Letter: Put More Focus On Code Enforcement

The following letter was sent to the mayor and all Royal Palm Beach council members about three weeks ago. I’m looking forward to their reply concerning this matter.

As a resident of RPB since 1979, I’ve seen it grow from a small village into a pretty nice size city, and doing so without losing its small-town appeal. However, with our growth came the normal difficulties associated with the growing populace, one of which was residents’ code ordinance noncompliance.

As I and other residents have seen a growing trend of homeowners not maintaining their homes as ordinances require, I’d like to make some common-sense recommendations to the council.

The council should e-mail residents a monthly digital informational letter that includes RPB’s current top code violations to be targeted. From my observations, they are as follows: 1. Lawn/shrub/tree cultivation and maintenance; 2. Basic home structure/driveway and sidewalk maintenance; 3. Property fence maintenance; 4. Vehicles/boats illegally parked on front lawns and/or side yards; 5. Trash/recycling containers and other items not blocked from street view; and 6. Damaged/nonfunctioning garage doors/vehicles.

The council should also increase pet owner awareness of their responsibilities. While RPB has posted in its parks small signs concerning clean-up and leash laws, it’s still a problem. Many violators take umbrage to anyone advising that they are responsible for their pet as the signs provide; some even get hostile. To help with this serious matter, RPB should consider putting lighted, enclosed bulletin boards up in all parks/green areas to showcase county and RPB pet ownership regulation/laws and the financial liabilities to violators. These bulletin boards can also be used to post other information the community wants residents to know about.

To help resolve some of the code issues the council should:

  1. Create a preferred open vendor list of local companies willing to offer their services to residents at a substantial discount. This should help those residents under financial stress but not fully release them from their responsibilities.
  2. For those residents who are financially unable to comply with code violations, some type of subsidized help and or local charitable assistance should be established.
  3. All departments should work together to help keep residents and homeowners in compliance with code ordinances. If they see something, they should notify code enforcement by text, e-mail or interoffice form.
  4. All departments should work together to inform the other departments of issues they’ve seen that concern the other. They can notify them by text, e-mail or interoffice form.

No matter where you live, you will always have homeowners who have differences of opinion as it relates to home ownership. You’ll have those who continually care for and maintain their homes, those who don’t know what is required but will comply with guidance and, finally, those who don’t care. We’re fortunate that most homeowners will do the right thing on their own and/or when advised, but it’s the ones who don’t care that pose a real problem. My suggestions are simple steps that can be implemented to help resolve code issues and do so without much cost or time invested.

Peter ReJune, Royal Palm Beach