The Pierce County Council has streamlined the code enforcement process for cleaning up abandoned homes, solid waste and nuisance property violations.
With Ordinance 2017-22s, the council declared nuisance properties the highest code enforcement priority for Planning and Public Works.
Important elements of the ordinance included:
· Requiring that all reported and confirmed nuisances shall be resolved within 90 days. Click to view process graphic.
· Authorizing the hiring of two additional enforcement employees within the Planning and Public Works Department.
· Defining council’s intent to provide additional funding through the supplemental budget process.
· Requesting Executive Dammeier to further evaluate the program for any recommendations on resources or regulations that could improve the efficiency of the program.
· Requiring the development of a public code enforcement information portal that will allow the public to track the status of a violation online.
“I heard concerns from my constituents about derelict homes that are attracting illegal activity,” said Doug Richardson, District 6 Representative and Chair of the Pierce County Council. “We needed to take action to ensure a thoughtful and swift process to address nuisance properties. We will work with a nuisance property owner to achieve resolution, but for the safety of our neighborhoods we must clean-up nuisance properties in a timely manner.”
Planning and Public Works is required to provide quarterly reports to council on violations being pursued and any process improvements to the program. This ordinance takes effect immediately.
The council has been working on modifying Pierce County Code and providing code enforcement officials with resources and funding needed to abate nuisance properties. Additionally, council funded the transfer of the solid waste enforcement from the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD) to Pierce County. Differing timelines and processes for enforcement through TPCHD were a challenge to County enforcement actions. This transfer allows for consolidation of nuisance actions when seeking a court order of abatement. For more information on past nuisance property actions by the council visit piercecountywa.org/council.