In the months after Hurricane Harvey, Missouri City suspended enforcement of trash screening and fence and debris violations to assure homeowners in all communities had an opportunity to focus on rebuilding and recovering from the storm.
The deferment will continue through the end of November. Then, starting on Friday, Dec. 1, code enforcement officers will resume issuing warnings and citations for trash screening offenses. On Feb. 1, staff will resume enforcing fence and debris regulations.
“We implemented the grace period to assist our citizens during an unprecedented public emergency,” said City Manager Anthony J. Snipes. “And, as part of our commitment to superior customer service, especially following a crisis such as Harvey, staff wanted to provide residents adequate notification of the December first plan of action.”
Snipes said code initiatives are integral in keeping the city landscape clean and green and a collaborative effort by citizens and staff in that regard is reflective of the city’s designation as a Platinum Scenic City. The distinction reflects the area’s utilization of strict ordinances and regulations, resulting in increased economic development and property values. Missouri City is the only municipality in the region to hold a Platinum-level Scenic City designation.
To assure strategic enforcement of codes and consistency overall, Snipes convened a Nuisance Abatement Committee in August, 2016 to develop the philosophy, processes, communications and means to measure the outcomes and reporting out on code enforcement initiatives.
“The task force is making strides and includes employees in my office, code enforcement, police, fire and rescue services, development services, legal and communications,” he said. “Based on recommendations the committee made to City Council last year, members unanimously approved an ordinance that establishes graduated minimum penalties for certain violations, including solid waste and recycling receptacle screening.”
Council approved fines for violation of the Solid Waste Receptacle Placement ordinance which include $50 for a first conviction, $250 for the second conviction, and $500 for three or more convictions.
“There are a high number of trash screening violations citywide and the December sweep will serve as a reminder to homeowners that any device used for trash collection or storage must be screened from public view,” said Code Enforcement Supervisor Cynthia Rex. “Code of Ordinance also prohibits trash and trash containers being placed at the curb prior to 6 p.m. the evening before scheduled collection and after midnight of the scheduled collection day.”