OKEECHOBEE — Code enforcement sweeps in Okeechobee County continue efforts to encourage residents to clean up their properties and keep them maintained.
At the Nov. 12 meeting of the Okeechobee County Commission, Code Enforcement Supervisor Beth Albert said code enforcement did a sweep of Treasure Island in November 2018. She said 88 violation notices were written in Treasure Island and seven in Brindaban. She said they went back in May 2019, in response to citizen complaints, and opened 40 new cases in Treasure Island and one in Bridaban.
She said they have 60 cases open in Treasure Island and one in Brindaban. Most of the violations have to do with outdoor storage and unlicensed vehicles. Three are unsafe structures.
Some complaints cannot be addressed because the property owner is not in violation of county code, even if the neighbor is not happy with how they keep their property, she said.
“There are times when a property according to me the citizen is not the way I would like it, but it is not necessarily a code violation,” she said. “Some people are just sloppier than others.”
She said driving through the area, she can see the improvements.
A code officer is there every day, sometimes more than once a day, said Albert. “If someone calls and wants to speak to a code officer, we send someone out.”
Last month, code enforcement did a sweep of Pioneer Estates. The week of Dec. 7, they are going to Douglas Park.
Commissioner Bryant Culpepper said a lot of winter visitors have told him they can see the improvements due to the code enforcement sweeps.
“Two years ago this board decided we were going to do a big cleanup for Okeechobee,” said Commissioner Brad Goodbread. “You and your staff have really performed. You can tell the difference driving around.”
Albert thanked the commission for giving code enforcement the staff they need. She said Waste Management has also been helpful. When they see large items on the side of the road, they send WM a photo, she explained. She said due to COVID-19, the sheriff has not been able to use the weekend cleanup crews from the jail.
In other business at their Nov. 12 meeting, the commission two requests for zoning changes. The planning board recommended approval of the zoning changes.
Richard Friderich requested a zoning change from agricultural to residential general for a vacant property on the Rim Canal at 5550 U.S. 441 S.E. The area has a mix of residential and non-residential uses.
Kenneth and Laura Feightner requested a zoning change for a 5-acre property at 3802 S.W. 16th Street, in the old Dixie Park subdivision, from agriculture to residential single family. The Dixie Park subdivision was never built. The commissioners also scheduled a public hearing to approve abandonment of the right of way on that property for Dec. 10 at 9 a.m.