City of Pensacola Code Enforcement had a banner year in 2012, with substantial increases in the number of cases processed and brought into compliance, as well as in the total dollars collected to satisfy fines and liens. The marked improvements were made possible by a slate of code enforcement reforms proposed in 2011 by Mayor Ashton Hayward and adopted by the City Council.
The total number of code enforcement cases scheduled for hearing more than doubled, from 201 in 2011 to 575 in 2012. The number of cases brought into compliance before a hearing more than tripled, from 114 to 383. The amount of money collected to satisfy fines and liens increased by more than 300% to $129,772.30.
“Every resident deserves a clean and safe neighborhood of which they can be proud,” said Mayor Hayward. “As we work to attract jobs and talent, it’s more important than ever that we raise the bar and step up our efforts to make Pensacola an attractive and inviting city. I want to again thank the City Council for supporting these important code enforcement reforms.”
The 2011 ordinance changes streamlined the code enforcement process, moving from a Code Enforcement Board to a more expedient Special Magistrate system. The changes also enhanced the City’s ability to abate violations, allowing code enforcement crews to clean up abandoned or neglected properties and attach the cost of those actions to a special assessment on the property. Code Enforcement undertook 23 such abatements in 2012, compared to just 3 in 2011. Lastly, the changes allowed the City to take a much more aggressive approach as it relates to the collection of outstanding fines and liens.
Over the course of 23 abatement actions taken in 2012, Code Enforcement removed 49 tons of debris from various properties, including three boats, two RVs, and a car. Code Enforcement also cut and cleaned more than 600 overgrown vacant properties last year.