October 21, 2014

Elyria
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Lorain proposal increases inspectors’ authority

LORAIN — The city’s fight against blight may get more ammunition.

A proposed ordinance scheduled to go before the City Council on Monday would allow building and housing inspectors to become special auxiliary police officers. The approximately 60-officer auxiliary police force would be allowed to issue minor misdemeanor citations for housing-code or quality-of-life violations, such as cars parked on lawns or littering.

Lorain has five building inspectors and three housing inspectors. Building inspectors, who primarily do commercial inspections as well as point-of-sale inspections, are certified by the state.

Building inspectors primarily conduct interior inspections and are state certified. Housing inspectors primarily do exterior inspections and have less certification.

Lorain’s foreclosure rate was one in 812 homes in June, according to Realty Trac, a real estate website. That’s down from recent months, but the city still is feeling the effect of the national foreclosure crisis, which began in 2007, exacerbating blight.

Mayor Chase Ritenauer, who made the proposal, has made blight reduction a high priority since taking office in 2012. About 200 vacant homes have been demolished, thousands of housing code citations have been issued and point-of-sale inspections began in January to discourage property flipping and speculators.

Ritenauer said Thursday that the proposal would make inspectors more proactive and is similar to powers Parma inspectors have. He said it would eliminate them having to wait for police to issue citations.

“It expands the number of people who can be actively in our neighborhoods enforcing property maintenance codes,” Ritenauer said. “It speeds up the process. Hopefully, it allows for quicker resolution.”

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 oregoodenow@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter at @egoodenowct.


  • Sis Delish

    This sound like a wonderful Job… how much does it Pay?

  • therest_ofthestory

    Big brother…..smh

  • GreatRedeemer

    How is that building with the hairnet on it to catch cruumbling bricks coming.

    • stillsleepyeyes

      it’s still standing with no violations against it……………….just like the cities service garage that is literally falling down around the workers ………..

      • Sis Delish

        Let the RoverFest attendees have at it.

    • oldruss

      The Broadway Building, owned, I believe, by Tony Giardini’s number one client, Alan Spitzer and Great Lakes Ltd.
      If it was anyone else, the building inspectors would have had the owner into court and ordered demolition of that building years ago.

  • givemeabreak1234

    You are kidding me right? Really have we become a Nazi invaded state? What is next we have to show papers for walking down the street. This city is a joke! I can’t believe we spend our tax dollars for this cr@p.

  • cali corn ya

    If people didn’t have to drive so far back and forth to work every day because of lack of jobs the city leaders failed to bring in. The money people spend in gas can go to paint and repair jobs on thier homes.unless your a lucky one and have in family member in cityhall and have a city job like an inspector or something.