Blawnox cracking down on code violations
Blawnox code enforcement will have extra teeth thanks to a new ordinance approved by council.
The Quality of Life law is meant to enable Code Enforcement Officer Mallori McDowell to crack down on time-sensitive issue like high grass, trash and snow removal.
“The biggest problem we had was that the process takes a long time once I notify someone of a violation,” McDowell said. “It could be months before you went to the judge.”
The new guidelines will require much swifter action, she said.
McDowell canvasses the borough looking for and responding to violations.
When she sees trash cans left out for days or weeds growing knee-high, she will issue a courtesy door-hanger to alert the offender.
“If it’s trash or grass, it can get bad quickly. We don’t want our neighbors putting up with that,” McDowell said. “You don’t want garbage sitting out in the heat.”
Indoor furniture on lawns is a big problem too, she said.
Residents have 24 hours to correct a problem or they get a $25 ticket. If the issue goes uncorrected or if the resident gets a second notice within a year and it goes unresolved, the cost climbs to $50. Cost is $100 after the third ticket, and, if the issue persists, McDowell writes a citation that goes to the magistrate.
The borough follows the International Property Maintenance Code which McDowell said is a valuable tool, but lacks urgency for time-sensitive violations, she said.
“The new process will deter people from getting lax,” she said.
Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tawnya at 412-782-2121 x1512, [email protected] or via Twitter .