Last December, Community Development Director Jessica Scott said that only 10% of city businesses that sell alcoholic beverages were in compliance with city ordinances. She set a goal of getting 50% compliance by June and 100% by December. She said the city’s businesses have been diligently working to meet this goal.
“Right now we’re at around 98% compliance,” Scott said. “There are only five not in compliance and three of those are working with us now to get everything taken care of. I have to say that the business owners in town have been fantastic. People want to do what’s right, and they have been so great to work with.”
Because so many businesses are now in compliance with the city’s alcoholic beverage ordinances, this allows code enforcement to work on residential violations. Scott said the most common violation is allowing the grass to grow too tall and this year’s rain has made it more common than in most years.
“The rain has been a double-edged sword because it rains and the grass grows even more. After it rains everything is so wet you’re going to get your mower stuck, so we have to give people more time and the grass gets even higher,” Scott said. “Then it rains again and we start it all over.”
She said code enforcement has had more complaints than normal for May. She blamed the heavy rain and added this year there seems to be more weeds, which grow even faster than the grass.
“But we’re getting out there and we’re putting up signs,” Scott said. She said code enforcement works off of citizen complaints. They work Monday through Friday and typically send an inspector to the site within 24 hours of the report. Reports that come in over the weekend are addressed on Monday.
“If they are found to be in violation they get a yellow sign in the yard that gives them 10 days to address the issue,” Scott said. “State law says either a sign in the yard or a letter in the mail, and we do both. So the property owner and the tenant get a letter if it’s two different people. So you’ll get a letter in the mail outlining the violation with a picture of the sign in the yard.”
She added that people can get extensions due to extensive rain and the city will work with people if they need more time to correct the problem. She said they are also willing to answer any questions.
“We’re more than happy to explain the violation over the phone or meet them at the property and show them in person,” Scott said.