This coming fiscal year, the City will begin decriminalizing violations of the City's property code, starting with illegal dumping and setting out garbage before or after the deadlines for bulk trash pickup. Instead of repeat visits from a code-enforcement officer and a potential summons to appear in criminal court, offenders will receive a citation that can be handled much like a ticket for a broken tail light or an expired inspection sticker. Prove you fixed the problem when you appear for your civil court date, and the fine could be reduced or dismissed.
Once they’ve worked the kinks out of the pilot program, the City plans to expand the initiative to include many of the other building and property maintenance rules on the book, from un-permitted construction to obstructed alleyways and illegal fences. (Dangerous structures will still be handled through the City’s Building Standards Board, but even issues such as not obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy could eventually end up on the new civil docket.)