Planning Commissioner asks for countywide code enforcement

Published: Friday, April 19, 2013 at 01:10 PM.

Ackerman said that the county’s enforcement code allows for anonymous complaints to protect residents from retaliation by angry neighbors. County residents can also form community groups to report code violations.

“This is a politically explosive issue,” County Attorney Jeff Goodman said. “People really care about property rights in Washington County, and land is blood to these people.”

Goodman said that if the board decided to pursue stepping up code enforcement, then making sure there is due process should be a primary consideration. “I wouldn’t want to touch this if I were on the board,” Goodman said, “but if you want to push it, we do need a better process.”

Public Works Director David Corbin told the board that the county budgets $5,000 a year for code enforcement presently, and Corbin oversees complaints.

Abbott said 98 percent of the complaints the county receives are handled by the property owners with no problems.

“We don’t carry a gun, so we use diplomatic methods to solve our conflicts, and we treat the public with dignity,” Corbin said. “I’m proud of the success we’ve had with a $5,000 budget.”

Corbin noted the topic of hiring a magistrate to oversee code enforcement has come before the board in the past but no action was taken by the commissioners.

1 2 3 4 5

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top