Here is the latest from the city on the email I sent ot Mayor Brown. It seems to me that this is a lot of back-peddling and glossing-over of the situation. What do you think?
Again, thank you for making us aware of this situation. With regards to the to video you mentioned in your email, it is my understanding that the referenced video on You Tube entitled “Code Enforcement Breaking Code” is actually a video of a Contract Compliance Inspector employee temporarily disassembling – not breaking – the gate of a property for assessment purposes.
On April 20, 2012, an anonymous citizen submitted a complaint to 630-CITY, regarding “overgrown property”. On April 23, 2012, a Code Compliance Officer cited the property for nuisance overgrowth and garbage/trash/debris. To fulfill notice requirements to the owner of record, local ordinance requires that: 1) a notice placard be placed on-site, and 2) a notice be mailed to the owner of record.
The required notice placard at the property and mailing of a certified Notice of Violation were made to the owner of record in April 2012. In addition, MCCD provided time to correct violations prior to re-inspection on May 16, 2012.
Following the two forms of notification and the provision of time to correct violations, an officer verified outstanding violations on May 16, 2012, and forwarded the enforcement case to the division’s Contract Compliance section, which arranges cutting, cleaning, and debris removal by city contractor, as authorized by local ordinance, if the owner of record fails to correct violations. Local ordinance states if termination of the public nuisance is not completed or commenced in a meaningful manner, such as hiring a contractor, or commencing significant and actual abatement activities, by the person within 15 days from the date of notice, the city may terminate the condition(s) and may contract with a private contractor to terminate it on behalf of the city. The law does not contain provisions for general citizenry to enter privately-owned properties (not owned by same) for purpose of correcting outstanding code violations.
On Monday, July 9, 2012, during compliance follow-up activities someone “videographed” a Municipal Code Compliance Division (“MCCD”) employee at 1735 Liberty Street, and later posted the video on YouTube, with the title, “Code Enforcement Breaking Gate.
As previously mentioned, the YouTube video from July 9, 2012 actually shows a Contract Compliance Inspector employee temporarily disassembling – not breaking – the gate to assess the entire site following a reported completion of work; the other employee is the area Code Compliance Officer, who initially cited property conditions during April 2012. As shown within the video and the above photographs, the property is overgrown and contains excessive trash; the purpose of the property visit was to ensure completion of work to remove violations, which are blighting conditions, thus improving the community. The Contract Compliance Inspector verified required additional abatement work at the time and returned the work order to the contractor for completion.
Apparently, the videographer was not aware of the preceding information.
Various city agencies enforce and/or administer specific portions of the Jacksonville Ordinance Code. The city’s Historic Preservation Office administers the Mothballing Ordinance and may assist with questions related to same.
If you have additional questions regarding property safety/maintenance and zoning code enforcement, please contact us.
Have a good day.
Terrance L. Ashanta-Barker, JD
Acting Director of Neighborhoods
City of Jacksonville (Ed Ball Building)
214 North Hogan Street, 8th Floor
Jacksonville, Florida 32202
Office: (904) 255-7245 | Fax: (904) 588-0519