One of the most important purposes of municipal government is the protection of private property in both the physical and economic sense. To this end, police protection and code enforcement are two of the most important services a municipal government can provide to ensure the safety of residential and commercial properties. From proper electrical, water, and sewage inspections, among other code topics; the uniform application of building codes ensures a well-built and maintained property will grow in appreciation with the surrounding community.
But what happens when proper code enforcement is not evenly applied to the community at large? Tallgrass and unmaintained landscaping can provide a breeding ground for pests and rodents, unkept abandoned properties can create hazards for both residents and children in a community, dilapidated properties can pose risks to both inhabitants and adjacent properties. As such, proper code enforcement is not just a tool to ensure properties are kept to the standards of a community norm, code enforcement is also a matter of safety. So what is the current state of code enforcement in the Village of Justice? And what can we do to make it better?
In Justice, we have an emerging problem with ununiform code enforcement. A drive around town will reverse several commercial properties that blatantly violate established village codes, such as the junk car lot on 79th Street, which is not zoned for such use. However, several residential properties have also taken advantage of lax home occupation licenses to run full-sized industrial businesses out of single-family homes, as seen in the photo above.
Such cases show a lack of proper code enforcement that risks the aesthetics of the neighborhood and threatens the value of surrounding homes. To this end, we as a village must demand proper code enforcement. The current lack of uniform code enforcement has even led some residents to file lawsuits against the Village of Justice, as the current culture at village hall is one of apathy towards the subject.
A vote for the Village Voice Party is a vote for uniform and sound codes in both design and application. Together, we can make our community a more safe and enjoyable environment to live and invest in.