SAN ANTONIO - All over town, code compliance officers will be responding to complaints about trash and high weeds under a new program that promises swift response to violations of city ordinances.
“What we want to do is start out with trash, debris and illegal dumping,” said Roderick Sanchez, Director of Development Services.
Sanchez says code compliance officers will be looking more closely in neighborhoods to find violations to city ordinance. The city is also planning to hire five more code compliance officers and two supervisors under the new municipal budget.
We found officers using a measuring device to judge the height of overgrown brush. The also posted warning signs to let owners of vacant lots know they are still responsible for maintenance and removal of materials illegally dumped on their property.
The new pilot program was designed to clear code violations more quickly. In the past, Sanchez told us it could take up to 120 days to clear cases.
Fines range from 20 to 500 dollars. And Sanchez says the amount keeps adding up if property owners don't clear out the mess.
"Before the hearing, we will send an officer back out again to see if they have removed the trash or debris and we'll report that to the hearing officer," explained Sanchez.
For the next three months Sanchez says his department will monitor this program and work out any kinks before hopefully expanding it to include many other violations of city codes.