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Getting Granite Shoals up to code, property by property

Granite Shoals Code Enforcement Officer Preston Williams

Granite Shoals Code Enforcement Officer Preston Williams points to one of the problem properties with which he’s dealt. Junk vehicles, dilapidated structures, mangled fences, and general piles of trash are consistent problems in certain parts of the city. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

Granite Shoals Code Enforcement officers are in the midst of a systematic inspection of the city’s central portion to address property code violations that have gone unattended for decades. 

Code violations are serious. In November 2021, Granite Shoals spent $40,000 cleaning several dilapidated properties and then placed liens on them to recoup the loss. In January 2022, the city made another enforcement push, identifying 664 junk vehicles, 69 dilapidated structures, and 79 homes without a properly displayed address. The city was actively identifying and tearing down abandoned buildings in 2014 through its Having Pride in Your Neighborhood Program. 

Preston Williams, one of two Granite Shoals property code officers, recently spoke with about the job’s challenges and enforcement process.

Many parts of the city have been untouched by enforcement efforts for decades, leading to multi-generational buildup of junk in some cases.

“For years, we would go out but not follow up on a violation,” Williams explained. “For 47, probably 50, 55 years in the area we’re working on now, nobody did anything.”

The Granite Shoals Police Department announced in March it would be taking a systematic approach to code enforcement rather than rely on the complaint-driven model previously used. Williams and code enforcement partner Kirk Jowers are currently working their way through the center of town, inspecting each home they pass in the area of East Bluebriar Drive, Phillips Ranch Road, and East Newcastle Drive.

Granite Shoals property code enforcement map
The green area on this map of Granite Shoals shows the current focus of the city’s two code enforcement officers, who are systematically working their way through the area, making sure to evenly address property code violations rather than wait for complaints or targeting specific homes. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

“Our main goal as code enforcement officers is to uphold the ordinances fairly and equally for everyone,” Williams said. “Our focus is on health, safety, and well-being.”

The city’s code of ordinances include an array of rules and regulations for properly maintaining properties on 90 miles of streets across Granite Shoals.

Junk vehicles, standard trash and debris, open storage, and inadequately displayed address numbers are just some of the issues Williams deals with on a daily basis.

Procedurally, code enforcement looks like this:

  • Officers identify a violation through their own inspection or from a complaint about a potential issue.
  • If a violation is found, officers send a letter to the address of the violation. The letter is a legal document that informs the property owner of their violation and lets them know they have 10 days to remedy the issue or face up to $2,000 in fines per violation.
  • If the violation is fixed, the property owner must call code enforcement and inform them of the remedy. If the violation is not addressed within 10 days and contact isn’t made, the violation is passed on to the court system and it is out of the code enforcement officers’ hands.

Williams recommends making contact with code enforcement regarding any violation and demonstrating some sort of attempt at fixing the situation rather than ignoring it. Officers have the discretion to adjust timeframes on a case-by-case basis.

Contact code enforcement with complaints, questions, or concerns at 830-598-1354. You can also review the city’s code of ordinances online.

3 thoughts on “Getting Granite Shoals up to code, property by property

  1. If Bill 2127 passes, which highly likely because Abbott just has to sign and has been a major supporter of it. The ordinances won’t mean a thing come September 1st.

  2. That’s. Not what they’re doing.
    What’s happening in granite shoals is treading on first amendment rights.
    They are threatening folks with big fines because they have firewood stacked between two trees.
    Because your lawn mower can be seen from the street.
    Because your trash cans can be seen when it’s not your pick up day.
    They have an ordinance called objectionable Matter. And outside furniture as well.
    Apparently, according to the city, nothing can be outside on your porch or in your carport or yard unless it was specifically designed and manufactured for that purpose.
    No bycycles or kid trikes or toys.
    No exercise or workout equipment. Ect. Ect.
    They even say bbq pits should be out of site while not in use.
    One was told that the electric wheelchair for their aging parent , he keeps on his porch had to be moved.
    Another was told that his mister fan by his patio had to be out of site.
    Another was told that he couldn’t have two rvs on his property, even tho one was a small burro style that was pulled behind a trike.
    This is just to list a few. There are many more. They want a hoa style community. Not what most of us bought into.
    They don’t deserve kudos for anything.
    The deserve to be ran out of town on a rail.
    Hopefully the new mayor and counsel will address these issues and rein this nazi style so called code enforcement in.
    We all bought our properties for different reasons. City is trying to say we can’t use it the way or purpose that we purchased it.
    Comman sence ordinances are fine.
    And required with folks living in close proximity to each other.
    But the knuckleheads on our past counsel and planning and zoning committee don’t seam to have common sense.
    An article pointing out the cities overreach would be more welcoming.
    Not Preston standing in front of something like that.
    That’s not our biggest problem.
    Trying to live here with these types of ordinances. Is.

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