FRONT ROYAL — The town is hoping that the Warren County Board of Building Codes Appeals will hear any appeals regarding the recently passed property maintenance code.
The town last year adopted the maintenance code, which allows a building code official to enforce any violations that are visible from the outside of buildings.
Town Planning Director Jeremy Camp said violations could include bad paint jobs, holes in structures, broken windows and more.
He said the town has not yet begun enforcing the maintenance code because a building code official must be appointed and board of appeals must be established. The town hopes to implement the program by July.
Camp said the town will likely outsource the code official position and start the program “pretty small” and that “we’re not trying to go full speed into this.” He said the initial focus of the program will be addressing derelict buildings and responding to complaints.
He said the town would like to use the county’s appeals board because “it’s more efficient for the community to have one board.”
“You already have an experienced body that is qualified to handle the duties,” Camp said.
He added that the town is willing to cover any expenses that may be incurred.
County Building Official David Beahm noted that there may be potential costs because the inspections department provides the appeals board a secretary whose responsibilities would likely increase if the town joins.
He added there would probably not be many appeals by those who violate the town’s maintenance code.
“Typically the individual that you’re issuing that to isn’t going to appeal it, they are just going to ignore it. And then the process needs to go through the court system,” Beahm said.
Supervisors Chairman Dan Murray said he thinks the town should have its own board of appeals and “it’s just the cost of doing business.”
“Otherwise, all of the dirt, egg throwing comes to the county. All complaints come to the county. It will be a county vehicle,” Murray said.
Supervisor Tony Carter disagreed, noting the town will carry out its own inspections.
Murray said he would like the supervisors to be provided with a more detailed outline of what the appeals board’s new responsibilities would be and how much money it would cost the county because “whether it’s a dollar or nickel or a million, it’s a cost.”
Supervisor Linda Glavis noted that Board of Appeals members may be against the idea because are volunteers and they should be consulted before being given any more work.