Complimentary to preservation and enhancement of physical property is the idea that ordinance enforcement also preserves and enhances community harmony. Relationships between homeowners, the business community, and code regulators are an important part of the health of a community. The way by which many codes and ordinances are enforced, and the organizational structure of some regulatory departments create ineffective outcomes; often code enforcement officers are unable to address or resolve certain field-related issues without the need for referral to another functional area. For example, if a Code Enforcement Officer visited a restaurant to follow-up on a complaint about illegal signage, and he or she notices that the business does not have a license, depending on policy, one might be forced to contact the Business License Division; then that arm of government would send an inspector to verify non-compliance and issue notices if appropriate.
This fragmented approach to code compliance and enforcement is highly inefficient, as these redundancies cost your municipality in higher resource utilization and decreased service delivery. This approach also delays response times, has a negative effect on public expectations, and diminishes the municipality’s capacity to promptly remediate existing problems.
When making a switch from traditional code enforcement to one structured by principles of community code compliance, the way by which the code officer identifies and delivers services to the community is the issue. Traditionally, code enforcement service is delivered in a reactive way. The proactive “policing technique” or concept requires a process that assesses the needs of the public and transforms those needs into code enforcement services.