At a recent council meeting, the Village waived more than $25,000 in code fines for a hurricane-damaged property owner. How would you have voted and what would your comments have been?
I agree. The key word in Code Compliance is compliance. We want the property to come into compliance, not to ring up excessive fees that are impossible to pay. And we do have to collect administrative fees such as investigatory time and special master costs.
I voted in favor of this property owner. I have voiced support for all property owners who have suffered as a result of this Category 4 hurricane. I want each citizen to have a simple regulatory path to become whole again. Council sets policy and judges those outcomes. We should actively discuss modifying Code Enforcer roles and processes after disasters.
It’s a question that I can’t answer because I didn’t attend the council meeting and without knowing all the facts about why they waived it. But there is an old saying, “What’s good for one is good for all.” There was a case where a motel owner owed a large amount of money due to fire department regulations. The motel was sold and the fees were raised on the property because the new owner resolved all the issues, which I thought was fair because the new owner cleared up all the violations.
Yes, I would have waived. I was present for the meeting and heard the facts first hand. The issue was hurricane debris on a vacant lot and Code Enforcement was a bit aggressive. The fines should never have been given in the first place.
Code enforcement is in place to protect homeowners and property value. Exceptions can be made in emergency situations provided the violations do not affect other home values. This is the purpose of the appeal process and must be taken on a case-by-case basis.
Candidates’ answers appear as submitted.