Yakima code enforcement improving neighborhoods - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima code enforcement improving neighborhoods

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YAKIMA, WA - Efforts by the City of Yakima’s Code Enforcement Office are making a positive impact in area neighborhoods.

As of June 2015 the City had 119 properties declared dangerous. Now, less than 3 years later, that total has been whittled to 47.

“It’s about making people accountable for their property,” Code Administration Manager Joe Caruso said. “It’s making a big difference for our neighborhoods. The neighbors are happy.”

Many of the buildings had been abandoned and squatters had moved in, creating fake utility accounts, Caruso said. There were other issues, too, such as complaints of illegal drugs, properties being broken into, and car prowls.

Caruso said the City has been working with owners of the dangerous buildings to get them boarded up and secure. The recent effort is making a difference.

“People got the message real quick that if you’re a squatter in an abandoned building in Yakima you could get arrested and go to jail,” Caruso said. At one point, the City received 5 to 7 complaints a week. That has been reduced to 1 or 2 complaints every couple of months, he said.

Caruso presented an update about the effort to the Yakima City Council’s Neighborhood and Community Building Committee last Thursday, March 15th. Y-PAC coverage of that meeting can be viewed anytime on-line at http://bit.ly/2DzgyXw

Visit https://www.yakimawa.gov/services/codes/ for more information about the City of Yakima’s Code Administration Office.

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