The Fairfield County Planning, Building and Zoning Department continues to work in cooperation with the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Department to make sure residents comply with ordinances pertaining to their property.
Senior officer Marvin Jeter and code and zoning enforcement officer Lashonda Holmes have been, and will continue to be, making note of structures in the county that do not comply with codes. Many of these codes have been in effect since 2008.
The codes apply to dangerous and abandoned buildings, abandoned manufactured homes/mobile homes, abandoned or junk vehicles, the upkeep of lots and other public nuisances and at litter control.
The ordinances involved are Fairfield County Public Nuisance Ordinance No. 541, Uniform Solid Waste Management Ordinance No. 410 and Fairfield County Land Management Ordinance No. 596 in the unincorporated area of the county. Deputy County Administrator Davis Anderson noted that “the ordinances seek to provide for the overall health, safety and welfare of the community.”
He added that code enforcement is aimed at upholding community standards.
Systematic inspections are performed in the unincorporated areas of the County to try and prevent developing violations from worsening.Citizens, community groups and agencies are encouraged to report any suspected violations the code enforcement agency by calling the Fairfield County Code Enforcement Officer at 803-712-6596.
After receiving a complaint, the Code enforcement Officer or a sheriff’s deputy will investigate to determine if a violation is occurring. If a violation is established, a motives will be posted on the owner’s door or will be delivered if the owner is at home.
Notices are mailed by certified letter if they cannot be posted on a door. “In general, Anderson said, the time frame for abatement is 10 days for upkeep of lots and public nuisances, and no more than 30 days for other violations.”
He said exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis.
Noncompliance with ordinances results in a citation that requires the owner to appear in court.
Such an offense carries a fine of no more than $200 unless an ordinance specifies otherwise. Each day of violation of code is recorded as a separate offense.
In an effort to stem any resentment persons may feel about having to adhere to such standards with their property, council chairperson David Ferguson also spoke on the matter.
“We are not doing this to harass people,” Ferguson said. “This is to promote economic growth and raise the status of the county. People like to say if it is their property that they can do what they like with it. But, when you devalue your neighbor’s property or cause health problems for a neighbor, it is not a personal problem but becomes a county problem.”