An aesthetically pleasing city provides a better quality of life. In many communities this is accomplished through ordinances and codes for all residents and businesses to follow.
In the City of Harrison, property maintenance codes regulate tall grass, debris in yards, illegally parked cars or campers, structures in disrepair, and more. Enforcement of these codes aides in aesthetics but it is also necessary to ensure neighbors do not put undue burden on one another or decrease area property values.
Harrison's code enforcement officer strives to equally enforce property maintenance codes. The officer works limited hours and cannot be in all parts of the community every day or see every violation that occurs. However, when a code violation is observed, or when someone files a complaint, the officer takes the proper steps in notifying the homeowner or business owner to enable them enough time to rectify the situation before issuing a citation.
The enforcement officer will contact property owners by knocking directly on their door or placing a door hanger notification. The door hanger lists the nature of the violation and indicate a time frame (usually a week) to have the problem remediated. If the property owner has a legitimate mitigating circumstance and needs more time to solve the problem, a phone number is provided to work out an agreeable time frame for correction.
The last thing the officer or any City employee wants is to issue a citation requiring the property owner appear to in court and pay a fine and court costs. However, sometimes property owners ignore the door hangers or don’t call for clarification or take care of the issue. In those cases, the officer may try to contact the homeowner again. If the property owner refuses to respond, then a citation is issued and a court appearance becomes necessary. Going through the legal system for a property maintenance issue can be a lengthy process and can result in multiple fines and court costs for the property owners.
The City's primary goal is to work with property owners to solve issues without citations and court appearances. Sometimes a property owner may not even know they are in violation until they find a notification on their door. The City has provided a list of 15 frequently asked questions to help property owners understand some of the most common code issues.