Juneau pleased with code enforcement

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) The City and Borough of Juneau hired a code enforcement officer earlier this year and are pleased with the work that's been done.

    Community Development Director Rob Steedle said the employee has been kept very busy.

    "When the position was unfunded the planners and the building officials were doing the job. It is great to have someone on the ground to investigate these things.  It is great to have one dedicated resource in charge of this."

    Steedle said the majority of the investigations are related to junk in neighboring yards.

    "We deal with each of them on a case by case basis.  The most significant work he does is building code violations because that is where the health and safety of people enter the equation.  They are the highest priority.  Happily they are the minority of the cases."

    Steedle said the City tries to encourage compliance rather than force compliance.

    "Often the cases are about neighbors just not being agreeable with one another.  Maybe you should lean over the fence and talk to your neighbor about what is bugging you."

    The CBJ was forced to close the historic Bergmann Hotel in March due to serious fire code violations.  They are working with the owner on the issues that plague the building which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

    "The lives of the residents there were in jeopardy.  The owner has a list of violations that need to be corrected before the building will be deemed safe for human occupancy.  To date not much work has been done.  We are hoping the owner makes more progress."

    Steedle said the city has options they can take on the issue but he was not at liberty to reveal those at this time.


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