What Is it?
The Town of Los Gatos adopted an Administrative Citation Policy on March 1, 2004. The Town implemented this policy to promote the efficiency, efficacy, and cost effectiveness of code enforcement. This policy will be most utilized by the Town’s Code Compliance office. An example of municipal code violations includes, but is not limited to, inoperative vehicles, illegal signs, accumulation of rubbish, noise issues, building, grading and zoning violations.
Why Have it?
The Town’s code enforcement efforts have been successful at abating violations of the Los Gatos Municipal Code. However, this success has come at a high price. Under the current system, no fines or code enforcement costs are recovered from persons or businesses that violate the Municipal Code. Occasionally, a criminal citation must be issued to motivate the violator to abate the code violation. Any fines that are imposed are collected by the court and the Town is not reimbursed for any of the costs. Essentially, what this means is that the average Los Gatos resident subsidizes the cost of violators. Under the new system, Town staff will have the tools necessary to carry out the enforcement aspect of their jobs. This will greatly reduce the time and labor intensive undertaking of Town staff when a violator chooses to take little or no action or becomes resistant. Any fines imposed will go directly to the Town to offset the costs of obstructing compliance.
How it Works
For the most part, the enforcement methods employed by the Town will not change. The person responsible for a code violation will be given an opportunity to comply with the law by abating the code violation. However, once the deadline for abatement has passed, Town staff may issue an administrative citation and a fine is imposed. This remedy is designed to address minor violations. As an alternative, Town staff may issue a Correction Notice in place of a citation. A Correction Notice will primarily be used for major violations and all costs to obtain compliance will be charged to the violator.