Upon reading the discussion occuring at BVBL, the most popular discussion seems to be the thread about ‘Zoning Inspectors Behaving Badly?’ which reminds me of the warning that came from Chief Deane and his prediction that there could be an increase in the number of petty calls the County receives. It strikes me, could this situation concerning zoning officials be a result of a community that has become polarized? Are people using zoning officials as a form of retribution against their neighborhors with whom they have disagreements? And what, to any extent is this a result of our current ‘Immigration Resolution’?

21 thoughts on “PWC Zoning Inspectors Continued…

  1. Censored bybvbl

    Are people using zoning officials as a form of retribution against their neighborhors with whom they have disagreements? And, what, to any extent is this a result of our current ‘Immigration Resolution’?

    Yes. It’s happened prior to the Immigration Resolution as well as in cases not concerning immigrants, but may be increasing if some people think that their neighbors immigration status may come into play.

    Personally, I think anyone placing an anonymous complaint should assume that it may not remain anonymous. If a case goes to court, a zoning inspector would have to show how he/she came to investigate that particular case. I would think that they would start with the complaint. They’re too short staffed to go out willy-nilly looking for issues. They’re responding to complaints filed by someone. If one crackpot calls in all his/her Hispanic neighbors, the county’s data will look as though Hispanics are being targeted. I would expect the county to try to maintain accurate records to avoid those charges. And those records should include how the complaint originated. And if it’s accurate when investigated.

    Unless it’s a case where the house being complained about is filled with violent thugs, I think it’s gutless to complain anonymously. I’m not sure how much info is available through a FOIA request so it’s best to assume that the complainer may be ID’ed.

  2. Red Dawn

    Someone had suggested in a comment on under that thread that if a complaint comes in that the INSPECTOR should not necessarily be given the name. I think that was a GOOD idea and it could solve thi ( prosed )problem as the zoning inspector could also develop a personal vendetta too. I would think that calling in anon on a zoning is far different than calling in a police matter. I would also think that if numerous calls are made about a certain house ( nit picking) that would be a matter for the police as harassment.

  3. Juturna

    I think if you are becoming a victim of complaints minor in nature, the County has an obligation to investigate the one making the complaint. Do I believe that there are those using this as a form of retribution against others for a variety of reasons? Of course I do.

    Recall the cards you could submit to report vehicles where children were not restrained properly? Recall HOV violators??

    This is easier to track so the County should do it. I imagine they would end up with more than one address that would be considered questionable. Besides in the USA I thought the rule of law was that you had the right to face your accusor. And we ALL follow the Rule of Law, don’t we!

  4. Cindy B

    I live in the City and am a member of Neighborhood Watch and we have a list of numbers to call. If I see graffiti on public property I call Public Works. If I see graffiti on private property I call the police non-emergency number. For improper trash curbside, I call refuse and recycling. For trash in the yard, I call code enforcement/zoning. And so on.

    When I see something in my walks, I call it in to the correct number and I leave my name and number. Codes are there to keep everyone safe, and alot of this stuff – graffiti, tall grass, etc. — leads to crime. It’s the broken window theory. I’m not asking anyone to do something I’m not willing to do myself. Mow your lawn, I do. Take your TV to the HHW collection, don’t leave it at the curb, I do. Do what you’re supposed to do, and then do a little extra, for gosh sakes. I pick up trash up and down the streets every day — three bags of it this morning. Pick up trash, get to know your neighbors, take them a plate of cookies and let them know what the standards are. Work together. My neighbor and I take care of one of the vacant houses on our block — with the owner’s permission. Stand up and be a stakeholder in your neighborhood.

  5. anon-100

    Cindy B- I have always been told to call the non-emergency number if it is gang gaffiti, whether it is public or private property. The police want to take pictures of it before it is cleaned up.

  6. junkyard dog

    It is my understanding that certain people throw hissy fits if PCE closes a case or says it is unfounded. The certain people harrass the zoning staff until cases are reopened on the most insignificant ‘violations’ such as having mulch bags in your yard.

    We have enough major problems in this county that we don’t need to waste valuable resources picking at people over minor incidents. Let’s go for the half empty swimming pools attracting insects and vermin, structural damage, 2 foot grass, cars on the grass, and garbage rather than the minor things that might disturb just one person.

    If you report a yard that needs mowing or other MAJOR violations there is a place where you can request to be anonymous. I asume that it might or might not be anonymous.

