How city handles code enforcement

What an owner faces when a city condemns property, whether it is a criminal, civil or legal issue or if he might face a fine or jail, can be questions even old-timers may not know the answers to, and city officials say the public has many misconceptions.
Different cities handle code enforcement in varying ways, depending on their local ordinances, although most are similar.
In Chanute, the process begins when the city, usually in the person of Code Enforcement Officer Janet Rollow, finds out about a nuisance problem, either from a report or by seeing it. …
“Outside gets noticed pretty quickly,” Community Services Director Ryan Follmer said. He said a lot of people have misconceptions about nuisances and make complaints about maintenance issues….
When there is a code enforcement problem, city workers start by leaving a courtesy note at the property about the issue, and the owner or resident has 10 days to clean up and contact officials. After that time, the city takes pictures and sends an official letter.
The length of time before the next step depends on the situation. Follmer said dilapidated buildings take more time than weeds, and raw sewage discharge gets as little as 48 hours.
“Cars get more time than trash and junk,” he said.
Follmer said the goal is to work with the homeowners to solve the problem, which does not cost the taxpayers.
“We don’t want the taxpayers to have to clean it up,” he said.

(Read more: The Chanute Tribune – news,news/)

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