The city of Jamestown and the Department of Development have reactivated the Neighborhood Impact Inspection Program, which began on June 16, according to Mayor Sam Teresi and vince DeJoy, development director.
Through the program, which originally began in 2010, code enforcement staff members are conducting an exterior inspection of every residential property in a designated section of the city during the next several months to determine if there are any violations of the city housing code at these properties that require attention to prevent them from becoming more serious health and safety issues and to prevent blight conditions.
In 2010, the Department of Development divided the city into four quadrants, then further divided each quadrant into four sections with one inspector assigned to each area. The southeastern and northeastern quadrant areas were inspected during the past four years and the focus in 2014 is the area that begins at Stowe Street between Falconer and Buffalo streets and extends west to Clifton Avenue off Fairmount Avenue and the mixed commercial/residential streets in the downtown section of the city.
Department of Development target area code enforcement Officer Jeff Hollern performing an exterior inspection.
If code violations are found by the inspection staff at any given property, they are noted on the inspection checklist and shortly thereafter, a courtesy letter describing each violation is sent to the owner with a time frame to have them corrected. If those receiving a letter fail to correct the issues cited within that time frame, the Department of Development staff will issue a formal notice of violation or an appearance ticket for Jamestown City Court.
The program is in response to what the majority of residents have expressed over the last several years that they are tired of living with dilapidated houses in their neighborhoods and want something done to help eliminate the problems they cause. By inspecting every dwelling on a door-to-door basis, code enforcement staff will not have to wait for a formal complaint to be filed, which is required by law.
"We can act quickly to cite an owner for their property's deficiencies and hopefully get them corrected before additional legal action needs to be taken. It also doesn't matter what street in the city you live on, from the best to the worst, every property is reviewed equally," DeJoy said.
Violations that inspectors will be looking for include unregistered vehicles, boats or trailers, vehicles and boats parked in front yards, peeling paint, damaged siding material, interior-type furniture, appliances, yard waste, junk, garbage and debris on porches and in yards, long grass and weeds, overgrown shrubbery, deteriorated roofs, porches, steps, hand railings, fencing, concrete stairs, walkways, driveways, broken glass, rotted windows and doors, damaged gutters, swimming pools over 24 inches in height without proper fencing, gates, pool alarms, etc.
In extreme situations where the condition of the exterior is in extremely poor condition and that it is suspected there may be serious interior problems, inspectors can request a search warrant from Jamestown City Court to perform an interior inspection.
If there are questions about the Neighborhood Impact Inspection Program, contact the Department of Development at 483-7541.