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COUNTYWIDE CODE ENFORCEMENT COORDINATION
Unincorporated Area Services Unit

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE INTEGRATED CODE ENFORCEMENT INITIATIVE

As part of an overall effort to promote greater coordination of the various code enforcement efforts throughout the County, the Office of Unincorporated Area Services and Special Projects unit provides leadership in the coordination and implementation of numerous initiatives for code enhancement efforts among County departments.

In 2004, the Board of Supervisors of the County of Los Angeles approved funding for the establishment of a Code Enforcement Unit within the Office of County Counsel and the reestablishment of a Code Enforcement Section in the District Attorney’s Office to assist code enforcement officers in prosecuting civil and criminal code enforcement cases. In addition, several efforts have been implemented by the County to enhance the code enforcement system:

County Counsel Code Enforcement Unit (CCCEU) – This unit handles civil enforcement actions against code violators. The CCCEU works with property owners and area residents to assist violators in bringing properties into compliance. If the CCCEU is not able to resolve violations through voluntary compliance, civil action is pursued with administrative fines and non-compliance fees. Unresolved cases are also referred to the District Attorney’s Code Enforcement Section for further investigation, hearing, and criminal prosecution, if necessary.

District Attorney’s (DA) Code Enforcement Section – This Section handles complex and sensitive code violations and assists County department staff on routine investigations. The DA Code Enforcement Section’s approach to code enforcement is to obtain voluntary compliance from violators through office conferences, where possible, and to prosecute criminally when compliance is not forthcoming. The DA’s office provides investigative support and peace officer backup to code enforcement officers, as well as education in the effective use of the criminal justice system to obtain compliance.

Interdepartmental Code Enforcement Cross-Training Program – The Chief Executive Office in collaboration with code enforcement departments, the DA and the Office of County Counsel implemented a cross-training program to train code enforcement officers from various County departments on code enforcement responsibilities, policies, and procedures for making cross-referrals to other departments.

Amendment of the County Code – The County Code was amended in 2005 to establish administrative fines and non-compliance fees as an additional means of enhancing the County’s ability to obtain code enforcement compliance through civil proceedings.

Residential Facilities - The County’s effort in code enforcement enhancement services also includes the monitoring and inspection of licensed and unlicensed residential facilities that provide services to elder and dependent adults. The County’s effort in this regard is to ensure that clients of these residential facilities are not abused or neglected.

OUAS&SP has provided leadership in this effort which has lead to the creation of Residential Placement Protocols and the development of an accompanying Memorandum of Understanding among various social service and code enforcement County departments. A task force comprised of the Chief Executive Office, Community and Senior Services, County Counsel, District Attorney, Fire, Health Services, Mental Health, Probation, Public Works, Regional Planning, Sheriff and Treasurer and Tax Collector, participates in joint investigations of unlicensed and licensed facilities to respond to allegations of unlawful activities, exploitation, abuse, and neglect.