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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on March 20th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 2 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 2

City keeps people informed

BY COLIN PATRICK HODGES

In an effort to spread awareness to the general public about the Santa Maria municipal code, City Code Compliance staffers hit the streets on March 14 as part of their “Walk and Talk” campaign. Every month the officers choose an area of Santa Maria to canvas with flyers. For March, the officers focused their attention on the northwest side, going door to door and sharing information about the city’s ordinances.

Like most other cities, Santa Maria enforces a number of ordinances meant to keep the community safe and beautiful. If a resident is found to be in violation of these ordinances, he or she will be issued a citation. In 2012 alone, the compliance officers issued more than $38,000 worth of administrative citation fines.

According to Senior Code Compliance Officer Esequiel Moreno, many of these citations are issued because the residents aren’t cognizant of the city’s municipal code.

“That’s what the ‘Walk and Talk’ campaign is all about. We want to educate and inform the public about these ordinances, because in most cases, these violations can easily be avoided,” he said. “During our campaign each month, it’s important for people to know that we’re not going to issue them tickets. If we see a violation, we’re going to inform you: Hey, this is what not to do.”

The City Code Compliance staff first began the “Walk and Talk” campaign in February, and Moreno believes it’s already making a big difference.

“The campaign is having a big impact as far as getting the residents educated,” he said. “We’ve received nothing but positive feedback, and residents are thankful to be informed about the various codes.”

According to the city of Santa Maria Code Compliance Activity Report for 2012, the most common violation committed by residents was parking on the lawn; a whopping 546 violations were recorded for this ordinance alone. Noise violations were also common, and there were 27 violations issued for keeping roosters within city limits.

These violations might seem small, but in all cases—the reasoning goes—the ordinances help maintain the city of Santa Maria as a healthy, safe, and enjoyable environment for people to live, work, and play. Anyone looking for more information about the “Walk and Talk” campaign, or the city’s municipal code, should go to ci.santa-maria.ca.us/home.shtml.

Sun Intern Colin Patrick Hodges compiled this week’s Community Corner. Send comments or ideas to the Sun via e-mail.