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Crackdown on college kids

College Area wants its own code-enforcement officer

An SDSU fraternity house
An SDSU fraternity house

College Area residents are calling on the city to hire a full-time code-enforcement officer to patrol neighborhoods for violations. Examples of some types of code violations rampant around San Diego State University include houses with more than five occupants, parking violations, old furniture used for outside seating, and trash.

The need for a dedicated code-enforcement office in the College Area is not a new request. In previous years, saddled by a structural budget deficit, the city council slashed budgets in many departments, including code enforcement. To help pick up the slack, residents and the city created a volunteer code-enforcement program. To date, volunteers continue to conduct enforcement sweeps. After spotting potential violations, the group contacts the property owners and urges them to enter into compliance.

According to the College Area Community Council's website, "The program has so far proved effective in decreasing problems such as parking on lawns, outdoor storage, and poor maintenance, and has resulted in substantial improvements in the appearance of some streets in the College Area. Further improvements are expected."

But the volunteers can only do so much. Now residents says it’s time for the city to step up.

"As one example of the huge backlog at [Code Enforcement Services], a [code enforcement] volunteer group has identified 250 code violations visible from the street in the College Area," reads the petition. "The volunteers send two informational letters asking that the violation be corrected. If the violation continues after the [second] letter [code enforcement] investigates and assesses a fine. [Code enforcement] can only investigate five cases a month although already 70 properties have been sent a [second] letter and half of those have been referred...due to continuing violations."

As of May 6, 459 residents signed a petition to present to councilmembers for consideration while drafting this year's budget.

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An SDSU fraternity house
An SDSU fraternity house

College Area residents are calling on the city to hire a full-time code-enforcement officer to patrol neighborhoods for violations. Examples of some types of code violations rampant around San Diego State University include houses with more than five occupants, parking violations, old furniture used for outside seating, and trash.

The need for a dedicated code-enforcement office in the College Area is not a new request. In previous years, saddled by a structural budget deficit, the city council slashed budgets in many departments, including code enforcement. To help pick up the slack, residents and the city created a volunteer code-enforcement program. To date, volunteers continue to conduct enforcement sweeps. After spotting potential violations, the group contacts the property owners and urges them to enter into compliance.

According to the College Area Community Council's website, "The program has so far proved effective in decreasing problems such as parking on lawns, outdoor storage, and poor maintenance, and has resulted in substantial improvements in the appearance of some streets in the College Area. Further improvements are expected."

But the volunteers can only do so much. Now residents says it’s time for the city to step up.

"As one example of the huge backlog at [Code Enforcement Services], a [code enforcement] volunteer group has identified 250 code violations visible from the street in the College Area," reads the petition. "The volunteers send two informational letters asking that the violation be corrected. If the violation continues after the [second] letter [code enforcement] investigates and assesses a fine. [Code enforcement] can only investigate five cases a month although already 70 properties have been sent a [second] letter and half of those have been referred...due to continuing violations."

As of May 6, 459 residents signed a petition to present to councilmembers for consideration while drafting this year's budget.

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Comments
2

SDSU desperately needs a "student containment zone" within which anything/everything goes. Sadly, many cities are dealing with this sort of thing, and that is because they lack such a zone, or because its boundaries are ill-defined. UCLA has its "student ghetto" to the west of campus, backing up what is/was fraternity row. That area has a high density, and to live in it is not cheap. But the LAPD, the campus authorities, and even the close-by neighbors recognize that it is necessary. Other campuses of all sorts of universities all around the nation deal with this matter in many ways.

Ahh, but the best one of all is UC Santa Barbara. It has the ultimate SCZ, called Isla Vista. On the far side of campus from Santa Barbara and Goleta, it is a contained zone of rentals that should be an embarrassment to everyone in the county. But its isolation and separation make it an endless source of studies for sociologists. It has grown so notorious/infamous that it now embarrasses the university. The long-tenured chancellor of the campus, Dr. Wang, now hopes to make some things happen to make the area respectable, as that campus grows again. The dirty little secret is that the typical Santa Barbaran likes it the way it is. Miles from chi-chi Santa Barbara proper, it isolates all that student behavior out of their city, and keeps it out.

The prez of SDSU should have it so good. Even though most of the SDSU students commute, that hard core who want to live in the area are going to be an endless source of grief.

May 8, 2014

Code enforcement seems to be at the bottom of the city's funding priorities. Imagine the improvement in the quality of life in SD if we could get even half of the codes enforced? Maybe we should have NCC offices in all of the major neighborhoods. They could set up shop in the library or local fire station. We could have roving code enforcement vans-- just like blood mobiles! Okay. Maybe that's a little silly. But you get my point. We need to ramp up NCC services city wide.

May 8, 2014

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