The Longboat Key Code Enforcement Board has not heard a case since 2012. Does the lack of hearings mean that Longboaters are a code-compliant bunch?
That didn’t seem to be the case when new Code Enforcement Officer Chris Elbon presented statistics from September through November at the board’s Dec. 8 meeting. It was the first Code Enforcement Board meeting since February, when the board met Jeff Karr, who had just been hired for the code enforcement position but left four months later.
Prior to that, board members called meetings in April and June of 2013 to ask why the town wasn’t using the board to hear cases.
Elbon provided board members with a breakdown of statistics from September through November, during which he opened 178 cases and closed 131 cases. Of the cases he opened, 123 of those were for sign violations, most of which involved real estate signs.
“Instead of taking the signs that didn’t have the permits, I turned them into individual cases,” Elbon said.
Elbon also told the board that he worked through a backlog of 40 cases, most of which involved high weeds and grass or trash and debris. In many cases, the property had been brought into compliance long ago, but the case had not been closed.
Elbon said the focus in the past appeared to be on unpermitted work and turtle-related cases.
Red-tagging properties where unpermitted work is taking place is now the responsibility of the building official instead of the code enforcement officer, according to Planning, Zoning and Building Director Alaina Ray.
“The building official has the authority and responsibility to place stop-work orders on properties, and it’s within the purview of the Building Department,” Ray told the board.
Board member Joel Mangel expressed concern about the information the board received in the past.
“I think the fact that we’ve gotten some misleading information is relevant,” he said.
Mangel praised Elbon for the information he provided.
“It bodes well for our future,” he said.
Past PZB Director Robin Meyer had told the board last year that then-Code Enforcement Officer Amanda Nemoytin was bringing properties into compliance before owners had to come before the board.
Elbon plans to put the board to use: He told board members he will likely have cases to present to them at their Feb. 9 meeting.
Code Enforcement cases
Month cases cases
September 44 19
October 103 70
November 31 42
Source: Longboat Key Code Enforcement