Code Enforcement Needs Reform
enforcement is crucial to
defending our property rights from that minority who either
don’t know or don’t
care about the negative effects their actions may have on their
the greater community around them.
now, King County’s code enforcement
is essentially non-existent when it comes to defending our zoning and
This is no secret in County halls. KC Executive Dow Constantine has
spoken directly to the need for reform of a dysfunctional code
is the Department of Permitting
and Environmental Review (DPER) that contains King County’s
division. It is no secret there, either. Last summer, a very thorough
of the situation, along with specific steps that can be taken to
was published by DPER.
copy of that document is available here.
element of effective reform that
is not discussed in this document would be to address the current
treats all code violators as “customers” (pg.8).
King County current policy is
to help the violators find ways to continue their activities. This
loose interpretations of the codes or just outright refusal to follow
with code enforcement actions, even when an underlying use is simply
permitted. This has been the case with the illegal tasting rooms
opinion is that DPER should
start dividing code and zoning violators into two groups. One group
violators’ whose underlying uses are legal but just need some
guidance to come into compliance. These could appropriately be referred
other group would be those whose
activities are outright illegal and/or who refuse to bring their
into compliance. In these cases, we need effective enforcement, not
These violators should not be looked at as
“customers”, as they are now.
will be putting out more
information as the reform efforts progress.