Graffiti cases down 48 percent
By Martial Haprov
From inspecting more than 2,600 rental and foreclosed homes to cutting graffiti cases in half, Apple Valley’s code enforcement officers were busy in 2012, according to a recent department release.
Compared to 2011, reports of graffiti throughout the town dropped 48 percent to 1,492, resulting in 1,367 fewer cases. In 2012, court ordered restitution awarded the town with $62,487.50 from the arrest and conviction of six defendants for tagging.
Through a program that ensures all rental property owners continually maintain their property, enforcement officers inspected 1,894 rental properties, with 1,756 passing during the first inspection.
The town created the Foreclosure Task Force in January 2008, primarily to assist with the large influx of foreclosed homes throughout the town, according to the release. Of 708 foreclosed properties officers inspected in 2012, 680 contained no violations. The 28 properties that had violations were corrected in an expedited process to remove the visual blight, according to officials.
Community Blight programs allowed property owners to voluntarily remove blight and increase property values. Through these programs, the town collected
6,679 abandoned tires and 160 tons of trash and debris from neighborhood clean up events.
Officers investigated 258 cases of abandoned tires with 97 percent of those being proactive.
“This was all done with just seven full-time code enforcement officers in the field,” town spokeswoman Kathie Martin said in an email. “We also have one part-time community enhancement officer who just works weekends overseeing the work release crew.”
Department manager Jim Andersen and three technicians work in the office, Martin said.
Overgrown vegetation cases amounted to 254, accounting for 4 percent of the total cases.
A town code makes it unlawful for an owner or person in custody or control of an abandoned, wrecked, dismantled or inoperative vehicle or its parts to remain on private or public property. Inoperative vehicle cases accounted for 3 percent of the cases officers opened in 2012, according to the department release. Throughout the year, 222 cases were opened, with officers proactively opening 56 percent of those.
The department opened a total of 5,989 cases, with officers proactively opening 72 percent of those.
Martial Haprov may be reached at (760) 951-6236 or at MHaprov@VVDailyPress.com.