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    Council Bluffs Nuisance Inspections

    I recently recieved a notice of health violations in my mail from the City of Council Bluffs. It cited my spare boat trailer tire leaning against the trailer, fire wood stacked next to the house, and my roommates boat with expired DNR tags(trailer is up to date, but boat doesn't run, and it is a project boat he intends to sell)in my driveway. To collect all of this information it was quite obvious that an inspector of some sort entered the property without permission. I called the office and the inspector told me that the city attorney has given him the authority to enter any property that has a single discrepancy. I asked him what constituted a discrepancy and he went on to tell me anything from a piece of paper blowing into your yard to a piece of wood or spare tire sitting in the driveway. These offenses are punishable by a fine from $750-$1000. I also will add that my roommates and I keep our yard mowed, trimmed, and don't store junk which is more than some of my neighbors can say. The inspector can't enter buildings, but if he can see over a fence he is allowed to open a gate and rummage around your back yard. I complied with the discrepancies, and it was not a big deal...I was just concerned about people having the right to come on my property without permission. Has anybody heard of this? Any thoughts on this?



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    Re: Council Bluffs Nuisance Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by fnclone View Post
    I recently recieved a notice of health violations in my mail from the City of Council Bluffs. It cited my spare boat trailer tire leaning against the trailer, fire wood stacked next to the house, and my roommates boat with expired DNR tags(trailer is up to date, but boat doesn't run, and it is a project boat he intends to sell)in my driveway. To collect all of this information it was quite obvious that an inspector of some sort entered the property without permission. I called the office and the inspector told me that the city attorney has given him the authority to enter any property that has a single discrepancy. I asked him what constituted a discrepancy and he went on to tell me anything from a piece of paper blowing into your yard to a piece of wood or spare tire sitting in the driveway. These offenses are punishable by a fine from $750-$1000. I also will add that my roommates and I keep our yard mowed, trimmed, and don't store junk which is more than some of my neighbors can say. The inspector can't enter buildings, but if he can see over a fence he is allowed to open a gate and rummage around your back yard. I complied with the discrepancies, and it was not a big deal...I was just concerned about people having the right to come on my property without permission. Has anybody heard of this? Any thoughts on this?
    This is total crap, they have no right to do that. Call your Lawyer. Problem will be solved. No city employee has any right to search through your property without you being notified.



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    Re: Council Bluffs Nuisance Inspections

    Sounds like some busybody neighbor called you in for some reason.




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    Re: Council Bluffs Nuisance Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by isuaggie View Post
    Sounds like some busybody neighbor called you in for some reason.
    He said my house wasn't reported, and that he noticed the spare tire in my driveway along with the green sticker on my boat...which is actually up to date and registered in Missouri, my roommates boat is expired but you can't see the sticker from the street.



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    Re: Council Bluffs Nuisance Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by CYCRAZY View Post
    This is total crap, they have no right to do that. Call your Lawyer. Problem will be solved. No city employee has any right to search through your property without you being notified.
    He claimed to have been cross examined in court over this very issue and that the city hasn't lost a case. I find it unbelievable and have already written my representatives and senators. I would consult a lawyer, but I don't have the extra $$ or time to do it right now.



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    Re: Council Bluffs Nuisance Inspections

    I'm on a city council of a very small town. We (council members) have the ability to enter private property in the course of our duties - such as investigating nuisance issues. This is granted via the city code. How small is our town? Well, there is a mayor (he's 83 yrs old) and 6 council members. Each of us has a specific duty - such as I'm the entire parks and rec department. Another guy is the streets dept. Etc. So, we don't have inspectors or even really any employees except a part-time city clerk.

    Since landing on this council, I've become much more aware of my surroundings, like the guy that has a junk car behind the house, though Code doesn't allow it ... the junkyard that is piling crap outside the junkyard fence when the Code, nor his permit, allows it. When driving through Iowa towns, it's easy to see whether the town has an active program to keep things orderly/neat, or they tend to let things go.

