I received the attached “Notice of Violation” letter from a Baytown Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer. The letter states my mother’s detached garage was inspected and violations of city ordinances, International Property Maintenance Code and/or other codes were found, all of which sounds very scary, serious, and downright threatening.
The letter says my recently deceased mother must contact the city within 10 days to discuss available options of engineering reports, drawings, plan review or demolition and that permits must be obtained before work can be done, including more city inspections after permits are issued. Again this sounds extremely coercive, threatening and expensive.
Next it says failure to respond will result in further enforcement action by the City Planning Department. More increased threats against my deceased mother.
I called the code enforcement officer three times with no answer so I left a message the third time. Next I called the Planning Department and received a call back from a woman who informed me the inspector never went onto our private property but could see from the road that the garage may have a sagging roof and might lean a little. I asked what the actual violations were and she told me there weren’t any, but after the city gets their search warrant to search our private property, violations could be issued. I perceived the serious issue of a search warrant, (usually sought for suspected criminal activity I thought) as yet another threat against my deceased mother.
So I called the planning director because I couldn’t believe this type of fraudulent scam letter could be sent to fine upstanding citizens when no concrete violations exist. I wanted to know why her department was sending out scam code violation letters when no codes were actually violated.
I don’t believe there are any citizens in Baytown who wouldn’t feel intimidated by the planning department after receiving this scam letter filled with scare tactics, coercion and threats. And then after calling the city for more info only to be threatened with a search warrant ... all this over a small detached garage that didn’t meet the drive-by approval of a code enforcement employee.
With Passover/Good Friday coming on the 19th, will I need to mark my door posts to make sure the Planning Department won’t take my first born child?