With 2011 in the rear view mirror, we’ve had a chance to compile statistics on the Code incidents, e.g., trash in yard, illegal signs, unmowed grass, exterior property maintenance, illegal rooming houses, etc., for the last year.
Code Compliance is one of those service areas where cities are tasked with trying to legislate a sense of civic duty for property owners or tenants to do all the little things, like keeping yards clean, grass cut and roofs repaired, that over time can mean the difference between a charming neighborhood with rising property values or a blighted block with devalued properties on the decline.
If it wasn’t so important I think most cities would just as soon stay focused on deliverying value-added services, like water, sewer, and street repairs, rather than compelling others to do their part with their personal property — but when you read the City’s list of Strategic Objectives it’s hard not to see the significant impact of property maintenance practices on the achievement of the City’s top priorities.
Code Compliance reads like a who’s who list of the City’s Strategic Objectives: Strong Neighborhoods, Economic Development, Quality of Life, Environmental Stewardship, and Historical Preservation. Something this important has to be managed, and part of that management process includes keeping statistics on what’s working, what’s not, and what are the biggest challenges out there.
That’s where we lean on the statistics to inform the discussion, and that’s why we try to look at both 2011 as a 1 year snapshot and as a 5th year to see trends and patterns.
Although the numbers moved around a little over the last 5 years, the recurring trends highlighted in the 20111 Code Compliance report tend to be the same:
For the fourth consecutive year, rental property citations surpassed owner occupied citations for the total number of citations issued – with overgrown vegetation complaints remaining a significant problem for all property owners. This year rental properties had the most violations for snow removal, whereas commercial had properties the most for the last two years.
Here’s the statistical details for 2011: