Houston's Code Enforcement Department Enforces Itself

Categories: Spaced City
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Photo by howiesbox
The Code Enforcement Department of the City of Houston had to do a little code-enforcing on its ownself last week.

Here's how one a-mailer described things at 3300 Main: "they have been redtagged for violations  and have created havoc with some departments. on friday 4-17 a man in a wheelchair was unable to navigate the cluttered area where workers are furiously trying to make a deadline, and have blocked one of the emergency exits to the building."

Ouch.

Alvin Wright, Public Works Department spokesman, tells Hair Balls that, yeah, there were some minor problems in renovations to make 3300 Main a "green building" but it's all been fixed:

"That was taken care of last week," he says. "They got it all done."
Yeah, but at some point they were red-tagged, right?

"Yeah. For half a day. There were some things that weren't done right and we went back and got them to do it correctly," Wright says.

He's looking into the specific complaint about Friday.

But that probably won't appease the e-mailer: "how can they hold private businesses accountable for code violations when they consider themselves exempt from meeting safety requirements in their own building.  sounds like having a  tax cheat run the irs to me."

Update -- Wright responds:

I just ran this by one of the managers who are unaware of what the person who sent you the e-mail is referring to. 

We are in the final stages of completing the Green Building Resource Center which is the only construction going on. We have pulled permits and have complied with all requirements under those permits. No one knows of any such red-tag issues regarding a wheel chair person unable to navigate a cluttered work area.

I have been to the site on several occasions and the work area is behind closed doors and inaccessible to the public. The only red-tag we are aware of (and it has been resolved) was related to HVAC (air conditioner installation) with no impact on access. We are not exempt in any way from the plan review and inspection processes, nor any of the associated fees.
Further, advised that while we were doing some exterior work (tile work, etc.) we know of no complaints or issues with handicap access. The Center is fully accessible. 

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