    My day job is also regulatory in nature. Via State Law, my staff and I have ability to enter private property as needed to fulfill our job duties. We try to ask permission and work cooperatively with the landowner, but it's not always possible. And, when dealing with the public, we do our best to treat everyone the same. If we see something while driving by or it's reported to us, we address it, not matter how inconsequential it may seem. If the law (or your city ordinance in your case) specifically addresses something, we do our best to see it through.

    I hope this someone helps explain why you may have have received a notice for something that may seem like a crazy small thing.


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    Re: Council Bluffs Nuisance Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by fnclone View Post
    He claimed to have been cross examined in court over this very issue and that the city hasn't lost a case. I find it unbelievable and have already written my representatives and senators. I would consult a lawyer, but I don't have the extra $$ or time to do it right now.
    Dont pay the god damn fine then. Dont get hosed by petty beaurcy. CB has no damn right to pull that ****. I would call their bluff.

    And what I bolded is Bull snot.

    This is what is sad about our gov. being petty over nothing. Wierd how we waste money .

    CB has no ground for this ****



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    Re: Council Bluffs Nuisance Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by bugs4cy View Post
    I'm on a city council of a very small town. We (council members) have the ability to enter private property in the course of our duties - such as investigating nuisance issues. This is granted via the city code. How small is our town? Well, there is a mayor (he's 83 yrs old) and 6 council members. Each of us has a specific duty - such as I'm the entire parks and rec department. Another guy is the streets dept. Etc. So, we don't have inspectors or even really any employees except a part-time city clerk.

    Since landing on this council, I've become much more aware of my surroundings, like the guy that has a junk car behind the house, though Code doesn't allow it ... the junkyard that is piling crap outside the junkyard fence when the Code, nor his permit, allows it. When driving through Iowa towns, it's easy to see whether the town has an active program to keep things orderly/neat, or they tend to let things go.

    My day job is also regulatory in nature. Via State Law, my staff and I have ability to enter private property as needed to fulfill our job duties. We try to ask permission and work cooperatively with the landowner, but it's not always possible. And, when dealing with the public, we do our best to treat everyone the same. If we see something while driving by or it's reported to us, we address it, not matter how inconsequential it may seem. If the law (or your city ordinance in your case) specifically addresses something, we do our best to see it through.

    I hope this someone helps explain why you may have have received a notice for something that may seem like a crazy small thing.
    I have no problem with trying to keep the city clean, and it was no big deal for me to throw my tire in my boat and put a tarp over the firewood. If I own a house and the property which it sits on I don't see how somebody can come on my property without atleast knocking on the door. I know that there was no attempt to contact me because the inspector told me so. I also protect my property with firearms, so I could argue that it isn't safe for city workers to enter property without permission or a warrant of some type. I wouldn't harm them obviously, but I can't speak for other people that may have something to hide. Thanks for the input though, good to hear what is going on.



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    Re: Council Bluffs Nuisance Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by bugs4cy View Post
    This is granted via the city code. How small is our town? Well, there is a mayor (he's 83I'm on a city council of a very small town. We (council members) have the ability to enter private property in the course of our duties - such as investigating nuisance issues. yrs old) and 6 council members. Each of us has a specific duty - such as I'm the entire parks and rec department. Another guy is the streets dept. Etc. So, we don't have inspectors or even really any employees except a part-time city clerk.

    landing on this cSinceouncil, I've become much more aware of my surroundings, like the guy that has a junk car behind the house, though Code doesn't allow it ... the junkyard that is piling crap outside the junkyard fence when the Code, nor his permit, allows it. When driving through Iowa towns, it's easy to see whether the town has an active program to keep things orderly/neat, or they tend to let things go.

    My day job is also regulatory in nature. Via State Law, my staff and I have ability to enter private property as needed to fulfill our job duties. We try to ask permission and work cooperatively with the landowner, but it's not always possible. And, when dealing with the public, we do our best to treat everyone the same. If we see something while driving by or it's reported to us, we address it, not matter how inconsequential it may seem. If the law (or your city ordinance in your case) specifically addresses something, we do our best to see it through.