  7. Censored bybvbl

    It’s not unusual for one of the neighborhood complainers to phone in many complaints about neighbors they don’t like (Hispanic or otherwise) and then ignore their neighbor/good friend next door who is guilty of the very same offense.

    Cindy B, neighborhoods with Neighborhood Watches or other organized groups (HOAs, Civic Associations, etc.) usually have informed residents who would expect those problems (trash, tall grass, cars on the lawn) to be addressed. And you’re right about getting to know the neighbors and assuming responsibility for your environment.

  8. First we had the Revolutionary War…

    then we had the Civil War…

    then came World War II…

    but none of the have prepared us for the worst of them all…the Zoning Inspector wars…

  9. Leaving Point of Woods

    In the City of Manassas while they had for a time an anonymous method of complaining about zoning violations, I was never anonymous about the flophouse next to me when I complained. And as one of the people in that flophouse were caught breaking into my house while I was away – I wouldn’t be surprised if it was retribution. Unfortunately that person fled after being interviewed by the police – he had no identification legal or otherwise to show the police. They stupidly did not haul him into jail as they were waiting for me to return to identify possible stolen property from my house.

    The point is, I don’t know how it works in the county, but at least in the City of Manassas, I think there’s a good chance the people in the house next to me were told I reported them (many times over the past 3 years – and many times that house was cleared out only to fill right back up again each time). The other problem is the City of Manassas treated each time it was reported as a BRAND NEW CASE, rather than one contiguous case, which it should have been. So they were clever, in that they’d vacate for a month or two and then move right back in (usually different tenants – but obviously the landlord was aware of this).

    Anyway, I’ve ceased to care as that is the reason I’m moving out of here. And tonight around 8 PM there was some lovely police activity in the park behind me – a total of 4 police cars and 2 ambulances – apparently a fight broke out down there and several people got severely beaten up from what a neighbor told me. Too much police activity within eyesight of my townhouse, and it’s a shame what’s happened to this neighborhood and I’m really glad I’ve decided to finally leave it. Should have been smart enough to do that 3 years ago when it really started its downhill slide.

  10. Emma

    LPW, how racist you are for not understanding that illegal immigrants should have more rights than you!

    Their right to par-tay, trash the neighborhood and break into your home outweighs any right to a quiet and safe neighborhood you are deluded into thinking you have. The sooner you accept that the police are there for THEIR protection–and not yours–and that zoning laws are just nuisances to be ignore, the easier your assimilation will become.

    Or you can just get the hell out of Point of Guadalajara and away from this insanity.

  11. Emma,

    Zoning abuses by immigrants or nonimmigrants are not ok, but the reaction should not be wholesale ethnic cleansing (just without the bullets) like what happened in PWC.

    You knew that many innocent people would suffer in the process.

  12. elvis

    I had warrants delivered to my ex-hispanic neighbors for trespassing, called zoning on them, called the police on them, called anyone who would listen. had nothing to do with them being hispanic, but had everything to do with them disturbing my quality of life.

  13. Leaving Point of Woods

    Good one Emma! Funny!

  14. Censored bybvbl

    LPW, how racist you are for not understanding that illegal immigrants should have more rights than you!

    Jeezy peezy! The old “more rights than you”, “special priveleges” argument! The house next door to me has been a rental for over twenty years . Half the tenants have been trashy and they’ve all been white. Did they have special privileges? Are these the same special privileges you have if you drive five mph over the speed limit or jaywalk?

  15. es_la_ley

    Juturna, 13. June 2008, 17:32

    I thought the rule of law was that you had the right to face your accusor. And we ALL follow the Rule of Law, don’t we!

    That’s in a court of law where one are accused of a crime. In violations of county code, the ‘accuser’ is the County. The person accused can, and indeed has to, face the County as it’s accuser.

    The person offering a tip would be essentially, I believe, a “witness”.

  16. es_la_ley

    es_la_ley, 14. June 2008, 17:08

    That would be “one is” not “one are”. I are illiterate! Yeesh!

  17. Juturna

    Well if it becomes abusive it moves beyond civil.

    Don’t sweat the grammer if I posted corrections I would blow sitemeter up!!

  18. Rick Bentley

    “rule of law” is perceived by some as “wholesale ethnic cleansing” …

  19. Censored bybvbl

    “Rule of law” is a talking point designed to get the sheeple to the voting booth.

  20. Moon-howler

    “Rule of Law” is convenience. If you like the law, it rules. If you don’t like the law, you ignore it.

    Most of the people I hear using ‘Rule of Law’ the most are some of the biggest hypocrites I have ever met.

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