YAKIMA, Wash. - The Yakima City Council has voted to give city code enforcement officers more power. The ordinance they passed Tuesday night allows code enforcement officers to issue tickets, instead of just warnings.
Bill Cook, with the Code Enforcement Office, says that they still want to work with people to get the situation resolved before a ticket is issued. But if a ticket is given out, the violator will have to plead their case in front of a judge.
Code violations fall under three categories: code compliance, building code, and fire code. Common code violations include cars parked on lawns, illegal additions to homes, and garbage piles.
In some cases, code violations can be a criminal offense. Two council members voted against the ordinance, because they were concerned about giving police powers to code enforcement officers. But the other council members thought this was the most efficient way to deal with violators.