LETTER: Code Enforcement must follow warnings with consequences

Becky Pritchard
A homeowner who was ticketed twice shared his Code Enforcement warning with The Log.

I read, with great interest, the 'Code enforcement steps up street parking warnings' article in Saturday's log.  The city ordinance that prohibits cars from parking on the roadway or curbside or on a sidewalk has been long ignored as have two others — one that requires cars (and boats) to be properly licensed and tagged and another that requires trash receptacles to be removed from the roadside after trash collection.   As a resident in a townhouse community, these ordinance violations are particularly egregious as living and roadway space is already minimal. In Timber Court at Pine Ridge Trace, the cars parked around the circle just about outnumber those parked in the driveways. Because of this, someone who actually lives in a unit located in the circle is required to do a 3-point turn to get their own car out of their driveway. 

Waste Management is not able to drive down the court and make the circle so instead the truck has to back down the street.  I have lost count of the number of sprinklers I have had to repair/replace since backing the truck requires additional time and skill. 

It is not possible to walk a dog or push a stroller down the sidewalks in adjacent neighborhoods due to overflowing driveways which contain boats, trailers, and vehicles, which many times are either improperly (expired) tagged or not tagged at all. Trash receptacles are left at the curb all week as well and are usually overflowing. The stench is nauseating as is the thought of the rodents it attracts. 

Calls and emails to Code Enforcement at City Hall may elicit a warning for the violator but it is rarely if ever followed up upon. I am certain of this because I walk my dog on these roads in this area no less than twice per day.   I understand that you cannot force people to care about their property value or to be concerned that their actions affect those who live around them. Those of us who try to take pride in our homes’ appearance are far outnumbered, particularly in a townhouse area. I suppose that fact “comes with the territory” to an extent.  When disregard becomes a safety and a health issue, however, we can ask that codes and ordinances that are already on our city’s books be enforced. Warnings are certainly a starting place but they must be followed up upon and citations issued for repeat offenders.   Becky Pritchard Destin