Code Compliance Code Update
The City has heard from the community that there is a desire to increase the effectiveness and timely resolution of code compliance cases. Anecdotal comments received by the City Council and staff indicate frustration from residents around enforcement of codes and the time it takes to achieve compliance. These complaints span a wide range of issues, including both active construction sites and residential or commercial properties that are not under construction. Currently, the City's code compliance staff struggle with a large caseload, with some cases being very difficult and time-consuming to bring into compliance. Likewise, the existing code is dispersed through several code chapters, hasn't been updated in decades and lacks the regulatory "teeth" necessary for effective enforcement.
A code amendment is proposed to consolidate, clarify and simplify the code language as it pertains to Code Compliance, as well as adding additional tools to add in achieving compliance efficiently and effectively. The goal with code compliance cases is always to attain voluntary compliance and close the case. However, when a responsible party is resistant to compliance, additional tools will enable staff to spur action more quickly and bring cases to resolution. Achieving compliance in a timely manner is important for giving residents surety that city regulations will be upheld to maintain safety, environmental protection and community character.
A public hearing is scheduled to gather public comment on the proposed changes to the Code Compliance regulations on June 20, 2018, at the regularly scheduled Planning Commission Meeting, beginning at 6pm, Mercer Island City Hall, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, WA 98040.
View a draft of the proposed changes here