At the close of Tuesday’s East Hampton Town Board work session, Patrick Gunn, an assistant town attorney who is in charge of East Hampton Town code enforcement, spoke even though he was not on the agenda.
“We’re doing some work right now to make sure the public is clear on the correct protocol on a complaint process,” said Mr. Gunn. “We’re working on how to define certain activities in the town, and how code enforcement would react to it.”
Public education is an important objective. Mr. Gunn plans to enhance public awareness of the code by “developing informational fliers to the public on hot-button issues as they arrive, presenting information online, and, most importantly, officers in the field,” he said.
This week’s topic, for example, is residential parking. If a house is owner-occupied there are no restrictions on the number of registered vehicles that can park there. A rental, however, can have no more than four vehicles parked on the property. There are some restrictions regarding commercial vehicles.
Explaining the new campaign, Mr. Gunn said it was “a perception thing, putting up the fliers. ‘You can’t do what you want.’ This takes the stress off code enforcement.”
Supervisor Bill Wilkinson asked Mr. Gunn how many of the calls that Code Enforcement receives are unfounded, meaning that an officer did not observe a violation. The answer: about 49 percent. “Our officers have to personally observe it,” said Mr. Gunn in explanation. Mr. Wilkinson was concerned at the high percentage. “As code enforcement is short-staffed, we must convey some responsibility on the complainants as well,” he said.