Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Tuesday's BOS meeting

ER Residents speak out on code enforcement 4/9/08
The controversy stemmed from a number of residents who say that county code enforcers are collaborating with law enforcement and using building code inspections to obtain access to private property and go after marijuana growers.

Among the other issues raised by residents was a lack of oversight for the inspection procedures, concerns about safety and private property rights, as well as difficulties and costs associated with acquiring permits and complexities in the county’s planning process.

The matter was presented to the board by the Civil Liberties Monitoring Project, and followed a Garberville meeting Friday with county officials and law enforcement that drew in hundreds of residents.

NCJ Revolutions Won and Lost This Week's Dandy
TS Code Enforcement Unit inspections temporarily suspended 4/9/08
Ed Smith, who described himself as a retired Foreign Service officer and lawyer by training, said at least five properties in the area were “invaded” by a Code Enforcement Unit officer, which included visits from armed deputies. The only warrant they had, Smith said, was for the property above him.

TS SoHum Code Enforcement issues come to supes 4/7/08
TS County officials to face heat on code actions 4/3/08
TS Garberville meeting Friday on rural code enforcement 4/1/08
Eric's posts with pics,
Pics from Friday's meeting,
Some shots of Friday's public meeting

You'll need to read this to understand alot of the testimony
Codes, Damned Codes - A clash of values could spell the end for a 'hippy-rigged' community in Trinidad
Civil Liberties Monitoring Project (Thanks to Eric for the CLMP link)


  1. Tough testimony.

    But sohummers have to take some responsibility for the fact that no one feels safe coming down there without armed guards. Can't just have lawless area down there. Not sure what moratorium accomplishes.

  2. I've been wondering how you reconcile the peaceful owner-builder types and things like the Vilica mess and other dope grows. They had the one some years back with a big house, a playset in the yard, all made to look like a happy family lived there.

    You have to be able to go after things like Vilica, or you have complete lawlessness ruling the land - and that also puts people in fear for their lives, and brings in a criminal element to their communities - AND you can't have guns pointed at innocent Moms with babies on their hips, nor can you, or should you, criminalize a guy for building a smokehouse, or a home.

    This has been going on forever, Especially in the 70s when the back to the land thing was strong. Lots of college age people built their own places.

    I remember one guy specifically who always built way over code had a visit from the building inspector. When asked if he would be prosecuted, the inspector said the DA had murder cases to prosecute and this would not be a priority.

    Has that changed? Remember the DA recently was preparing to set up his own Asset Forfeiture Assault Team, armed with semiautomatic weapons. Asset Forfeiture means only one thing, drug raids.

    Be interesting to see what happens. the BOS has to be Solomon on this one.

  3. Solomon will be hard to pull off from that Barnie Fife group.

  4. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. The real problem lays with the amount of raw bullshit hoops a person has to jump through to build a home. Let's be honest, nobody is going to want to build a home so crappy that it falls down on their family in a 2.0 'quake. Building codes, land codes, codes codes codes, all to keep giving money to someone else.

  5. Yeah, but you can't blame all the dead cars, diesel spills (due to illegal and above-board use), bad septic systems near water systems, etc. on badly written codes. It looks like that was the intent of code enforcement, but the lack of structural oversight led to the thing taking a life of its own.

    There are some very legit concerns, and not all of them involve marijuana and guns. We do have to find a way to address them as a community.

  6. 10:55, *no one* feels safe coming to SoHum?? Tax assessor showed up here unannounced and unaccompanied and got invited in for tea and introduced around this neighborhood--which was one of those that the code enforcement stormed though with the DTF.

    It would be just as useful for folks to question the negative stereotypes about this being a totally lawless area.

    Rose raises a good question, and it's up to peaceful owner builders to say there is such a thing as too much and start addressing the diesel doping issue, especially if they demand the right to be free of outrageous police conduct. The CEU was dead wrong in their use of pretext warrants and their alliance with the DTF, and disgraceful in their conduct. But when you read the warrants, their target was ultimately diesel scenes. Too bad they couldn't stay focused and stay within proper law enforcement procedures.

    The core issue in diesel is about pollution and the risk of serious damage from spills. The fears of violence are way over the top unrealistic and grossly unfair. Organized crime in the national forests, maybe, but it's just not that way in the neighborhoods that have been under siege by CEU and DTF.

  7. Good points, and a welcome perspective, 8:50.

  8. Rose,

    I just wanted to chime in an agreement with 8:50. There is little violence in the small neighborhoods of So Hum (I'm not claiming no violence. There is some but nothing like I've seen blasted about in the blogosphere.)

    The county assessor, a rather nice artsy fellow, wanders around in our neighborhood by himself and has no trouble at all.

  9. Some pretty amazing stuff. A shitpot load of dope growers go to the BOP and complain that the code enforcement is unfair (it's fair in McKinleyville & Arcata Bottoms?) because they stumble on to growing marijuana!! Boo Hoo. I feel so sorry for them.

    The real tragedy is that the BOP has been so corrupted by the marijuana underground that they cave in on demand. Shame on the BOP.

    I'm confused??? Doses this mean that code enforcement is out the window for 45 days EVERYWHERE or just SoHum.

  10. Some pretty amazing stuff. A shitpot load of dope growers go to the BOP and complain that the code enforcement is unfair (it's fair in McKinleyville & Arcata Bottoms?) because they stumble on to growing marijuana!! Boo Hoo. I feel so sorry for them.

    Actually, no marijuana was found at Yee Haw nor Elk Ridge (though the officers did get "lost" and wandered all the neighboring parcels within 2.5 miles). Nor at Marcia Murphy's home on Woodland Ranch.

  11. Countywide. There are things to be worked out. There is a difference between civil code violations and criminal investigations. And you don't want people fearing the assessor when he comes around. They routinely update their records for everyone.

    But people are making a mistake when they think that because their structure is taxed that it is somehow legitimized and sanctioned by the County. It isn't.

    And historically the assessors office and building/planning have not communicated/collaborated as far as I know. Those who are asking that they become connected may not like the results. IMO.


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