Code Enforcement testing new citation process
Allowing property owners to resolve violations faster, more efficiently
King County Code Enforcement, a function within the Department of Permitting and Environmental Review (Permitting), is testing a new citation process during the month of September and fully activating the program on October 1, 2009. The pilot phase involved Code Enforcement Officers issuing citations without the associated fines; the fully operational program will activate the civil fines.
Code Enforcement Officers investigate complaints of unlawful hazards, developments, and uses on private property. They respond to reported code violations associated with zoning, housing and building, shorelines, and critical areas.
The new citation process will be used for simple code violations that can be quickly and easily resolved. Examples include: parking or storage of vehicles on non-impervious (unimproved) surfaces; or excessive amounts of inoperable vehicles, vehicle parts, assorted rubbish, salvage, and debris.
The citation process brings efficiency to the code enforcement process by offering property owners the option of paying a civil fine and cleaning up the property in a timely manner, rather than engaging the full code enforcement process. The full code enforcement process can be lengthy and time consuming and, in the long term, can be costly to the property owner.
Code Enforcement Officers strive to work in partnership with property owners and resolve code enforcement violations as quickly as possible. The priority of the Permitting Department Code Enforcement Section is always to work with property owners in an attempt to educate them about the specific code requirements which apply to their property. Code Enforcement officers strive to achieve voluntary compliance on a code enforcement site. This new citation process is a mechanism for resolving simple violations as quickly as possible, without invoking the full code enforcement process which can involve a Notice and Order and public hearing.
The work conducted by Code Enforcement yields many positive results in our community. For example, property owners contacted by Code Enforcement with illegal construction or clearing and grading activity can retroactively engage the permit review process at the Permitting Department. The permitting process is designed to protect public health, homeowner safety, and the environment by ensuring that construction and grading activity meets acceptable standards.
For additional information about the Code Enforcement Citation process, the Code Enforcement Supervisor, at 206-296-6600.