Sioux Falls, SD
The weather may be nice, but drive around Sioux Falls and you'll see some neighborhoods that aren't so nice. The City of Sioux Falls takes close to 5,000 complaints a year about unsightly property or overgrown lawns and weeds or abandoned vehicles.
The City says it aggressively goes after those who don't comply with City codes.
No matter how hard you try, you can't hide from this guy.
Brad Hartman is one of the City's code enforcement officers. On this ride along, he first responds to a complaint of tall weeds.
"What we'll do is look at them and kind of go from there and see what we need to do," Hartman said.
It's his job to go out and inspect a piece of property someone has complained about.
"So right here, we got this vacant lot that was called in, that's obviously over eight inches tall and a lot of weeds," Hartman said.
Hartman will leave a courtesy letter with the property owner stating that the lot needs to be mowed within seven days. If not, he or she could be fined $100 and charged for the cost to have it mowed by the City.
"Earlier I went by, you could see evidence that the sprinklers were running," Hartman said.
In Sioux Falls, you can only water your lawn on certain days. If your house ends in an odd number, you can only water on odd numbered days. Hartman leaves another courtesy letter at the door to let the residents know they are out of compliance with City code.
"It's fairly common this time of year, these notices get people back into the sync of the odd-even times," Hartman said.
The next stop is a complaint about someone who might be fixing and selling cars from their home.
Out front, Hartman sees two unlicensed vehicles parked in the street.
"So what I'm going to do is leave a notice to remove the vehicles from the street that are unlicensed and cease any type of sale operations that might be going on at the residence," Hartman said.
These might seem like minor violations, but someone called in a complaint, so it's Hartman's job to take care of it.
"It's a big city and a few of us, so we try to do the best we can with the man power that we have," Hartman said.
Of the nearly 5,000 complaints Hartman says 85 percent to 90 percent of them are taken care of immediately by the property owner.