Grand jury says Morro Bay needs new approach to code enforcement

May 5, 2015

morro bay plantThe city of Morro Bay is too lackadaisical in its approach to code enforcement, according to a report released Tuesday by the San Luis Obispo County Grand Jury.

In response to a citizen complaint, the grand jury conducted an investigation into the Morro Bay code enforcement process. The grand jury report faults the city for simply responding to individual complaints, rather than operating an organized system involving a full-time code enforcement officer.

The report states it takes too long for citizen complaints to reach the appropriate staff member, and staffers are often too busy to respond promptly to alleged violations. Likewise, the city’s inter-departmental tracking system only lists the complaints that the Morro Bay code enforcement committee is addressing.

The committee tends to meet every other month, and is comprised of representatives from the police, fire, building and public services departments, as well as the city attorney’s office. Often, members of the public take their complaints directly to council members or the city manager.

“Individuals may, and reportedly do, telephone or e-mail the mayor, any city council member, city manager, city hall or any city department with complaints and comments,” the report states.

The report also states that code enforcement in Morro Bay often appears unfair and inconsistent because it only targets specific violations alleged in complaints.

CalCoastNews has received numerous complaints about Morro Bay code enforcement, though they almost entirely pertained to allegations of selective enforcement. Several residents and businessmen have alleged that city officials repeatedly targeted them while ignoring other alleged violators, particularly those with political connections.

The grand jury recommends that Morro Bay hire a full-time code enforcer, establish a proactive code enforcement process and use a municipal software system to track complaints. Morro Bay Mayor Jamie Irons must respond to the grand jury report.



  1. WhiteSquall says:

    There’s a lady who calls the County and City on anyone who leaves their trash cans out or has a boat sitting for a very short time. I would like to know who the Law Firm was that sued the County Code Enforcement because she built three illegal garage-conversion rentals!

    She’s the lady who probably started the entire mess, I was wondering if anyone knows who the Law Firm was that sued the Code Enforcement so the County can help her remove all the illegal square footage she built. I’ve been looking and want to see the same woman harassing all our neighbors have all that square footage removed!

    Why would the County allow her to build these or do they even know she built them? If somebody knows who it was that sued the County, I would enjoy hiring them to get her to remove all three illegal garage conversions ASAP. Don’t you hate hypocrites, they all love everyone else following the rules except themselves, she’s probably going to tell me how evil I am because her husband runs one of the local churches and “Ministers of God don’t have to obey the Law, just ask her!”

    (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  2. Rich in MB says:

    Ya that’s it….let’s hire yet another city official with benefits, pension, and all the BS to hand out tickets to the residents that pay the salary of these boobs…ha ha ha….are you folks in morro bay crazy? Why yes….yes they are, look who we elect and what we put up with.

    (2) 8 Total Votes - 5 up - 3 down
  3. racket says:

    Perhaps Morro Bay needs a code enforcement officer coupled with an anti-NIMBY ordinance.

    (3) 9 Total Votes - 6 up - 3 down
    • racket says:

      IE, if you’re going to move in, then complain about your neighbors, the imperative is on YOU to go find a neighborhood more compatible.

      (6) 16 Total Votes - 11 up - 5 down
  4. fishing village says:

    A code enforcement person has been in the budget talks all year. If we can afford it we’ll hire one. Call or notify the City if you see something that needs to be reported. The big violators are all of these illegal signs tacked on every ‘cyclone fence’ in town. Well, cyclone isn’t real attractive either….but, those event signs go up constantly. Very unsightly.

    (1) 11 Total Votes - 6 up - 5 down
    • racket says:

      How about the homeless guy standing in front of the illegal sign blocking your view of the cyclone fence. Should we address that, too, or does he get a “pass?”

      (5) 11 Total Votes - 8 up - 3 down
  5. smiley says:

    A code enforcement officer is needed. Large boats and old RV,s are frequently parked in driveways or yards blocking others views. There are old cars with flat tires and no current registration parked in driveways and rusting away! I have noted the accumulation of junk vehicles and boats since the code officer was eliminated. This town looks like Jed Clampet lives on every street.

    (14) 28 Total Votes - 21 up - 7 down
    • Rambunctious says:

      Maybe you should spend more time gazing at your property and less time watching your neighbor.

      (-9) 33 Total Votes - 12 up - 21 down
      • smiley says:

        Yeah, ignore it when others are slobs and the place you live in becomes a slum.

        (9) 29 Total Votes - 19 up - 10 down
        • Rambunctious says:

          Is that how you see our town…a slum? I sure don’t.

          (0) 22 Total Votes - 11 up - 11 down
          • smiley says:

            Becomes is the word I used.

            (6) 22 Total Votes - 14 up - 8 down
            • Rambunctious says:

              Well Smiley Morro Bay has been here a long time and it’s never looked better in my opinion and no code enforcer will make it any better. I have faith in my fellow citizens to keep their homes and our town a place we can all be proud of without fines and penalties delved out by a government code enforcer.
              Do you want what San Luis has become to happen to Morro Bay? where someone in a police uniform can write you a citation because you went out of town on trash day? I don’t.

              (-4) 20 Total Votes - 8 up - 12 down
              • smiley says:

                Years back the vacant lot next to my house was being used for parking by the neighborhood. Typically 2 or 3 vehicles daily then a boat on a trailer showed up, the trailer had expired tags. The last straw was a trash trailer full of construction debris that a contractor began parking there. The property owner was out of the area and no amount of talking could get my neighbors to stop. I called the code enforcement officer and that finally put a stop to all the bs. So much for faith in citizens giving a rats ass about what’s right when it comes to what’s convenient for them. You are entitled to your own opinion on this no matter how uninformed and idiotic It sounds.

                (3) 21 Total Votes - 12 up - 9 down
                • Rambunctious says:

                  Calling the city to report a problem with a neighbor is far different from having an officer driving around town looking for unreported “violations”. I’m happy that your problem got fixed but I think I would have contacted the owner and made him understand that as my neighbor and as a absent property owner he needs my good will and cooperation and he won’t get it until he cleans up his property. I feel 95% of the time people get frustrated and turn to government to settle differences prematurely. Thanks for allowing me to share with you my idiotic opinion.

                  (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down

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