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SLO sees spike in code violation reports thanks to new phone app

An app designed by the city of San Luis Obispo resulted in an avalanche of code violation reports to the Community Development Department.

Through a centralized resident inquiry system called Ask SLO, the department saw an increase in code enforcement requests pertaining to health and safety rules, building standards, zoning and land use designations, property upkeep, animals, and substandard housing.

Complaints spiked by 65 percent at the end of 2022 compared to the average of the three fiscal years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Code Enforcement Supervisor John Mezzapesa told the SLO City Council on Oct. 3.

Mezzapesa attributed the rise in code violations to the app and "less proactive enforcement activities due to staff vacancies and the creation of new ordinances like the abandoned shopping cart regulations."

Abandoned shopping carts were actually the top offense, making up 170 of the total 937 requests. It's been a prevalent enough issue that the City Council adopted a shopping cart ordinance in 2021, which was amended last June. The policy requires grocery stores to make efforts to secure their shopping carts every night, label them with their store information, and promptly retrieve them when they are found abandoned off-site.

Other frequent code violations included overgrown vegetation, active unpermitted construction, strewn waste containers, and inappropriate fence, wall, and hedge heights.

Read the full article at www.newtimesslo.com

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