Brandau, Olivier prepare push to simplify code enforcement

Steve Brandau and Clint Olivier have an idea to simplify code enforcement. Then again, they may further complicate something that’s already a mess.

“Notice and order” is the legal term for “breathing spell.” Code inspectors routinely give landlords a period to fix violations that don’t pose an immediate danger to the tenant’s health and safety (from my experience at appeal hearings, most violations don’t fall into the “immediate danger” category; Summerset is the exception). The period is usually 30 days. If things aren’t fixed – or, at the very least, if good progress isn’t made – then a citation is issued.

Operationally, notice and order is old hat at City Hall.


The Brandau-Olivier resolution acknowledges the importance of notice and order: “Following inspections, ASET may issue a notice and order or citation(s) to the property owner or other responsible parties. A notice shall provide a reasonable time to make repairs or cure health and safety violations, not to exceed an initial thirty days.”

And therein lies the challenge for Council Members Brandau and Olivier as they try to marshal their resolution through the political process.

Forget for the moment all the flux at City Hall. Swearengin is termed out in seven weeks. Lee Brand, himself a council member, will be the new chief executive. There’s not enough time for Swearengin to effectively do much more with code enforcement. Brand has yet build his own team, let alone come to firm tactical and strategic decisions on something as complex as housing.

On top of that, two new council members – Luis Chavez in District 5 and Garry Bredefeld in District – come on board in early January. I know both of them. They’re men of strong and independent convictions. They’ll want to add their own two cents to the issues addressed in the Brandau-Olivier resolution.

Notice and order is at the heart of the current code enforcement process.

Notice and order is at the heart of the Brandau-Olivier resolution.

Tell me again why the resolution is needed now.

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