VENTURA : Code Violations May Cost Residents Cash

Ventura residents who are slow to correct code violations may soon find themselves being charged by the city for dragging their feet.

The Ventura City Council tonight will consider approving a measure that would charge residents for city staff time after the second code-enforcement visit.

The first visit would be to decide whether a code violation exists. Residents would receive a warning and be directed to fix the problem, usually within 30 days, said Bob Prodoehl, a building official and fire marshal for the city.

The second visit would be an inspection to see if the problem has been corrected, Prodoehl said. If subsequent visits are necessary, residents would be charged for the time.

Fees would vary depending on what needs to be done to push offenders to correct the violation. It would range from $20 per hour for an administrative clerk to $86 per hour for the fire chief's time.

Prodoehl said the most common code violations are related to zoning, such as having discarded materials in back yards.

City officials said they are unable to estimate how much money the program would generate.

"Our goal is to get compliance, and if we hit their pocketbooks it will make a lot more people work faster to correct the problem," Prodoehl said.


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