November 4, 2011
One of the most frequently asked question is “What is Code Compliance?” A simple definition would be enforcement of a common, minimum level of property maintenance. But it is really much more than that. It is part of the core services that impact our quality of life, community appearance, and property values.
All municipalities have a set of codes that define the maintenance requirements and standards for construction and zoning. Gwinnett County has a Property Maintenance Ordinance http://www.gwinnettcounty.com/static/departments/police/pdf/code_enforcement_explanation.pdf that covers items such as fences, exterior building maintenance, weeds and overgrown lawns. These codes specify a minimum standard and are fairly generic, unlike HOA covenants. For example, your HOA may specify the colors you are allowed to paint your home. The municipal code might only specify that the paint on your home should be maintained properly with no peeling or excessive fading.
Code Compliance is the enforcement of these codes. Violations are generally noted through routine inspections. In some cases, homeowners or neighboring businesses may report a violation. This would be especially true when foreclosed property in your neighborhood is not being maintained or if a business has been abandoned and neglected. Poorly maintained property impacts all of us. It detracts from the appearance of our community and depreciates our property values. The impact on property values is why we chose Code Compliance as one of our services.
Gwinnett County maintains a Quality of Life Unit http://www.gwinnettcounty.com/portal/gwinnett/Departments/Police/QualityofLife dedicated to maintaining standards. Community Improvement Districts (CID’s) http://www.gwinnettcounty.com/portal/gwinnett/AboutGwinnett/YourGovernment/CommunityImprovementDistricts also use Code Compliance to improve the overall appearance of their communities. By enforcing the codes, they also reduce crime in the area. Criminals do not want to live or “work” in areas where there is active enforcement.
There are additional benefits of having Code Compliance handled by our new city, rather than by the county. The first is our ability to determine our own standards. What works overall for the county may not be suitable for Peachtree Corners.
We will have the benefit of a smaller area to be serviced, allowing a more timely response to issues impacting our neighborhoods. We will also be able to focus on areas that currently have higher levels of criminal activity. Hopefully, with that focus, we can help reduce the crime rates.
Overall, we already experience the benefits of Code Compliance and Enforcement. By providing this service through the city we enhance those benefits. Code Compliance is not designed to emulate or replace the more stringent standards maintained by HOA’s. Rather, it is a means to maintain the entire city at a basic, common standard.
As always, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about incorporation or suggestions for future blogs. You can also Follow Us On Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Peachtree-Corners-Yes/188252451197937 and Follow Us On Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/PCCityYes. For more information about the city initiative, you can go to the Peachtree Corners web site http://peachtreecornersyes.com/. We also have two blog sites. One presents the facts about the city initiative http://peachtreecornersyes.blogspot.com/. The other rebuts the myths and misstatements made about incorporation http://peachtreecornersrealfacts.blogspot.com/.