Brookfield City Council adopted the 2015 International Property Maintenance Codes, IPMC, in September of last year, but will be enforcing them soon.
Brookfield City Manager Dana Tarpening believes the codes are important for making sure property maintenance is kept up with.
The 2015 IPMC is the most recent set of codes for property maintenance created by the International Code Council. These codes are generally made available to construction companies and property managers, but are also made available to city governments, like Brookfield.
In a unanimous vote Brookfield City Council passed Ordinance No. 17-20 this past September, which adopted the IPMC. Although the codes had been adopted they could not be enforced until Brookfield had appointed a board of appeals. City council appointed the first Brookfield Board of Appeals during their April meeting. Brookfield Code Enforcement Officer Jamie Stallo will oversee the work adopted in the IPMC along with the board of appeals.
According to Stallo, the new codes will make sure Brookfield looks nice.
“These codes are going to make houses look more presentable and keep property owners responsible,” Stallo said.
Section 304 of the IPMC covers exterior structures, which includes paint or a protective treatment, foundation and structural support. Stallo’s job is to drive around Brookfield making note of houses which have unsafe conditions, insufficient foundations and peeling or chipping paint.
Brookfield averages seven home demolitions a year. These houses are deemed unfit to live in. They are usually abandoned and have not received any property maintenance in years.
According to Stallo, the new codes will offset the amount of demolitions per year.
“This is something that will keep some houses from getting to the point where they have to be torn down,” Stallo said. “This will make the community better and safer.”
Stallo will send warnings to property owners with maintenance which needs to be addressed. The property owner then has 20 days after receiving the warning to appeal the decision with the Brookfield Board of Appeals. The board of appeals will decide if the warning was warranted.
Until now the city has been unable to do anything about exterior structures. The IPMC has many more sections which cover interiors of homes, pest elimination and garbage on property. Stallo will not be enforcing these yet. He is focussed on addressing exteriors first. He plans to implement more of the codes in the future.