• Posted On: September 05, 2014

Every community has its own unique challenges. For Boardman, Ohio, it’s illegal signage.

In an effort to maximize advertising potential, too many local businesses are disregarding zoning rules and placing signage in areas where they don’t belong. The issue has sparked safety concerns because of signs posted near busy right of ways. Zoning violations such as this not only present an eyesore in the community, it’s a safety hazard that property zoning officers are trying to curb.

Zoning Violations: A Never Ending Story
One officer said zoning violation work is a part of the job that is never completely finished. Once one sign is taken down, another goes up. Even the police department has worked hard to crack down on the illegal signage. To see their hard work get them essentially nowhere is “disappointing,” said one officer.

A former zoning department official said the community could be doing a better job of cracking down on the violators and that for the health of the community, this needs to happen sooner than later.

Workflow Issues are Common
Boardman’s zoning laws require that no business place signage on utility poles or park ad-painted cars near the roadway; two zoning violations that routinely happen. The city responds to each and every complaint and documents violations. Exactly how they respond could be the problem. If Boardman is like many other municipalities in the U.S., they are using reporting processes that are largely analog.

The problem with using largely paper processes as opposed to going digital is that there are multiple hands involved, which presents too many opportunities for a disrupted workflow. Government “red tape” is often no more than a workflow process that gets held up by the antiquated methods used.

Fight Public Ignorance With the Right Tools
Zoning violations are going to occur on a daily basis. Most residents aren’t aware of the various laws on the books that help maintain a safe and blight-free community. However, with the help of the community and software for zoning officers and citizens alike, the issues can be handled much more efficiently.

With the right technology, management can better allocate their human resources in the field. Zoning officers can spend more time out in the communities, addressing zoning issues and using the latest zoning technology to report back to the office and back to the citizens who report various zoning issues.

Embracing Mobile Technology to Fight Blight
In this day and age of technological mobility, no code enforcement officer or zoning official should be left with only a pencil and notepad to draw up their reports. They should have devices that offer them case histories, the ability to open new cases and send reports back to whomever needs to see them.

At Comcate we recognize the red tape that too many communities are saddled with. We know government can run more efficiently, which is why we’ve come up with solutions that reduce paperwork, increase accountability and improve the workflow of any department in a municipality. If you’re still using antiquated processes in your workflow, contact us today and find out how our solutions will affect your efficiencies.


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