PART 2 IN A MULTI-PART SERIES
Champlin has conducted three surveys in five-year intervals since 2002. The most recent, conducted in 2012, asked questions about numerous issues, including code enforcement, which was highlighted in the 2007 survey as an area of concern for many residents.
In the years since, the City of Champlin has taken proactive steps towards property maintenance. This included hiring a code enforcement officer. The 2012 survey revealed 83 percent support or strongly support this approach. Those in favor of proactive property maintenance outnumber those opposing it by about 1 to 7.
In 2002, 91 percent of survey participants ranked the condition and appearance of their neighborhood as “excellent” or “good.” That dipped to 83 percent in 2007 but is back up to 91 percent for 2012.
On average, the city earned a 79.4 percent ranking of “about right” in how they handle code enforcement of such issues as yards, animal control, garbage can storage, exterior home maintenance and vehicle storage. Of those issues, 22 percent still say the city isn’t tough enough on messy yards while 18 percent think the city needs to be tougher on animal control.
The city’s lawn sprinkling regulations seem to hit the right note with 82 percent in favor of them. The survey also revealed 77 percent feel the regulations still allow residents to adequately care for their yards.
Other steps the city has taken in code enforcement include a business signage ordinance, rental housing license and vacant home registrations.
Survey respondents were split on the rental housing licenses’ effectiveness with 39 percent rating the program “very effective” or “somewhat effective.” Another 25 percent found the program “not too effective” or “not at all effective” and 37 percent were unsure and didn’t know.
Meanwhile, 53 percent “strongly favor” or “favor” the business signage policy that allows the use of temporary signs or banners with a permit. The rest were split with 29 percent “oppose” or “strongly oppose” the policy and another 29 percent didn’t know or didn’t respond.
Of those in favor of the signage policy 49 percent say it keeps the city looking nice. Of those opposing it, 21 percent say it’s too restrictive.
Questions about the vacant home registration program were not addressed in the survey.
While the survey suggests an increased satisfaction with the city’s code enforcement efforts, of the 11 percent of respondents who felt the city struggled in keeping up with the population growth, police (36 percent), code enforcement (25 percent) and street maintenance (23 percent) were the top services they feel didn’t keep pace.
However, 88 percent felt the quality of city services has kept pace with the population growth.
Contact Mindy Mateuszczyk at [email protected]