Code Enforcement Benton County Washington by alicejenny


									Code Enforcement
   Building Department

   I would like to share how the Code
    Enforcement process works and
    answer some of the questions that
    the public often asks about the

1.    What is code enforcement and why is it
2.    What department is code enforcement in?
3.    Code Enforcement Complaint Procedure
4.    Why is code enforcement reactive and not
5.    Why do I have to fill out a form to request
      an investigation of violations?
6.    Why does the process take so long?
7.    Why does it appear some complaints are
      enforced and others are not?
8.    Why do I have to clean up my property and
      my neighbors do not?
9.    What are some common enforceable
      examples of request for investigation?
10.   What are some common requests for
      investigation, not under the jurisdiction of
      code enforcement?

        What is Code
   The Code Enforcement Officer is a
    zoning official. By comparing actual land
    use against that which is allowed by the
    adopted ordinance, the Code
    Enforcement Officer determines
    compliance or noncompliance. The
    purpose of code/zoning enforcement is
    intended to promote public health, safety
    and welfare by regulating land use and
    development, i.e. a business may be out
    of place in a single-family neighborhood.
    A large collection of trash and debris on
    one parcel may affect adjacent parcels
What Department is
Code Enforcement in?
  Code Enforcement is located in the
  Benton County Building Department at
  5600 N. Canal Dr. Suite C, Box 105-A,
  Kennewick,WA 99336.
  Telephone # (509) 735-3500

 Jackie Mcwherter is the Code Enforcement
 Officer and she reports to the Building
 Department Manager, Steve Brown.

                                                          Code Enforcement Complaint Procedure

                                                                                       Complaints are filed in the form of Request for Investigation
                                                                                They must be submitted in writing. They are turned in by mail or personally.

                                                                                 The form requires the complaintants name, address and phone number.
                                                                                            The complaintant can opt to remain anonymous.

                                                                                               The form also requires the alleged offenders
                                                                                              address, phone number and tax parcel number

                                                                                                      The complaints are entered into
                                                                                                     the Code Enforcement data base.

                                                                                                          A site visit is performed
                                                                                                      to varify if the violation(s) exist.

                                                                          Yes                                                                                No

                                                              If violation(s) exists                                                     Complaintant is sent a letter stating why no
                                             A Correction Notice is issued to the property owner                                           code enforcement action can be taken
                                          noting the violation(s) and the corrective actions needed.                                                  Case is closed.
                                     A thirty day time frame is given to perform the needed corrections.

                                         In thirty days a re-inspection of the property is performed.

                                                         If property is still in violation
                                                      a second notice is sent to property
                                             owner granting them thirty additional days to comply.

                                       Property re-inspected.                         Property re-inspected
                                                                                      if violation corrected
                                                                                            case closed
                                       If the property is still in
                                violation a final notice is sent to the
                                   property owner giving another
                                15 days or a citation will be issued.

                    Property re-inspected.                   Property re-inspected
                       If the property is                    if violation corrected
                        still in violation                        case closed

 Case is taken to the           If the offender still does not comply
 Prosecutor's Office                 the case is again sent to the
and citation is issued.         Prosecutor's Office for further acton
                                    and possible second citation.

 Why is code enforcement
reactive and not proactive?
  In an effort to be fair, by not singling out
  individuals or areas, Benton County has
    implemented a policy of investigation
  and enforcement by public request only.
   In addition, Benton County has just one
  Code Enforcement Officer. Enforcement
     action upon random areas within the
    County would require more personnel,
     resources and legal review for such

Why do I have to fill out
a Request for
Investigation form?
   In order to facilitate consistency
    and efficiency, a minimal amount
    of information is required to locate,
    identify and respond to both the
    offender and the complainant.

Why does the process
take so long?
  Requests for investigation are
 reviewed in the order received. If
 the property is found to be in
 violation of the adopted codes,
 refer to Code Enforcement
 Complaint Procedure page number
 3 for estimated timelines for
 compliance and or penalties.

Why does it appear
some complaints are
enforced and others
Enforcement is directly related to
  what is adopted and addressed in
  the Benton County Code. No
  action can be taken otherwise.

Why do I have to clean
up my property and my
neighbors do not?
 In order to be consistent and fair,
code enforcement action is
initiated by public request only. As
a result, a request for investigation
may not have been filed on the
adjacent properties.

What are some common
enforceable examples of
request for
Illegal construction (construction
without required permits), trash and
debris, inoperable/junk/hulk vehicles,
number and type of animals in a specific
zone. Use of recreational vehicles as

 What are some common
 request for
 investigation, not under
 the jurisdiction of Code
Noise = Benton County Sheriff
Vicious Dogs = Benton County Sheriff
Solid waste = Benton Franklin Health Department
Septic and drain fields = Benton Franklin Health Department
Blowing dust = Benton Franklin Clean Air Authority
Animal Control = currently Benton County has no animal control
Maintenance of access easement = As per Benton County Code 9.04.034
   maintenance of access easement is not the responsibility of Benton County.
Weed Control = applicable only to residential, commercial or industrial zones.
   Not applicable to fences, shrubs or to buildings setback thirty feet or greater
   from property lines.

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