Code Enforcement Working for a Better Watsonville


Most of us are pretty sure that we have not done any illegal construction on our properties. Well, maybe that water heater we installed last weekend needed an inspection, but who is going to find out? Right? Maybe we want to take advantage of the sunny weekend and install a fence in our backyard. The City offices are closed, there are no inspectors around, who is going to see me? While fences and water heaters are typical weekend projects, and they do require a permit from the City, these are not the primary issues Code Enforcement deals with.

The Community Development Department (CDD) receives about 90 code enforcement complaints a month!!! About a third of the complaints relate to property maintenance rather than illegal construction. Most of these cases are resolved within 30 days. The rest of the calls we receive often deal with illegal construction, people living in sheds, garages, even makeshift basements! City Code Enforcement staff prioritize the calls based on threat to human life. A locked or blocked garage door, with a family living inside will always be a priority.

A non-operable vehicle parked in the front lawn of a home is very important to the neighbors. Although not a life threatening situation, it is ugly and discouraging to those trying to maintain their properties looking nice. For that reason we do our best to enforce the Property Maintenance Guidelines adopted by the City Council. We may not get to it right away, but we will visit the property as soon as possible.

Code Enforcement is designed to make our town safe and attractive. When we first encounter an illegal situation, we issue a warning, giving property owners an opportunity to remedy the violation, with a permit, of course. Fines and citations begin a few days later in the event the property owner refuses to comply. Ultimately, unpaid fines are added, in the form of a lien, to the property taxes of the property in question. The very last resort is the County court system.

If you are concerned about illegal construction, failure to maintain property, illegal habitation, or any similar problem, please call the Community Development Department at 831-768-3050. You may also email us your complaint using the form found on our website – Your identification is not public and we will protect your anonymity. Together we will make Watsonville a beautiful, safe place to live.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 at 3:27 pm and is filed under City of Watsonville, Community Development, Homepage News . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.