers that code enforcement officers might get too tough on home-based businesses or businesses that have been around for a long time. "We're taking a careful, thoughtful approach, and each case is unique, and that's why it really does take personal contact as opposed to just an advertisement."