Information about many code compliance initiatives described in the Department web pages have roots in the City's early decisions to dedicate significant resources to enforce the City codes over a decade ago. The codes compliance process in the late 1990s was a result of goals and priorities established by three community-based Codes Task Forces which convened in 1993, 1995 and 1997.
The work performed by these groups has served as the foundation for today's code enforcement activities as well. These Task Forces consisted of city residents, city staff, neighborhood and business leaders who were concerned with turning around declining neighborhoods, continued maintenance of stable neighborhoods and protection of property values and investments.
At that time, St. Petersburg had approximately 92,000 residential structures and much of the City was already built out. Major issues for the City were the ongoing maintenance of these structures and encouraging redevelopment. Prior to 1993, the existing codes enforcement system did not have the resources to address these issues or provide the incentive needed to achieve compliance and keep up with aging housing stock and commercial structures.
Task Force participants reviewed code provisions and processes, and made recommendations for improvements. Priorities identified in these Task Force meetings are still high on the department's agenda. Priorities included to: improve housing stock and neighborhoods; educate property owners, tenants, and businesses about the importance of complying with the code; strive to resolve boarded and blighting structures; provide assistance programs for hardship cases; and continuously work toward faster resolution of code complaints.