More than 100 Central Lubbock residents went home Thursday to find bright orange code violation notices. Residents receive notices for having junked vehicles, nuisance weeds, or substandard housing. Some homeowners question the city's effort to improve the appearance of their neighborhoods.
On Wednesday morning, Stewart Stubbs neighborhood citizens woke up to see code enforcement vehicles, orange vests and dozens of violation notices.
Homeowner, Oliver McRae said, "What I saw today was very militant, very aggressive as they were coming through like an army and everybody, nobody was exempt. It seems a bit heavy handed."
McRae had six full trees in his front yard. He trimmed them down after he was given a citation for the trees being too unkempt. He was also cited for having a junked vehicle.
Across the street, homeowner Horace Davidson must now paint his mailbox and a support rod after he was cited for that. Davidson said, "I told them it looks like to me if that's all they have to do they ought to go home and go to bed!"
McRae said forcing you to upgrade will allow the Appraisal District to increase your property value, therefore increasing your property tax. Code Administration Manager, Stuart Walker says that is not the case. "What we're trying to do is prevent deterioration before it becomes irreversible."
In the Stewart neighborhood, the number one citation has been for housing violations, such as a home that needs a new roof. The number one concern citizens have brought to the attention of NewsChannel 11 is who pays for it if the homeowner can't afford it.
City programs can help with funding, but McRae said even that might not be enough. "Yes, there are standards," said McRae, "But coming from one neighborhood and imposing the standard of that neighborhood on this one, which is if a lower socioeconomic class, may be a bit too severe."
Code enforcement teams visit neighborhoods based on requests from the community. If you'd like them to visit your area call (806) 775-2126 or (806) 775-2118.
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