House Bill 422 enacted by the 2016 Kentucky General Assembly took effect July 15, 2016. Local jurisdictions must be compliant by January 1, 2017, meaning local code enforcement programs must make changes soon.
PDS staff is working diligently to make sure each of the 15 jurisdictions who depend on PDS for code enforcement are prepared for Day 1 of the new regulations.
Staff and PDS legal counsel Garry Edmondson hosted a meeting on August 31st with local officials to discuss changes that need to be made at the local level to come into compliance with House Bill 422. Attendance was good with most jurisdictions being represented.
“Each jurisdiction needs to update its local code enforcement ordinance,” says Emi Randall, AICP, RLA, Director of Planning and Zoning at PDS. “Any ordinance that references KRS 381.770 and 82.700 needs to be updated, since these sections of the code have been consolidated in Chapter 65.” The noted statutes were the basis for code enforcement programs across the commonwealth before HB422.
Local nuisance ordinances also need to be updated at the local level to reflect the changes in state law. HB422 removed references to KRS 82.700 and consolidated them into Chapter 65. Edmondson has worked over the past several months to craft a model nuisance ordinance for consideration by all Kenton County jurisdictions.
“I took a comprehensive look at all the local nuisance ordinances and consolidated their language into one model,” says Edmondson. “The model also incorporates updates needed to come into compliance with House Bill 422. If we can get most jurisdictions--especially the 11 who are members of the Kenton County Joint Code Enforcement Board—to adopt the model nuisance code, it will go a long way toward improving the efficiency of the code enforcement process.”
House Bill 422 extended the authority of code enforcement boards to enforce all civil offences, including nuisance codes. Cities and counties will no longer need a separate nuisance board. Code enforcement boards may handle all civil violations, reducing administrative costs associated with multiple boards.
The bill also extended lien priority provisions to all code enforcement violations. This includes civil and zoning code violations, not just nuisance code violations.
In order to obtain and maintain this lien priority, local governments must implement a system for notifications to lienholders and allow lienholders time to remediate or abate violations. PDS staff is creating a lienholder notification system, utilizing its TRAKiT code enforcement software to meet this requirement for joint code enforcement board jurisdictions.
With this added responsibility of administering a lienholder registry, several Kenton County cities are considering disbanding their individual code enforcement boards and joining the Kenton County Joint Code Enforcement Board.
The Lakeside Park City Council discussed the issue during its September 12th meeting.
“It just makes sense,” says Lakeside Park Mayor David Jansing. “This new legislation increases the time our city staff would have to spend to administer our code enforcement board. By joining the Kenton County Joint Code Enforcement Board, we can reduce our costs and still meet the needs of our community to effectively address code violations.”