This week, the City will begin laying the groundwork for restructuring Community Engagement as a City department. At the 2017 State of the City Address on February 28, Mayor Spouse laid out his plans to separate Community Engagement from the Public Works Department by 2018. Currently, Community Engagement is a division of Public Works that handles bulky waste, recycling, code enforcement, and graffiti removal. The restructure will initially focus on code enforcement, which is the most prominent function of the division.
Effective March 13, 2017:
- Abatement procedures will be focused on tall grass and weeds, with exceptions made for extreme cases.
- Backyard inspections will only be triggered by a specific complaint from a neighbor who can provide documentation of the violation.*
- All code enforcement officers will receive expanded communication training.
- Community Engagement will no longer verify compliance on an entire block in response to a complaint made about a single property.
The notification system for violations will also be amended. As part of the new process, before a resident or property owner receives a violation notice, they will first have the opportunity to receive compliance coaching from a trained code enforcement officer. This will allow the resident or property owner to correct the action and take the proper steps needed to prevent the issue from arising again before formal enforcement action is taken.
These steps are a vital part of the restructuring of Community Engagement as its own City department. Springdale is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, and these changes will help residents and City staff work together more effectively to keep Springdale beautiful.
*At the March 20 City Council Committee Meeting, this was expanded to also include backyards that can be seen from a public right-of-way.