Anza residents protest code enforcement tactics

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At a capacity meeting hosted by the Anza Valley Municipal Advisory Council, nearly 100 residents lodged protests about tactics used by county code enforcement in issuing citations. Residents complained of unauthorized entrances onto their properties, even into their homes, by a particular officer they accused of using “Gestapo” tactics.

They complained of not receiving directives from code enforcement about how they should be complying and about receiving inadequate information about the nature of infractions once they receive them. One resident stated the fire department sends out compliance notices citing what needs to be remedied.

“Why doesn’t code enforcement send us guidelines regarding what we need to fix? We need guidelines,” she said.

Brian Black, newly appointed code enforcement 3rd district supervisor, began the meeting by announcing he would discuss the public nuisance process, types of cases in the Anza Valley and particular infraction statistics. He stressed that code enforcement is not charged to go looking for infractions; rather they respond when complaints are lodged with his agency, usually by neighbor. Once a complaint is lodged, code enforcement is required to investigate since the purported infraction could pose dangers to the community.

“I’m not seeing a huge spike in citation activity in Anza,” said Black. Of the 106 current open cases in the valley, most fall into three categories — construction without permits, excessive outside storage and accumulated rubbish.

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