    I hope this someone helps explain why you may have have received a notice for something that may seem like a crazy small thing.

    Yes on your first point, but he isnt bothering anyone. Secondly he has every right to do what he wants on his prorperty as long as it isnt affecting anyone else, from which I read he isnt. Once again the beauracy is taking the better than thou road.



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    Re: Council Bluffs Nuisance Inspections

    I am from CB and currently living here this summer with my parents until i go back to ames in the fall and this whole situation sounds incredibly... stupid (for lack of better words)

    From what you are describing your situation is... i have seen about 500 yards or properties that need to be destroyed because there is no possible way to make them better!

    CB slogan as I always say : Black Squirrels, Fat Girls, and Hundred dollar cars!!!



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    Re: Council Bluffs Nuisance Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by fnclone View Post
    I have no problem with trying to keep the city clean, and it was no big deal for me to throw my tire in my boat and put a tarp over the firewood. If I own a house and the property which it sits on I don't see how somebody can come on my property without atleast knocking on the door. I know that there was no attempt to contact me because the inspector told me so. I also protect my property with firearms, so I could argue that it isn't safe for city workers to enter property without permission or a warrant of some type. I wouldn't harm them obviously, but I can't speak for other people that may have something to hide. Thanks for the input though, good to hear what is going on.

    don't city employees go on everyones property to read meters?



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    Re: Council Bluffs Nuisance Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by baller21 View Post
    don't city employees go on everyones property to read meters?
    No, this is from th CB water works. Electricity is not purchased through the city. Even if they did it would come through my consent, and in no way would be the same situation.


    7.4. Accessibility.
    1. Subject to the consent of the customer, which consent shall not be unreasonably withheld, Water Works employees shall have the right of access to customer’s property at all reasonable hours for any purpose related to the furnishing of service and protection of water quality. The failure of the customer to consent to such access may, at the election of the Water Works, result in the discontinuation of water service to the customer until service can be completed and/or water quality is assured. Employees are prohibited from entering upon the customer’s premises to engage in repair or alteration of customer piping and fixtures.


    Last edited by fnclone; 07-05-2010 at 09:56 PM.

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    Re: Council Bluffs Nuisance Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by baller21 View Post
    don't city employees go on everyones property to read meters?
    Well, if you're going that route, mail carriers and newspaper delivery people also go onto everyone's property.


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    Re: Council Bluffs Nuisance Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by baller21 View Post
    don't city employees go on everyones property to read meters?
    I think most cities are now investing in the wireless meters where the city employee simply drives through the neighborhood and they get the info they need without going on property.


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    Re: Council Bluffs Nuisance Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by fnclone View Post
    I recently recieved a notice of health violations in my mail from the City of Council Bluffs. It cited my spare boat trailer tire leaning against the trailer, fire wood stacked next to the house, and my roommates boat with expired DNR tags(trailer is up to date, but boat doesn't run, and it is a project boat he intends to sell)in my driveway. To collect all of this information it was quite obvious that an inspector of some sort entered the property without permission. I called the office and the inspector told me that the city attorney has given him the authority to enter any property that has a single discrepancy. I asked him what constituted a discrepancy and he went on to tell me anything from a piece of paper blowing into your yard to a piece of wood or spare tire sitting in the driveway. These offenses are punishable by a fine from $750-$1000. I also will add that my roommates and I keep our yard mowed, trimmed, and don't store junk which is more than some of my neighbors can say. The inspector can't enter buildings, but if he can see over a fence he is allowed to open a gate and rummage around your back yard. I complied with the discrepancies, and it was not a big deal...I was just concerned about people having the right to come on my property without permission. Has anybody heard of this? Any thoughts on this?
    I would say this is pretty common. Towns are continually updating and passing property codes that have to be enforced by code officers. I know it seems rude/odd that the code officer did not try to contact someone at the residence prior to inspecting. However, if you look at from there side, they probably do the inspections all day long, people are rarely home, and it is a way to avoid confrontation. I don't believe for a minute that someone didnt call you in.


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