Inspection and Permit Services provides services to the community in three general areas:
- Building Construction Permits and Inspections
- Rental Housing Permits and Inspections
- Property Maintenance/Public Nuisance Complaints and Inspections
The range of services we provide is formally defined under the general term of "Code Enforcement". The Codes we enforce are the rules adopted by the City and written in the City's Municipal Code - a book of all the rules and procedures that govern all City Services. Although we prefer to offer our services as a "Code Assistance Agency", we also have a duty to operate as a "Code Enforcement Agency".
Most people want to comply with the community's building and property maintenance standards – they want to construct and maintain buildings safely and responsibly – they realize it's in their best interest and the best interests of the community. Much of our time is spent informing these citizens of the code standards for building construction, explaining permit requirements and performing inspections of work in progress.
Unfortunately, some people don't understand that it's in their best interest, and the community's best interest to build and maintain buildings in compliance with – at the very least – the minimum code standards. Due to the poor choices made by these people, a great deal of our time is spent in the unpleasant activities that can only be described as enforcement. We investigate work being done without permits and inspections – if work is being done without permits and inspections, there is no way to ensure the safety of users and occupants of the building. The primary purpose of permits and inspections is to ensure that buildings are constructed and maintained safely.
Enforcement actions that we are authorized by The Municipal Code to use to obtain cooperation and compliance with the Code are: issuing municipal infraction citations – these are like speeding tickets that carry fines of $100 to $500 for each initial Code violation; issuing Nuisance Notices – these are letters that authorize the City to correct Code violations and charge costs to the owner if he chooses to ignore the problem; issuing demolition notices – these direct the owner to demolish unsafe buildings, and authorize the city to do so and charge the owner if he chooses to not comply. The behavior of such citizens, who choose to ignore the Codes, creates the costs for such Inspection Services activities as yard cleanup, junk hauling, junk car towing, weed mowing and building demolition.